MacBook Air coffee spill

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Ediy, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    #1
    So my new MBA 2013 is not turning on, nor is it charging after it had been slightly soaked in some coffee this afternoon...By soaked I mean- the inside fabric of my backpack had been apparently dampened by some coffee on the floor and my MBA was in my backpack and I guess it also got wet. The back of of my macbook air (the part black part in the back) was a little wet but I quickly wiped off the outside part with water and dried it. It couldn't have been in my bag for more than 30 minutes before I noticed, which I know is a long time but I'm trying not to make myself feel worse...

    Is my macbook air completely fried? Is there any hope left? It breaks my heart that this is happening because I have had this for less than 3 months and my clumsiness had wasted so much money :(

    Should I take it to the Apple Store and see what they can do? I'm not sure whether I should be truthful or lie to them about the incident
     
  2. macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #2
    Oh, by all means lie to them. :rolleyes: Good grief.

    Do a search here at MR for tips on what and what not to do in case of a spill. Powering it on while still wet is on the "what not to do" list.

    I usually don't start a post with a sarcastic comment, but I just can't believe the number of people who think lying about accidental damage is the correct path to take. (Not to mention, that in the case of liquid damage, they will know. There are many liquid detectors "sprinkled" throughout the MacBook.)
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    #3
    Well I guess I should know that honesty is the best policy...
     
  4. macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    ~119W 34N
    #4
    Just so you know, I don't think anyone hasn't had their little lies/fibs (including myself).

    But, i do think trying to hide known damage to the MBA crosses the "line". It will hurt not only Apple, but the customer will ultimately bear the brunt through higher prices and more restrictive service policies (the techs do have some leeway when it comes to damaged products though). Of course, lower margins, less profit, will not make us shareholders happy either.

    Hope your MBA recovers, or at least has minimal damage.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #5
    If it only got wet as you described, it is very repairable.
    Maybe only a few $'s via ebay parts
    Did you pay with a major credit card? As many of them offer warranties that you may be-able to use.

    Bring it into apple and have them take a look, Apple will NOT offer simple component replacement repair most of the time, yet if it does not show liquid damage as there ARE many sensors within to reflect moisture they may cover it under warranty. Just maybe it had little or nothing to do with the coffee
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    #6
    Would if be pointless if I were to take it to open it up and clean it myself (wipe up any coffee residue there may be or something)? If the coffee were to have seeped through the fabric into my macbook would there be a way for me to see that the sensors had detected liquid damage?
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #7
    Look for little WHITE dots, these are actually stickers placed in there. There are a couple near the hinge area on the logic board. Then the underside of the battery, there are about four of them.
    I believe there are some on a couple ribbon cables as well, I don't recall all the locations.
    When they get damp, they will turn RED
     
  8. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #8
    And that is why I'm so anal about a good quality keyboard protector on all of my mac portables; that's the infiltration route for most liquids.

    Good protector has saved my bacon on more than one occasion.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    #9
    I'm almost certain the coffee didn't spill in the keyboard, just wet near the hinge area but I guess it could've leaked into the air vent?
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #10
    Guessing you didn't read the OP. It was more of an outer soak probably getting in via the ports. A keyboard protector most likely would have done nothing in this case as it wasn't a spill onto the keyboard.

    If you have the skill OP, open the laptop and look for signs of moisture. Otherwise take it to Apple and play dumb.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    #11
    I opened up my macbook and there are obvious signs of the coffee spill...even one of the indicators had turned red showing there's been some kind of water damage. Should I clean it before I take it into the apple store tomorrow? I'm certain they'll figure it out but not sure if that's help with my process. If I plead my case to apple considering my purchase is considerably recent would they be kind enough to not charge me the full repair cost you think?
     
  12. macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
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    #12
    I wouldn't recommend trying to clean it. If you do, the only way to avoid the possibility of further damage would be to completely remove any parts that were wet. For instance, if it was just the logic board, you could inadvertently kill the display, or Bluetooth/Wifi board, etc.

    Given the coffee came in through the hinge cover area, the BT/WiFi board certainly is in the liquid path. I would guess the logic board next in line. So, at a minimum, those would need to be removed from the case.

    I actually explained the situation to a Genius I know (confirming what I already knew). If you try and make up stories or try to deny something happened, you'll lose the "tie goes to the customer" battle - they will know what happened anyway, even if you don't say a word (especially now that you know at least one moisture sensor has been tripped). They've "been there, done that" and are pretty good at knowing what happened (like opening the case and enjoying that fresh roasted coffee aroma).

    There's no way to predict what they will offer. It might be a plus that it's such a new machine, but it just depends on the person. There's no set rule. For the most part, they will do their best to make you a happy camper. :) Hope you get your MBA back on its feet with the least amount of pain.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    0r30

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #13
    any updates?

    Same issue here.. the inside has small residue marks of coffee but with no sensors turning red.

    I'm bummed since I got this macbook air for my gf back in January...
     
  14. macrumors regular

    cerberusss

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    #14
    Any tips on a good brand and type for the MBA?
     
  15. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #15
    Moshi has the best and thinnest that I've tried.

    BUT..... I also have been messing around on a direct from china site, ali express (sorta like ebay) and found the equivalent for my 11" air for five bucks.

    I don't want to sound like a corporate shill, but I'm starting to LOVE that site for my minor electronics and/or accessories needs.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    cerberusss

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    #16
    I totally agree but I found it a hit and miss affair. I use dx.com for much the same purpose. I've done really well, with extra batteries for an Android phone I owned. But I've gotten other stuff like iPhone chargers that I really didn't trust (flimsy). However the fun of browsing and looking around on these sites is great :)

    If you have a direct link, that would be awesome.
     
  17. Tfb
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    #17
    OP, what happened with your computer?

    Also check the credit card you bought it with (if you did) - some come with short accident warrantees.

    Also, ugh, I am so sorry this happened to you. It really really sucks.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #18
    Question for both of you: Are your MacBook Airs damaged beyond repair? Or did you get a high quote from Apple due to accidental damage? Care to sell it to me as-is? I can even help with data recovery if needed. Get in touch
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    0r30

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #19

    Mine simply just wont turn on at all. I can plug it in and the light turns on the cable but thats it.
     
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #20
    Because of the nature of the way the MacBook Air is built, most components are on a large board called "logicboard" sadly, thats the most expensive part and you will get an out-of-warranty quote for a logicboard repair + possibly a keyboard ++ not sure? Which means well over $1000+.

    At the genius bar, they will flag as "abuse / accidental damage" and upon opening it they'll see some LSI (liquid sensor indictators) small stickers that when come in contact with liquid, turn Red/pink. They also smell and visually inspect everything. I worked directly at the Genius bar for many years.

    Let me know if you're still up to sell me it broken. If not, Good luck!
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #21
    I have seen many not power on and many times it is NOT the main logicboard. Most times it is the Magsafe - I/O board OR the keyboard it self since that is also part of the power on switch system.
    Nonetheless, if those that suffered damage rather not pay Apple's high repair cost or self repair. There are plenty of services that offer repair.
    Or you could sell it via eBay as they sell for rather high $s there for parts or repair.
    You can even have the ssd drive pulled prior to the sale to save any data or to protect data security.
    What I am saying, don't fall for someone low-balling you on the total value of your broken unit as they truly have great value in parts when compared to what Apple will charge to repair. One broken units can cover MANY repairs for other units, therefore the value reflects this.
    When you see that the LCD assembly is worth $300+ usd on eBay
    Working logic-boards $300+ usd eBay, Damaged logic-boards $100+ eBay
    SSD drives $100+ usd eBay and many other parts of the units including body parts.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    0r30

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #22
    Thanks for the info.

    I still haven't taken it to the apple store.. I have opened it and have seen dry coffee on the battery,logic board and memory. After I saw this that is when I knew I'm most likely SOL.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    #23
    I got a MacBook Air working again by cleaning all the corrosion off with 99% alcohol and a kids' toothbrush I bought at the dollar store. I'd also pick up a magnifying glass to really look for trouble spots.

    The keyboard had shorted and a new topcase got the computer booting again, but no battery. Still working on that one. A replacement magsafe board didn't fix that issue, so maybe a new logic board.

    iFixit has a good guide for taking it apart.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #24
    Be very careful with any sort of toothbrush or brush as you can further damage or break traces. Sometimes its best to leave them alone and just dry it out.
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    Steve121178

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, UK
    #25
    Who cares about the shareholders?

    1 logic board is not going to send stock tumbling. Apple budget for warranty repairs and I would bet my life that the money they make from Apple Care more than covers the cost of replacement components. If it didn't then Apple Care would cost more.
     

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