Go home Garmin, you’re drunk

For the last couple of weeks–ever since I returned from Ohio, really–my Garmin’s GPS has lost its mind. Not every run, but once a week or so some segment of the map barely resembles the route I actually ran.


I almost always start and stop at the same place (and I did these four times), yet only in one of the maps does it remotely look that way. On each of these runs I also used the same out-and-back streets, but for three of them the start arrow is a quarter- to a half-mile late, and it thinks I ran through neighbors’ yards, clumps of cedar trees, or fenced livestock fields instead.

The weird thing is it works correctly most of the time. Out of sixteen attempts this month, the map appeared more or less accurate on twelve of them. I mean, it can even tell that on the way out I ran on one side of the street and returned on the other side. But these four times, the GPS was bizarrely off.

My 220 is about 3.5 years old, and I’ve never had an issue with its GPS before. I’ve connected it to Garmin Express to see if it triggered an update. No manual ones, but I think it received one wirelessly during this period so it’s not like I’ve neglected it. I’ve turned it off and back on again. And today I tried a hard reset, which of course wiped out my settings and history. Maybe that will fix it.

Anyone else have GPS issues with the 220? Could it still be confused from my trip out of state? Any other suggestions?


6 thoughts on “Go home Garmin, you’re drunk

  1. Yes! I’ve had this problem since an update mid-April! There was an update recently and both myself and a running buddy with the 220 had problems. I emailed Garmin Customer support and they have suggested do a full reset of the watch to resolve the issue… I haven’t tried yet but hope it works.


    • That’s what I did the other day. Yesterday’s run was accurate, but since it doesn’t happen all the time I can’t be sure if it fixed it. Proving a negative, and all that. And FYI, it wiped my settings and everything.


  2. I have a different model and it is brand new. Occasionally it will say I ran a mile in 3 minutes! I will have to stop it and restart, and then it starts recording correctly. Pretty strange.


  3. I have a Garmin 220 and it gives me trouble periodically in downtown Austin due to the tall buildings and bridges. Usually it will just randomly pause for a few seconds, which is no big deal, but sometimes it will pause repeatedly and then decide that I’ve cut across multiple buildings while running a 3:25 mile. It doesn’t bother me too much since I don’t run workouts in the middle of the city.


    • A couple of times I know I’ve started it (I’ve seen the green arrow) and then five minutes later it’s going to sleep from inactivity. But this is outside of the city, so I’m not sure what’s jacking with it.


  4. A lot of money for my 310 XT and the GPS sucks at the best of times. When I haven’t used my Garmin for a while or (like you) re-locate to some other place I have those problems as well…


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