Most Common Problems With Garmin Transducer

To find fish, the Garmin transducers are easy-to-use and come with high sensitivity GPS. 

Despite the crystal clear images and sturdy configuration, it has some issues too. 

In this article, I am going to talk about those specific and most common problems with Garmin transducers. 

Depth reading issues cavitation transducer’s placement water turbulencelack of proper sonar transmission 
High-speed issuemounting location the outrunning of the return signal for moving too fast
Short circuit issueWiring problem
Faulty settings Wrong installation
Display problemsElectrical problemsConnection problem

1. Depth Reading Issues 

One of the customers complained about the sonar images issues. When he connected the transducers to the marine device using the NMEA 2000 or NMEA 0183 networks, the transducers didn’t show the sonar images. 

A transducer serves as an antenna and turns electrical energy into a high-frequency sound. Transducers can pick up very sensitive echo signals at various depths.

Possible reasons

There are some factors that can cause this problem. 

The cavitation may be one of the reasons. Cavitation can be formed by the movement of the propeller through water. The transducer’s placement or water turbulence can also create this problem. 

So, the air bubbles will go across the transducer that can interfere with sonar readings. 

The lack of proper sonar transmission can also be a reason. Additionally, the proper connection is important for the readings. 

Possible fix

If the devices don’t display a sonar option, you need to check whether the Chartplotter and transducer support the type of sonar view specifications. 

There are various types of Garmin transducers like Transom mount, Panoptix Transducer, Thru-Hall Traditional transducer, and more.

When the device shows the message – Transmission Disabled, check the owner’s manual to re-enable transmission. 

Sometimes you can get a message like sonar transducer disconnected. It says about the connection problem or the mounting problem. 

To get rid of the problem, firstly, you need to check the connection of the transducer. You can use a locking collar or a split connector in this case. 

The corrosion at the cables or the wire ends can also be a reason. For the case of light corrosion, use a brush and dielectric grease to clean. For the heavy corrosion, you may need to replace the cables. The weather caps are recommended to protect the disconnected transducer port. 

Some customers are facing problems with their transducer extension cable. It is recommended to check the gauge size to avoid any issues. 

Sometimes the temperature probe in the transducer causes the device not to recognize the transducer. So, you need to change it. 

If the display of the device shows an unsupported transducer, you may need to update the system software. 

Tip: You should avoid using your transducer when the boat is not in the water. Because they use water to cool them down for operating after a long period, they can burn out eventually for this. 

2. High-speed issue

Sometimes, the device may show flashing depth readings as it could not be able to determine the water depth. 

This can occur for the mounting location or the outrunning of the return signal for moving too fast. 

Possible fix

For the transom-mounted transducer, you should not install it on a powerboat with inboard motors. 

Again, to avoid the propeller wash, the transducer should be mounted on the starboard side of a boat in the case of single-engine. And for the twin-engine, the unit should be mounted between the motors, as low as possible. 

But, if you are still facing problems, the transducer may need to be mounted lower to be in contact with the water at speed. To do this –

  • Loosen the mounting screws
  • Lower the transducer ½”
  • Re-test it. 

For the thru-hall transducer, you need to follow the same troubleshooting. However, some thru-hull transducers have a high-performance fairing block to improve the transducer’s performance at a speed over 17MPH. 

Tip: For the dual-frequency transducer, go for a higher frequency setting for the shallow depths and a lower frequency setting for the deeper level. 

3. Display Problems

One of the customers mentioned that his transducer powered up, but there was no display, or sometimes the display got frozen. 

There are various factors that can cause this issue. The faults in the electrical system and connectors are one of the reasons.

So, you have to take some actions to solve it-

  • Check fuses and circuit breaker connections.
  • Check that two fish finders are not operating simultaneously as these can cause mutual interference if using similar acoustic frequencies.
  • If the display is still not working properly, you will need manufacturer’s assistance.

4. Short Circuit Issue

A customer complained about a short circuit in his transducer. The transducer was Garmin echomap 63cv. He just bought it that day and installed it and hadn’t been for a ride yet. 

So, there are some possible reasons and fixes for the issue. 

Either the transducer he bought was faulty, or that had a wiring problem. 

Possible fix

To get rid of the problem, you first need to check the transducer cable to figure out any bends, breaks, or cuts. 

Then, you need to ensure that the transducer is not plugged into the incorrect port. Additionally, it must be inserted fully enough to provide a good connection. 

However, after following all these solutions, if the error continues, the transducer is itself faulty, and you need to replace it. 

5. Faulty settings 

This one happened to a new owner as he has recently bought a Garmin transducer – model name Garmin echo 500c.

The issue is the machine keeps going back to the demonstration mode every few minutes and interrupts the task. 

When the consumer was at the dock in 3ft of water, the transducer was showing 38ft. 

I have seen that some other users are also having the same problem.

Basically, you have to inspect whether it is installed properly or not. That can cause the device to go into demo mode. The transducer has to be seated properly.

Possible fix

If the device can’t sense the transducer, it will go into demo mode. 

Now, after following the above suggestions, you have to take the steps that I am telling you –

  • Disconnect all the cables from the back
  • Remove the transducer from the mount and the back mounting plate
  • Properly line up and connect the transducer cable to the port
  • Now connect the power cable to the power cable port
  • Turn on the transducer 

What Majority of the Users Feel About Garmin Transducer?

Since there are various types of Garmin transducers, the customers are having various reactions. 

Some consumers have pontoon boats with transom-mounted transducers. So, they are facing cavitation at lower speeds. They need to use a thru-hall or in-hull transducer.

Some boat owners have trolling motor-mounted transducers, and they have wrong readings. So, there must be any transducer placement problem.

So, Garmin has solved their transducer’s issue. Sometimes people get confused about which type of Garmin transducer they got. That’s why they are following the wrong solutions.

Final Thoughts

The majority of Garmin Transducers operate at a frequency of 200 kHz. The signals are influenced by seawater, water density, salinity, temperature bottom formations, suspended particulates (silt, dissolved minerals, and salts), biological material (algae and plankton). Before troubleshooting, read the product’s owner’s manual.

However, there are some issues, which the majority of the users have experienced too. Those common issues are already mentioned earlier with the possible solutions.

Check them out, and I hope you will figure out a way how to solve any issue in the future.

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