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How to fit a TomTom ONE replacement battery

This page describes how to obtain and fit a new replacement 1350mAh lithium polymer (Li-Poly) battery in the Tom Tom ONE GPS satellite navigation unit.

This page has several pictures showing the insides of the Tom Tom One. You can click any of the pictures to view them full size, then hit your BACK key to come back to this page.

There are two key things to replacing the old dead battery (shown at right);

  1. Finding a suitable supplier of the new battery which is compatible with the original.
  2. Finding the correct security tool to undo the security bolts holding the back of the Tom Tom in place.

Disclaimer: You may invalidate your warranty or guarantee by opening the TomTom unit, however given due care and attention, and the correct tools, replacing the battery is a fairly easy job, and can be done in about 15 minutes. You have been warned! If you are unfamiliar with working inside electronic products and their components, seek help from a friend who is more confident with this kind of thing.

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If you have a Tom Tom Go 300 you can read my instructions for changing Tom Tom GO 300 replacement battery.

Tom Tom Go 910 Disassemble Instructions

Courtesy of Zarimar & skinny420 over at TomTom Forums this PDF document provides details and photos for getting inside a Tom Tom Go 910.

Tom Tom Go 510 Battery Replacement Instructions

If you have a Tom Tom GO 510 try these instructions to learn How to replace the battery in a Tom Tom Go 510.

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Obtaining the new battery

The TomTom One uses a 1350mAh Lithium Polymer battery. You can use slightly less amperage (ie ~1100mAh, or a Lithium Ion battery instead, but considering the price and higher charge capacity (longer life = longer hours of use), you might as well get the longer lasting Li-Poly (Lithium Polymer) battery. A higher mAh value equates to longer running time between charges before the battery goes flat.

I would recommend only getting batteries specifically noted for use with the TomTom, because the back of the case has a recess which might prevent slightly longer/wider or fatter batteries from being installed. The model I ordered was the CS-TM600SL which is for the TomTom One V1, although the Tom Tom One V2 and V3 require a CS-TM500SL in order to fit the recess, which is a slightly smaller size and amperage (1200mAh).

The Tom Tom ONE V4 requires a 950mAh CS-TM130SL.

In the UK I purchased mine for the reasonable price of around £16 from TomTom Work Online who also supply replacement batteries for other TomTom units, although there are various other suppliers of replacement TomTom Batteries in the UK, see below:-

Here is another link I was told about (thanks to John Foster). Apparently this supplier provides the necessary tool with the battery to open the TomTom:- Battery Mill Tom Tom replacement batteries. Battery Mill seem to provide batteries for most models of sat nav units, e.g. Navman, Dell, Garmin, Magellan, etc.

Thanks also to Gary and Anita Morgan who say you can now get the security bit set at screwfix for £3.42....
http://www.screwfix.com/prods/18983/Screwdriver-Bits/Security-Bits/Security-Bit-Set-33Pcs and a good price for Tom Tom battery can be found at ...   http://www.batterybud.co.uk/products.asp?cat=643  

Another replacement battery link (for Tom Tom One V1 and Rider V1) was provided to me by Edwina Bishop who notes MDS Battery also provide necessary Torx key toolkit for 2.99 (although another reader, John Reed, tells me the MDS toolkit did not fit the back of his Tom Tom, because the kit supplied was a Torx kit as opposed to Allen key!):-

As you can see there are a variety of suppliers who also supply tools, but beware it may be prudent to purchase a proper small kit of these security tools including both Allen and Torx style keys. I have also had to use Torx tools on the inside of a Tom Tom Go 300, which required Torx sizes 10, 8 and 6 (smallest) which is tiny! I have now created a page about replacing the battery in Tom Tom GO 300, but it is considerably more tricky than the job for Tom Tom ONE described here.

So before ordering, its best to check the back of your Tom Tom first to see whether you require Allen key (hexagonal flat sides) or Torx key (6-point star-shape).

Removing the TomTom back with the correct Security Tool

WARNING: Before you start, make sure you have done the following:-

  1. Backed up the contents of your TomTom, i.e. everything on the SDRAM Memory Card.
  2. Unplugged any charger unit.
  3. Turned off the TomTom unit.
  4. Removed the SDRAM memory card from the memory slot so as to prevent any potential damage to the card. Nothing is likely to happen, but better safe than sorry.

The trickiest part of replacing the battery is that TomTom have rather sneakily used special security bolts to hold the back onto the TomTom which for V1 models require a special hexagonal Allen-key type tool, but they have a central stud which prevents a normal hex allen key tool being inserted. This means the corresponding male toolbit must have a hole in its middle (see the pictures of the toolsets below).

I suspect this is done so that us average Joe's don't like the look of it, and think "Oooh, that looks a bit tricky, I suppose I had better send it to TomTom (or one of their dealers) to replace the battery and pay them an exhorbitant fee plus postage for the privelege!".

Having said that you might be able to find a local dealer who is willing to replace the battery for you cheaper than the total cost of getting the parts to do the job yourself. Bear in mind that the alternative of sending your TomTom away may involve additional delivery insurance costs!

So unless you have one of these special security tools (or know a friend who does) you will need to order a small toolset at the same time that you order the battery. I found a 33-piece toolset at www.Maplin.co.uk which cost £8.99. I considered this was ok, given that there were a good variety of bits in the set, and these could come in handy in the future, given that more and more products are being fitted with security type bolts.

Maplin part GU60Q 33-piece Security Bit Set

Note: The smallest size Torx key security bit in this set is size 8 (the Torx keys are the star-shaped bits in the row nearest to you in the photo below, with the size 8 at the furthest right).

The 2nd row from the front is Allen-key style security keys, which are the main ones you use for TT One V1.

The first step is to remove the four angled rubber grommets protecting the security bolts. This is done by gently prying them out with the tip of a small screwdriver.

Once removed you have access to the security bolts. You have turned off the unit, and removed the SDRAM Memory Card haven't you?

Carefully undo the security bolts using the correct size and type of security toolbit. In fact I found very slight differences in the size of the bolt hex opening, which meant I had to use different toolbits for different bolts! Nice quality TomTom (not)!!

Once all four bolts are removed carefully prise the back off. Note from the photo below that there is a fairly short lead on a connector attached to the loudspeaker in the back of the case, so don't rip the back off or you'll damage the lead or connector. While working I simply unclipped the connector so that the whole back could be removed and put aside. Don't worry, the connector can only be inserted one way around due to keying, so it ensures you can only reconnect it the correct way.

Removing the Old and fitting the New Battery

Inside there is some black tape sticking the battery lead to the PCB (printed circuit board). Carefully lift the tape off the board with your fingers (don't use any sharp implement as you could damage the circuit board).

Disconnecting the battery plug should be done carefully because the plug and socket look similar - do not accidentally pry the socket off of the board. You might break off the solder connections when all you wanted to do was remove the plug. Gently unclip the battery connector from the socket on the board, by pulling the plug away from the socket. Note: Some Tom Tom models have the battery plug/socket mounted horizontally against the circuit board (as shown in the photo above), while some have it mounted vertically. Basically you should pull in the direction the wires come out of the plug.

The photo below shows the new battery in place because I took the photo after I had removed the old battery. Anyway, the old battery was stuck down very firmly with a kind of cushioned sticky-pad. This required considerable effort to remove the old battery from the unit, and I had to use a wide-tipped flathead screwdriver blade to gently but firmly prise the battery and sticky-pad up and off the battery mounting pad. Be very careful not to force or break the case or the surrounding components. As the sticky-pad starts to lift and come away it will get easier to lift off, so do it nice and slow and easy.

Once removed, you need to take the double-sided sticky pad off the old battery, and fix it to the backside of the new battery.

Tip: (from Eric Woolford in Australia) Thanks for your article as I managed to change out my 720 Tom Tom battery. Just one technique that I learnt over the years is to use a plastic knife dipped in some olive oil then to push behind the battery. This will lube the adhesive as the knife passes behind. By doing this it will not cut any circuitry that may be behind the battery and will prevent the adhesive from grabbing once apart. I found that most of the adhesive stayed on the circuit board. In order to stick the new battery down, I used a couple of
small dots of clear silicone.

Warning: Before you go sticking that new battery back into place, check its positioning very carefully. My new battery was very slightly larger dimensions than the old battery, and it only just fit into place in the recess on the inside face of the case back when the back was replaced (see 2nd pic below). The first time, I just stuck the battery into place without realising, and the back would not seat down properly, so I had to remove and reposition it again.

Do you see how the case back has a battery recess lip? Look just to the right of the circular loudspeaker, and you can see a rectangular lip and then two slightly more raised L-shaped lips. It's the higher raised lips that the battery has to sit between, otherwise the back won't go on properly.

With the battery back into position, you can;

  • plug the battery connector back in paying attention to the correct way around,
  • re-affix the black tape to hold the lead to the circuit board
  • reconnect the loudspeaker connector lead (if you undid it)
  • re-insert the SDRAM memory card ready for a quick test

Now, before replacing the back you should try turning on the TomTom. Usually new batteries are only slightly charged (perhaps only 1/8th or 1/4 capacity), so don't expect it to be full, but hopefully there will be enough charge for the TomTom to start up and show that it is working ok.

So that's it. If all is well turn it off again, and put the back into place, being sure that you don't trap any of the wires where they might get squeezed, then fix the back with the bolts, and put the rubber grommets back in their holes.

IMPORTANT: Put the unit on charge for a full 24 hours to bring it back up to full charge. Next day leave the unit on for several hours so as it runs down. The unit should stay alive for several hours. Drain the battery totally. Recharge to full and then drain again, before final charge.

Doing this is the best way to "prepare" the new battery for a long life.

Frequently Asked Questions about batteries:-

  • Should I remove the battery from the charger when full?
  • Should I remove the AC when my laptop is not in use?

Nickel Based (eg. Ni-Cd/NiMH): Yes, it is best to remove the pack from the charger when full. A prolonged trickle charge to a fully charged battery can be harmful. (Laptops use Lithium-ion)

Lithium based (e.g. Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer, as used in Tom Toms): It does not matter. The charger automatically cuts the charge current when the battery is full. A laptop may be connected to the AC power when not in use.

The table on this page: http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-14A.htm is a very handy reference for understanding how you should treat batteries of various kinds.

Dispose of the old battery properly (see the Cautions in the photo of the new battery above).

There you go, TomTom ready to go again.

Now, if you followed my instructions, but for any of the other TomTom models please let me know of any differences or problems you encountered so I can add that information to this page for the benefit of other people. If you have photos that would be good. Thanks, Jim Prior.

Battery University is an on-line resource that provides practical battery knowledge for engineers, educators, students and battery users alike. The papers address battery chemistries, best battery choices and ways to make your battery last longer. http://www.batteryuniversity.com/ (thanks to Saqib Sabir for the reference).

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