DIY Cell Phone Repairs: What You Need to Know

You buy your cell phone when it is shiny and new, but what happens when something inevitably goes wrong? Your typical options include: buying a new phone and getting hit with fees and costs that send your bill through the roof, or taking it to a phone repair shop without knowing which stores are the most trustworthy. However, there is a third option -- you can avoid these extra costs by performing some simple fixes to your phone on your own.

Where can you find materials and guides?

If you plan on performing your own phone repairs, you will first have to know what you are doing and get the materials for the work. Luckily, there are a number of websites you can turn to for instructions on both what you will need and how to do it. Two good examples of this include:

  • iFixit: iFixit is a good place to start when you are researching how to repair your phone. This site is good for finding the tools that you will need to repair your phone. You will also find tons of videos on how to break down your phone to begin the repairs, and iFixit also sells phone repair kits as well. The tools offered in these kits will be very useful as you begin your phone repair. 
  • ETrade Supply: While iFixit may give you the information and tools you need, you won’t be able to perform the repair without the parts. ETrade Supply has an extensive supply of parts for most models of phones. In fact, some phone repair shops actually use this site to find the parts they need. Look into the manufacturer information before purchasing and be sure you are buying quality material.

Which repairs are okay to do on your own?

It can be tough to decide which repairs are okay to do on your own if you have no experience. Most common repairs should be easy if you follow the instructions on the previously mentioned sites. Some of the repairs you should feel confident about performing on your own include:

  • Battery problems: If your phone’s battery stops being able to hold the charge it once used to, this is one of the easiest and quickest fixes you can do on your own. Instead of getting a new phone, do a little research and figure out what type of battery your phone uses. Replacing the battery is as simple as removing the old one and plugging your new battery in its place, a process that only costs $30 for an iPhone 5 battery and repair kit.
  • Cracks in the screen: Cracked phone screens happen to the best of us, but you don’t have to choose between keeping the cracks or getting a new phone. Instead, you can easily find a replacement display screen and follow a video guide to take apart your phone. Replacing your screen is as easy as taking the phone apart, removing the broken screen, and putting it back together with the new screen. An example repair kit and part for an iPhone 4S repair will only require around $39.
  • Headphone jacks: If you use your phone’s headphone jack so heavily that it has become worn down, it is fairly easy to replace this as well. Just order the part online, open up your phone, and the headphone jack should be its own unit that you can unplug from the motherboard and replace, the whole process should only cost about $20.
  • Stuck buttons: This problem usually results from buttons being worn down or gunk getting into the hardware. To repair stuck buttons on your phone, simply buy the replacement hardware you need or the gear you need for cleaning and follow the instructions for cleaning or replacing the buttons that are causing problems.