iFixit Yourself

Jan 15, 2013 by

iFixit logoWhen a gadget or appliance breaks down, conventional wisdom these days says it’s likely cheaper to throw it away than get it repaired. Diagnosis alone of a problem with your iGadget will mean a minimum charge around $100. And the result is usually a recommendation to throw it away and buy new! Heck, my plumber won’t even fire up his van for less than $85. If he has to turn the thumbscrew on a pipe wrench, I run to the computer and log in to my bank to check our account balance!

Enter iFixit

A sizable portion of the cost of any repair is labor. Because people like to eat, buy clothes, make car payments, and send their kids to college, labor is expensive. If you can do a repair yourself, suddenly the economics of repair vs. throw away + replace change dramatically.

The site and community iFixit.com aims to make repair economically viable again by making it feasible for even people like you and me to repair electronic gadgets, appliances, and even cars on our own. iFixit states its mission in the form a question: “What if everyone had access to a free repair manual for everything they owned?

iFixit is More Than Repair Manuals

iFixit offers a lot more than a library of repair manuals. You can buy parts and upgrades through iFixit. You can troubleshoot your gadget’s problem, saving that $100 minimum diagnostic charge. The site offers Badges to encourage community members to start or review a repair guide or ask and answer questions. Members are invited to edit the site’s Guides, Wikipedia-style. The site even helps members form teams which adopt names like West Seattle Fixers, Fixers Collective, and Everything iPod. And there’s a huge Q&A section—31,848 questions and counting—where the iFixit community shares its knowledge and competes for the best answer to a posted question.

Here’s one example from iFixit’s Q&A section:

example iFixit Answer



iFixit Example: Mac Repair

Mac Repair imageOne of many sets of repair guides found on iFixit is titled simply “Mac Repair.” (Others include Game Console Repair, Phone Repair, Vehicle Repair, PC Repair, and Household Repair.) As the image to the right says, iFixit includes 1,700 guides for 114 devices under Mac Repair. That’s a lot of guides, but zooming in on what you need is easy thanks to iFixit’s logical organization. After choosing Mac Repair, you click on a device category like MacBook Air or Power Mac. Next, using MacBook Air as an example, seven devices are listed, like this:

Mac Air models

















Not sure which model MacBook Air you have? iFixit helps with that too:


how to id your MacBook Air model







Click on the MacBook Air 11” mid 2011 and you’ll find fifteen repair guides:

MacBook Air repair guides












Pretty cool, eh?

The Best Part of iFixit

iFixit offers some fantastic resources, but the best part is the cost: $0. Just join and jump in.

Are You Repair Inclined?

How about it—would you take a stab at repairing your next gadget failure with iFixit’s help?

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