View Full Version : Battery losing charge while unit is off

09-05-2009, 01:28 PM
Hi all,

I have a Garmin 310XT and have had it for four weeks. But I have a problem with it. Its the battery.

When it charges it gains 1% of charge per minute, thats ok. But when its off, it loses 1% of charge per hour. Doesnt sound like much but two days of no running and just under 50% of my charge has gone.

I have a Garmin forerunner 201 and the battery lasts forever. Two week holiday, no charger, running one hour every day, no problem. In fact although the battery indicator is fairly basic ie linear not the percentage on the 310XT, it would take some beating.

Don't get me wrong, I really really want to like the 310XT and I do but is it my unit or is everybody suffering the same 1% per hour drop off on the battery when off.

It claims 20 hours of battery life... this must be straight from the wall charger and 20 hours of continual use.

I have contacted Garmin support who suggested a hard reset. Neither of us believed it would really work. I did it and it didnt work. Please can someone let me know how their unit is handling battery percentage in the off position.

I really hope its my unit and not a flaw with the 310XT as under warranty I shall get a new one.

Kind regards.

09-05-2009, 01:40 PM
I'm not sure when I last charged my 310, but it was at least five days ago.

Since then, I've only run once for 30 minutes, then I uploaded that run to GC, and I updated the firmware, all without charging.

So now I just plugged my 310 into the charger, and it said it was at 66 percent of capacity.

09-05-2009, 02:28 PM
By my reckoning 5 days of non use plus thirty minutes of use.... your battery with my theory should be dead and you have 65% left.

I think it must be my 310XT.

Thanks for the prompt reply. Anybody else out there got any other battery info?

I have all weekend to gather some info before calling Garmin support Monday 9am.

Incidentally they seem very helpful and from past experience have exchanged my previous GPS without hassle. Well done garmin!

09-05-2009, 04:36 PM
One thing you might check is that the 310 is pretty easy to power on -- all it takes is a tap on the power key, not a press-and-hold. I think some people have inadvertently turned their 310 on while it's been in their gym bag, only to discover that the battery had been drained. It doesn't sound like this happened in your case since you quantified the drain, but it can't hurt to double-check.

When you call Garmin support, they will likely recommend a complete reset (when you power it on, hold down the mode key) before they'll exchange it. So that might be something else for you to try before you call.

09-06-2009, 09:42 AM
Yeah as mentioned before, I tried the hard reset....

I would appreciate any other 310XT owners to try the following:

Put yours on charge until its 100% and completed.

Turn it off and over a given period of time ie 12 hours has it lost 12%? ie my one % per hour theory which mine is currently suffering from.

Either way you will know whether yours is losing charge as well and I will know that mine is defective and I will contact Garmin support first thing tomorrow.

09-06-2009, 03:22 PM
I came here searching to see if anyone else was having this problem. Sorry to find I'm not the only one. I first noticed it two days ago, same scenario as you. I fully charged the 310 the night before a brick (readout said 100%), put it next to my clothes (the unit was off), and when I powered it on the next morning it said I was already down one bar of battery life. After my workout (around 1.5 hours) I plugged it in to charge and it said I was at 72% battery life. For a unit that's supposed to last 20 hours, I should have been at maybe 93%! Today I used my unit fully charged on a one hour swim, and then kept it on for an additional four hours. So, five hours of use but only one hour of data recording (more battery intensive). When I plugged it in at home it said I was at 55%!

Like you, I've tried a hard reset and it doesn't change what happens.

Let me know what Garmin tells you.

09-07-2009, 10:17 AM

Good News, Garmin will replace my defective 310XT.

Bad News, it takes 10 working days from receipt of unit.

Small inconvenience really.

Phoned this morning and they had no problem with my Battery issue and they said that they have not heard of similar problems.

09-07-2009, 10:30 AM
Bad News, it takes 10 working days from receipt of unit.

If that's what they told you, they are probably being very conservative.The longest it has ever taken, from the time I shipped it to the time I got it back is 10 calendar days total, regardless of working days or not.

09-08-2009, 08:29 AM
You might want to do a full recharge-discharge cycle, charge the watch uninterrupted all the way, run it all the way down till the watch doesn't power on anymore, then once again charged up to 100% uninterrupted.

Just like cellphones, doing this causes the battery regulator chip to learn the characteristics of the battery, and should give you a better battery level estimate as you use the device.

09-08-2009, 11:47 AM
You might want to do a full recharge-discharge cycle, charge the watch uninterrupted all the way, run it all the way down till the watch doesn't power on anymore, then once again charged up to 100% uninterrupted.

Just like cellphones, doing this causes the battery regulator chip to learn the characteristics of the battery, and should give you a better battery level estimate as you use the device.

Okay, I'll give that a shot and let you know how it goes. Thanks for the suggestion. I have a half Ironman this weekend, an Olympic in two weeks, and a marathon three weeks after that so I simply can't take the chance of sending it to them for repair/replacement and not get it back promptly.

09-11-2009, 04:24 PM
They must not talk to each other at Garmin, cause I had my unit replaced for the exact same problem. New unit is great and I don't have to worry about battery life.

09-11-2009, 10:54 PM
Same problem for me - fully charged. Used two hours. Turned off for a couple of days, battery almost dead. Not good.

09-12-2009, 12:51 PM
I have had a Garmin 310 for about 3 weeks now. I put it on the charger out of the box and left it on overnight. I have used it for several inline skating workouts which are usually about 1.5 hours each. I have also had the unit on quite of few times while trying to get the Garmin Connect stuff to work. I have not recharged it since the initial charge. I have been keeping track of on-time because I had heard about a lot of problems with charging. Roughly, I have about 14 hours of on-time with the unit and the unit is currently displaying one bar on the 310 battery display. I had one bar this morning, I went out for a one hour workout, and I am still at one bar. So far, so good. I have not experienced the unit discharging while off.

I plan on not charging the unit until it is completely discharged. I am being cautious because of the many instances of charging and lock-up problems that people are experiencing. My Garmin was not even delivered to me and I saw customer response complaints about the 310 at REI.com. The biggest issues seemed to be difficulty with charging/lock-up of the unit. I emailed Garmin and asked them about the problems. This is a quote from their email.

"With the Forerunner 310xt, you will find that the number one solution is making sure your unit's software is up-to-date. In addition to this, should you experience any battery charging issues with the Forerunner 310xt, please make sure you charge
the unit overnight, and deplete it until it will not turn on at least once, if not twice. The new 310xt is designed to have a battery life that lasts up to 20 hours."

They have also said that most of the problems have been occuring in cycling mode and when using the lapping feature.

I upgraded mine to the most recent version of their firmware. So far, I have only used it in running mode. I plan on letting the battery deplete all the way down to nothing before recharging. That should happen this week, since I am doing an in-line skate marathon in Duluth. I will need to get the unit charged up. If I experience any issues with recharging or battery life, I will reply again.

09-12-2009, 07:43 PM
Just like cellphones, doing this causes the battery regulator chip to learn the characteristics of the battery, and should give you a better battery level estimate as you use the device.

Lithium-ion batteries have no "memory" effect.

09-13-2009, 10:26 AM
Lithium-ion batteries have no "memory" effect.

But the fuel regulation circuit on the watch does, and every battery that is produced has variations in its discharge graph. The full discharge and charge cycle is to get the chip to learn the characteristics of the battery it is connected to.

09-13-2009, 10:29 AM
I thought you were thinking they were the same as nickel cadmium batteries.

09-13-2009, 06:46 PM
I twice tried the "drain until dead, fully recharge" method to see if it would reset its battery life memory. The first time it lasted a little under 12 hours, the second time it lasted a little over 10 hours.

It's going back to Garmin. Dammit.

10-01-2009, 06:56 PM
I responded once before earlier. I have not experienced any problems with the 310 battery discharging on its own. I've had my 310 for about two months now. On the initial charge, I got about 16 hours of use. I charged it up for the second time about 3 weeks ago. I have about 9 hours on it now and the watch display shows that only 1 bar is gone. That's what it has shown the last couple of weeks. I plan on letting the unit run down completely before putting the charger back on. I did upgrade to version 2.6

10-06-2009, 12:21 PM
Hi all,

My XT has the same problem - I charged the unit to 100%, turned it off (Friday morning), and tried to turn it on again, three days later (Monday morning). The battery/unit was totally dead.

I let the Garmin Connect service update the unit to the latest firmware, just before this occurred. The Garmin support guys say they want me to send my unit to them. I guess I will have to do so...


What could cause this problem? Maybe Garmin is interested in the following behaviour, which I believe is erroneous - a bug? Maybe, this is the reason why the battery runs out in just three days, although it was fully charged, and the unit was shut off during the period!?

The following is what happened the other day.
1. I turned the unit on, indoors.
2. A view searching for satellites was shown.
3. After a while, still indoors, I was prompted about if I am indoors, and I
answered "yes".
4. One of my views, pulse- and time info, was then shown.
5. I moved outdoors, to run, awaited the search to find the satellites, for a couple of minutes, nothing seemed to happen.
6. I selected the satellite view, using "mode" (I think), and the search is still trying to find the satellites...
7. I checked the menu "GPS" - and realize that the GPS service is not active any more!

My questions due to the above are the following.
1. Why is the unit still searching for satellites, when the function is actually
inactived by the unit itself (by me answering the question about beeing indoors)?
2. Why am I not noticed about that the GPS is inactivated, when answering the indoor question?
3. What can I do to avoid seeing the search bar (not for ever, but for the moment, and, for example, see one of my own views instead)?

And, do you have any plans about being able to store all data and settings (like views, 'sport group', language, maximum pulse, puls zones...), before updating the SW in the unit, or sending it for service? This is, I am sure, a VERY important function for you to implement, making your customers happier!

10-09-2009, 08:38 PM
I've noticed that if I leave the charging clip connected but turn off the power to the plug, the unit will come on.

Are you 100% sure the unit was off the whole time before the battery went dead?

Is the unit turning itself on happening to anyone else? Because it's kind of a PITA.

10-03-2010, 12:16 PM
Hi everyone:
This is my first time on here, so I apologize if this has been answered elsewhere. I do not have huge problems with the unit discharging under normal circumstances, but I have noticed one unusual pattern: I travel a lot (by air), and usually charge it up completely the day before I leave home. I then turn it off, and do not turn it back on until I am ready to use it at the new destination. At least 3 times now I have found it completely discharged when I am ready to use it- it will not even come on until I plug it in the wall charger and then I let it get up to at least 25% before using it. The amount of time it is turned off is no different from what happens often at home, i.e. charge one evening, use the following afternoon, but at home it still has enough charge for at least a 60 min walk or run.I must admit, I often re-charge it when it is not completely run down, but memory does not seem to be the problem.
Has anyone seen this? Can the flight have anything to do with it? Any suggestions?

10-03-2010, 12:24 PM
I travel a lot myself (I'm at an airport right now typing this :) ). This has happened to me once when traveling, and what I think happened is that I accidentally turned it on. The power switch is a bit sensitive, and I think compressing it in my suitcase bumped the button enough to turn it on. Otherwise, I don't think just flying with it would caue the battery to discharge.