Let’s play a game of DIY or seek a cell phone repair shop (Part 1)

Nobody wants to have to fork over cash for a problem they can fix themselves. For many people, a trip to the cell phone repair shop can end up costing a pretty penny, not to mention the afternoon of waiting the repair may require. Some people find that the best solution to a professional iPhone repair service is to simply fix the problem themselves. Here at iResQ​, you'd think that we – repair professionals that we are – would summarily reject any do-it-yourself solutions. But in fact, that is not the case. There are, after all, certain instances where you, the user, may be quite capable of fixing a problem that arises. But there are other repair situations where any attempt on your part to repair the device will likely cause more degeneration. In order to help you realize what are appropriate DIY scenarios and when you need to give us a call, we've put together a list of common situations that will result in the need for a repair. After explaining the situation, we'll conclude whether it's a DIY moment or if you should call us.

Before we begin though, we must emphasize that any DIY repair must be undertaken with significant caution. First, make sure your phone's contents are completely backed up. This is generally a good practice for everyday use, but becomes imperative when tackling a repair. Second, don't operate off hunches, no matter how simple the repair seems. Always consult a credible source, such as the iFixit app (available for free on the App Store) as you go along. Finally, make sure you're using the right tools. And if you ever think it's a good idea to take a hammer to your phone, we suggest abandoning your DIY effort and driving to a cell phone repair shop immediately.   

Alright, here are the scenarios:

  • You get sand in the headphone jack. With the onset of beach weather and the accompanying drive toward exercise, it's entirely plausible that you may soon find yourself on a beach running calmly to the beat of the waves, as your iPhone blasts tunes into your ears. You're so engaged with the song that you don't realize your feet have become tangled in seaweed. Your phone falls to the ground, and even after a good brushing off, you can't seem to fit your headphones back in the jack. There seems to be sand burrowed so far into the jack that it's beyond reach. Fortunately, according to Gazelle, there is one thing that has been effectively proven to remove sand and other tiny materials: a Q-tip. By gently inserting a dry Q-Tip into the headset, you can successfully remove foreign matter that your fingers could not otherwise reach. Because of the Q-Tip's natural gathering properties it should be able to grab the bits of sand and remove them. Alternately, the same solution can be accomplished via tape and a paperclip. By wrapping tape around the clip, you create an adhesive mechanism that may perhaps be even more effective than the Q-Tip. The Verdict: DIY. 
  • You drop your phone on the ground and the screen shatters. It happens every day, all the time. According to a poll conducted by mobileinsurance and reported in CNET, perhaps as many as a quarter of iPhones in active circulation have cracks on them – and that's not even counting the untold number that are brought into repair shops because they're out of commission. Because this is such a common repair need, DIY solutions abound on Internet postings. But though some people claim it's a quick fix, it is also one fraught with potential errors. As iMobileRescue pointed out, for instance, the road to repairing an iPhone 5 screen can very quickly veer off course. That is because in order to carry out the repair you will need to buy a special replacement iPhone glass. The problem is that many of the online sellers out there are only selling the glass, whereas the iPhone 5 has the LCD fused to the glass. Once the fuse is broken, the phone can be even more damaged, making this a DIY repair you want to steer clear of. The Verdict: Take it to the repair shop. 

​​We still have one repair scenario that we will unveil in Part 2, so stay tuned. 

Marcelina Hardy

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