Introduction: Fix a Weak Battery Door Catch

This is the battery door for an MP3 audio player I have.  The "V"-shaped catch on the battery door has lost its spring-like quality and the battery door sometimes falls off of the player.  I tried heating the bottom of the "V" and bending the catch, but the plastic is weak and it does not hold its position. 

Step 1: Open the Catch a Bit

I pulled the catch open to spread the "V" so it will hold itself into the player if this position could be maintained.  Be careful not to break the plastic by pulling too much.

Step 2: Test for Thickness

I folded a new rubber band over and stuffed it into the "V" to see how many layers of rubber band I would need to fill the "V."  Two should do the job if I can get them to stay in the lower portion of the "V" opening on the catch.  Do not use an old rubber band.  Those have already lost some of their elasticity.

Step 3: Cut the Rubber Band

I cut two pieces of rubber band as long each as the catch is wide.

Step 4: Glue the Rubber Pieces in Place

I glued each piece of rubber to the plastic surface it touches, but did not glue them to each other.  I used a fast setting epoxy glue and a toothpick.  I tried to push the pieces of rubber as far as possible down into the "V" opening of the catch.  Wait for the glue to set.

Step 5: Finished

My battery door once again closes with a reassuring "click," and it stays in place.  

Comments

author
projectsugru (author)2011-03-28

nice hack Phil :)

James

author
Phil B (author)projectsugru2011-03-28

Thanks. I hope it will be helpful to you.

author
RedneckEngineer (author)2011-03-16

Well now my TV remotes wont be covered with "sticky" from the multible layers of tape being put on and taken off over time. Great simple solution, I love it!

author
Phil B (author)RedneckEngineer2011-03-16

Thanks. I forgot about the battery doors on TV remotes.

author
seamster (author)2011-03-14

This problem is an irritant that I've been looking for a solution to for years. I've always just used a piece of masking tape, but I'll have to give this a try. Very clever. Thanks, Phil!

author
pfred2 (author)seamster2011-03-15

Masking tape sounds viable to me. Old rubber bands get really funky! I've seen some petrified masking tape that was pretty old though!

author
Phil B (author)pfred22011-03-15

In regard to old rubber bands, consider this. Say my MP3 player has a useful life of 5 years. At year 2 or 3 the battery door quits working. I sometimes listen to mine in bed. I can change a battery in the dark if the battery door functions properly. It is a bit too much to handle masking tape in the dark. My fix using new rubber bands will outlast the functional life of the player before they become funky.

author
pfred2 (author)Phil B2011-03-16

I didn't mean tape the cover on I meant jamb it in like you did the rubber band. Plus masking tape comes pre-glued!

author
Phil B (author)pfred22011-03-16

Rolled masking tape does not have the same elasticity rubber band strips have. And, when I handle masking tape, skin oils and dirt take away the adhesive qualities of the tape.

author
Phil B (author)seamster2011-03-14

I hope it works satisfactorily for you. I have tried tape and wrapping a rubber band around the player. As you know, neither of those are very desirable solutions, although they "work" in a crude sort of way. Thank you for looking. Let us know how it works for you.

author
Cavechild (author)2011-03-15

I have a toolbox with compartments in the lid, they have the same kind of tab fastenings and they're always falling open when I open the main box lid - this could be the fix I've been waiting for.
Nice Work!

author
Phil B (author)Cavechild2011-03-15

Are the "V" openings in the catches larger than on a battery door? My preference would have been to use a steel spring, but there is no space on my battery door for installing one. If the material in your toolbox is metal you can work and if there is more space, I would be tempted to try a steel spring. It could be a small coil spring or a flat spring. The metal spring would last longer than the rubber band pieces, which will lose elasticity over time. Let us know how it works out for you.

author
NachoMahma (author)2011-03-14

. Another elegantly simple Ible from Dr Phil. And so useful, too. Great work.

author
Phil B (author)NachoMahma2011-03-14

Thanks.

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Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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