Refund and repair: iMac hinge broken
iMac made in the last years can have a very annoying fault: A display that doesn’t stay in position but rather swings down. The reason for this behaviour is a broken washer, that breaks inside the iMac. We show you the problem and possible solutions.
The hinge is broken and the Display swings down.
If you have this issue with your iMac, it is very obvious: the display swings down and no longer stays in position. The reason is the following: to counter the display’s weight, Apple built in a spring around the hinge mechanism. This spring is under load all the time and keeps the display in place.
The part breaking and leading to the named situation is a little plastic washer piece that connects the two pieces of the hinge: the one on the stand and the one on the display part. The spring works between the hinge parts and is hold in place by that plastic piece. As the hinge is near the fan outlet, it gets hot and cold, which leads to thermal stress. Over time the the plastic seems to disintegrate and then fails.
When you watch the videos above it is clear that it is not an engineering fault rather than a price decision. The part responsible for the fault can be replaced by a DIY metal part for a few cents or you can buy a repair kit. You have to disassemble your iMac tough and invest a few hours of your time. If your iMac has been repaired already and you paid for it, you can ask Apple for a refund now.
This looks like planned obsolescence for the first time.
The question is, why exactly this iMac model suffers from the hinge issue. Even ancient Cinema Displays with that hinge construction work fine after a decade, as well as older iMacs and Thunderbolt Displays. If you look a the hinge’s construction, you begin to wonder: the whole construction is made from metal and the parts are connected to the Mac with at least 15 screws. Only the part holding the complete weight of the display alone is made of plastic. That seems to be planned obsolescence or at least penny pinching.
So if you have this problem, do a DIY repair or find somebody who will exchange the broken plastic washer with a metal piece. If you give your iMac to Apple for repair it seems that you get the same plastic construction again. Result: you have the risk that the same issues arises in two years again.