Replacing Garmin Zumo Touch Screen-Do it Yourself

Discussion in 'GPS Use, Tracks & Maps Discussion' started by SilverhawkUSA, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    It appears there is an inherent problem with the Zumo 450/550 touch screens. Mine had been giving me problems for some time until it finally quit completely. The symptoms are:

    A: Touchscreen buttons light up but refuse to function. After that the screen becomes locked.

    B: Messages appear as though you have touched the screen, but you haven't.

    C: Map scrolling becomes erratic or locks up.

    I did a search, and there are many posts on various sites talking about this problem. Most claim their units are 2-3 years old. Mine is older and seemed to have problems after very dusty road trips in Laos and Vietnam. Also my screen had some scratches and pits.

    The Solutions:

    1. Send your unit back to Garmin and they will repair or send you a refurbished unit for $150 plus you pay all shipping. This can be somewhat expensive and time consuming two ways from Thailand.

    2. In Thailand, I checked with Eagle GPS. They would send it to Taiwan for repair. 8,000 baht estimate and it would take at least a month.

    My Recommended Solution: Fix it Yourself.

    The problem is the "digitizer". I had no idea what a digitizer is, but it is the actual screen that is on the unit that you are touching with your finger. This sends the commands to the processor. The Display screen is located behind the digitizer. This apparently is how most cellphones, computers, and other touch screen devices function (you may already know this, I didn't).


    I found a "How To" post on ADV Rider,with photos, that I will paste at the end of this post.

    First some suggestions.

    They say new digitizers may be ordered from EBay for around $50. True, if you are in the U.S. but not so easy from Thailand. I searched and found a China website that specializes in, yes, "Digitizers". They also sell for many other devices. I was a little leery of ordering from a company I didn't know in China.

    Bottom line; I payed with Paypal and I had the part(s) in 10 days, delivered to my home in Chiang Mai, for $7 shipping.

    Even better news;
    if you replace the digitizer alone, it must be separated from the display with a razor knife or something similar as it is glued around the edges. In the post the writer cracked his digitizer, which didn't mater as it was bad anyway, but it seemed a little risky to me. I found on the China site a display AND a digitizer already attached as a unit. Much easier. (although I did later remove the digitizer from my old display with no problem).

    The best news:

    Digitizer alone = $15.99

    Display and Digitizer unit= $$26.58

    I ordered both to be on the safe side. For the minimal cost it is worth it in case I screwed up (I didn't), so now I have a backup.



    The installation was easier than I thought following the linked instructions. You need a small phillips screwdriver, (They actually sent one with the digitizer}. In my case, I needed a magnifying glass to get a good look at the connections.

    This is probably the most tedious part. There is small Mylar ribbon connector from the display and the digitizer. To remove them you must carefully lift up the connector by gently pulling two little tabs on the side of the connection on the motherboard up (toward you). They then lift up and ribbon connectors slide out. To install, place the ribbon in place and gently close the connector and it locks it in place.

    Not that difficult even with my bad eyes and shaky hands. The only other thing, is be careful with the sealing rubber around the digitizer and make sure it is in place before tightening the screws. It took me (and I'm no genius) about 20 minutes to make the repair, and that included two tries at the sealing rubber.

    Oh yeah, you need to recalibrate the screen when you turn it on. That is in your manual or readily available directions on the net if you do a search. ( Heck, I'll tell you. Press the "Power ON" button and hold it depressed for about 60 seconds. A calibration screen will eventually display. Just touch the dots and you're done.)


    In my opinion, it actually functions better than new. The display seems to be clearer and the touch screen much more sensitive.

    I hope this is useful to someone out there. (Marco?)

    The instruction link:
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  3. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    Hi Matey

    well IF i would heard that long time ago i would try it, BUT i got my problem long time ago and send it to ESRI and they send it to TAIWAN and it cost 9800THB, when it was fixed and got it back...
  4. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Sorry. We can't change what we didn't know then. :problem: Auke, had mentioned you had the same problem with yours. I didn't know if it was fixed yet or not.
  5. Marco

    Marco Ol'Timer

    No worries matey,,

    Now we know IF we gonna have same problem in the future we gonna use this one for sure....
    i was talking to ESRI on the phone and they will sending me the parts what has had a problem, so i should able to see what they chaged to there
  6. Russ McDermid

    Russ McDermid Active Member

    I managed to order from Hong Kong on Ebay and had a go. All going well until I cracked the new unit trying to put the silver cover back on to hold it into the plastic case - so be warned and place on a flat surface when assembling.
    Also, there are two sizes available - for the Zumo 400 / 550 range you will need the 79 x 65 mm screen. The smaller size can be made to work but this is the correct size (Ebay has both and the actual size is in the small print).
    Finally, a thousand curses on Garmin as the rubber buttons have perished on mine and its difficult to use without - a phone call to Garmin revealed they dont have spares and no longer support the model.... which is about 4 years old now.
    Good luck.
  7. Gregitt

    Gregitt Member

    I too, ordered the smaller wrong size for my Garmin 450 ( which was defective) and I sent it back to the Chinese distributor. I had surprising good service from them, and an English speaking lady took care of me very well. They exchanged it no problem and they now have the correct size posted on their website. As for the BUTTONS> If you still have the rubber buttons....put them in. Get some good silicon seal or chauking....put some on your finger and rub it into the outside of the rubber button...wipe of the excess. After the outside gap is filled in and dries...the buttons will stay in and also keep the water out. Just make sure to push the middle of the button.
    I appreciate the originator of this post THANK YOU! Once in a while there are posts which really can help folks out. This one did and saved me lots of money. I just had to be patient with the installation and length of time getting the correct screen. I ordered the whole screen unit by the way.
  8. skysteve

    skysteve New Member

    thanks for the info, my zumo 550 died, just ordered a new screen from ebay, thanks for all your help
  9. skysteve

    skysteve New Member

    Yes I just did mine,, caution the seal can go it 2 ways, as the lip that goes against the gas is smaller than the lip that goes against the body, I learned the hard way, it worked great until it rained, then I had to replace it again, hopefully it is good now.
  10. skysteve

    skysteve New Member

    Update, installed new touch screen, all good, later I found the gasket was installed upside down, screen died when it rained, another screen, installed, and was careful when installed, hard to see the differance, all good now

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