Luckily we didn't have any motorbike mechanical issues on the trip. However, we didn't get through unscathed with all of our machinery. The GPS unit on Oilburner's bike (my old Zumo 450) decided it didn't like the trip and wanted to reroute us, on its own.
It was strange to see the screen display change between map and settings constantly. The screen display showed random, and unsolicited, selection of options or destinations. Oilburner was getting ready to through it across traffic, hoping for it to land under the wheels of semi-truck. I took possession and gave him my GPS, so he could do all the navigation from now on. (Thank goodness the 450 and 550 take the same cradles! Interchangeable GPS', sweet!)
I can't say that I nursed it back to health. It continued to behave poorly. But usually after a couple of hours it might respond to my input instead of its own, and allow me to select a destination. I wasn't as concerned with being navigated anywhere, though. More, I just like being able to see the map and what is in the surrounding area. Strangely, I like knowing if this water channel is a mere river, or the headwaters of a lake. Especially in unknown parts of the world.
Interweb research revealed that this is a common problem with the Zumo 450 and 550 screens. Something happens to the touch screen, either scratches or grit or water, and it will "sense" phantom touches. Though it usually takes a few years to manifest. (Who keeps their 3 year old GPS' anyway??) Oilburner stumbled up on ADVRider thread discussing the touch screen replacement. (ADVRider = Adventure Rider. Its forum is a garbage dump of information, from the useful to the tacky. But we're adventure riders, there isn't anything tacky to us!)
I love my Zumo 450 (and now 550). It is a rugged unit, withstanding the bumps, jiggles and drenchings that motorbikes put it through. I've had the 450 almost 4 years. Oilburners original Garmin GPS that has been installed on both of his RT bikes finally gave up the ghost months ago and Garmin replaced it with a 550. (Nicely, Oilburner gave me the 550 citing it's black color was better on my bikes, while the silver 450 blended better on his.) I know they are old devices, but I can't stand the new devices that are replacing them. They are cheaper feeling (longevity) and actually have fewer features than the 450/550 offer. So I will stick with these for the time being.
As I was saying, luckily someone has figured out a cheap way around this issue: Replace the touch screen (properly called the digitizer). You can replace the LCD display if you want, but it wasn't required if nothing was wrong with it. The digitizer costs about $18. The digitizer + LCD is about $45. Oilburner went whole hog and replaced both.
Here is the process of replacement:
Take of its head! (Remove the top cover)
Take out the heart (Remove the battery. Notice all of the scratches. That was Oilburner thinking there was a problem with the terminal connection.)
Loosen/Remove the screws securing the back in place.
Pry the back and front halves apart. Similar to a clam, without any pearls inside.
Be careful here. Gently remove the two ribbon cables from the board. (The top strip of plastic is hinged and just pops up.)
Unscrew the screen from the front plate.
Old screen. (New screen is basically the same, fewer scratches. :^) )
Closer up view of the ribbons. As said, the top bit is "hinged" and just pops up. Must make sure the ribbon is seated properly for the new screen.
Voila! Reverse steps for reassembly and the unit works like new!
Item 1: Garmin will do this for you, calling it "refurbishing" and charge you a measly $150. Oilburner could have gotten away with just replacing the digitizer for $18, but decided to go the fancy route.
Item 2: Oilburner somehow managed to foist this repair job on me. I guess my better eyesight, more nimble fingers and younger brain were better suited to this work. (It couldn't be that he was Tom Sawyer'ing me to get me to do all the work. Could it??)
Item 3: No. I did not steal the 450 back because some of it's Frankenstein bits were newer. He says he likes that silver case...he can have it.
Now you know how to replace some GPS components. If yours starts acting up, do some research and see if it might be an easy job instead of having to replace the entire unit.