Value of a non-functioning 2012 MBA

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by grizfan, May 17, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #1
    So my wife spilled a drink on her 6 month old MacBook Air (2012, 4GB/128GB 13.3" model). right on top of the keyboard. She turned it off right away, and we are in the process of drying it, but it was almost certainly ruined. Since she had projects she needed to complete, we purchased a replacement already, and hope to offset some of that cost by selling the dead MBA for parts/etc on eBay.
    Nothing got on the screen, so that looks to be intact. I've looked at MBA screens on eBay, trying to get a fair/reasonable starting point for a price. Am I out of line in hoping to get $400 for this MBA? the screen seems to be intact, and the case is in pristine shape.

    thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    #2
    You might want to get a quote on a repair first. If the logic board is ok then a repair may not be so bad.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    canman4PM

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Kelowna BC
    #3
    Agreed. I'd at least look into the cost of repair. If it is repairable (and relatively cheap to do so) you can almost certainly get much more for a functioning unit than the repair would cost.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #4
    Buy isopropyl alcohol, open it, get the logic board out and clean it, many times you can get it to work again.
    I had a leak in our house last week, LG tv would not switch on, I cleaned the board with isopropyl alcohol and it worked again, then I saw the water also got into the LCD, opened it, got all the sheets (diffuser and polariser) out, dried it and it is OK now.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #5
    The guy at the Apple store took it apart and said that the liquid soaked all the way down to the bottom of the case. In fact, there was still some liquid when he removed the bottom portion of the case. The quoted cost of the repair was $750, but it was his opinion that we would have a slim chance of a successful repair, given the amount of liquid spilled.
    I'm certainly not opposed to trying the repair route (even on my own), but from what the Apple store guy said, it doesn't look like the odds are in our favor. Also, I'd hate to spend any more money.
    If I'm not able to revive it, any thoughts on a reasonable asking price?

    thanks!
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    #6
    Make it a lesson learned and throw it in the trash and be done with it. No one is going to buy it AND spend $750 to fix which cost as much if not more then a brand new one.
     
  7. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #7
    Seems you never been on Ebay, there are some crazy bids there, even on completely dead computers, hell, I once saw a bid of $290 for an iMac Box not too long ago!
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    iAppl3Fan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    #8
    That's funny. I'm sure the buyer will feel scammed once he realize he didn't read the description carefully and bought an empty box. Either way the buyer would be protected.
     
  9. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #9
    This was not a scam, he clearly stated it was empty!
    This though was an extreme case, there are plenty of high bids on non working computers.
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    #10
    Did the Apple Store Genius quote for damaged parts or just told you the worse case scenario?

    You would be better off going for Evaluation as to the exact parts that have been damaged. You may get away with having just the top case (with keyboard) replaced. Does the Magsafe 2 power adapter light up when plugged in? If it does and the computer does not turn on then it may only be the top case that is faulty.

    ALSO:
    The display could be damaged at the connector to the logic board if it was powered on at the time of the liquid spill even though the LCD may look alright. It would not be a good idea to sell the parts for a fixed price unless you can verify if they work or not. This is true for the SSD, Airport/Bluetooth board and I/O board.

    Some Apple Stores will properly triage the damage and quote ONLY for parts that need to be replaced. They do not always charge you for that service if you chose not to go ahead with the repair either. The price of repair may be less than you anticipated if it is just a top case (and I/O board).
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #11
    The guy at the genius bar seemed pretty convinced, given the amount of liquid he saw remaining inside the case, that any attempt at a repair would be a long-shot at best. Sounds like a worst-case scenario estimate. Should I have it sent off to the repair depot any way in order to get a precise diagnosis?

    We haven't even tried to do anything with it since the accident in order to give it maximum drying time. It has been about 10 days now, so I might try to hook up the magsafe power adapter to see if we at least get a light there (good tip, thanks!).
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #12
    Actually, there is a thriving business parting out computers for people needing to repair damaged computers. These are clearly labeled and categorized as non-functional/for parts.

    I was able to do some additional research, and it looks like several i5 MBAs have sold on eBay with liquid damage for around $400, with some going as high as $600.

    In each of the sold listings I found, the seller clearly and repeatedly marked the item as spill-damaged and for parts, so no reasonable person should be surprised by their purchase.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    #13
    Just as a heads-up, the presence of water alone does not mean immediate liquid damage. The design of the unibody MacBook Air is such that the top case takes most of the brunt. if you are unlucky, liquid can seep through both ends of the clutch cover taking out the i/O board first. Inside there are some Liquid Spill indicators. They are on the logic board, top case, underside of I/O board cable and near trackpad.

    The Apple Retail store staff would err on the side of caution when dealing with liquid damage and due to time constraints, may not have given the true cost of the repair. It is quite easy to attempt power-on at the logic board first to see if it works assuming no obvious liquid damage. Depot repair may mean paying for parts not needed or the repair being deemed as uneconomical unless it is clear cut what is wrong
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #14
    update

    Hi - I thought I'd post an update, just in case it might help someone else down the road. So... we let the MBA sit for 2 full weeks without even trying to turn it on. Today, I plugged in the power adapter, and saw a green light when plugged into the MBA. Much to my surprise, it booted! It runs great, with one important exception: it looks like the battery may be toast. I'm getting a "replace battery" message, and it will not take a charge. Perhaps there is a fuse of some sorts that blew to save the rest of the computer, not sure... I will take it back to the Apple store tomorrow for further investigation. I'm really happy to see the MBA book, and with a little luck (and a little cash) I can get the battery restored. At that point, I will sell on eBay (and yes, I will still disclose the spill, I don't want to stick someone else with my problem). Still, the cost of that mistake just went down...
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    #15
    $0.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #16
    Very helpful... Apparently, you are not familiar with eBay. There is a market.
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    #17
    You didn't read the comment by the genius describing both the extent of the damage, the cost to repair it, and the uncertainty that the $750 would fix it.

    Some of us don't like to pawn off junk onto a buyer.
     
  18. macrumors 603

    justperry

    #18
    If I were you I would still open it and clean the Logic board with Isopropyl Alcohol, it works now but wait until the corrosion sets in, many times they will die later on.
     
  19. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #19
    If it is clearly marked and correctly described then it isn't junk. Someone who makes money by refurbishing Macs will take that unrepairable Mac and take the parts that they want. Someone might have a Mac with a broken case, and this water damaged Mac will have a perfectly fine case that can be used to replace the broken one. The people bidding on it will know "lots of water damage means case is fine, screen is fine, keyboard will be fine after thourough cleaning, hard drive may or may not be fine after thourough cleaning" and so on.

    As an example, posted in a completely different place: Someone bought a 50" TV, it fell, the metal frame broke. Quoted several hundred pounds for repair. He bought an identical TV on eBay with broken screen for £50 and transferred the frame.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #20
    Thanks, I will do that. I just need to track down the right size pentalobe screw driver to open it up. I'll also verify the battery connections and replace the battery if needed...
     
  21. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    #21
    Exactly... I've been watched completed/sold auctions on eBay, and there are definitely people interested in buying damaged equipment, often as a way to repair their own gear. They are clearly labeled as such. eBay even has a condition label "For parts or not working", and the sellers clearly state the problem with the computer.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    Apple has a fixed price for batter replacement. I think $129 if I remember right.

    /Jim
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    blesscheese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Central CA
    #23
    Smart and patient! I didn't bother posting at the time, didn't think I needed to (and with your outcome, it didn't matter) but the thing to do (after immediately shutting down & disconnecting all power!) is to use the "bag of rice" trick." Google it...

    I'm thinking you could still get a couple of years out of it...
     
  24. macrumors 603

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #24
    I don't think it's a big deal if he isn't misleading about its condition. If it was me, I wouldn't set a high minimum bid or anything. If someone can scavenge parts, good for them.
     
  25. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    #25
    Okay, okay. :)

    $20.
     

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