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Repair and disassembly information for the second-generation iPhone SE that was announced and released in April of 2020.

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Phone keeps restarting after battery & lightning assembly replacement

Device: iPhone SE 2020 126 GB, iOS 15.4.1 (I think)

Issue: Phone turns black and restarts every few minutes after replacing battery and lightning port assembly.

Back story and tried solutions:

My headphones kept losing connection when plugged into the lightning port (especially when the phone was in my pocket and I made certain movements like walking up stairs or cycling) and after replacing headphones twice and cleaning out the lightning port thoroughly I decided to replace the lightning port assembly, and while at it I also decided to replace the battery. I used the guides here on ifixit.

The replacements seemed to work fine and the phone and all its functions worked without a problem. The only issue (which renders the phone unusable) is that the screen turns black and the phone restarts after using it for a few minutes. This happens both when connected and not connected to power and seems to happen no matter what I do with the phone. Airplane mode or removing SIM-card tray does not resolve the issue. However, the phone does not seem to keep restarting if it is locked and not being used.

I suspected a bad battery and switched back to the old apple battery. Same issue, phone works perfectly but keeps restarting.

I DFU-reset the phone in case it was a software issue but the issue prevails.

There are two known hardware issues that occurred during my replacements:

  • I lost one of the tiny 1,3 mm phillips screws to the upper bracket covering the upper front panel connector, but the bracket keeps snug with the remaining screws and I doubt this would affect anything.
  • While replacing the battery for the second time I got impatient and was too rough and probably damaged the wireless charging coil beneath the battery, but this occurred after the issue started.

Is there any other solutions I could try? Any specific hardware that I could trouble shoot? When replacing the lightning port assembly almost all components were removed so could be anything, but I feel like I managed to put everything back together where it should. The thing that was really tricky was to get the little coax connector of the antenna convertor cable to fit on the new lightning port assembly, but it seemed to fit just fine and wifi and 4G still works perfectly.

I don't think any repair shops will take my phone, much less any apple-certified technicians and can't get any money for it so at this point my only solution is to toss it and get a new phone... A pity since it is still quite new and worked perfectly apart from the headphones issue. :(

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On iPhones released after the iPhone X there is a sensor on the charging port flex that communicates with the CPU. If this sensor is damaged or missing (as it may be on poor quality 3rd party parts), the device will reboot itself every 2 minutes and 50 seconds if the screen is on (it won't reboot while locked). Since you replaced the lightning port here I suspect this is the issue. To verify this issue you can check the panic logs (search "Analytics" in settings, look for a file called "panic-full-xxx.ips" under Analytics Data).

See this question for more information (different model, but same issue).

The good news is that your phone is not toast and you haven't done anything irrepairable, the bad news is that you will probably need to replace your charging port again.

As for the other issues you mentioned: the phone will function perfectly fine if you forgot one of the screws for the bracket. It's best to put everything that was in the phone back the way it was but one missing bracket screw is not the end of the world and shouldn't cause issues. Regarding the charging coil, you can check whether the phone wireless charges still. If it does you're all good. Small scrapes to the black part should not affect the functionality. If the flex was torn or the part where the flex is soldered to the pad was damaged or disconnected, then wireless charging may be affected. However neither of these issues will cause the rebooting.

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Thank you! Thank you! This is very helpful and brings faith back in my ability to fix stuff! The panic logs are full of "panic-full-xxx.ips"... And it restarts on the clock after 2 min and 50 s!

This makes me quite disappointed at the retailer that sold that part, they usually have good stuff... Can see if I can get at least some money back from them... They market it as for the iphone 8 and iphone SE 2020, so I guess this sensor was not needed for the iphone 8?

Any suggestions for how to identify that 3rd party lightning port assembly has the sensor or not? Or any way to move the sensor from the original, I really have no clue what it would look like? I could aways put the assembly back but then I still have the issue I was trying to solve...

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@Cedric Åkermark Check the information in the panic logs themselves. I know it seems like a lot of information, but skim down until you get to the panic string. It will likely make mention of a watchdog timeout or thermalmonitord and indicate a missing sensor. I am not postive about the 2020 SE, but if it's the charger port, the sensor that usually causes this is PRS0 which is the pressure sensor. Could also be mic1, which is the bottom microphone.

This could also be a result of the battery if I recall correctly, just charge port assembly is more common. if it is battery the missing sensor would include TG0B.

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@flannelist Thank you! Very helpful! The missing/faulty sensor seems to be mic1. Is it likely that it is a faulty part, missing a sensor, or more probable that I broke it?

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@Cedric Åkermark Could be either, but replacement dock flex assemblies are notorious for causing this sort of issue due to faulty parts. It's definitely possible that there was damage done when you installed, but it's not my first thought.

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Thank you! You don't happen to have any good suggestions for sites that sell good replacement parts? Am thinking of buying this one, but looks identical to the one I boughts:

https://teknikhouse.se/mobilreservdelar/...

Or this one, but I don't know what the long thin connector on the photo would be:

https://phoneshop.se/product/iphone-se-2...

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Cedric Åkermark zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.
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