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Options for fixing 2G iPhone vibrator?
December 22, 2008 7:17 PM   Subscribe

My 2G iPhone's vibrator doesn't work. What are my options?

It's out of warranty, and I'm alright with taking things apart and soldering and what-not, as long as there's no significant chance of bricking my phone (without me doing something tremendously stupid, other than opening the phone).

I'm in Los Angeles for the next 2 weeks, so any repair services or mailed parts need to be able to arrive in that amount of time. Personal experiences, good or bad, with opening up and repairing an iPhone would be helpful.

(The vibrator doesn't work, although every once in a while, if I drop the phone or hit it by accident, it will start working again for a few hours)
posted by sdis to Technology (5 answers total)
 
This happens with my iPhone occasionally. Thwacking it vertically down hard against my thigh a few times fixes it. I think that re-seats the jack that connects the vibrator to the logic board. The vibrator is up near the headphone jack. You can see a bit how it all hooks up by following this iPhone headphone jack replacement guide.
posted by todbot at 8:39 PM on December 22, 2008


It could be that your phone has been inundated with lint. Instructions for opening and repairing a 1st generation iPhone can be found here.
posted by qwip at 8:41 PM on December 22, 2008


I had a very similar problem with my unlocked 2G. The vibrate function didn't work out of the box, which I didn't find until it was unlocked and jailbroken. It would randomly work, pretty much as you've described. As I understand it, it has something to do with a glue or adhesive that's used inside the case that causes the vibrate function to stick (at least many had this issue, yours may be busted for some other reason).

Mine worked off and on for a month or so, but I ultimately fixed it by tapping a knuckle on the upper righthand corner of the Apple logo on the back (aim for an equal distance between the headphone jack and the corner of the apple -- that's where it's located). It took some time, and I had to hit it way harder than I thought I'd have to, but it's working a year later with no problems since. There's an app called ibrate that helped me nail it down -- I knew when it was working, and would just let it go for 5-10 mins when it was.

May not work for you, and I never took the back off my phone, but I had a very similar issue and that's how I fixed it for good.
posted by joshmcconaha at 8:47 PM on December 22, 2008


Just synch it to back up your data and take it into an Apple store. If you are lucky they will swap it for a new one on the spot even if it is out of warranty. My 3G had a dodgy rotation sensor and they just shrugged and gave me a new one.
posted by w0mbat at 11:06 PM on December 22, 2008


Well, taking it to an Apple store could be a hassle.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:59 AM on December 23, 2008


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