A laptop is an expensive investment, at least in the short term. You are likely spending more than a thousand dollars on your laptop. In the long term, this is not a lot to spend, considering you are going to be using the device on an almost daily basis for six to eight years.
But it is the sort of money you don’t want to spend often. As such, you should do what it takes to protect your investment. Make sure your laptop is covered in case of theft by getting the right insurance policy. Laptops are usually covered by the basic policy for theft and loss, although if you go for a particularly expensive or specialist laptop, you may need to add it as scheduled insurance.
Insurance does not help in case of technical failure, however. For this purpose, you get a warranty with your laptop. The maker of your laptop will usually give you a one-year warranty, with the option of paying for an extra year.
For some people, the idea of taking their laptop in for every little thing that goes wrong is far from appealing, especially if they can do the job themselves. But if you do try to fix your laptop yourself, do you void the warranty?
What is a warranty?
It is important to first put a warranty into context. What is the purpose of a warranty and what does it cover?
Essentially, a warranty is there to give you the peace of mind that the manufacturer has not sold you a faulty item. Unlike with other kinds of purchases which allow a short window for refunds if the item has issues, it takes a lot longer with technology to ensure that there are no faults. Over the first year, at the very least, technical failure is considered the manufacturer’s fault.
They will therefore fix your laptop for free during that time, or replace it if it cannot be repaired. If you pay for an extra year’s warranty (which probably is not worth it), they will fix any technical failures that occur during the second year.
In other words, if you drop your laptop or spill water all over it, your warranty won’t help you. You can take it to the manufacturer to get repaired, but they will charge you for the service.
In this context, the issues with fixing your laptop yourself become clearer.
The problem with fixing your laptop yourself
The manufacturer of your laptop has no real problem with you trying to fix your laptop yourself. You may be perfectly qualified to do so. However, if you make things worse, the consequent technical failure is no longer the manufacturer’s responsibility. It is the equivalent of dropping your laptop.
Even if you successfully fix your laptop, your laptop is probably voided. This is because any future technical failure cannot be directly linked to the manufacturer. They can question whether the problem would have come about if they had fixed the previous issue. Your tinkering could, in theory, have caused this new issue, and it is very difficult to prove that it did not.
For this reason, it is wise to take your laptop to the manufacturer to fix technical problems in the warranty’s window, even if you could easily do the job yourself.
Of course, it won’t always be evident that you have previously fixed your laptop yourself. If new parts were not required, and there were no seals preventing you from opening up your laptop without having to break them, they might never know the difference. Furthermore, if you’re coming to the end of your warranty, you may not be too worried about the risk, especially if you’re confident you could fix any further issues yourself.
Once the warranty period is up, there is nothing stopping you from fixing your laptop or old computer yourself. It won’t affect the cost of future repairs done by your manufacturer. You may be perfectly capable of doing so without the hassle of taking your laptop in.
Warranties cover technical failure for which the manufacturer is responsible. Fixing your laptop yourself may not be the best idea because they can consequently deny responsibility for future problems. But, if you’re confident you can get the job done while leaving no trace of your handiwork, you may be willing to risk it.