How to open a Garmin nuvi 3xx or 6xx. (power button fix instructions too!)

Picture of How to open a Garmin nuvi 3xx or 6xx. (power button fix instructions too!)
This Instructable is on how to open a Garmin nuvi GPS. We used a 650, but it is very similar for any series 3xx or 6xx. This should be helpful to anyone that wants to do anything inside a Garmin nuvi GPS device, such as fixing a broken power button.

Do not forget to remove your SD card if you have one.

Keep yourself grounded.

- Torx T-5 screwdriver OR a small flat head screwdriver(what we used, because we don't have a Torx).
-Thin knife

I am not liable for any damages you cause to your device, this is only a guide. You should have at least moderate technical skills to attempt this.
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Step 1: The antenna.

Picture of The antenna.
The first step to successfully opening your Garmin nuvi GPS is removing the antenna, because there are screws under it that hold the case together.

First, you should unscrew the two screws at the top of the antenna. Then, turn the back plate of the antenna CLOCKWISE, very very carefully. You do not want to rip any of the wires because they are quite thin. Once you have the back plate turned, find the holes in the bottom area of the antenna. Put your screwdriver in the left-most hole and once you find the notch, pull right and carefully tilt the antenna. Remove the black pivot and spring. Gently pull out the entire antenna from the main case. Once it its slightly pulled out, both of the antenna plates should fall off the GPS antenna itself.

Use the pictures, they will help a lot.

Step 2: Cracking the case.

Picture of Cracking the case.
First, you unscrew the bolts under the antenna. Once these long screws have been removed, the case is free to open. It is held in place by some plastic fasteners, like most electronics. Use a thin knife to pry open the case. The sides, on the left and right, have all of the fasteners, so open those. Open the case, pivoting on the bottom, I cannot stress how important it is, because the bottom has the connections to the screen from the motherboard. Again, use the pictures. That's it. You've successfully opened a Garmin nuvi GPS.
diytim1 month ago

My Nuvi 350 suffered the dead power switch syndrome. Your tutorial gave me the confidence to open the device up - and after many missteps fix it. The ribbon connectors separated and it took several tries to reattach them (toothpick helped) and get it to work.


valter.ebasta6 months ago

You've been a great help, but you forgot to say that: once you open the case, there is a screw to be removed to release the circuit! thanks anyway!

tdesut1 year ago
how did you installed windows on that gps plz
henrikp1 year ago
Thanks, made my life a lot easier.
szarei1 year ago
Thank you for a great review! It helped me to fix my nuvi 300.
cashsta3 years ago
Can't thank you enough. Great job.
wfbjr3 years ago
I looked at the pictures between step2 and step3, and read the explanation of each step, but it was not explained that the mother board has to be removed from the case half. Prying on the mother board is not the answer, removing the small Philips screw at the lower center of the mother board is the way to go. But guess what, my Garmin is working again. Thanks for these instructions, saved me at least $70.00.
randleog3 years ago
The long torx screws under the aerial hinge refused to let go before rounding the faces of the screw head on one of the screws. (even using a torx). I removed the head with a mini-drill and diamond abrasive bit. The resulting stub at least provides a location stud. The long screws are not essential though as the unit clips together sufficiently tightly for most purposes.
randleog3 years ago
The tiny clamps holding the connections from the front screen are very fragile and I managed to break one even using a camel hair brush to flip it. Probably increasingly brittle with age. To provide a degree of downward pressure on the contact I used a small piece of 35 mm negative trimmed out from a scrap piece and inserted it over the foil contact and under the pressure bar. This was again held in place with a tiny dab from the glue gun
randleog3 years ago
As a possible alternative fix to the on-off switch issue to the PVC pot solution, can I suggest a hot melt glue gun - a tiny dab of glue in behind the switch after it has been returned to 90 degrees to the PCB seems to do the job. Too much glue and it will enter the SD card cavity so care is needed.
randleog3 years ago
I got as far as removing the outer shells of the antenna without mishap - however the case screws as indicated in the photo did not want to let go and rounded off the tangs on the micro-screwdriver I was using. (even though held down on a table surface with the 'driver in the jaws of narrow nosed pliers) Where would I get a torx small enough for this? - the drive diameter is tiny.
M3WDD5 years ago
Did not quite work for me... I have a 360T - and the fix is for a newer/wider unit - the single screw holding the circuit board in place would not budge - so I could not get access to the other side and fix the switch. 

Also the touch-screen ribbon cable (the smaller of the two) is on a hair-trigger - mine popped out of the connector as soon as I cracked the case more than 10mm open.  No worries though it is possible to get it clipped back in position with a bit of fiddling!

All back and working - apart from the switch - but I have alternate plans now that I have seen the inside
lklement M3WDD3 years ago
I just used these instructions to fix a 360.

The screw you mentioned came out for me with just a little firmness. Make sure you're using a appropriately sized screwdriver, support the unit, and give it a little more torque.

BTW, thanks for the caution on the video power cable - I'd have missed that it was loose and had to reopen if you'd not mentioned it. Easy to pop back in as long as you know it's loose.
I recommend to everyone! very good help!
I would like to say thanks for the instructions! It helped me a lot!
Very good tutorial!