Repairs worth trying, iPhone and Car Keys (update: XBOX360)


Image by Andrew Burgess via Flickr

Update: XBOX360 repair

I don’t own and XBOX360 but a friend had an issue with 3 red lights flashing on the front of the unit.  After a small time searching the web it appears that this is a huge problem with XBOX360’s.  This fix involves replacing spring clamps for the heat sinks with screws and then overheating the unit.  I was pretty skeptical but there was a lot of references on the web.

I ordered a kit on ebay which came with everything I needed including a very simple but useful opening tool.  It took a little time to open the unit and clean up the processors and heat sinks but it was easy enough.  I replaced the heat sinks with the screws and plugged the unit in to let it overheat.  Approximately ten nervous minutes later the unit flashed two red lights indicating it had overheated.  After leaving it cool down, it was plugged in again and success.

The theory is that the overheating melts the solder and allows it to re flow and repair and broken contacts.  The new screws keep the heat sinks securely fastened to the processors.  Lets see how long it lasts.

With all this DIY repairs YouTube is your friend.  Their are a lot of videos of other people attempting these repairs.  This will help you decide if this is a task you wish to try for yourself.

Original post: Car keys, and iPhone

I have recently performed two repairs that although take a little time are probably worth attempting for the cost savings involved.  Car keys can be quite expensive to replace with dealer easily charging up to 200 euros.

Most of us never bother as we usually have two keys and the faulty key is relegated to a drawer somewhere.  But what happens if that second key gets lost?  The biggest problem with car keys these days is the manufacturers do not want you to open them but a little time with a sharp knife will get them open.

Most of the time it is simply the battery that needs replacing as in the case of a BMW key I recently repaired.  But there maybe other causes like bad solder joints which is common I Renault card keys, of which I have also repaired.  It is worth performing a search before starting as you will find not only common faults but possibly video clips of the repair process.

A bit of superglue and the key is nearly as good as new depending on how tidy you were with the knife.  Cost of repair of the BMW key was 4 euros for new battery, cost of repair of the Renault key zero!

Another remarkably easy and cost effective repair is the glass screen on your iPhone.  Kits are available including all the tools for very little money.  There are even a multitude of video clips on YouTube showing the whole process.  It can cost under 10 euros to repair the broken glass screen on an iPhone.  Beware it is not difficult but it is fiddly.  Do not rush the job, and have plenty of light.

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