Weekly Mod: How to replace an iPhone 4 vibrator assembly (GSM only)

If the vibrate function of AT&T/GSM iPhone 4 isn't working or is very faint, you may need a new vibrator assembly. If you're out of warranty but have just a little bit of ninja skill, it's a very cheap and easy repair to perform yourself.

It's worth noting that this guide is only valid for the AT&T or other GSM variant of the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S and Verizon/CDMA iPhone 4 are very similar internally but very different from the GSM variant of the original iPhone 4. So if your iPhone 4 is not AT&T/GSM, proceed no further young Jedi!

Disclaimer: As with any repair, iMore nor PXLFIX can be held responsible for any damage you may do to your device. It’s also worth considering that opening up your device to perform any repair or modification can and will void your Apple warranty. If you don’t feel comfortable opening your device, don’t. Use extreme care and caution when performing a repair on any device.

What you need for a DIY vibrator assembly repair

PXLFIX recommends using only quality and genuine parts from a reputable supplier like eTech Parts. They have quality parts, tools, and much more for all your repair needs.

  • A GSM iPhone 4
  • Replacement vibrator assembly - GSM iPhone 4 vibrator assembly
  • #00 Phillips screwdriver
  • Security screwdriver (only if your iPhone has the security screws in the dock connector)

Power off your iPhone 4

You should always power off your device before performing any type of internal repair work. Simply hold down your top power button and Slide to power off.

Remove the back of your iPhone 4

  1. First remove the bottom 2 dock connector screws in your iPhone 4. Use either your #00 screwdriver or the five point depending on whether or not your iPhone 4 has security screws in the dock connector. Almost all newer devices will have security screws.
  2. To remove the back simply slide the back upwards and lift it off gently.
  3. Set the back and 2 dock connector screws aside.

Replace the vibrator assembly

  1. Locate your vibrator assembly in the upper right hand corner of your iPhone 4 (assuming you're looking at it from the back).
  2. It is held in with two screws. Use your #00 Phillips screwdriver and remove them. The screw on the left will be significantly longer. Just remember which screw came from where.
  3. Next, gently lift the old vibrator assembly out of the device.
  4. Place the new one in carefully and replace the two screws that hold it in place.

Reassemble your iPhone

All you need to do now is replace the back on your iPhone 4 and put the two dock connector screws back in.

And ...done!

That's all there is to it! Have you done this repair yourself? Let us know how it went! Want to know how to perform another type of iPhone repair or modification? Send me suggestions to ally.kazmucha@tipb.com or leave a comment in our brand new Mod and DIY Repair Forum!

For repair questions or to inquire about mail-in repairs through PXLFIX, follow us on Twitter or e-mail us directly!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Weekly Mod: How to replace an iPhone 4 vibrator assembly (GSM only)


Great video. Can you also create a video tutorial to show how to replace wifi/bluetooth radio on a iPhone 3G? Thanks

I didn't know iPhones came with a vibrator?
I think it is actually called the vibe (vibration) motor.

Sometimes it is not the vibrator that is faulty - there is a sticker that is stuck to the side of the headphone jack that is right next to the vibrator on an iPhone 4. If you remove the vibrator, check if that sticker has come loose. If it has, you can cut the piece of sticker off, or stick it onto the headphone jack again and test to see if your phone will now vibrate.