G5 PowerMac coolant leak

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by spitfirejd, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #1
    My G5 2.5GHz DP Powermac started making rattling noises and then the fans starting periodically running wild. I thought to reboot the computer to the DVD and repair permissions, but when I tried it wouldn't boot. Normally I just put it to sleep at nights and rarely shut it down or reboot, so who knows how long this problem has been brewing. Anyways, I took it to the Apple store yesterday and when they opened it up you could see coolant leaking from under the panel that covers the CPUs. Not good! The Genius went and got a repair tech to look at it as well. He said if it is the coolant system, it would cost me half the cost of a new computer to fix it :eek: That's at least $1,000 to fix a leak! My plumber doesn't charge that much and he makes house calls.

    They're going to take it apart and call me back in a couple of days, but the prognosis isn't good and there is no way I'm going to pay that much to fix a 4 year old computer, and I can't afford $2K+ to buy a Mac Pro. Fortunately, I have a 24" iMac and 2 older Powerbooks around so I don't really need to replace it, although I will miss the fast graphics of the Powermac. The iMac graphics card leave a lot to be desired (NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT). Other than salvaging my hard drive, I really don't know what to do with it. It is a very expensive boat anchor now. I thought I might be able to find a buyer for the 3.5 GB of RAM and maybe the Superdrive, but other than that it is pretty much useless. :mad:
     
  2. Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #2
    You should press for a warranty repair.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #3
    I would ask apple to repair it or give you a base model mac pro.

    Leaking this early is unacceptable warannty or not.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #4
    I thought I remember seeing/hearing/reading about the leaks of the liquid-cooling G5s and that how Apple would repair them for free, even off warranty because of it being a widespread issue. Then again they may no longer cover it as their extended warranty program might have expired.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #5
    Since it has been out of warranty for 3 years, I highly doubt they will cover the repairs or replacement. They did mention they'll waive the $85 diagnostic fee if I buy another Mac, but I don't really see me doing that right now.

    Edit: ORANGEsvtguy beat me to the post. I'll ask them about that when they call me back. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #6
    If it really comes down to push vs shove, offer to cover labour if they'll cover parts. I've seen that sort of arrangement happen many, many times in my career when I was a service technician for expensive out of warranty jobs.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #7
    Who would have the authority to authorize that? Would someone there at the Apple Store be able to compromise or would I have to call Apple Support? Would the latter be able to authorize a store to comp the repair?
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #8
    call applecare if somone says they won't cover it, ask to talk to somone else.

    Tell them you think it's dangerous, tell them your worried it might damage stuff in your house also tell them that you are worried if you pay to fix it that it will leak again.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #9
    xlr8yourmac has an extensive section on cooling system leaks in G5 liquid cooled systems that you should spend some time reading through, as it is reports from a lot of users that have experienced that very problem. Many have managed to get their systems replaced with Mac Pros as a direct exchange, while others have not, so you should read to see what has worked for some people. The reports page is at liquid cooling system leak reports. Good luck with it!
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #10
    True True. Read it.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #11
    Awesome! Thanks for the link, I'll check it out after work today.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #12
    if it turns out that you decide not to repair it, email me with a price, ill take it im very interested.

    am253@comcast.net
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    #13
    I had a same G5 as you, it had mild leakage. They refused to repair it for free. You have to try your luck.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #14
    Unfortunately, mine is more than minor leakage. I checked out the link above to xlr8yourmac.com and read the posts with great interest. I just called the Apple store and of course the tech support option forwards you to AppleCare. The guy there called my local store and said they will call me tomorrow with the status and an estimate. I told him I was interested in paying anything for the repair and he gave me the company line about "if it is a known issue then Apple may do something yadda yadda yadda..." I told him it was definitely a known issue and I'm surprised he hadn't heard about it. Turns out he's only been working there for a month. Just my luck. I'll plead my case with the Apple Store tomorrow. There are definitely some good tips on the blog above. Hopefully I can get them to work for me. A lot, but not all, of the people contributing have been able to get either free repairs or a free Mac Pro. One guy got a new 8-core Xeon for the $800 quoted for repairs.
     
  15. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #15
    Whoa... I wish I were that lucky. :p
     
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #16
    Update

    I just got off the phone with Apple and they have declared my G5 "uneconomical to repair." The leak destroyed both processors and cooling systems (it's actually all one unit apparently), the logic board (motherboard), power supply, and even the case (corrosion). The grand total estimate comes to $2,889. More than both the original cost of the G5 and the cost of the base Mac Pro. When I told the guy at the Apple Store that this is a fairly common, known problem he dutifully gave me the Apple party line that it is actually quite rare and he has only seen two cases of this at his store. No help there.

    I then called AppleCare and the help desk guy listened politely to my sob story about how I can't afford $3,000 for a new computer and I can't run Aperture on my G4 Powerbook but I have a wedding and an anniversary party that I have to process the images for, etc (all true, BTW). He was nice but couldn't help me and passed me on to a Product Specialist. I repeated my plea and she was also polite but couldn't do anything but pass me to a Customer Relations person. He was a very helpful fellow and after he put me on hold a bit while he consulted with his superior, he came back with a very generous offer.

    He offered to either repair the G5 under warranty (I declined as I didn't want a repeat of this incident, which could have been worse if the coolant had leaked out of the case or set the power supply on fire) or he would replace it with a new Mac Pro. I took the later! They are sending me a brand new Mac Pro with a single 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor, 2GB RAM, 320 GB 7200 RPM SATA HD, 16X Superdrive and the NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT video card with 512MB, which I paid an extra $150 to upgrade to. Basically, it is the lowest configuration of Mac Pro, but it is a far sight more powerful than what it replaced so I certainly am not going to complain about that! He did give me the option of upgrading to two 2.8GHz Quad processors for $500, but I don't think I'll be taxing the quad-core anytime soon and I really don't have the extra money to spend on it right now anyways. I'll get a couple of GB more of RAM from a third-party vendor and be very happy.

    It sucks that my G5 died and the timing wasn't great, but at least Apple stepped up to the plate and made everything right. It took about an hour on the phone but was well worth not taking "no" for an answer from the Apple Store. This type of customer service, as well as a better OS and (usually) better hardware is why I switched to Apple about 8 years ago. I can't imagine getting this kind of service from Dell or Microsoft. Apple can count on me as a loyal customer.
     
  17. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #17
    Nice!

    Though it won't be extremely easy, nor the cheapest way to go, it is possible to upgrade to a second processor later if you so decide. ;)

    CPU can be had fairly easily, and the Apple heatsink can be located at macpalace.com.

    Good luck. :)
     
  18. macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #18
    That is great news indeed (though I have to admit I would have been thrilled to pay the $500 to upgrade the processors now if for no other reason than resale value far down the road- and the fact that the heatsinks and processor are still high, not to mention calibration issues and such. A brand new octo-MP for $500? Sign me up! :D), but that is a great offer they made to you at no charge! Hard to imagine a Dell/Acer/HP type of company standing being the product this far down the road!

    I am really happy that it turned out that way- now I do have one request. Please make it a point to share your success story with xlr8yourmac so that others can benefit from hearing the steps you took to success- and how you had to escalate it up the line to get satisfaction!

    Great news in the end and another reason to love Apple support! :D
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Vulcan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #19
    Awesome, congratulations and enjoy your new Mac Pro!
     
  20. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #20
    I already sent the e-mail :)

    I didn't think about the resale value, but I had the G5 for 4 years and if it hadn't leaked I would have had it for several more. At that rate, one or two processors probably wouldn't make much difference in resale value after 6+ years. Right now, the cash is a little tight so that was more of a concern.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    #21
    The G5 is great but the liquid cooling in the 2.5GHz+ models has always been a major flaw and deal breaker to many people.
     
  22. macrumors member

    FunkyChicken

    Joined:
    May 28, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #22
    Exact same boat!

    OMG spitfirejd! I'm in the EXACT same boat as you: 4-year old G5 PowerMac, 2.5 dual processor, etc., and the liquid cooling pipes exploded just over a month ago. I took it in to my local authorized AAPL repair place. Was given an astronomical quote to repair....and THEN I was told that the liquid has gotten on to the logic board AND the power supply. So basically the entire machine is dead.

    I was just going to replace it with a new one (when the new ones come out hopefully early next year) although I can't really afford it, but reading your story has given me a glimmer of hope that MAYBE I might be able to have mine replaced...if even for a small cost....

    So thank you!!
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #23
    :eek:
    This is how Apple has planned to pry PPC machines out of our hands.:eek:
    :eek:
    Sad, sad, sad. Shame on Apple.:eek:
    :eek:
     
  24. Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #24
    I always follow up a positive experience like this with a letter to the CEO.

    You should too. ;)
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    #25
    so are they making you send back the old g5 unit or how are they gonna handle that?

    good news, thats always fantastic to hear....they sure know how to be great to customers and do good on their warranties.

    :D
     

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