Author Topic: How to Repair a Cellphone?  (Read 2094 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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How to Repair a Cellphone?
« on: May 28, 2015, 02:18:48 AM »
We have a LG Nexus 4 that worked wonderfully until it took an impromptu dunk in the toilet (ew, gross, I know).

Did the whole "bag with dry rice" and "freezer" for a few days to try to dry it out.  Plugged it back in, got a red light instead of the usual white charging light (online I found this referred to ominously as the "red light of death").

Inspired by MMM's article about how to fix cars, I looked around online and found a guy showing how to disconnect and reconnect the battery.  I disassembled the phone, unplugged the battery, reattached it, nothing.  Well, more red light.

The question now becomes: try to find someone to diagnose the problem, and then search online for cheap replacement parts?  Or just by a new battery and hope that that's the problem?  Or just junk the whole thing and buy a new used phone?

As an aspiring mustachian, I'm trying to figure out what the most mustachian course of action is.  I'd hate to throw away most of a working phone, but then again I'd hate to pay a technician or whoever to just tell me what seems to be staring me in the face.  And I would hate most of all buying a new battery but still having that not fix the problem.  In the meantime, using an older/loaner phone, but will have to eventually give it back.

I would love to do any sort of repair/diagnosis myself (am currently looking into replacing a broken side mirror on the car by myself, also inspired by MMM), but while I'm pretty handy with a screwdriver, my knowledge of electronics is limited.

In terms of phone functionality, the "must haves" are: gmail, google docs/sheets, waze, whatsapp, VLC.  So the Nexus 4 was great since while not being top of the line/newest, it did have all of those bases covered.  I don't need the newest/sexiest/whiz-bangiest device, but having that functionality while on the go is a great productivity boost.

Also, I'm cognizant of Moore's Law constantly driving us forward in terms of technology, so perhaps all this brouhaha is all a waste more appropriate for someone who is cheap than someone who aspires to frugality.  I just hate throwing things out.

I'd love to hear thoughts/advice from other mustachians out there.

Thanks in advance for your inputs,


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: How to Repair a Cellphone?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2015, 05:47:30 AM »

The ifixit link seems to suggest disassemble and cleaning.

But remember it did get soaked, that's a near death knell for many electronics.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: How to Repair a Cellphone?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2015, 06:09:44 AM »
It's worth a try to disassemble and clean it, nothing to lose after all.

I wouldn't bother taking it to a technician, chances are it'd cost more than a cheap Android smartphone. A cheap $100 smartphone (Moto G?) would handle all that just fine.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: How to Repair a Cellphone?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2015, 07:34:02 AM »
Re the battery:  Couldn't you buy a battery, then return it if it doesn't fix the problem?