11" Macbook air with liquid damage, advice needed.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by daonesteven, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. daonesteven macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #1
    So last night, I spilled about a half cup of milk over my macbook air near the hinge area (had a keyboard cover but nothing protects the hinge/grills) and milk definitely got into the back vent and into the system. The laptop turned off within seconds on its own and I basically tried my best to wipe the milk off and dry it out. I haven't turned it on since because I knew that's never a good idea so it's in a V position with the vent pointed downwards, so now it's a waiting game to see if it'll even turn on.

    I realize it's likely that the logic board fried (or worse) but I'm trying to see if at least my hard drive would be salvageable, because honestly, that's more important right now and of course, this means I didn't back up either. How likely is it that the hard drive would get destroyed in a process like this? No milk got in through the keyboard but solely through the back vents but the laptop did shut off on its own just about immediately so I don't know if the hard drive would have been affected.

    Also, any idea how much a logic board replacement itself costs at the apple store? I'm probably just gonna have to buy a new one altogether, maybe if the hard drive is salvageable then I could just purchase the cheaper 11" and they could swap it for me?

    Any other helpful advice would be awesome. It breaks my heart that I had a black macbook for 4 years and never experienced a spill and then when I own a macbook air for 2 whole months, I pull this stunt. And this seriously couldn't have come at a worse time.
     
  2. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030

    wrinkster22

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    well You could open up your air (you need to get a pentalobal screw driver though). Since you have an 11' air you have a ssd not a HD. You can actually remove your ssd and get an enclosure. [Here is some info and video: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Aura_Pro_Express] You could salvage your data :) After you do that and reinstall your SSD I would take it to apple and explain that you have had a previous computer from apple, and hope they are generous. I is possible they will give you a new one for free.
     
  3. Poopsie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    #3
    Do not turn it on, under any circumstance. Order a pentalobe off Ebay (Like $7). Go to iFixit.com and use the manual to take the computer completely apart. Clean each piece carefully and make sure it is dry. Then, after you have let everything sit for a few days to dry, wait another few days again to make sure it is all dry. Check to see if there is any corrosion on any of the parts. Do a search online to see how to carefully clean those parts without breaking any solder. After you have done all this, then, and only then, can you let the parts sit for a few more days to make sure they are completely dry. Put it all back together and cross your fingers.
     
  4. NikFinn macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #4
    The above advice has been really great.

    This is probably the most important.

    If you think it's just the logic board alone, you could replace it yourself for $500 from iFixIt.

    From Apple, I would guess it would run somewhere near $700 with labor, but that's just a rough guess. Keep in mind that above link is for the Mid-2011, but they sell the Late 2010 as well.

    Best of luck.
     
  5. daonesteven thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #5
    thanks for the super detailed instructions on disassembly but I honestly do not have the time to learn and do all of this as a busy law student, nor the experience. I'm protected under a 90 day protection plan with my American Express so I think I might just go that route and get a repair at the Apple Store. It's been 48 hours since the incident and I guess I'm wondering how much longer I should try to wait before turning it on. I think I'll give it a go tomorrow night (at 72 hours) since I have a Genius Bar appt the next day.

    I'm just really really hoping that my data is still salvageable honestly.
     
  6. NikFinn macrumors 6502a

    NikFinn

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #6
    If you're extremely concerned about your data, the best bet is to get a pentalobe driver and take our your SSD before attempting to power it on. It's a pretty simple procedure, especially compared to changing the logic board.
     
  7. daonesteven thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #7
    so I turned it on just now after 72 hours and it everything seems to be working fine! No issues with it from what I can gather. But I figure the smart thing to do is still take it to the apple store and swap out any parts that the milk got to and make a claim for the repair bill with my amex. It looks fine now but I certainly don't want it to give me more issues down the line and since I'm pretty sure the water indicators are all tripped up now so I won't be able to receive warranty care down the line, so might as well take advantage of this 90 day protection plan...

    If I actually replace the affected parts and pay for them, then they'll reset the water indicators...right?
     
  8. chiamac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    #8
    Stop!

    Do what I did: take it to the Apple store, be upfront and honest about what happened and they will replace damaged components at no charge!

    I got the MBA 2010 in October 2010. Seven months later, I spilled a half cup of hot tea right onto the keyboard, frying the logic board. I searched around to see what others have done and came across reports of Apple taking care of everything for some accidents. Sure enough the genius bar guy said it may cost more than $700 but they would take care of it all since it was still a fairly new purchase. It took just a few days to get the laptop back. Luckily the hard drive was not damaged. I got a brand new keyboard in the process, the other was badly stained with finger oils.

    A friend had his months old iPad 2 replaced for free from a basement flood by going to the Apple store and nearly getting on his knees and being melodramatic and overly apologetic. YMMV.
     
  9. daonesteven thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #9
    well the problem with my situation is that the laptop works fine as intended, as if the spill never happened. So I'd presume it'd be difficult for them to just replace stuff on their own tab.
     
  10. ZipZap macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #10
    I would not take it in...you can always tell AMEX later you spilled something on it.
     
  11. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #11
    Apple's standard rate for a logic board replacement is $755. Some of us have gotten lucky (including me) and had a nice agent at the Genius Bar waive the charges (my guess is that will go away once Apple makes Applecare+ available for Macs). However, for that $755 they will do the works. I spilled a glass of wine on my 2010 MacBook Air, and they replaced the logic board, keyboard, lower case, and some other components. In your case, they might not need to replace the logic board, just clean it. I'd take it in since you never know if something will corrode later. Milk is very acidic.

    If you bought your Air with an AMEX card in the US and it's less than 4 months old, AMEX might cover up to $500 of repairs. It depends on who issued the card and what card you have.

    To your original question, the chance is very good that your SSD is safe. Apple won't make any guarantees, but on mine, when I got it back, I booted it back up and all my data was still there (I had a backup, anyway).

    Also, when I got it back, I looked to see if it was still eligible to add AppleCare, and it was. So I'm guessing that Apple replaced the liquid sensors and "reset" the serial number since it was, for all intents and purposes, a brand new computer.

    ----------

    That would be fraudulent.
     
  12. johnhurley macrumors 6502a

    johnhurley

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #12
    Buy some donuts/bagels and take them with you to the apple store. Geniuses are always hungry.

    Explain what happened nicely and humbly and ask the genius how it should be handled.

    Good things often happen with honesty at the apple store.

    Save the amex possibilities until after you hear what apple has to offer you.

    Just my opinion.
     
  13. molala macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #13
    Amex purchase protection is only good for 90 days (at least here in the UK). So I would have it checked now. If you have problems later because of this spill, it will be nearly impossible to prove that it happened during your coverage period.
     
  14. daonesteven thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #14
    So I went to the apple store today and they opened it up for me and we both found dried milk residue on several areas of the logic board and such. I authorized it for repair for just the logic board for a total of $380, which I plan to claim with my amex and get it reimbursed. I'm still within 90 days so I'm good. The only problem is, I was told that even though the liquid indicators weren't tripped up, they would still have record of this repair and see that it had liquid damage at some point so they might refuse warranty, which while I understood the policy, still felt it was unfair if I had other unrelated problems down the line and couldn't receive warrant care even though I paid to get the damage taken cared of out of pocket.
     
  15. ZipZap macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #15
    Told you not to go.
     
  16. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #16
    How so? Had it needed repairs in the future, Apple would have noticed the residue even if none of the sensors were tripped. Plus, milk is acidic, and it might eventually have led to corrosion. This way, the OP is getting a proper fix and the credit card company is covering the cost.
     
  17. Onyr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Location:
    Kennewick, WA
    #17
    spill disables keyboard only

    Add me to the list of folks who've spilled liquid on their keyboards. I spilled a small amount on my 13" MBA 2011. Only difference in my case is the computer still works fine . . . except NONE of the keys work. Track pad is fine. I've tried the various methods of drying it, but no change. I'm typing this on my Apple wireless keyboard.

    So my Question is, since all the keys are affected, I assume that pinpoints what went wrong. Any different advice/solutions?
     
  18. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #18
    I'd take it in. Since just the keyboard needs to be replaced, I'm guessing it will be considerably less than the $755 that they charge to replace the logic board.
     
  19. daonesteven thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #19
    So I guess I forgot to update this. What happened was that the apple store called me back the next day to inform me that they actually found more damage than they expected and the cost was now the standard $755+tax. I told them I would just go pick it up and purchase a new one and the guy spoke with the store manager and they offered to knock off $255 and repair it for $500+tax. I figured that if they were going to make my laptop whole again and still be able to retain my warranty, then it wouldn't be a smart decision to buy a new one so I went ahead with the repair and got it back this past week. It looks like they replaced all the components that had tripped the liquid indicators, like the logic board, top case, etc. I submitted the ~$524 to AMEX and awaiting their reimbursement now so I guess it all worked out fine.
     
  20. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    i have fixed several (7) macbook pro's and macbook airs i buy off folks with water damaged,

    6 out of these 7 only needed the magsafe (i/o) board replaced on them(including a good logic board cleaning).

    it is usually the first thing to go when water hits ANY component.


    the magsafe / i/o board can be had on ebay for 30-80$ , I'm typing on a 2011 i5 mabook air i purchased for $220 from a guy who just replaced with a new one and i bought the 80$ i/o board and it works fantastic.

    macs are actually quite easy to repair from water damage(even with direct liquid to the board).


    ps. anything on ebay claiming they can repair water damaged logic boards are complete bs. , they can't, i have sent them several boards and none every came back with repairs on them.
     
  21. Onyr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Location:
    Kennewick, WA
    #21
    Thanks MacMod...

    That's encouraging. You should give us a mini seminar :)

    I went ahead and bought a new MBA 13". But I'd like to repair mine that mainly has a nonfunctioning keyboard, and some funny noises and turns on mysteriously when caressed in a certain way.

    Would make a nice gift or good back up.
     
  22. molala macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #22
    Thanks for the update! Glad that it all worked out and you still have your warranty. Did you have to get repair approval from Amex first?

     
  23. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #23
    yep , sounds like a easy fix, the magsafe board in that is definitely bad.

    the magsafe board will make noises and turn on randomly when bad, a big giveaway is a very dim green power light on magsafe cord when plugged in.

    the noise is most likely from a failing component in the magsafe board.

    the keyboard would have to be replaced , but thats no biggie.
     
  24. daonesteven thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #24
    well from the consumer standpoint, that's what's recommended because you'd ideally want to know if you can get it reimbursed before paying to fix it. But I didn't have time since I have law school finals in a couple weeks and couldn't wait around to get it fixed so I just went ahead with the repair and after it was done, I sent in the repair statement. I guess I was lucky in that regard, since AMEX then went ahead and reimbursed my repair bill but I guess they could have screwed me and said nope.
     
  25. molala macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #25
    Lucky you. And great job by Amex too, I'm glad purchase protection works in a straightforward way.
     

Share This Page