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February 17, 2010

How To Replace The Internal Battery on A Garmin Nuvi GPS

Garmin nuvi Battery Low Warning
Removing the screws from the back of a nuvi Battery Replacement Kit Garmin nuvi, Opened

What do you do when your Garmin nuvi GPS will no longer hold a charge, and the internal battery doesn't last more than a few minutes? You could just live with it and always use the vehicle power adapter. Or you could send it in to Garmin for repair.

There's another option: It turns out that replacing the internal battery is an easy task that takes just a few minutes to complete. Here's everything you need to know to successfully replace the internal rechargeable battery, complete with step-by-step instruction.

Important Note: This is an easy procedure, but doing so may void your warranty. GPSmagazine.com assumes no liability expressed or implied for any damage to your device.

Garmin nuvi Battery Replacement Kit
Figure 1: Garmin nuvi Battery Replacement Kit

Battery replacement kits are available from various vendors. I bought this nuvi 700 series replacement kit on Amazon.com. Most battery replacement kits come with all the tools you'll need to perform the battery switch, pictured above.

Garmin nuvi 765T & Battery Replacement Kit
Figure 2: Garmin nuvi 765T & Battery Replacement Kit

The basic process for replacing the battery is pretty simple:

  1. Open the back of the GPS
  2. Remove the old battery
  3. Install the new battery
  4. Replace the back cover

Let's get started.

Garmin nuvi 765T, Rear
Figure 3: Garmin nuvi 765T, Rear

The first step in replacing the internal battery is removing the two small hex screws shown located on the rear of the case.

Different Garmin models use different screw types. The 7x5T models use a small hex type screw.

Remove Rear Screws
Figure 4: Remove Rear Screws

Using the hex screwdriver included in the battery kit, remove the two screws on the back of the device.

Rear Screws, Removed
Figure 5: Rear Screws, Removed

Set the two screws aside. You'll need them again when we put the nuvi back together.

Use the Case Puller
Figure 6: Use the Case Puller

The battery replacement kit includes a plastic case puller tool, shown above. You can also buy these separately. Insert the tool into the groove between the back of the case, as shown above, and pull up on the tool until the back of the case separates from the top.

Remove the Back of the Case
Figure 7: Remove the Back of the Case

Use the case puller tool to pry apart the rear of the case, working your way around the case until the back is fully separated.

nuvi, Opened
Figure 8: nuvi, Opened

Once you've managed to pry off the back of the case using the case puller tool, gently open the nuvi up as shown above.

Garmin nuvi, Opened
Figure 9: Garmin nuvi, Opened

You'll notice two cables that connect the back of the case to the rest of the nuvi: a speaker cable, and the battery cable. Carefully disconnect both cables.

Garmin nuvi 765T, Opened
Figure 10: Garmin nuvi 765T, Opened

Now that the speaker and battery cables have been unplugged, there's enough room to fully remove the back of the case.

Remove the Original Garmin Battery
Figure 11: Remove the Original Garmin Battery

The rechargeable battery is held in place with some double-sided sticky tape. Simply pull the battery off the back of the case to remove it.

Don't discard it yet -- we need to save the double-sided tape and re-use it on the new replacement battery.

Get the New Battery Ready
Figure 12: Get the New Battery Ready

Remove Tape from Original Battery
Figure 13: Remove Tape from Original Battery

Peel off the double-sided tape from Garmin's original battery.

New Replacement Battery
Figure 14: New Replacement Battery

Apply the tape to the top of the new battery.

Install the Replacement Battery
Figure 15: Install the Replacement Battery

Put the new replacement battery into the back of the case, and give it a firm press to let the double-sided tape bond to the case.

Re-Connect the Wires
Figure 16: Re-Connect the Wires

Plug the speaker and battery connectors back into the GPS (the wires are short, so you'll need to hold the case in a half-closed position to be able to connect the wires).

Re-Assemble nuvi Case
Figure 17: Re-Assemble nuvi Case

With the new battery successfully installed, the nuvi is ready to be re-assembled. Start at the top of the cass (the side with the power switch), and firmly press down around the edges of the case to snap it back together.

Re-Assemble Case
Figure 18: Re-Assemble Case

Take care that no wires are sticking out of the base of the GPS when re-assembling it.

Tighten Screws
Figure 19: Tighten Screws

Secure the GPS back together again by putting the two hex screws on the back of the case back together. The screws should be tight, but not over-tightened.

That's it! You've now got a band new battery that will hold a charge.