How To Fix A Vibrator: Troubleshooting Tips & When To Let It Go

Our well-loved vibrators often die a natural death, and there’s nothing we can do about it. But sometimes, they can be brought back to life with some TLC.
Aerial Photograph Of Rabbit Vibrator With Screwdriver And Other Tools Nearby
Updated:November 2022

Before you throw a broken vibrator away, it’s worth taking a moment to figure out if you can fix it.

Sometimes you can but not always — and there are even situations when you should not attempt it at all.

Here’s what to know about fixing a vibrator:

  • If your vibrator is currently under warranty (whether an original or extended warranty), manually trying to fix it yourself will almost certainly void that protection — entirely.
  • And yes, if you try to fix it yourself and later send it back to the manufacturer to be serviced under warranty, they will likely know that someone tampered with the device in an attempt to repair it, and then void your warranty.
  • Many times, a “broken” vibrator isn’t really broken and the fix often involves simple troubleshooting. For instance, if the travel lock feature is engaged, your vibrator won’t turn on, even though it’s in perfect working order.
  • If your vibrator is very old, has loose wires or leaking fluid (from batteries), or the surface of the toy itself is cracked or torn, do not attempt to fix it — you’re just going to have to choose a replacement.

So if think your beloved vibrator has ridden its last ride, can you bring it back to life?

Maybe.

Here’s how to know whether it’s time to say goodbye — or not.

Things To Know
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How To Fix A Vibrator

How To Fix A Vibrator

While there are certain times you simply can’t fix a broken vibrator, there are a few things you can do to repair one that isn’t working — and none of them require an engineering degree.

The first thing to do is to replace or charge your batteries.

When your vibrator won’t turn on or the vibrations feel weak, it’s usually a battery issue.

For vibrators that have caps or lids for compartments, make sure those are on correctly and tightly — otherwise, the batteries may not connect properly to turn the device on.

A loose cap on the end of a vibrator may even cause rattling noises, alerting you to an issue with the battery contact.

Give your vibrator a good cleaning, beyond the usual soap and water you use on the end that touches your body.

Look around the battery or any compartment areas.

If old lube, dried body fluids, or even dust is clogging up that area, it could affect your vibrator’s functionality.

Basic vibrator maintenance can help fix most (minor) problems.

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Troubleshooting Tips

Troubleshooting Tips For A Broken Vibrator

Maybe you’ve done all the basic maintenance and your vibrator still doesn’t work.

Don’t hold a funeral for it just yet.

Here are some troubleshooting tips that may fix your vibrator:

  • Press the buttons longer than you think you should. This is especially true for new vibrators you’re not used to yet. The manual might say “hold the power button for 2-3 seconds” when, in reality, it requires closer to 5 seconds.
  • Look for paper or plastic near the charging port or the battery casing and remove any you find — especially if it’s brand new and has never been used before. These are usually safety features to help prevent your vibrator from turning on or to protect the battery while in transit.
  • Check to see if your vibrator has a travel lock setting and if it does, make sure it is disengaged. This is a great feature if you take your vibe on vacation but can be more than a little annoying when you’re just trying to turn the thing on.
  • Replace old batteries or recharge your batteries if it’s been a while since you last used your vibrator. Batteries can drain over time, especially if it’s been weeks or months since you used your vibrator.

If your sex toy is battery-operated and you notice fluid leakage or dried acid in the battery compartment, it’s time to let that vibrator go.

Life support is no longer an option.

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Top Replacement Vibrators

Top Vibrator Recommendations If Yours Breaks

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Should You Fix A Broken Vibrator

Should You Fix A Broken Vibrator?

The question of whether you should fix a vibrator (or not) ultimately depends on how or why it’s broken.

Most vibrators are made to be used until they die and then tossed out.

They do not last forever because they were never meant to.

Without the necessary tools, knowledge, and experience to take it apart and put it back together successfully, however, you may not be able to fix a truly broken sex toy on your own.

Vibrators are mechanical devices and as such, their design often involves delicate circuitry that can only be repaired by folks with a background in electronics.

That being said, it’s possible that your “broken” vibrator isn’t actually broken at all and may only need a bit of troubleshooting to make it work again.

One important thing to note is that a broken vibrator that is practically new or less than a year or two old may be under a manufacturer’s warranty.

If this is the case, you may be able to replace it instead of worrying about fixing it — or purchasing a new one.

When you buy a vibrator, keep the box, your receipt, and any pertinent order information so you have proof of purchase and know who to contact about the warranty.

Different manufacturers offer warranties of varying lengths.

LELO, for instance, has a 1-year warranty and a 10-year guarantee on their products.

Satisfyer, on the other hand, has a 15-year guarantee on its toys.

Additionally, vendors like Adam & Eve or Lovehoney provide some degree of coverage on products, depending on the length of time that’s passed since you made your purchase.

Does it take a little time to submit a warranty claim?

Sure — but you’ll be guaranteed to have a toy that’s safe and in working order at the end of the process.

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Why You Might Not Want To

When You Should NOT Fix A Vibrator

There are several situations where you need to let your broken vibrator go to the sex toy farm in the sky instead of trying to fix it:

  • You’ve had your best vibrator for literally years, used it regularly, and none of the troubleshooting options have helped.
  • You spent $10 to $20 on your vibrator and have had it for more than a year. Some toys either won’t be worth the cost or time to fix or they’re just not made to last very long in the first place.
  • Your vibrator can’t hold a battery charge for more than a few minutes; this applies to rechargeable vibrators only.
  • You see leaking fluids, dried battery acid, or loose wires when you open up your vibrator.
  • The external casing or silicone is cracked, torn, or otherwise damaged. Step away from the duct tape or the crazy glue and just throw it away!

If you still have a warranty on your vibrator, don’t do anything to your toy beyond basic maintenance: changing batteries, charging it, and cleaning it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Doing anything else, including trying to fix it, could void your warranty — and that means you’re stuck with a broken toy.

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Conclusion

In Conclusion

Well-loved, well-used vibrators often die a natural death, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

It’s a sad fact of life we all have to come to terms with, sooner or later.

But you often have more options than you realize, especially if your vibrator isn’t very old.

If you can’t fix it, it may be time to say goodbye to your old favorite vibrator but the good news is that this can be an opportunity to say hello to something new and fun.

It’s what your old vibrator would want for you.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our How To Use A Vibrator and Everything Vibrators hubs, in-depth and evolving resources that comprehensively explore all aspects of vibrators from the different types and how to use them, to materials and safety — created to help you achieve the sexual pleasure you deserve.

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