Lately, we’ve been combing through data from our community survey and collecting stories for the Amazing Break series. All those stories have taught us a thing or two about the way people go about fixing things.
We firmly believe that it’s always best to use the right tool for the job. But, sometimes, time is really of the essence. When you’ve just dropped your iPhone in a glass of Sprite or your motherboard is on fire, you probably don’t have time to wait for a box of shiny new tools to arrive in the mail.
In these cases, you may need to resort to some improvisation. Here are a few tricks we’ve collected from our own experiences and those of our users:
How long do you want your car to last? If you’re driving a leased automobile, you don’t have to worry about that question. Still, it’s an important consideration for people that still are holding onto their pink slips three years after driving their cars off the lot. Some folks consider 100,000 miles the end of the road. For others, the 100,000 mile mark is merely a pit stop. Americans are keeping their new cars longer—nearly 6 years compared to 4 years in 2003.
The average lifespan of American cars, including used ones, is up on the whole. We’re squeezing over 10 years out of our vehicles. If you’re planning on keeping a car or truck on the road for at least a decade, you’re going to have to do more than change the oil and replace the tires.
This is the third in a series of posts we’re calling “Repair Smarter,” with tips and tricks for how to make your repairs go more smoothly.
Sometimes, repairing electronics is hard—especially if this is your first time at the rodeo. Don’t worry. We got you covered. Here are five more tips for electronics repair that we think everyone should know:
1. Stuck on You
As we’ve noted, some electronics manufacturers are overzealous with adhesives. Consumer electronics are often plastered with glue, double stick tape, and thermal pads. While adhesive shouldn’t bar your repair, you don’t want to damage electronics when trying to get around the sticky stuff. Try gently peeling or prying up the adhesive. If that doesn’t work, you can apply heat to loosen some adhesives. A heat gun or hair dryer usually does the trick. Always start with minimal heat, as heat can warp some electronics. Keep the heating element a good distance from the device. Read the rest of this article »
This is the second in a series of posts we’re calling “Repair Smarter,” with tips and tricks for how to make your repairs go more smoothly.
The insides of gadgets are complicated, as you know if you’ve ever seen one of our teardowns. But don’t let that complexity intimidate you. A little reading goes a long way—even people who have a lifetime of experience with circuitry need to brush up every now and then. Here are some tips to help prevent damage to you and your device, so your repair comes off without a hitch. Read the rest of this article »
Photo via Cara_VSAngel on Flickr.
As a kid, whenever I picked up a screwdriver, I could expect to strip a screw. I’ve often thought it might have had something to do with the tools my parents kept around the house: the screwdriver I used most often was a slightly rusty old 6-in-1 hammer/screwdriver like this that was already in the kitchen junk drawer when my parents bought the house. It did the job—when I was ten, I put together my brother’s IKEA bedroom set on my own one afternoon—and the excitement of a Matryoska doll hammer was worth all the screws I stripped.
Better tools would probably have helped. But since I started working at iFixit, I’ve discovered a bigger problem: I’ve been screwing stuff in wrong my whole life. It’s hard to admit. Screws seem so blindingly obvious, don’t they? Stick the driver in the hole, twist and shout. But in the true sharing iFixit spirit, here’s what I’ve learned. Maybe you can learn from my mistakes (or just laugh at them, if you figured this stuff out long ago).
Read the rest of this article »