When something goes wrong with your laptop, you may not want to have to take it back to the store. While you know your warranty covers repairs, you may be able to do a perfect job yourself. However, in some cases, this may void your warranty, leaving you out in the cold if problems occur that you cannot fix.
The good news is that there is a lot of work you can do on your laptop without voiding your warranty. But first, let’s establish what a warranty actually covers.
A warranty is a commitment by the manufacturer to repair any technical faults within a certain timeframe. This is different to laptop insurance coverage, which will replace your laptop if it is stolen and is in place as long as you own your laptop. Warranties simply give you the peace of mind that you have recourse if it turns out you bought a faulty product.
With this in mind, it is easier to understand what repairs you can do without voiding your warranty. The 3 following things are unlikely to cause you problems.
If your laptop battery is not performing at its peak within the first year, your warranty will cover it. But if you have an extended warranty and your battery is naturally degrading a couple of years on, replacing your battery is your responsibility. It is more of an upgrade than a repair.
Replacing your battery should not affect the rest of your laptop. Most manufacturers will not void your warranty if you do this yourself. Apple products may, however, be an exception. They now have measures which reveal to the manufacturer whether you have opened the computer up at all.
Why would repairing your laptop yourself void your warranty? The manufacturer can claim that future issues might be your fault, not theirs. Upgrading parts, however, should not cause your laptop to have any problems. If you decide to replace your HDD with an SSD, for example, your laptop should continue working.
If something specifically goes wrong with your new part, the laptop’s warranty won’t cover repairs. Rather, you should have a warranty from the manufacturer of the new part.
We speak about hardware and software as two distinct categories and it is sometimes easy to forget that one impacts the other. A malfunctioning storage drive can cause your software to stop working, just as a hefty program can damage your laptop’s working memory.
But if you have a problem with your laptop’s software and opt to fix it yourself, you are unlikely to void your warranty, even if a future issue is triggered by the software. You can therefore format your laptop without having to take it in if you are having software issues. You can also install software that prevents future issues and ‘cleans’ your hard drive.
As we mentioned before, replacing your battery yourself may cause you issues with your Macbook’s warranty. This is because Apple tries to keep all their systems closed, providing a streamlined and reliable product by preventing users from tampering. You are more likely to void your warranty on your Macbook with repairs than any other laptop.
Apple’s closed systems are a major reason why many tech lovers do not buy Apple products. If you want to buy a laptop that allows you to make decisions for yourself, a Macbook may not be for you. Alternatively, you will have to accept the risk of voiding your warranty.
Ultimately, whether you do your own repairs on any laptop is up to you. A warranty is not meant to cover any issues throughout your laptop’s life. Unless there is a manufacturer fault, you're not going to be able to take advantage of your warranty anyway. Saving the time and doing the repairs yourself is unlikely to cause you too many problems.
That being said, do not attempt repairs you are not 100% confident you can do successfully. If you get it wrong and need to take it in, you will not be able to rely on your warranty and may end up paying more for your own mistakes.