Laptop Hinges work like a regular door, closet, or wardrobe hinges. They consist of two metal pieces cut from high-quality metal and rely on a metal pin in the center to open and close.
Types of Laptop Hinges
Officially, the design is dubbed “Scissor” hinges, and it varies widely from manufacturer to manufacturer. To ensure the Laptop lid feels responsive, stable, and safe to use Laptop Manufacturers adopt one of two strategies to ensure the hinge is up to the task.
LCD Screen Hinges
These types of hinges are longer, spring-loaded, and are attached to the panel of the laptop. This style of hinge is mostly used to offset the weight of the lid in cases where the panels use touch technology or any other feature that might add extra bulk to the screen. The hinge also ensures that neither the deck nor the laptop panel endures too much pressure during the repetitive task of opening and shutting your hinge.
Short Laptop Hinges
Short hinges are the standard for most Laptops available on the market right now. They are spring-loaded, typically entail a unique form factor/ shape, and are bolted to the Laptop Lid and base for good pressure distribution. Short Hinges are also easier to repair, replace and make panel/screen replacement straightforward.
How Long Do Laptop Hinges Last?
All things being equal, a good laptop hinge should last you about 5-6 years if properly maintained. Some hinges can last substantially longer, often lasting the lifespan of the laptop, and are often designed with custom machining and components. Today’s hinges are better than the Laptop hinges of the past. And so, as technology improves, expect to find products that’ll last longer and longer.
Signs That Your Laptop Hinge is Failing
A good and healthy Laptop hinge is responsive, has a great range of motion, and can hold angles effortlessly. Your Laptop hinge is worn, damaged, and in need of serious attention when it cannot manage any of those three basic functions.
Here are the biggest signs that your Laptop hinge is failing.
- Moves on its own/do not provide support for your display at various angles
- Reduced resistance when you lift or close the display
- Uneven resistance when opening or shutting your computer
How to Repair My Laptop Hinge?
If you notice you have a loose hinge or a broken hinge, your first course of action should be to visit your local repair shop. If your computer is common enough, it should have valid repair and replacement options for you.
Expect to pay under $200 for the replacement and labor. If you can’t reach a repair shop in time, we advise not opening your PC hinge as that would only exacerbate the problem. Laptop hinges work in tandem, sharing the weight of the lid. If one has failed, the second is likely not far behind.
If your Laptop hinge is not broken but is stiff or creaking, try dripping some oil into the hinge mechanism. Like gears and every other engine, Laptop hinges need lubrication from time to time, especially if they haven’t been used in a long time.
How to DIY My Laptop Hinge
If you have the time and skills to fix your Laptop hinge yourself, then follow this short DIY guide.
Visit your laptop manufacturer’s website and look up all the available information they have on your Laptop hinge. That should help you determine which hinge to buy as well as find out if you’re still covered by their warranty. Because opening your PC and switching the hinge will void your warranty.
- Remove all peripherals attached to your laptop and your power cable.
- Open the back panel and remove your delicates like RAM, Hard drive, and SSD.
- Disconnect your Keyboard connector from the motherboard and lift the keyboard bezel to access the hinge cover.
- Remove them and disconnect the connector from the motherboard
- Remove all screws joining the display with the Laptop base
- Carefully pry open the front bezel of your laptop and disconnect the video cable
- You should have a full view of the hinge. Remove the screws holding down the damaged hinge and replace it.
- Reverse the previous steps to reassemble your PC
Why do Laptop Hinges Break?
As we mentioned earlier, all Laptop hinges grow worn with use and eventually give out. However, there are a lot of things that can happen that can shorten its lifespan even more.
Constant Opening and Closing
The simple act of opening and closing your screen– as simple as it sounds– wears down the hinge components of your Pc. Over time, wear can accumulate, especially if you transport the Pc constantly and use it in a variety of locations.
Keep your Laptop stationary for as long as you can wherever you are to get more out of your hinge.
Closing the Screen Improperly
Slamming the laptop or attempting to close it when there’s a pen, eraser, or any other object that might place pressure on the screen or hinge can test the durability of your computer as a whole. Over time, this will cause a host of problems, the least of them being a broken hinge.
Additionally, forcefully shutting your Laptop hinge without a foreign object stuck in between can also put your screen and hinge at risk.
Transporting the laptop with the Hinge Open
Transporting your laptop around your home, office, or from one venue to the next with the screen open places an incredible amount of strain on the hinge. With each jostle and step, the hinge is forced to balance the heavy laptop top. Overextended periods can cause incredible wear and shorten the lifespan of your hinge.
Will your laptop work with a Broken Hinge?
In rare cases, your broken hinge might shear through the plastic cover protecting it and expose your display cable. Sudden movements, attempts to open your hinge forcefully, or accidents might damage the cable and cause your display to malfunction. The longer your hinge is left unattended, the more likely you are to experience a cable problem.
How to Prevent your Laptop Hinge from breaking?
Follow these tips, and you’re sure to get more mileage from your laptop hinge.
- Keep your laptop stationery as often as you can
- Open the hinge either from the corner with both hands or at the center with a single hand to avoid stressing one hinge
- Always close your laptop before transporting
- Never pick up your laptop by the lid or display
- Keep your laptop clean.
With these tips, you should have no problems keeping your laptop hinge healthy and long-lasting. You should also be armed with the knowledge to repair them yourself if you have the skills too. More importantly, you should have no further hinge problems with future purchases, assuming you bought quality products from trusted laptop manufacturers.