According to Square Trade, iPhone users spent $14 billion repairing and replacing devices between 2007 and 2017, and a cracked screen was the most common repair.
Screen repair and replacement kits are available for about $30 online. These include the new screen and the tools to replace it — but not always instructions.
While the sellers recommend using a professional, YouTube videos are available that demonstrate the steps. The downside is that it may void your warranty, if there still is one.
The other risk is ruining another component of your phone or electronic device.
Risks aside, there is a growing movement called the Right to Repair Movement that seeks to compel manufacturers to enable independent repairs on items from iPhones to John Deere tractors.
The criticism is that manufacturers make it difficult for independent repair shops to handle even common repairs on items.
Jacob Ross of CPR Cell Phone Repair of Fenton is a firm supporter of the Right to Repair Movement. It makes sense considering it’s his job, but he also supports consumers repairing their own devices. He even has a YouTube channel with some repair videos.
If you’re feeling adventurous: smart phone repairs
“There’s always some element of possible danger,” Ross said. Sometimes things have to happen in the right order or be heated with a hair dryer before they’re removed for repair.
Finding the right YouTube video is important.
Older phone models tend to be easier to repair and they’re out of warranty already.
An LG K30 is about one model year behind, and there are kits for sale online to replace the screen glass or the entire screen and frame.
The kit includes inexpensive tools and a new glass screen protector.
Ross said one should have some mechanical abilities and a decent set of tools. These should include small screwdriver set, a pentalobe security screwdriver and various wedges like a thin flexible piece of steel called an iSesamo.
“You could fix any device at home with the right set of skills,” he said. “As long as you have a general understanding of how to use tools, those things can be applicable to other repairs.”
He suggests experimenting with an old device with discharged battery, not an $1,100 iPhone to see if you have a knack for it.
Some phones, like in the example listed at right, make it easy to replace cameras, batteries and speakers once the phone it disassembled.
Tim’s example steps for an
LG K30 screen/frame repair.
• Have tools, parts and a few video tutorials available for reference. Have clean, well-lit workspace and safe place for small screws. Proceed carefully.
• Turn phone off. Use tool to pry off rear cover along the edges. This will reveal the interior housing.
• Unfasten the interior housing and carefully pry it off.
• Disconnect the battery and other flat cables connected to the motherboard.
• Carefully pry up and remove the motherboard.
• All components attached to the old frame/screen need to be transferred to the new frame/screen.
• Use a hair dryer to heat the battery to loosen the glue. Pry it off and install into new frame.
• Heat the earpiece and carefully remove it, installing into the new frame.
• Transfer the cameras, charging jack and buttons to the new frame. Reverse directions to reassemble the phone.
These steps are meant as an example for one type of repair. It is not professional advice from the Times. Pry away at your own risk.