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It all began when I got into a car accident and my screen was shattered from the impact. I took the phone to get replaced at a third party screen repair store for roughly $150.00. A few months later I realized that the earpiece speaker stopped working apropo of nothing. So I continued to use the phone taking calls through the external speaker and use of the ear buds. When the vibrator motor finally quit and the screen cracked from bending in my tight jeans (no joke), I decided to finally get it repaired. A trip to the Apple Store told me that they would simply replace my phone for $200+ dollars, and other third party repair stores would charge upwards of $150.00. Looking through ifixit.com, I found that I could do the job myself for $99.
So, I purchased the iPhone 5/5s/SE Vibrator and iPhone 5 LCD Screen and Digitizer Full Assembly - Choice with the tool kit. Following the guides on the website I was able to replace the vibrator motor and the screen. It was a little difficult removing the battery from the adhesive housing, but using a hair dryer did help a little. The phone now works perfectly, even though the screen sits a little higher off the housing on the left side, though that simply could be just the internal components not being completely flat against the back of the phone like it used to be.
Okay, so here's my advice to anyone who has the same or similar problems:
- Try diagnosing the issue using the iPhone's diagnostic capabilities. It'll save you a trip to the Apple Store and you can essentially see the same information they're going to tell you.
- It's not common knowledge to laymen such as myself that the earpiece for the iPhone is a part of the complete screen assembly, which you can buy from ifixit.com. I have a feeling that this third party screen repair store only replaced the screen and not the earpiece speaker, saving themselves some money and screwing me out of some.
- If the speaker or the vibrator has stopped working, its more than likely a hardware issue, not a software issue.
- Unless you're under warranty, don't go to these third party stores. Buy the parts you need, do the repair yourself, and save yourself some money. You will also add a new skill to your life, and even make yourself feel more confident knowing that you can do things yourself.
For some odd reasons (or probably not so odd, after all), the vibrator in my iPhone 5s stopped working. I figured I couldn't take it back to the store, as I've dropped in on the floor more times than I can count, so they would just reject it and tell me it's my fault.
And how hard could it be to fix it myself?
The biggest obstacle was to get the device open. The small suction cup that came with the "Essential Electronics Toolkit" was rubbish. It just didn't seal good enough to create any suction at all. I figured if I did it quickly, it managed to pull just a little bit before it slipped of. Did that as many times as required to open it just enough to slip in a spudger, and opened the rest of the display with that. The rest was a walk in the park, thanks to the good quality of the photos in iFixit's guides!
Get the iSlack!