Can laptop hinges be replaced / fixed? The simple answer is yes. Sometimes laptops fall and the hinges are broken. We do repairs for a local police department. Sometimes officers get in their car and swing the shotgun to attach it behind their seat. Unfortunately sometimes they knock the lid completely off the base. We frequently see laptops come to our shop in two pieces – a top and a bottom! Other times one hinge may just seem loose and the screen may “pull away” from the base on just one side.
If you see what appears to be a hinge failing, we encourage you to bring the laptop in sooner rather than later. In addition to keeping the lid/screen failing off your laptop, there are some other problems that a failing hinge can cause. There is a video cable that runs from the motherboard in the base up to the LCD in the lid. If the hinge is loose, the video cable can either be pulled loose or broken. This is not a difficult repair but until the repair is done, your LCD will be blank.
In addition, a loose hinge may pinch and damage items under the hinge in the base. This week, we needed to repair the power jack on a laptop that had been damaged due to a failing hinge. (The power jack is where you plug the AC adapter into your laptop to charge the battery).
We will get phone calls asking us what it will cost to fix a failing hinge. Unfortunately we cannot provide a quote until we have diagnosed the cause of the failing hinge. Most “hinge repairs” that we perform are in the $89 – $ 129 range. On many laptops the metal hinge is screwed into a plastic lid and plastic base. Sometimes the hinge itself breaks but many times the plastic in the base or lid where the screws are attached is what breaks. Only about 45% of the “hinge repairs” that we do are actually replacing the hinges, the rest is the base or lid that is broken.
Sometimes the cost of repair can be more if other things have been damaged. But sometimes the repair is even less. Some HP laptops have the hinges screw into a small metal plate that is merely glued to the plastic base. Sometimes there isn’t much glue used and that glue gives way. So the fix is to cement the metal back onto the plastic with better liquid glue. We do offer free diagnostics, so we can determine what needs replaced / repaired – provide you a quote and then you can authorize us to do the repair or you can pick it up for no charge. So even if you think the cost of repair will be too high, you can always drop it off to get a free quote.
If both the hinge and LCD are broken, we can repair both of these at the same time. See this link for more information on LCD repairs http://absoluteraleigh.com/lcd-repair/
A couple of hints on how to avoid breaking the hinge on your laptop:
- Never carry your laptop by the lid (unless you have a Lenovo Thinkpad T series which have very robust hinges and they are connected to metal in the base and lid).
- When opening or closing the lid use both hands on each corner or one hand pulling or pushing on the center of the lid. Often we see people open and close the lid with one hand from the side. This puts torque on the hinges that weaken them over time.
Note that some people buy the cheapest laptop they can find at a discount store. These low end consumer laptops are not made to be very sturdy. Frequently their hinges will fail, often only a few months after purchase. If returned for warranty repair at the big box store , the answer given is always that the warranty does not cause damage to the computer. Often a refurbished business laptop for roughly the same price as a new low end consumer laptop will last longer and give more reliable service. We do offer business grade machines that have come off corporate lease. Check them out if you don’t want to deal with broken hinges.
So remember if you have a broken hinge, give Absolute Computers a call. Located in Cary, North Carolina – we are convenient for folks in Angier, Apex, Cary (of course), Chapel Hill, Clayton, Durham, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Knightdale, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Raleigh, Wake Forest and Zebulon. We have folks that drive here with their computers from Fayetteville, Rocky Mount, Sanford and Wilson. Finally we have people ship us their computers from across the US. We often get computers shipped to us from the west coast and most of the states between there and NC.