Apple Expands Self Service Repair Program; Have You Used It?

Originally published at: Apple Expands Self Service Repair Program; Have You Used It? - TidBITS

Apple has expanded its Self Service Repair program to include the iPhone 14 lineup, M1-based Mac desktops, and the M2 models of the 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. But is anyone actually using Self Service Repair?

There was a time that I built my own PCs, which was easy with their construction and readily available parts (anyone remember the traveling PC parts shows?).

Other than changing RAM – and I’m still a little miffed that Apple pretty much removed that as an easy option from most of its products – I have shied away from trying to tear into Macs and the like. In fact, the one time I tried – after buying the special tool kit, watching the video repeatedly and following the steps carefully and closely – I had to buy a new 27" iMac (it was six years old, so I was not broken hearted) when I managed to break a connector at the end of a tiny wire while trying to swap a mechanical hard drive for an SSD.

I maintain AppleCare on my devices so that I can take them to the pros for repair, and if they break it, they bought it. If it’s an aging device outside of the warranty window, I’d compare the cost of repair with the value of replacement. I cannot see myself tearing into one again.

I can barely change a light switch on a wall without blowing up the electricity in my apartment. Messing with the internals of an Apple, or been any other, sophisticated device, is way beyond my skill set. Apple Care+ has been manna from heaven for me. IMHO, better safe than sorry.

Over the years since about 1988, I have done repair or upgrade work on many Macs, starting with upgrading RAM in a Mac Plus, going through replacing hard drives, batteries, and fans in MacBooks and MacBooks Pros. I’ve tried my hand at repairing iPhones, but it’s much harder to do, and I go to professional repair shops for that these days. It has gotten very hard and very expensive to do your own repairs on modern Apple products. I would be willing to try Apple’s Self Service Repair in principle, because I think with the right tools and good instructions, it’s not that hard to do your own repair, but the process seems pretty burdensome in time and expense, and it’s hard to justify the process in my situation when I could get it down faster by taking it to the Apple Store in town.

1 Like

You can’t be against being able to repair, or upgrade, your devices. In fact it should be mandatory for all manufacturers.
I stretched the lives of many Apple desktops or laptops over the years. It’s a matter of economy and also ecology for me. They’re getting a bit of my love back going that way.

I logged on and discovered I couldn’t, for example, buy a larger SSD than the one that is in my Mac Studio. Step one was entering my serial number: then I was only shown the same size SSD that’s in the unit. So it can’t really be used upgrading…just repairing, I guess (though I guess I could borrow a serial number from someone who has a larger SSD in their studio).

Probably not. In order to install a new module, it needs to be cryptographically paired with the Mac, and this is done via an app that you download and is only good for one use.

I would fully expect this app to generate key-pairs based on your Mac’s serial number (among other things). If your Mac’s serial number doesn’t match the one you gave Apple at the start of the repair process, I would expect the pairing process to fail.

1 Like

I’d like to think that I will try the self-repair option, but I tend to doubt that I will.

I still do plenty of tinkering with the older models I have and love, but I lost interest in futzing with certain things like changing drives in Mac Minis. I watched the OWC drive installation video several times, visualized tiny parts falling into the black hole that opens up whenever I work with tiny screws, etc., decided my time and sanity were worth something, and took my 2012 Mini to Rossmann’s, who to my great sadness are no longer in NYC. They did the swap in a short time while I waited. It went so smoothly that I took them the other 2012 Mini in the household the next week, and they swapped that one for me free of charge. They also replaced the logicboard in my 2015 MBP. Not surprisingly (to me, anyway), they did not, presumably still do not, work on iMacs.

If you have a good local repair place, it may save you some aggravation to just let them handle the fiddly stuff. BTW Rossmann’s is in Austin now and you can ship them your phone or laptop for repair.

1 Like