Luggage Repair Tips
Many problems require a luggage repair station to rectify but here are a few repairs most anyone can perform*:
Metal zipper is hard to zip: Rub a wax stick or candle along both sides of the zipper teeth.
Coil zipper has separated: Most are self-repairing. Forcefully push the zipper slide back to its start position. If it easily separates every time you use the zipper, then use a pair of pliers on a wide setting and lightly squeeze both sides of the zipper pull. DO NOT clamp down on the tab or where the tap and slide connect.
Hard-sided luggage is dented: Most hard-sided luggage that has a dent is made of ABS and can be repaired. Manufacturers like Samsonite commonly use ABS in manufacturing luggage. Use a 1600w or higher hair dryer to heat up the area where the dent is. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete this process. DO NOT USE A HAMMER! When the ABS heats up, it will reshape itself to the original position. This technique also can be used to repair white stress marks.
Hard-sided luggage is cracked: These instructions are for ABS shells only. First, follow the step above if the luggage is also dented. Apply an ABS compound, found at your local hardware store, to both sides of the crack. Let it sit, undistrubed, overnight. Repeat for an added layer of strength.
Combination lock is stuck: This is usually the result of the combination being changed by accident. There are two techniques: 1. Under good lighting, try to view the tumbler (the metal action underneath the wheel) by looking down the crack between the wheel and the lock casing. While turning the wheel, notice any flat area or notch. That will either be the number for that wheel or you may have to go 5 digits from that number. 2. Use the same technique as above, only using the corner of a thin piece of metal (like copper sheeting) down the crack to feel the tumbler.
Wheels: While most wheel repairs must be done by an authorized repair station, there are some manufacturers that produce consumer-friendly wheels that anyone can replace. Most Travelpro luggage, for instance, uses a screw-and-bolt construction that allows the customer to replace a wheel using a normal screwdriver. Swiss Army brand Victorinox also uses this feature. Those wheels may be replaced using a hex key or Allen wrench.
Handle system is difficult to operate: This may be a serious issue or a simple fix. Try using WD40 or Vaseline on the tubing of the handle system. If you notice rubbing or worn marks on the tubing, it may be slightly bent. Although not recommended, you may try to bend it back yourself**. Be very careful and only do it slightly to avoid making the problem worse. Try to align the worn mark on the tubing to the entry point before putting pressure on the handle. 80% of them will need to bend away from the case.
**Not recommended for novices.
Also see: Longevity Tips.
*LuggageBase.com recommends that our customers use an authorized repair station to fix any repair problems that might arise. We do not take responsibility for any damages a consumer may cause by administering their own repairs.
For a listing of manufacturer warranty and repair numbers, click here.