Macair Hinge problem

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by nmourtos, May 27, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    #1
    I have a first gen macair. This morning i opened the lid of the mac and heard a cracking sound. Turned out to be something related with one of the hinges. It seems as though the hinge 'pulled' an underlying piece out of place. Its odd to explain so i took a pic of the problem. I uploaded pics of both hinges, as you can see, the right hinge has something out of place. As of now, if i try to close or open the lid, i can feel tension on one of the hinges and hear a slight cracking, so ill keep it open until i find a solution.

    I guess the question is, is this problem a common issue? Odd thing is, i rarely use the hinges, i rarely open the lid as it rarely leaves my desk so i just leave it open. Its way past warranty, so im guessing my options are to take it to an authorized dealer to fix it, or try it myself. Im a computer engineer, so iv really taken decent care of it, i cant explain why or how this has happened, i hadnt dropped or even picked it up recently.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Messages:
    43
    #2
    Call Apple or visit an Apple store. They will fix this in most cases for free even after warranty.

    Most cases mean, if it is obvious that you dropped your Air they may not.

    There is even a support note about that on their site.

    I just had that done, giving me some more breathing room until an upgrade done comes out.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    #3
    Thanks for the quick response mate, i was going to drop by the app store but am expecting them to say sorry its out of warranty. The good thing is the mac is in quite good condition, no scratches or dents (signs of being dropped etc). I scanned the support section and couldnt find any such notes mentioning this as a possible common issue. But thanks again, ill bring it in later today and update this thread as to what they said.
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    #4
    Hope this helps.

    Resolution
    I've had two macbook airs repaired with this problem for free.


    nexp
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Messages:
    209
    Location:
    Portland, ME
    #5
    My 1st gen air had this same problem a few weeks ago.:eek: It is still under AppleCare and the genius bar sent it out. I had it back in three days, as good as new and covered under warranty. :D
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    #6
    Thanks for all the responses guys. Appreciate it.

    Took it to apple and to my surprise they gave it a glance, and said no problem. 5 hours later and its back with me, at no charge.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    tigres

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    3,592
    Location:
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    #7
    :eek:
    I had no idea they did it in store- that's pretty sweet!!
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    143
    #8
    mine was recently done. it took two days. :) new hinge seems much sturdier
     
  9. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,344
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #9
    I wonder if they have fixed the hinge by using a stronger metal material? I mean the problem is the hinge is aluminum or looks like a light alloy. Maybe they're using steel or a better heat treated alloy to ensure they don't break anymore?

    BTW, are these all rev A MBAs breaking? Or are there v 2,1 MBAs also breaking? I haven't thought of that for a long time and just curious if Apple learned before introducing v 2,1 MBAs?

    I have never had a problem with any of my three MBAs, but I baby the hinge because I wonder if it will break.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    341
    #10
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

    (replying to ExcelonGT) The Air's hinge is aluminum? Really? Have you tested it with a small magnet? Aluminum is a soft metal. Making a hinge out of aluminum... why? To avoid dialectric effect between dissimilar metals, hinge and case? Hmmmm. -------- I would like to see a detailed expert analysis of what exactly happens in what's called the Air's "hinge problem". Has any been published? The various photos and videos show that the case area that the hinge arms anchor INTO gets pried apart.(?) Are the upper and lower slabs, when made of a softer metal, harder to fasten together? Apple needs a testing machine to open and close an Air thousands of times to suss out this problem.... if they aren't already using one.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    tigres

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    3,592
    Location:
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    #11
    1/4 inch play +

    Will they want to repair before a break on a screen with some significant play?
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    16
    #12
    My hinge just broke, I have a rev. B MBA. Apple store guy said that they would replace it with one that is stronger... But who knows if he knows what he is talking about. Suffice to say I need to get it fixed and hope it doesn't happen again.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    ouimetnick

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,353
    Location:
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    #13
    I doubt they fixed the issue. They said the palm rest cracking issue was fixed on the 13" MacBook pre unibody. Then they replace the top pannel with a "thicker" one. Well that cracks too, so they probably find it cheaper to screw the customer, and replace the faulty part with another faulty part that will fail the way.
     
  14. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,344
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #14
    Agreed. Nice assessment.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    andreab35

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    823
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    Mine just broke yesterday. I just opened the lid and CRACK! The left back hinge pops out and cracks the plastic. I can't even open the lid all the way
    I'm bringing it to the Genius Bar in an hour, so I'll see what they say. I'm getting a little panicked because mine is our of warranty and I can't afford for repair or a new laptop at the moment.
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    ouimetnick

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,353
    Location:
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    #16
    Its a known defect. Apple states they will fix it even if you are out of warranty. If they give you trouble show them the Apple KB article below.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ts2948

    Let us know what they say and what they do.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    andreab35

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    823
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    ^ Thank you for that!
    I didn't get a hard time at all. The Genius Bar person smiled and said, "We'll take care of you. Can you live without your baby for 5-7 days?"
    Thank goodness it's an issue that won't cost me anything. Phew! Now I have to work of Windows for a week. I already miss my Mac!
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    andreab35

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    823
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    Just to update some of you, I got my MacBook Air back... finally! Working with Windows on the desktop here at home is like pure torture!

    My hinges are back to normal. From the OP's pictures, my hinges were originally worse. The whole thing popped out and was falling part. They replaced that whole thing for me. But when I looked at my laptop, I was like, "Wait, this looks a little different."

    When I read the repair statement sheet, not only did I get the hinges replaced, but also a new display bezel, new casings, new cables, and a new hard drive because it was apparently defective? Hmmmm.

    All my data is gone, but I had backed up half of it before I shipped it out for repair. Oh well. Good lesson learned.

    At least everything was free although I don't even have a warranty anymore. :rolleyes:
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    341
    #19
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

    I'd love to see a picture of the broken hinge, outside of the notebook. Perhaps someone could persuade the store to return the broken part, as a souvenir? Or some repair technician could pass one along to a friend, who could then post a photo online? ------ I'm a bit of a hinge-ologist. But I still am not clear on, is it the actual hinge that breaks, or the stuff around it? I once found a laptop hinge in an online hardware catalog... I think they were way under $3. (before any quantity discount). IMHO, if Apple can afford glass staircases, they can afford to redesign the MacBook Air so that the hinges or surrounding areas don't break. ------ Jobs and VP for design Jonathan Ive need to get a huge number of folks sending polite but embarassing e-mails saying: "The Air isn't 'mobile' if it isn't durable."
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    andreab35

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    823
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    I found this picture online, and this is close to what my hinge looked like broken.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    341
    #21
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

    andreab35: It's clear from pictures like this that the area around the hinge is damaged. But what I'm wondering is -- is that visible damage the result of the unseen hinge "part" failing? Or is that visible damage 100% of what's damaged? By "hinge" I mean the little metal pivoting part hidden inside... it may be a tiny cylinder with little flat "arms" radiating from it. ..... I am wondering -- What fails first? The aluminum parts that we see, or the hinge part hidden inside? Is the unseen hinge loosening up, wobbling, and eventually ripping the visible metal parts apart... or letting them "bind" (scrape against each other) where they used to close perfectly? Or is the (unseen) hinge still OK, and it's just been used so much that the "hinge arms" begin to PRY the surrounding visible case materials apart, acting like a tiny crowbar? ---- After the repair, is the notebook easier OR harder to open and close, compared with before it broke?
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    andreab35

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    823
    Location:
    USA
    #22
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

    When the hinge first went, the inside silver cylinder part was sticking out from the bottom. I closed the display and opened it again to then encounter the hinge ripping through and cracking the front. From there I could barely open the display.
    Now, everything is much better. With the hinge replacement, everything feels a lot sturdier and doesn't seem as fragile to me.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    341
    #23
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

    Hmmmm. And "the little silver cylinder" itself didn't seem damaged, just shifted in location? I take it then that one or more of the hinge "arms" was letting this shift happen... either by bending, or prying the solid alum. pats apart, or by losing its attachment to the solid alum. case. I sm not sure yet, but it sounds like perhaps the aluminum case in this thin version, is not the easiest thing to attach a hinge to. ---- The report from the guy who had 2 Airs in a row with this problem, is particularly scary. Air isn't supposed to break!
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Messages:
    377
    #24
    I'm not sure the new hinge any stronger.

    I have a rev A and had the hinge problem after a year and a half of ownership.

    Following repair, it lasted about a year before the hinge broke again yesterday, less than a year later.
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,966
    #25
    I opened one recently.

    The hinge is, in fact, a C-shaped "clamp" that fits over and rides along a solid cilinder. Imagine a hand holding a Pringles can, hah.

    It was very loose and wobbly. When I got to the hinges, the C was cracking at the point farthest from the gap, the arch of the C. Imagine releasing your grip on that can of delicious Original Pringles...

    And that's how MacBook Airs are born...

    Would you like a diagram? XD
     

Share This Page