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Cell Phone Troubleshooting Tips

Read these 5 Cell Phone Troubleshooting Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cellphone tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I check my area for cell phone coverage?

Cell Phone Reception Problems

If you are considering a move to a new cell phone service provider because of cell phone reception problems with your current company, there are Internet-based tools that can help you choose. Do you want to know how close your house or apartment is to the nearest cell phone tower? A website called offers a directory to cell phone towers by city.

If you want to stay with your current cell phone service and are looking for a new place to live, consult a directory service such as the Verizon coverage locator at the company website to see what kind of cell phone reception you should expect in a new neighborhood. You can also call the company to ask if any new towers are planned for areas with low cell phone reception. It may not be necessary to switch companies if there are plans to improve the service in your area with new cell phone towers.

How can I tell if my battery is defective?

How Can I Tell If My Cell Phone Battery Is Defective?

Sometimes a cell phone battery recall happens because a manufacturing defect was discovered in a batch of batteries, or because counterfeits are discovered in a lot of "legitimate" batteries; recalls aside, an individual battery can go bad in a number of ways.

If you are properly charging your phone according to the cell phone user/equipment guide but still have problems with a prematurely dead cell phone battery, it might be a defective cell inside the battery. Cold temperatures can drain a battery and fool you into thinking the battery is defective when it's not. Make sure your phone is at room temperature most of the time and avoid leaving the phone in your car overnight.

A properly charged a cell phone battery that never comes to the end of the charging cycle can indicate a counterfeit battery, or a damaged legitimate one. Check your Verizon return policy on defective batteries, you may be entitled to a battery swap if the phone or battery is brand new.

My dog chewed my cell phone antenna. What now?

My Dog Chewed My Cell Phone Antenna!

Dogs lovers know from experience, cell phone antennas are not safe from chewing. Fortunately, cell phone replacement antennas are widely available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Before you order, have a good look at your phone, and then check your tool drawer. You might need a screwdriver to help you replace that antenna. Most people don't own a screwdriver with a head small enough to remove cell phone size screws, you may need to purchase a cell phone repair kit or tool kit to help you perform simple maintenance like cell phone antenna replacement.

Such a simple job shouldn't void the warranty or your Verizon return policy, but always read your cell phone user/equipment guide before trying any do-it-yourself work. If you subscribe to a cell phone insurance plan, re-read your policy. A dog-chewed antenna might qualify for a return or professional repair under the terms of your insurance plan.

How long will my cell phone battery last?

How Long Will My Cell Phone Battery Last?

Have you ever put your phone on the charger at night, only to find it won't turn on the following morning? If you've had that battery for over a year, it may be time for cell phone battery replacement. Check your cell phone user/equipment guide to see if the manufacturer lists a lifespan for your particular battery. If the manual confirms your battery is near the end, you have your answer.

If you can't get an answer from the cell phone user/equipment guide, there is a very handy Internet guide at This guide lists cell phone battery lifespan information for most major brands. It's handy for troubleshooting your old battery, and also for figuring out when your cell phone battery replacement will itself need replacing.

What is the difference between a locked keypad and a locked cell phone?

Locked Phones Vs. Locked Keypads

One common cell phone problem is the non-working keypad, but before you start re-reading your Verizon return policy, check to make sure your keypad is unlocked. A "locked" keypad keeps you from accidentally dialing numbers while the phone is in your pocket.

Some people get the locked cell phone keypad issue confused with a "locked" cell phone. These locked cell phone complaints usually happen when a customer buys a phone without subscribing to a plan at the same time. Many cell phones have a computer chip which only allows them to be used with a particular cell phone provider and requires activation. A locked keypad is easily fixed with a quick look at the cell phone user/equipment manual to learn your phone's unlock procedure. A locked cell phone requires you to sign up for cell phone service.

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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.