How to Affordably Replace a Broken Phone Trackpad with Non-OEM Replacement Parts

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How to Affordably Replace a Broken Phone Trackpad with Non-OEM Replacement Parts

A trackpad can be a very helpful feature on a mobile or smartphone. However, track pads are fairly easily damaged and they can be temperamental. Some phone owners find that their trackpads are jerky and undependable even though they still have a basic level of functionality. Sometimes track pads break down or get physically damaged and stop working entirely. It is not rare for a mobile phone owner to need a trackpad replacement. If the phone is within its warranty period, then the solution is easy: simply send the phone to the manufacturer for repair. If the phone is no longer under warranty, then the manufacturer’s repair estimate may be shockingly high. The same thing is often true of professional, third party repair services. However, buying a new phone is not just expensive. It also necessitates transferring data, reinstalling and reconfiguring applications, and quite probably getting used to new hardware and a new operating system. Often, the most appealing solution to a fairly isolated problem like a broken trackpad is to fix the current phone for as little money as possible. How is that accomplished? There is a very good chance that the least expensive solution for repairing the trackpad on a mobile or smart phone is to do the work at home using tools and non-OEM replacement parts purchased online.

What is Non-OEM and How Can Non-OEM Parts Save Money?

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM parts are almost always more expensive than non-OEM parts. However, a part that is labelled with a manufacturer’s logo is not necessarily any different than a generic part. That’s because brand-name mobile phone hardware manufacturers usually do not make all of their products’ components. Many times, the same factories make parts for many companies’ final products. Phones are put together based at least partly on standard components that may be created in one place and used in a variety of differently branded devices. When the factory or a third party decides to sell those parts directly to repair professionals and ordinary consumers, the parts are known as non-OEM. Many times, non-OEM parts offer the same quality as name brand parts at a lower price. In fact, they are often exactly the same as the OEM parts, made in the same factories to the same standards. For this reason, they are a good choice for anyone seeking to minimise repair costs. However, beware; some third parties sell substandard parts that fail meet the name brand manufacturers’ standards as non-OEM parts. Be aware of this risk, and look at the reviews of the specific part under consideration before buying.

Are There Any Tricks That Can Be Tried Before Committing to a Full Trackpad Replacement?

Sometimes a trackpad can stop working because of software issues. Before deciding to replace the trackpad assembly, begin by switching off the phone and restarting it. Try adjusting the trackpad’s sensitivity from the phone’s settings. Search the settings to make sure that the trackpad has not been switched off. Try installing a firmware upgrade. On the hardware side of things, try cleaning the trackpad and the area around it with a tiny bit of alcohol or a with a specialised electronics cleaner. Try tightening the screws around the trackpad, as well. Sometimes, the trackpad is simply not making strong enough contact with the sensor pad behind it. It is worth noting that many mobile phone users are reporting that their trackpads stop working after prolonged exposure to sunlight. To keep the current or new trackpad operating well, avoid leaving the phone in bright sunlight.

What Tools are Needed in Order To Replace a Phone’s Track Pad at Home?

To replace the trackpad on a mobile phone, the basics are these: a set of the correct type of screwdrivers or screwdriver bits for the specific phone, an anti-static cuff, tweezers, and a pry plate or guitar pick. The screwdrivers are for disassembling the phone. Different phones use different types of screwdrivers, so buy a comprehensive set, or better yet, research exactly what is needed before buying. The anti-static cuff will help to protect the phone from static electricity while its sensitive parts are exposed. The tweezers will be helpful in disassembling the phone and grabbing small components. The pry plate or guitar pick is for separating the phone into parts once the screws have been removed. It is always best to use a plastic, rather than metal, device for this purpose, since plastic is non-conductive.

What is the Procedure for Replacing a Trackpad?

Before doing anything, even ordering the tools and parts, do some research. It is fairly easy to find videos and instructions for replacing the trackpad on the types of mobile and smart phones that come equipped with them. Watch a few videos, and if possible, review the device’s specifications. Make sure that the work area is clean, uncluttered, and large enough to spread things out in an organised manner. Wear an antistatic cuff while working. That will prevent the phone’s sensitive electronics from being damaged by static electricity. When disassembling the phone, be sure to keep any small fasteners that are removed stored in the pattern that they will need to be replaced in. They are not necessarily identical, and it will be important to put them back where they came from. It is not a bad idea to take notes or photographs to document the process so that all the steps will be recorded. This can be helpful in reassembling the phone.

Buying Non-OEM Replacement Trackpads on eBay

It can be difficult as a small business or do-it-yourselfer to find specialised electronic parts, especially if only one unit is needed for a particular project. One solution is to use eBay. The large number of vendors on eBay makes it possible to access a variety of parts, both manufacturer-branded and non-OEM. In addition, eBay sells used and damaged items that can be purchased for parts. On eBay, finding the right part is almost a sure thing. To find non-OEM replacement trackpads on eBay, start by loading up the site’s homepage. Then, select Electronics & Technology from the menu on the left side of the screen and click on Mobile & Home Phones, which appears on the next screen if the main category is selected, or Mobile Phones and Communication, which appears as a submenu when Electronics and Communication is clicked. From there, select Mobile Phone Accessories and then Other Mobile Phone Accessories. Next, check Replacement Parts. Finally, type ”trackpad” into the search field near the top of the screen. That will bring up a selection of trackpad replacement parts, including non-OEM trackpads. Alternatively, type “OEM trackpad” into the search field near the top of the screen with Mobile Phones and Communication selected as the category from the pull-down menu to the right of the search field. Look for any tools that are needed for the repair on eBay, too. Tools can be found under the Replacement Parts category, or just perform a search for “tools” with the Mobile Phones and Communication category specified on the pull-down menu to the right of the search field. Notice that there are ways to limit the results by condition near the bottom of the left column, and that includes an option called For Parts or Not Working. Use that option to find a phone to disassemble for parts if the right part is not available on its own.

In Conclusion

Using non-OEM replacement parts can be a great way to save money on a phone repair. Replacing a broken phone trackpad with a non-OEM replacement part is an example of the type of project where repairing a mobile phone at home with a non-original equipment manufacturer part can be less costly than a manufacturer repair, a professional repair by a mobile phone specialist, or even a home repair with an OEM replacement part. Just order the tools and parts needed online, find a good set of instructions, and go to work.

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