I picked up a Kindle Fire for $25 with the dreaded battery too low to charge message.
Indeed the Kindle was not charging, when I attempted to power it on it briefly flashed the battery was low then went off, the orange charging light would not come on. I figured since the Kindle has a notoriously weak charging port it was likely that was broken, so I followed the very good instruction for teardown here on iFixit to remove the motherboard for inspection. Not only was the charging port loose, it was completely detached!
A close look at the charger port attachment shows it is indeed very poorly designed for constant plugging and unplugging, and probably heating and cooling. There are two metal attachment prongs on the charging port which fit in corresponding holes in the MB to hold the port. There are two flush solder points for power on either side of the port (the design would have been significantly better if these two points were through the board and not soldered on the surface), and five micro pins. The solder looked to me to be brittle, and likely just detached after heating/cooling
So I cleaned up all the contact points, I put a tad of flux on the power points and pins, and with a bit of fresh solder and my iron hot, reattached everything.
The end result, the Kindle charging as it should. Hope this quick guide is useful to anyone else with the no charge problem, if you're at all handy with a solder iron this fix is not as hard as you would think.
Thank you John Painter for this. This nails it. My nephew and nieces begged me to fix their non-charging Kindle Fire. Knew it wasn't the charger since Amazon sent them a new one. At first, suspected it could possibly be a bad battery but something in my gut told me it was the micro USB adaptor and found this guide. Boom. Once I figured this out, I text messaged my oldest niece and asked if any of them dropped the Kindle and she said her youngest brother got scared once and threw the Kindle on the ground. The mystery was solved and now we can fix it.
The hardest part (for me) was sadly getting the case open. I had to use a metal tool briefly because I quickly broke both my smaller plastic tools in quick succession. I felt like a loser and wished that I had taken a DeVry class based on the million commercials I saw in the 80s and 90s. My first reaction was, "What kind of crappy tools are these that break?!" but then I realized that if they hadn't broken, I would be holding a cracked Kindle (to quote/paraphras
After I got the Kindle open, everything was moderately easy. Little hiccups here and there but very intuitive. Obviously, you will need the iFixit standard tool kit to get down to the broken micro USB connector. Never a fan of prying off a lithium battery that is glued. I'm always scared that I will puncture the battery and it will explode in my face based on the warning labels. Not sure if that would happen but in my head that is how the movie plays out.
I've isolated the broken micro USB connector. Next step is to find a replacement since one of the 5 pins is snapped and there are only 4 pins visible. Will report back once I find one. Thanks again,