Do it Yourself Cell Phone Repair

by Rebecca O'Brien

If your cell phone is broken and it's more than a year old, chances are it's not worth getting repaired. The cost of the repair is probably more than the cost of a new phone. Since you'll have to buy a new phone anyway, there's no harm in trying to fix it yourself. To maximize your chances of success, follow a few necessary cell phone repair rules.

Assemble Your Supplies

To even attempt to repair a cell phone, you must have all the necessary supplies before you begin. These include an electronics repair kit (with precision Phillips and flat-blade screwdrivers and fine-tip tweezers), a magnifying glass and a work light. Have a container with multiple compartments nearby to hold all the little pieces. Finally, keep a pen and notepad near your workspace so you can jot down how things came apart. If possible, find a copy of the cell phone's service manual online. While it's unlikely you will be able to find a copy, it will make the process much easier, since you'll know exactly how to take it apart.

Begin Disassembly

First, take the backing off and battery out. Unscrew the antenna and remove it, if it's external. Set these aside. Begin taking out screws. Try to do this in the most logical order possible. Keep screws from the same area in the same compartment, and write down how many screws came from each section. With trial, error and patience, you will eventually get the case off the phone.

Look for the Problem

The most common problems with cell phones are the screens and the keyboards. Both of these are connected to an internal circuit board by thin connectors. If either of these is your problem, look for those connectors first and make sure they are plugged in tightly. Examine the internal circuit boards for any signs of corrosion or water damage. Also look for any burn or scorch marks, which can signal a short. Unfortunately, if you see these, the phone is probably permanently broken. If you see any connections that can be tightened, try to tighten them. Push plugs in as much as possible.

Get Replacement Parts

If you're determined to fix your phone, have a good idea of what the problem is (faulty screen, bad cable, blown speaker, etc), and look online for a "parts" phone. Try to find an identical phone that is also broken and good only for parts. Before you buy it, make sure it isn't broken in the same way yours is.


About the Author

Rebecca O'Brien has been writing since 2006. She contributes to several online magazines, specializing in politics, technology, parenting and cuisine. She studied marketing and language arts at McHenry County College.