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iPhone 5 damage repair. Maybe someone can help?


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Mar 31, 2014
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Hi, yes I am new.


My sister recently had her iPhone 5 ran over by a car! Actually, allegedly ran over she says, she lost the iPhone, then someone found it in the parking lot and she picked it up inside a building. But, nobody saw it being ran over.
As a good brother, I volunteered to fix it.
Accident appeared to happen in late February. I began to look at the iPhone 5 in the middle of March.
Our iPhone 5's, not 5S, were purchased in July 2013.

Initial damage:

— Display completely wrecked, cracked, with obvious pieces of glass popping out.
— Frame is bent, It seems that the top portion is bent 3 degrees out facing the back side. It looks evenly bent as well, meaning from top to bottom, there may be an equal amount of bending. It is hard to tell is any part is actually straight.
— A couple dings on the back, maybe from a sharp rock on the parking lot. The aluminum backing is bent inward, although slightly, a few mm wide, right where the "D" in Designed by Apple in California is. And all the way to the right side of the aluminum backing, it has dent facing outward, away from the phone, that is in a vertical line starting from the bottom of the Apple logo, and going down another 1 1/2 inches.
— I noticed that an original Lighting connector would be just "a little" loose in side the port. It clicks in like it should, but can move up and down slightly, unlike me damage-free iPhone 5.

What I did first:

— I checked to see if the device turned on. NO, it did not.
— I tried to see if charging helped. But, nothing turned on. I tried charging initially only 20 min, maybe I should have tried it longer? (I realize that when the battery is depleted, the battery needs AC power for a few minutes to recharge for the screen to show up.

What I did secondly:

— I decided to take a small risk by opening up my working iPhone 5, and use the good display on her iPhone 5. It didn't turn on.
— Next, I felt it had to be the battery since the battery wouldn't show it was being charged, hence nothing on the display. So, I put my iPhone 5 battery in hers. Success!! It turned on.


— I felt motivated enough to buy a new iPhone 5 display, from ebay, and order a couple official batteries for the iPhone 5 for good measure!
— Well, the first new display I tried to put on cracked. My fault kind of, as one of the metal tabs on the display was stuck trying to put it on, and resulted in too much pressure, immediately cracking that display
— OK, second display ordered, this time from a seller claiming this display was taken directly from an iPhone 5. It worked great, and I had no issue putting it on at all. No cracks!!

Now here is where it gets weird...

— Upon putting in the newly arrived battery, the iPhone 5 charged fine. It was getting warm though. Also, I noted the battery was "draining like a smartphone from Hell". Maybe 1 % drop every minute or 2. Really. I thought the battery was getting a "feel for things". The new batteries had a Manufacturing Date of Sept 2012. So a year and 1/2 ago. Quite some time for a battery to be sitting I thought!!!
— Basically, everything on the iPhone 5 works. iOS 6, yes she hasn't upgraded it yet to iOS 7 yet, worked fine. Made calls, texts, Wi-Fi worked, Safari ran ok, camera is working great, etc.
— I gave it to her confident it would work great the next morning/day. My sister then proceeded to charge he iPhone 5 overnight.
— Only, the next afternoon, I found out she said the phone won't turn on! I thought it was the battery that might be faulty. The phone wouldn't charge or show anything on the display after a good amount of time.
— So, I put the other new battery inside. The iPhone 5 was still getting warm, but made nothing of it. Charged to mid-90 %. After doing a testing of it all afternoon, I concluded something was wrong with the device other than the initial cracked display and battery swapping. The iPhone 5 wouldn't hold a charge still!! Regular settings, standby mode, video watching, game playing; it didn't matter. The phone was not going to be a dependable device to use all day.

Other things to note:

— The iPhone 5 still can't be charged after the new batteries are depleted. An hour of charging in the AC wall adapter did nothing. So, I put my iPhone 5 battery into her's again. I let the phone battery be depleted, which wasn't too hard since I left it on for 2 hours, played with it a little too in that time, and the phone turned off again. Frustrated, I tried to charge it in the wall again, but nothing after 30 min. An hour then, nothing!
— Something is causing the iPhone 5 to deplete it's battery RAPIDLY. 4-5 times faster than normal, making it nigh unusable!
— I then restored the software to iOS 7 over iTunes. iOS 7.1 specifically. I restored with her iOS 6 settings a couple times and as a "new" phone a couple times as well to be sure. Battery drain still happens.


I then began to notice that Safari wouldn't turn to Landscape mode! Checked the compass, that doesn't work, the wall leveler next to that is wacky.

— This means, the accelerometer is not functioning! The GPS app works OK though.
— The iPhone 5 can go from mild, to warm, very warm, even downright hot!! It might be cool to the touch on standby mode if lucky.
— The display can go "wild" sometimes, choosing things at random. My iPhone 4 did that with water damage. (Don't want that.)
— The touch display also seems to lose its "touch" function at times. Off/on. Not detecting a swipe here, not getting a press there.

Overall, I am surprised this phone was repairable after seeing it in its wrecked state!
But, now I am not sure the iPhone 5 is worth having. My sister needs a phone that will last all day for school, away from home, etc.

Since the battery will likely last 2-3 hrs, even on standby, with airplane mode enabled, I am not sure what else to check for.
Asking her to turn on/off the phone when she needs it only sounds silly these days. Don't want that. The phone needs to be on to contact her.
I haven't bothered taking out the logic board. Not going there!

On order is a new Lightning/headphone port replacement. I thought that was worth a shot!


— Keep iPhone 5. Play with it some more. Buy more parts.
— Sell on eBay preferably for a decent amount, for parts or not working, I guess. Use funds toward a decent iPhone 4S probably.

Anything I missed? I know this message is long. This is the shortened version! It was a long week and even longer weekend. The only thing that saved me was The Walking Dead finale ;)
Anything I can try? My guess is the hardware was damaged. I don't want to replace the Logic board. Too costly.

I know, an iPhone 5 being ran over (allegedly) sounds like a millions things could be wrong! But, everything inside, the components look fine. It just smells like asphalt haha.
My guess: the phone's hardware was punctured, squished, slammed, somehow, that prevents the accelerometer from working and the battery holding a normal charge.

Thanks for helping a fellow iPhone user. :)
I feel I have nothing to lose by asking the Internet.
Maybe some people have a worthy idea!

small update: I forgot to mention I did check the iOS 7 Diagnostic 7 & Usage Data. There were only 5 notifications earlier today. Now there are 8. With 4 "ResetCounter"s, a log-aggregated, apple.com.acountsettings, and a couple "awdd"s toward the top. So, nothing major. I looked up that a lot of logs/notifications, upward of 100s, would be a sign of faulty hardware. So is this OK news?

another update: I received the "new" iPhone 5 Lightning Dock/Headphone Jack/Mic Connector/Antenna Flex as it is called. It did not include the cellular antenna cable however, so I put on the cable from the old, supposedly broken iPhone 5 Lightning Dock/Headphone Jack/Mic Connector/Antenna Flex.
— So, I am not sure yet if the cellular connection works. But, the battery charges again if the battery has some energy, and the iPhone 5 is turned on! So, at least the new connector works!
— But, the battery does not charge still if it is depleted. It is charging now, about an hour maybe, and no sign of life of display with "connect iPhone to charger" symbol.

This is getting frustrating. The last new part for the item I was willing to try and the item wasn't even as described from a good known seller.
I will update again soon, maybe tomorrow with my plans.
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