Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Garmin Forerunner 405CX (Part II)

The GF405CX is now on its way to Taiwan for a warranty claim trip. It only in service for 5 months (brought in March, but only got it in May), but failed since the River Jungle Marathon. It’s only 6.5 hours run and partially (last 1.5 hours) done in the rain, I would expect this unit to perform better than this.

GF405CX is really a great help on my routine trainings to keep me paced. I had minimum complaint about it performance (satellite signal receiving, response, recording, ease of use, etc.), the only complaint I would able to think of is it battery life. Very obviously it’s not able to last to the 8 hours as per factory setting in running with GPS. The most I got so far is the 6.5 hours during River Jungle Marathon before it screen frozen at 41km. On the bright side, its encourage me to complete my marathon within 6 hours :)

During the RJM, the unit frozen at 41km and I only realized that after I want to stop the timer at the finish line. The first battery low alert started at around 30km, along the way it shown some more alert on and off, but some how it doesn’t run flat on the balanced 12km. At the finish line, after I filled up my tummy with bananas and bread, then I tried the soft reset to unfreeze the screen. As the battery may not sufficient to restart the unit, it ended up in the restart-off-restart mode. This mode is very annoying and there is no way to turn it off, it will continue until the battery is totally flattened.

From the previous battery out experience, once it back to the charger, the unit will be live again. However, it doesn’t turn on this round. Did some research over the internet and surprisingly saw this is a common issue amount GF405 & 405CX. Some unit will just die off like that and users suspected the moisture ingression caused the problem on the battery contact point. Some users waited for few days until the moisture inside clear off, plug in the charger then the unit will back into life. I am confused! Aren’t the unit designed for running, should taken the drizzling, sweating conditions into account? How come so many users still suffered from the moisture issue?

Finally, last Friday I visited Garmin authorized distributor (AECO) outlet at SS14 Digital Mall. They took the unit and sent to their office for further checking. They contacted me yesterday and said the unit will be send to Taiwan factory to recondition and the repair should be under warranty. As my unit came from Singapore, I will need to pay the shipping cost of RM180. Hope it will return before PJ Half or PBIM. Guess that is the price we need to pay for not buying from the local distributor (anyway, even with this RM180, my unit from Singapore is still cheaper compare to the RRP quoted in Malaysia).

Btw, during my research, I also noticed that the all the Garmin Forerunner’s battery will need to change back in the factory, users can’t really DIY when the battery no longer functions. Anyway, Garmin offered an option to send back to factory for recondition with USD110 (based on your model, check out here for detail). You will need to pay the postage cost if the warranty expired. So, if you are consider to get a Garmin, please take note on this extra cost which may occur in 1~2 years time (btw, some users responded with no issue with the battery even for 3~4 years).

For me, I am still thinking the GF405CX is a good tool that I had for my running. You should consider one HRM with GPS unit. With training plan in place, it will help to improve your running.

Another 10 days to my 2nd Marathon in Putrajaya Night Marathon. For now, I will stick with the Polar FT4. 

Link to Part I / Part III on this Device.


  1. For the price we pay for these units, they're supposed to last much better and longer than that but I don't take chances with mine. The moment I'm done running, I rinse the straps, and wipe the entire watch down and let it air dry before even trying to charge it. No matter what the manufacturer claims about the unit, I don't trust them one bit :P

    All the best in the FM for PNM, hope to catch you and Kah Yen there.

  2. Hi Nick,
    Those are my usual practice too to take care of the GF405CX, but it still failed me :(

    See you next week in PNM.
    Btw, knowing yours & my style, we may meet this Friday on the race bib collection. LOL