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toasted my GPS rechargeable lithium battery

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  • toasted my GPS rechargeable lithium battery

    I have a Garmin Nuvi 255W GPS stowed in the center console of my Forester. I rarely use it in Phoenix, but today I did because I wanted to find the location of the nearest Batteries Plus, a retail chain that sells the battery I needed for the car's keyless door lock transmitter. I bought the door lock battery, but ironically the GPS battery died en route.

    I can get an installation kit for a new GPS battery here: http://www.newpower99.com/Battery_fo...nuvi%20255.htm. My question is: why did it die? That's not the sort of thing I would expect from a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery.

    True, there were multiple occasions during the summer when I'd return from a hike and find the interior temperature in the car was 118؛F (48؛C). That is over the listed max temperature in the users manual. But is that really too high for the battery? If so, then what would happen to the lithium-polymer batteries in the upcoming hybrid cars, if left in the heat of a Phoenix summer?

    [edit] corrected the link
    Last edited by aostling; 12-06-2010, 05:56 PM.
    Allan Ostling

    Phoenix, Arizona

  • #2
    Li-po batteries are very sensitive to charging rates and overheating. They are easily damaged. If the unit happened to be in the sun as well as being in the hot vehicle it is easily possible for the temperature to go well above 118F. I have measured temperatures in a vehicle here during hot summer weather as high as 140F on the dash. Every Li-po battery has a charge controller built in but it can't do a thing about temperatures exceeding the storage maximum.

    BTW, I may have some very interesting 3D images to post shortly.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Evan

      BTW, I may have some very interesting 3D images to post shortly.
      Great. As you know, parallel for me works best.
      Allan Ostling

      Phoenix, Arizona

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      • #4
        I think it may have to wait until morning. These are turning out to be very odd images and I will have to play around a bit to see what works best.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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        • #5
          I'm presuming you kept the battery charged? one thing lithium battery's are really bad at handling is over-discharge; just a couple of deep discharges is enough to kill of "cheap" cells...

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          • #6
            I have the same unit and my battery went prematurely and mind had nothing to do with heat. I bought a replacement after a log of horsing around and got it working again and seems to be fine now. I suspect they may have had a bad batch of batteries.
            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
            Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

            It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by batt-man
              I'm presuming you kept the battery charged?
              I only used it with the 12V cord, but I'd store it in the center console (between the seats) for months unused. That should not have discharged it, though. As YOD confirms, we may have got a bad batch of batteries.
              Allan Ostling

              Phoenix, Arizona

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              • #8
                There is a lot of info about LiPo batteries on the indoor helicopter forums.

                One peculiarity of LiPo's is that they will fail if charged to above normal voltage. In addition, their voltage rises if their temperature rises above the temperature when they were charged.

                Thus, fully charging a LiPo at cool temperatures and then raising the battery's temperature causes an over voltage which can reduce its capacity or cause an outright failure.

                The helicopter guys deliberately store their batteries partially discharged if they may be exposed to elevated temperatures prior to next use, fully charging just prior to use. For the same reason, LiPo batteries are shipped partially discharged in case they encounter elevated temps enroute.

                Another peculiarity of LiPo's is that their life is reduced if they are discharged below 3v/cell so circuitry is usually included to cease discharge at this level.

                I'd expect the GPS designers to be aware of these limitations and terminate charge/discharge at a safe level. You may have encountered a bad battery or the charging circuit may be defective (easily diagnosed by checking cell voltage after charge).

                John
                Location: Newtown, CT USA

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                • #9
                  I have a reconditioned 255W I bought last January and have not had any trouble so far. Was it much trouble to replace the battery? Do you think I should buy a spare battery?

                  I bought the life time update and have updated it twice now and it has performed just fine so far. I keep mine stored in the glove compartment in my Ranger trk. I probably use it once a month.
                  It's only ink and paper

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                  • #10
                    Never understood why GPS is so popular. It's a little box... that tells you where to go and how to get there. My wife does that and I don't have to update her maps at $99 a pop...
                    This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
                    Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
                    Plastic Operators Dot Com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Carld
                      I have a reconditioned 255W I bought last January and have not had any trouble so far. Was it much trouble to replace the battery? Do you think I should buy a spare battery?
                      The link in the OP doesn't seem to load now. Here is the link to the battery kit, including a video showing that it takes 6 minutes to install the new battery. I've ordered the kit but have not taken delivery yet.

                      http://www.newpower99.com/Battery_fo...nuvi%20255.htm
                      Allan Ostling

                      Phoenix, Arizona

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                      • #12
                        Garmin has a battery recall on some models. 200W, 250W, 260W, 7xx and 7xxT. Yours (same as mine) isn't on the list even though some very similar models are.
                        https://buy.garmin.com/support/produ...4-000000000000

                        Liger Zero: a GPS is much cheaper than a wife and doesn't require monthly shoe updates at $199 .

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by whitis
                          Liger Zero: a GPS is much cheaper than a wife and doesn't require monthly shoe updates at $199 .
                          With mine it's jigsaw puzzles, not shoes.

                          Also the wife doesn't suggest "shortcuts" through the ghetto like Tom-Tom does. I think the damn thing is trying to kill me.
                          This product has been determined by the state of California to cause permanent irreversible death. This statement may or may not be recognized as valid by all states.
                          Heirs of an old war/that's what we've become Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb
                          Plastic Operators Dot Com

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                          • #14
                            I visited both the sites, my unit is not on the list and I will keep the battery site in mind. I am a paper map person in that I love maps and collect them. I use a map when traveling but when your looking for some obscure address in a city it can get interesting.

                            I didn't think I would ever buy a GPS but I finally broke down and snapped the trigger on one. Then I got the life time updates because I plan to keep this one a long time and it was cheaper to go that way. If you buy a new one every year like some people do the free update would work.

                            The last update for mine took about 5 hours and I am on fast DSL. After the update it was much better than before so something big happened between the first update and this one. There are still many roads not on the system but then nothing is perfect, even the paper maps have issues.

                            I travel at times with a friend that delivers parts all over the USA and we have had our troubles with paper maps but the Garmin seems to get us to a location easy. On those trips I only program it when we get about 100 miles from the destination. Sometimes finding a business is a real pain in the butt with a truck and trailer.
                            It's only ink and paper

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                            • #15
                              On the GPS topic....
                              Do the new models have a real map view option or do they always have that cartoon looking screen? I have an old DeLorme PN-20 made for hiking but I like the map view it has. I can zoom in or out and see nearby roads. I'd like to update to a larger screen and newer model but I don't want to look at a game image of intersections in 3D. I want to see a map that shows where I am on that map. Do the new ones do that?

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