How to Troubleshoot Electronics Components


Electronics can serve a variety of different functions. Many of the components can be used in multiple devices such as computers, GPS modules, DVD players, and multimedia devices. Electronic devices can stop working because of a malfunction in a single component and troubleshooting the components can lead to considerable savings in repair or replacement. Troubleshooting electronics components can be done quickly and easily if the components are readily accessible.

Things You'll Need

  • Owner's manual (if available)
  • Can of compressed air
  • Screwdriver
  • Read the owner's manual of the device you're trying to troubleshoot. It will help to know how it is supposed to work and may give an indication of what to look for as it malfunctions.

  • Check the power supply if a device is not working or turning on and off. If it runs off of a battery, try replacing the battery. If it is connected to a power source, check the wires and connections to see if everything is hooked up properly.

  • Clean the device and any components of dust and debris. A can of compressed air can be used to lightly blow dust off of any sensitive parts.

  • Use a screwdriver as needed to carefully disassemble the electronic device. If you have a schematic available to go off of, use it as your blueprint on how to take the device apart safely and correctly.

  • Examine any circuit boards for any signs of burning or discoloration. This is an indication of a short and you'll know what area to focus on if you see it.

  • Check any wires or connections going into the circuit board. Many problems that occur intermittently with a device are caused by faulty connections and can be fixed with a little soldering.

  • Examine any other parts for wear, burns, cracks, or other damage. Replace them as needed and then put the device back together to see if it works.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always use caution when working with any device that is currently hooked up to a power source. Even a small battery could cause electrocution if you are not careful.

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  • Photo Credit electronics image by Michael Shake from
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