Author Topic: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0  (Read 691 times)

SlowAndSteady

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Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« on: December 11, 2018, 11:41:36 AM »
A small, but important victory.  For months, the connection between my phone's charging port and the charging cable had been growing increasingly finicky.  My phone is four years old.  Other than the charging port, I had no reason to consider replacing it.  But each night the fight to get the cable to connect to the phone and actually charge became increasingly frustrating.  It used to just be a matter of firmly pushing the cable to be sure it plugged in.  Then it became necessary to push at a particular angle.  Eventually I was spending two minutes each night jiggling the cable and pushing at *just* the right angle to get the phone to finally begin charging.

I figured I had two likely options: 1) Suck it up and get a new phone, because four years is at least a halfway decent life-cycle for a phone.  2) Buy a new charging port and install it myself.  Option 2 was obviously more Mustachian, so I started some Google research in hopes of pulling that off.  Google gave me a much better result than I had hoped.

The solution? Simply use a paper clip to clean out the charging port!  I was amazed at how much dust was in there, especially since I thought I had cleaned it several times by blowing in it.  After three minutes of cleaning, I plugged in the cable.  The connection was instant and the charging commenced without so much as even a small struggle.

Here's to at least another year with this phone! (Fingers crossed.)
« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 11:44:01 AM by SlowAndSteady »

terran

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2018, 01:38:11 PM »
Lol... yes, "try cleaning it" is is a great troubleshooting option when things don't work. The only better one when it comes to electronics is "try turning it off and then back on again."

Laserjet3051

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2018, 01:47:23 PM »
Yes, that has done the trick for me as well in this exact situation..sometimes.

Then there are the times that cleaning it wont work. Fortunately, the cost of purchasing a new charging port online was only ~$3.00 for me, so basically a "win" in this case.

DeniseNJ

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2018, 06:11:55 AM »
Lol... yes, "try cleaning it" is is a great troubleshooting option when things don't work. The only better one when it comes to electronics is "try turning it off and then back on again."
That's pretty much my line about anything.  My ear hurts.  Clean it. My arm is itchy.  Clean it.  This thing doesn't work.  Clean it.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2018, 06:21:56 AM »
Thank you. My husband's phone had been ridiculously finicky to get it to charge, and we resorted to kinking up the cord, wedging the phone against a wall and then balancing books on top to weight it down enough to ensure it connected.

He thought the problem was that he'd damaged the port when he dropped it and it hit the home button and stopped working for a while last year. I read this, thought what the hell and got a light and peered into the port and it was FILLED with pocket lint. I scraped for like 10 solid minutes and then scraped a bit more... I had a ball of lint the size of a dime when I was done. I was honestly amazed we could finagle it to charge at all with that much goop in there.

And the phone charged the instant it was connected.

THANK YOU!!!

Syonyk

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2018, 10:21:34 AM »
iPhone with a Lightning connector, by chance?

I have to clean my charge port out every 6 months or so.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2018, 06:12:14 PM »
iPhone with a Lightning connector, by chance?

I have to clean my charge port out every 6 months or so.

Yes, in my case.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2018, 06:20:40 PM »
Awesome stuff.

I've done the same previously, but worried that a metal paperclip may scratch the electrical contacts, but anything made of plastic isn't strong or thin enough to get into the port properly, any suggestions?

The Lightning port is a bit easier to clean out than microUSB or USB-C due to those ports having the pins in the central part rather than the outside of the plug.

terran

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2018, 06:28:44 PM »
Awesome stuff.

I've done the same previously, but worried that a metal paperclip may scratch the electrical contacts, but anything made of plastic isn't strong or thin enough to get into the port properly, any suggestions?

The Lightning port is a bit easier to clean out than microUSB or USB-C due to those ports having the pins in the central part rather than the outside of the plug.

A wooden skewer just about does it, but it's slightly too thick when you push it in enough to reach the bottom. A toothpick would probably work better.

SlowAndSteady

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2018, 06:36:29 PM »
. . .
THANK YOU!!!

Youíre most welcome. I lurk on this section of the form often, looking for little ways I can optimize.  Iím glad I could contribute something that was helpful.  I find that what helps me the most is maintaining an attitude of avoiding solutions that are easy/convenient, but expensive.  Occasionally DIY hacks end up taking more time than theyíre worth, but 9 times out of 10 I save money AND learn new skills.  Each time I gain more confidence in the truth that ďbuy a new oneĒ usually isnít the best solution.  Every so often I hit a goldmine that solves what feels like a big problem for a tiny amount of money.  This time fit that profile.  I was basically doing the same thing as your husband each night.  Now I canít tell you how good it feels to plug in my phone and see it instantly charge.  No more frustrating battle right before bed.

iPhone with a Lightning connector, by chance?

I have to clean my charge port out every 6 months or so.

Yes, indeed. An older iPhone with a lightning connector.

. . .
I've done the same previously, but worried that a metal paperclip may scratch the electrical contacts, but anything made of plastic isn't strong or thin enough to get into the port properly, any suggestions?
. . .

I like the toothpick suggestion. For what itís worth, I used a paper clip and a long thumb-tack, which was sharper than the paperclip. I was only mildly careful and all the connections seem to be in great shape.  Itís definitley working about 100 times better than before.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2018, 06:44:58 PM »
A wooden skewer just about does it, but it's slightly too thick when you push it in enough to reach the bottom. A toothpick would probably work better.

Thanks for that, yeah it could work but may still be too thick for USB-C or microUSB ports (Google says a toothpick is about 2mm thick and there'd be maybe 1-1.5mm gap around the central part of the USB-C socket).

According to a post on the iFixit forum, a toothbrush can be used to dislodge lint from within the port. A safety pin was also suggested if one isn't worried about scratching anything.

https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/382427/Whats+the+best+way+to+clean+and+maintain+the+USB-C+port

DutchMustachian

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Re: Fixed my phone's charging port for $0
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2019, 06:40:15 AM »
Fixed mine yesterday following this YouTube video : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B9Rek6Q5kfU

Costs less than 10 for the part and 13 for the repair kit.

Works like a charm

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