How to fix Garmin GPS not charging in car

garmin gps fix when it doesn't chargeI have owned a Garmin Nuvi GPS for a while. All of a sudden one day, the GPS simply won’t charge using the cigarette lighter outlet nor through the USB auxiliary outlet in the car. It would charge using any other method, for example, by connecting it to a computer using a USB wire or simply using an electrical outlet using a cell phone charger. But, the GPS simply won’t accept the charge directly from the car.

I tried reading through many articles and forum posts online for a fix but there was no simple fix for a lay man. I have updated the firmware regularly, tried various USB cables with no luck. For long trips, I would fully charge the GPS at home and then use it for a good 1 or so hour before the dreadful message about external power has been lost came up. It was absolutely frustrating for a person who frequents new routes all the time. I would often end up using up a lot of smartphone data to find my way through the road.

Instead of investing in another GPS, after giving it much thought, I came up with a cost effective solution. Since the GPS is not accepting the charge directly from the car, I thought about charging the GPS somehow by bypassing a direct connection from the car. There were very few cost effective options available to me. The one I opted for was to use a power bank device (cost me $20 from a box store) in the car which would connect to my auxiliary port and then a USB wire from the power bank would connect to my GPS. The power bank was an ideal choice as it would help me charge other devices on the go in case I ran out of power. If you don’t have a USB auxiliary port in your car, you would be looking into buying a cigarette lighter power inverter available under $15 at many online stores. Here’s my setup:

garmin gps not charging in car fix

The setup worked! Due to bypassing through the power bank, my GPS charged flawlessly and went on running without receiving the external power lost message a single time, for over 4 hours :). Woo hoo, success!

What I’ve noticed is that if you are going to be using the original Garmin car GPS mount with the charging wire attached and connected to the car cigarette lighter, the GPS won’t charge. So, I disconnected the charging wire from the mount and just attached the GPS with the USB wire from the power bank. And it works like a charm!

Try it out and hopefully it works for you.

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