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Thread: Tracfone/Motorola w376 problem...crisis situation

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    Tracfone/Motorola w376 problem...crisis situation

    Hi all! I am new here, obviously. I have a crisis brewing with my phone. I have been a long user Tracfone. My current phone is W376g. For all its shortcomings Its been bulletproof. I am afraid however that it seems to have a T-mobile sim card, which I gather is kinda undesirable.
    Until yesterday I didn't know what the SIM was all about. Just dont play with phones. From what I read here it seems like a desirable thing to prolong the life of this phone. But I have a problem.
    Yesterday, I was hurrying out the door and needed to quickly change the battery. I did so w/o turning the phone off. Slipped the battery out and the new one in. Immediately afterward I could not get the phone to power on. I hold the END button, the HELLOMOTO screen comes up, the keypad lights up for 3-4 seconds, then it goes dark. I cannot then repeat the process unless I remove and reinstall the battery. But it results in the same response.
    I have tried the spare battery(charged in an external charger), swapped the charger with another, started the phone connected to the charger, all with the same results.
    Obviously my call to Tracfone CS was fruitless, repeating the battery swap and charger swap process, resulting in being told that the phone was out of its one-year warranty and needs to be replaced. Gee thanks !
    Anyone here know enough about these to help me? The whole SIM card is foreign to me. I understand what it is supposed to do, but even swapping cards would leave me at a loss beyond getting the card into the phone.
    Or am I just doomed to buying a new phone. Other than the unintended dialing issue, I was considering the S390G.
    But I already miss my little buddy! Maybe you can help?
    Thanks in advance for any and all replies!!!!

    Mark J.

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    It should not hurt the phone to remove the battery while the phone is on. In fact, this procedure is used when software gets stuck.

    The behavior of the phone lighting up for just a few seconds means that the battery is depleted. The battery system is designed so that the battery will always save a little juice to keep the clock going, etc. It is not completely dead, so it will try to boot and then shut down to conserve that residual power.

    I think you just happen to need new batteries and have been coasting for a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    It should not hurt the phone to remove the battery while the phone is on. In fact, this procedure is used when software gets stuck.

    The behavior of the phone lighting up for just a few seconds means that the battery is depleted. The battery system is designed so that the battery will always save a little juice to keep the clock going, etc. It is not completely dead, so it will try to boot and then shut down to conserve that residual power.

    I think you just happen to need new batteries and have been coasting for a while.
    OK, makes sense. But why then won't the phone turn on when plugged into 2 different chargers? What seems odd is that one battery is the original, the other is only maybe 1.5-2 yrs old. Can;t believe both would go bad at once. Could there be a problem with the battery contacts in the phone?

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    By the way, there is nothing undesirable about the T-Mobile SIM card so long as you have good reception at your location(s). I get better reception with T-Mo than I do with ATT.

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    I think the problem is with the battery system somewhere. The wall charger does not power the phone directly. The current goes through the battery first. At least that is my understanding. So if there is a blockage somewhere involving the battery, there will be a problem. It is possible for a battery to suddenly go kaput. There is something in there that counts the charging cycles or something like that and it will expire. The original battery is certainly elderly. The other battery being a couple years old is going to be wearing out if it is used a lot. The chemicals get used up because the charging can't reverse energy lost as heat, etc.

    Since the phone powers on briefly in the typical manner of a depleted battery, I think it's the batteries, but a cleaning wouldn't hurt. Perhaps someone here has a spare battery that he/she could send to you for cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisme View Post
    I think the problem is with the battery system somewhere. The wall charger does not power the phone directly. The current goes through the battery first. At least that is my understanding. So if there is a blockage somewhere involving the battery, there will be a problem. It is possible for a battery to suddenly go kaput. There is something in there that counts the charging cycles or something like that and it will expire. The original battery is certainly elderly. The other battery being a couple years old is going to be wearing out if it is used a lot. The chemicals get used up because the charging can't reverse energy lost as heat, etc.

    Since the phone powers on briefly in the typical manner of a depleted battery, I think it's the batteries, but a cleaning wouldn't hurt. Perhaps someone here has a spare battery that he/she could send to you for cheap.
    Ok that explanation makes more sense. Thanks to all! Someone form their office is going to call me back. I tried to gently rub the brass contacts on the phone with a pencil eraser (just in case dirty) but did nothing. Maybe I'll try investing in a new battery. I hate to give up such a tank. People flash around their smartphones but quietly tell me they wish their phone was as simple as mine. I'll follow up with TF and see what shakes out, then try a new battery, if not then I might be selling the whole shmear! (obviously with full disclosure) Thanks again to all! Probably the most helpful forum I've been on in a long time. You've got a good thing going! Its funny what a problem something so simple can become!

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    Some phones will advise you, when initially put on charge, that the battery does not yet have enough charge to turn on the phone. When the message dissapears the phone can be turn on as the battery continues to charge up to full. The phone can be used while it continues to charge. Mark J may well have an unusual problem, which can be harder to diagnose.

    Li-ion batteries should not be charged above 4.2V nor depleated below 2.75 volts to keep from shortening the batteries life. Some batteries contain a protection chip, while some devices contain the protection circuitry. A cheap charger and no protection circuitry means short battery life.

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    We have one of those W376g Tracfones that we aren't using anymore.

    It had an ATT sim but you will need to get a new sim from Tracfone (should be free) when you reactivate.

    You are welcome to it for the price of shipping.

    Then you can try your existing batteries and find out if it's your phone or the batteries that's the problem.

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    You came to the right place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millept View Post
    By the way, there is nothing undesirable about the T-Mobile SIM card so long as you have good reception at your location(s). I get better reception with T-Mo than I do with ATT.
    Where I live the T-Mobile is the one you want, AT&T coverage around here stinks - and this is in Springfield, Illinois, the state capital.

    Anyway, until a few weeks ago I used the W376g, great phone. If I could get triple minute for life on it, I would still be using it.

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    I still have a W376g, that I use as my "junk" phone number. I've had it for years when the model first came out. Seems as tho my battery isn't holding the charge as well as it used to. And the buttons don't seem right anymore. Let us know what TF tells you, please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoonie4howard View Post
    I still have a W376g, that I use as my "junk" phone number. I've had it for years when the model first came out. Seems as tho my battery isn't holding the charge as well as it used to. And the buttons don't seem right anymore. Let us know what TF tells you, please.
    That's funny. I have a TracFone for rubbish stuff too. Like CL, eBay, store club cards etc.

    Sent from my Galaxy S II
    Castrol EDGE 5W-30 is my drug of choice.

    Toyota | let's go places

    Primary: Galaxy Note 3 and LG F6: 5 lines, 1x $15 5GB data, 2x $5 Android web, 1x $2.99 T-Zones, corp discount + $10/mo loyalty discount = $93/mo tax inclusive
    Secondary: iPhone 4 & Optimus Dynamic II: TracFone (Verizon); Galaxy Epic: RingPlus (Sprint)
    Tablet: iPad Mini Retina w/ T-Mobile 4G LTE

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommusic View Post
    Then you can try your existing batteries and find out if it's your phone or the batteries that's the problem.
    He could also try the "good" battery in his existing phone.
    If that works, then no need to reactivate or mess with the SIM.

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    Keeping the W376g working is a good idea. IMO it is one of the best if not the best Tracfone ever for VQ and signal grabbing. The one I used for years I sold with a very long due date and 1500 or so minutes on it. The model was soon after discontinued until Trac started offering some refurbs. I bought one of those. As you say if I could get TMFL on it I would activate and use it. I am a dumb phone kinda guy.



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    Ok, update.

    Tracfone wins.

    I tried both current batteries I had for this phone (both dated 2010) and phone worked with neither one. I also tried the original battery from 2008, which did not work either.
    I was told by TF that the phone must be replaced. I picked up a s390g. I now have a nightmare brewing concerning activation of this phone. After 5 calls over 2 days and 1 hour and 20 minutes on the phone, I just sent another follow up to the Resolution Team, telling them that I wish my Visa payment was as delayed activation of my phone service!
    Nothing politically correct here, but if I have one more "off-shore" rep tell me in broken english how I must simply turn my phone off then on, or how this time their fix will ABSOLUTELY work, I think I'll strangle myself with my shoelaces!!!
    As I sit here disappointed, dejected, frustrated, angry. and tired I stare at the 60 year-old black Western Electric rotary dial phone (with 12 foot cord) hanging on my kitchen wall and wonder if we've really made any progress? Old Reliable is just that: never loses a signal, never runs out of minutes, never drops a call, never needs a serial number or SIM! It just hangs there waiting to please! God bless (what used to be) America!

    Alas, time for a cold beer!

    If anybody has any suggestions on activating this W376G I'm all ears.

    Thanks for the offers of help!

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