Loose USB Cable
My wife noticed that her USB cable started getting loose. You know, when you plug it in to charge your phone and it keeps falling out– which I find to be very annoying. Being the amazing husband I am, I decided to figure out how I could fix this issue without buying a new cable (I’m cheap). It took me a little time, but I have figured out how to resolve this issue. Yes, I have some McGyver skills you didn’t know about. While I didn’t use a paperclip and a piece of string, I was comparable by using a pair of pliers and a needle.
The first question to ask is why does this happen to the USB connection. After you have used a USB cable to charge your phone over and over again it wears down the small pins on the top. These are what hooks the cable to your phone or other device to allow power transfer. So, this is why it happens, but let’s show you how you can fix the issue.
Side Note: Before starting, please be aware that you proceed at your own risk. Any tampering with your hardware carries a risk to both the hardware and the electronics it attaches to. Also, this fix may have a success rate that is determined by the quality of the cord. A lesser quality cord may not keep this “fix” for an extended period of time, and may need additional “fixes” or a new purchase.
The next question is, “What tools will I need?” Great question! Here are the tools I had laying around the house that worked for this project:
- Needle nosed pliers or equivalent
- Something with a thin point, like a good needle from a sewing kit (borrowed from my wife).
- Your cell phone or other device to test the USB
How to Fix
Now it is time to jump in to the steps and show you how to use these tools:
Step 1. Pull out the cables you are going to repair. The pink cable is my wife’s, not mine. I swear! 🙂
Step 2. With the thin, pointy tool, which is my wife’s needle, place the point under the front of one of the pins. And like using a crowbar, lift the pin… slowly. We do not want to break it and only want to bring the pin up enough for the pliers to grab it.
Step 3. After you have raised the pins up some, bring out your needle nosed pliers, or use the pliers off your Leatherman like I did in this article. Use the pliers to grab the pin. You will want to pull up very gently. A few good tugs should be all it will take. If you cannot get hold of the pins, use the needle again and pry higher. You are only trying to bring the pins up enough for it to connect well with your devices. Pull the pins up too high and you will not be able to connect the USB due to it not fitting.
Step 4. Time to test our work. Grab the cell phone or other device and connect the USB micro end. This should now feel snugger and not fall out with a gust of wind. If the USB pins are too high, just press against a flat surface to reduce the height of the pins.
Now you should be able to save yourself some money for more important items. Do you have an easy fix or a hack you use or can recommend?