6 Tips to Successfully Repair an iPad - Tech Bob
Do you ever run into issues when doing an iPad repair? If you do, following the tips below will take you from being "just okay" at repairing iPads to being great at it!
Know your iPad!
Many iterations of the iPad have been released, and we have seen differences in the opening process, as well as the danger zones to avoid (iPad 2 wifi and power flex should ring a bell…). This is why it is important to look up the device model number and find a quick reference online for how to open that particular design. Knowing the model number also makes it easier when ordering parts. Should you not know what device you have, let our sales reps know the model number and they will be able to find the exact part you need!
Although heat guns were originally the go-to tool for the iPad opening process, in today’s repair world, the heating pad has taken over. This constant application of heat makes removing glass easier than ever. We recommend using 75 degrees Celsius, as this temperature has minimal chance of damaging any internal components. Combining the heating pad with the iSesamo and thin opening picks will have you opening iPads like a pro. This also allows us to prevent damage to the LCD through the localized heat that the heat gun tool can produce.
Disconnect that battery!
Although turning off the device prior to repair aids in preventing issues, a best practice in iPad repair is to disconnect the battery as soon as you are able to. This prevents the iPad from powering back on during the repair, and avoids potential backlight circuit damage which would require board level repair experience to resolve. Depending on the iPad model, disconnecting the battery is done via disconnection of the battery flex cable, or removing the battery contact screw and lifting the board slightly create space between the battery and board. The battery isolation tool may be used to simplify the process.
Testing, testing, 123...
Although iPads do not have easily removable screens such as iPhones, it remains an important part in the repair to test your new screen prior to fully installing and adhering. Doing this will save time in the repair as you will not have to do the repair twice. This testing will ensure that part replacement resolves the customer issue, and keeps the part in 100% cosmetic condition (which makes for a seamless RMA experience should it arrive defective).
Check your frame and clean off old adhesive.
The 2 main causes of fitting issues during iPad repair are related to frame damage and adhesive. If the digitizer is installed onto a device with frame damage present, not only will the screen not fit correctly or lift, but the chances of it cracking are very high. Avoid this issue by either bending back bowed frames and bent corners, or overall avoiding major frame damage to begin with. There are a variety of ways to do this with some being easier and safer than others. Our friends over at primetechtools.com have a few tools perfect for the job.
Next up on the list is adhesive (both old and new). The old adhesive must be removed completely from the frame to prevent spacing issues, as well as to allow proper bonding of the new adhesive to the frame and digitizer. This can be done by using adhesive-removing chemicals or Isopropyl alcohol as well. Once the old adhesive is removed, you can begin applying adhesive to the frame in all areas that adhesive was present prior. We recommend using the tried and tested Red Tape adhesive to ensure the digitizer you are installing does not budge one the bonding process completed.
Here are a few last minute checks to complete prior to finalizing the repair and sealing the iPad:
- Keep it Clean. No one likes a dirty iPad, so ensure that you avoid touching the LCD or inside of the digitizer once the protective plastic is removed. Avoid using cleaning cloths and use compressed air or scotch tape instead for no scratch removal of smudges and dust.
- Check you cables. Ensure that not only the connections of your flex cables are intact, but also that the cables are routed correctly as well. Certain devices like the iPad 2-4, Airs, and Minis, require that the digitizer flex cable six inside of the frame in a certain fashion. Not routing the cable correctly can lead to lifting, dead spots, ghosting, and damage to the digitizer.
- Testing…Again. There is nothing worse than realizing an issue after your new screen has been adhered in place. This can be easily avoided by testing the device prior to laying that digitizer down for good.