How I fixed my Samsung LCD TV

Everyone now can be an expert in anything with the help of the internet. Here’s how I DIY’d my Samsung LCD TV and saved $300 – $400.
The LN series Samsung LCD TV never really powers up instantly even when new. But the time it takes to power up the TV took longer and longer (as long as 10 minutes in some cases). The LED light on the power button would flash with clicking sound. This will eventually lead to your TV not powering up at all. Mind you, the TV is less than 2 years old. Turns out that this is a known problem with most Samsung LCD TVs with model number starting with “LN” and slew of other models as well.
The problem is caused by ‘blown’ capacitors on the power board. Samsung apparently wanted to save 5 cents or so on each capacitor by not using proper ones with ample amount of capacity to handle the load. I haven’t yet found any official recall on this issue. Anyway, legality or corporate greed aside, let’s get to the fun part.

Actually, speaking of legality, I have to mention this one thing: DO NOT attempt this fix yourself if you are not comfortable working with electronics, soldering, or anything that requires delicate, skillful pair of hands. Do not blame me if this doesn’t work for you. This fix worked in my case and I’ll leave it at that. Your TV may or may not have other problems that results in similar symptoms. Okay, now that I got that out of the way…

1. Open up the back panel. There are lots of screws back there. Make sure each and every one of those are out otherwise you’re gonna risk cracking the panel. If you have to force the panel off, chances are you’ve missed a screw or two. The panel should lift off without any resistance once all of the screws are accounted for.

2. Locate the power board. That’s the one pictured below. The area in red is where the problematic capacitors are located. You need to separate the board to work on it. Remove all connectors. (Take a picture if you’re worried that you might not remember how to put those back. But those connectors should fit only one way on specific component only). Remove screws that hold the board onto the TV (along the edge of the board, marked by the black line)

Samsung LCD TV fix - capacitor, power board

3. If you look closely, you’ll see some of the capacitors are bulging on top (normal capacitors have flat top). Some may even have black goo oozing out from the top. These are indications of a blown capacitor. These are dirt cheap. Makes me wonder what Samsung was up to. Higher rated capacitors couldn’t have cost them more than few cents a piece.

Samsung LCD TV power board capacitor closeup

4. On the board, the location numbers are printed for each capacitors. Locate the blown ones that need to be replaced. I had 4 bad ones in my case. I got my capacitors at Radio Shack (1000uf, 35v). The microfarad (uf) is same as the old ones, the 35 volts is higher than one Samsung used, but that’s okay (actually, better).

5. Now you have to desolder the old ones out and solder the new ones in its place. You do this from the other side of the board. The location numbers are printed on the other side too so you can locate them easily. There are number of good soldering tutorials on YouTube, so go watch those first if you never soldered before.
IMPORTANT: Make note of the polarity of the capacitor leads (+, -). The new capacitor should be soldered on the same way. If this is reversed, capacitor will blow within few seconds. The polarity should be marked on the side of the capacitor usually with a stripe with big minus (“-“) sign on the negative side.

6. Once new capacitors are soldered on successfully, put everything back together. Mine worked like a charm and the whole thing cost me less than $10.

[ 25 comments ]

  1. Thank you so much!!! I had the same exact problem, with the same exact capacitors. Went to Radio Shack, bought a soldering kit & capacitors (35 V). I watched a YouTube video on how to de-solder and solder a circuit board and went to work. Holy shmoley, the TV works like a champ. I can’t believe it, Thank You Again!!! My wife certainly can’t believe it, she thinks i’m an electrician now!!

    1. Glad to hear that!
      I was certainly shocked when mine worked. It’s hard to believe that something that would cost hundreds of dollars can be so simple to fix. I’m certainly glad that I saved good chunk of cash but even more satisfying is the sense of achievement and self confidence. And that is priceless. Anyone can be an expert. All you need is a little adventurous spirit and a bit of faith in yourself and your hands. =)

  2. Hi everyone,

    My name is John and I work for a law firm that is investigating complaints of power supply issues with Samsung LCD and plasma TVs. We have spoken with several Samsung TV owners who have similar experiences to the ones described in this post. If you would like to share your story with us to help with our investigation, please feel free to give me a call at the firm’s toll-free number (866) 981-4800 or email me at jwh [at] GirardGibbs [dot] com.

    Thanks,

    John

  3. Thanks so much for info.

    Never soldered anything before, but, courage is a powerful tool.

    Several call/chats with Samsung discovered that they are replacing the capacitors for free if that is only problem. Of course, an independent tech only paid for warranty work is motivated to find other items for profit.

    My location in Ensenada, Mexico also makes connecting with a Samsung tech a challenge.

    I replaced all 7 capacitors myself, though only 3 were bulging. http://www.parts-express was my capacitor source.

    Nice website and work you have. My Jeep Cherokee is a tad behind your Honda at only 202K miles.

    Thanks for info, photos and encouragement. Best wishes.

    Doc Dougherty

  4. You sir are brilliant. I read your post on this website at about 1100 this morning, took my family to Radio Shack, picked up our Christmas tree, put up the Christmas tree, and fixed my TV before 2:30 this afternoon. WOW, thanks for keeping my money in my families pocket just in time for the holidays. BTW, I had 5 capacitors that were bulging/leaking. Oh, and my TV works perfectly now. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR INFORMATION WITH OTHERS!

    Very Respectfully Submitted…

  5. I called samsung support (canada) and they sent a repair man to my house the next day and replaced the motherboard (which had the broken capacitor).
    It was free and toke like 15 minutes, hope it doesn’t break down again cuz its not going to be free anymore =[

  6. Genius! I have no mechanical capabilities what so ever. This website helped tremendously. The only thing I would add is the capacitors are Radial not axial. A very minor detail but I had to return the capacitors back to Radio Shack for that fact. Also make sure you don’t go lower on the rating for degrees in Celsius, if it’s 105c dont get a 85c. $1.75 for 6 capacitors and $6 s/h. Saved easily $120 from preventing the Geek Squad diagnosing the issue let alone the fix. Much appreciated.

  7. Thanks for the tip. Fixed my 32″ — only one capacitor needed replacing, but I don’t use this particular TV much.

    One thought: The phrase “remove all connectors” is a bit of an understatement. Some of them are stuck on the power board really tightly and will require a certain amount of force to get off.

    Highly recommend the use of blunt needlenose pliers for this — grab the sides and pull straight up.

    If you try to do it by hand you can easily rip off one or more of those tiny cables, and then good luck trying to find a replacement connector.

  8. Hi I faced the same problem with my samsung LCD LA40M81BDX / XSA model. I did some tricks as shown on the youtube. It was great that it worked but can anyone help me as what happened I am still unable to hear the sound. The switch on and switch off problem (click power on) is fixed but need to fix the sound problem. Please if anyone can email me on msingh1976@gmail.com with all the details how to do it. Thanks everyone who posted their comments they really help.
    Goodday!!!

  9. I have a Samsung 32″, 2009. Power light flickered, I asked a guy at Sears about it and he said it was an indication of an internal problem and could be easily figured out by a tech. just like a “check engine” light on.

    Well, I left the TV unplugged for a week or so, then plugged that bad boy up….BAM! TV came right on! Cost me a sore back dragging out the old Sony, but no cash. HHHMMM?

  10. My problem sounds a bit different. I have a Samsung LN46A550P3F, and the tv left (viewer right) 1/3 of the screen is filled with multicolor vertical bands–almost looks like a test pattern. Does that sound like a capacitor problem as well? I have never had the on-off, delayed on, or clicking problems which seem to be common complaints! The tv is on the kitchen table and ready to be entered if someone thinks it can be fixed with capacitors and solder . Thanks.

  11. Thank you so much for posting this entry! I found your site by searching on Google for my model of Samsung TV. My TV started clicking and the lower light was blinking like crazy one day after owning the TV for 6+ years, ahhh! I was so frustrated and confused, but your blog entry helped me. My PCB had only 2 of the 1000 uF capacitors in the area your pointed out and both were bulging. The capacitors installed on the PCB were rated for 10V, so I bought the 35V rated capacitors as instructed. I had a skilled person at work do the soldering for me and voila! My TV works again, wahoo! Thanks again for your blog entry!

  12. Awesome tutorial!

    I came into possession of a 47″ model that had a ver different power management board, but this guided me directly to the source of the same problem. Thanks so much–your guidance, five years later, is not obsolete! (Though the TV may be. 😉

  13. There was a class action lawsuit requiring Samsung to repair this problem free of charge. I fixed my TV myself when I first had issues, but the second time I contacted Samsung and they paid to have it repaired. A local company was contracted and they came to my home and fixed it.

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