On the Fly Fixes - Short Term Repairs For a Broken Suitcase
It can happen when you least expect it. You’re packing to head home from your trip when the zipper gets stuck, the wheels won’t budge, or the handle detaches. When replacing your luggage isn’t an option, what can you do?
Don’t let a suitcase snafu derail your plans. Instead, try these quick Travelpro luggage repairs below or check out our instructional videos for a step by step tutorial.
How To Fix A Zipper On A Suitcase
Can you replace a zipper on a suitcase? Yes, but a luggage zipper repair may be a better choice. Before swapping out the zipper, assess what could be causing the issue and try that fix first.
A broken zipper pull. If your zipper pull snaps off from aggressive handling or an accidental tumble, thread a strong ribbon, paper clip, keychain, or safety pin through the hole where the zipper pull should be. Travelpro’s SUPRA™ zipper heads are engineered to resist damage and loss, so be sure you are buying quality luggage to avoid this mishap altogether.
Zipper stuck on fabric. Stuck zippers can be infuriating. Try wiggling the zipper slider to free it from the fabric. If it remains stuck, use a pair of tweezers to pull away the blockage.
- Teeth don’t connect. If the zipper doesn’t appear to be stuck on fabric but it just won’t move, there could be a problem with the teeth. In this case, rub some candle wax or bar soap over the teeth to help them slide back together.
How To Fix A Suitcase Handle
One of the most revolutionary suitcase features is the retractable top handle, which was invented by Travelpro founder Robert Plath. How did we survive without it? No need to find out.
A stuck handle. When a handle isn’t sliding up and down as it normally does, it may simply need to be lubricated with WD-40 or a similar product that will help the metal move smoothly again.
- Sometimes, the handle can feel stuck when the bag is overpacked and there is too much pressure on the inner tubes. Lighten the load a little and try the handle extension again.
- If it turns out you need to replace the carry handle on your luggage, check out our video tutorial for step by step instructions.
How To Fix Suitcase Wheels
Don’t get slowed down by a stuck wheel. While you could take your luggage to a suitcase repair shop or order new wheels and change them yourself, check for the following issues before trying replacements:
- Dirty wheels. When traveling, your wheels can pick up dust, dirt, or other debris that can cause them to stick. Try cleaning the wheels and wheel housings to see if this solves the problem.
- Worn-down hardware. Wheels that are turning to the side are an indicator that a screw is either loose or stripped. In this case, just switch out or tighten the hardware that’s holding the wheels in place.
Maintaining Your Luggage
To keep your wheels, handle, and zipper functioning properly, avoid over packing. Squeezing too much into a small suitcase creates stress on its components. When not in use, store luggage flat or nested and don’t stack other objects on top, possibly misshaping the bag.
Cheaply made suitcases are less likely to last and rarely offer warranties, which can cost you more long-term. Instead, invest in a trusted brand like Travelpro for lasting durability with peace of mind guarantees.