2014 MBA rattle annoyance. Common?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by JimBanville, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. JimBanville, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

    JimBanville macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2014
    Update 02-10-15... added video demonstrating noise... http://youtu.be/oAaALJvqsZs

    Bought online from B&H. New. I don't use a mouse. When I tap the touchpad or the surface beside it, it sounds likes something just under that is loose and makes a slight tap sound in response to my "tap". I thought it was the keys on the keyboard jiggling around, but it's really hard to place. This is my first mac. I had read how well built these are. Does this sound like something normal or should I send it in to have it looked at while still under warranty? Some may not hear it in a loud environment. My house is very quiet. And yes, I admit I'm OCD about the condition of my stuff :)

  2. AroundTheFur922 macrumors member


    Jan 30, 2013
    Just bought a used 2014 11" Air and am having the same issue. Maybe it's normal?
  3. deluxeshredder macrumors 6502a

    Nov 30, 2013
    In my experience, this is normal, my mid-2011 Air and several shop samples I have seen over the years do the same thing.
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    There was a thread about this a few weeks ago and I think the consensus was that it's some kind of electrical effect when your finger completes a circuit. Apple claims this is normal.

    I've never heard it with my MBA but I bought a Magic Trackpad for my desktop computer and I hear it about 25% of the time. I wonder if it has to do with the conductivity of my skin?
  5. dmitrivich macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2014
    This sounds similar to a problem I had with my MBA. Started off as a minor click and then progressed to an extremely annoying click. I was ready to ditch the computer. I thought it had something to do with the trackpad or perhaps the batteries.

    Turned out it was just a slightly off bend in the aluminum back case. It would click every time I put pressure on the case. The screws were tight, so loosening and tightening didn't work. What worked was tightening the screws on the back while putting some pressure on the back cover. No complaints since.
  6. mubeenshahid macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2015
  7. technosix macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2015
    West Coast USA
    The rattle seems to reflect more on the inconsistency of Apple's declining quality control. We use lots of MBPr and MBA models at work. Most are OK, some are not very good, and others are really terrific.

    I have a 15" MBPr & 13" MBA, I feel very lucky to have these two which are simply excellent. Conversely some of my fellow engineers haven't been so lucky. While several have been replaced by Apple with mixed results, other guys just gave up and are living with theirs. It's a striking difference from just a few years ago when all our new Macs always displayed very high quality.

    Needless to say we'd all appreciate it if Apple would return to their former excellence, that's how they built a good reputation. It's why I chose Macs years ago, I love mine and I'm so lucky I got good ones.
  8. JimBanville thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2014
    Tested this out a little more. It's not any type of electrical "feedback" click. If I tap the touchpad or the surface on either side of it, I hear the click/rattle in response to my tap (I use "tap to select" over clicking the pad - I also don't use a mouse). If I put downward pressure on the surface on either side of the touchpad, the noise stops and my "taps" result in a thud sound.
  9. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Not to disagree, you might very well be right, but what you're describing is what I would expect for an electrical sound too.

    If the sound is being caused by a circuit completing due to finger conductivity, then by pressing down somewhere else on the touchpad, you are already completing the circuit with that finger, so more taps wouldn't result in a sound.
  10. JimBanville thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2014
    The pressure I'm putting down which causes the noise to diminish is on either side of the surface "around" the touchpad. Not on the touchpad itself.
    Also, this noise occurs when the computer is off
  11. dmitrivich macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2014
    See if you can also reproduce the sound by pressing up on the bottom panel of the computer.
  12. JimBanville thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2014
    Here is a short video of the noise. I'm tapping very lightly near the end. Turn your volume up high to hear the noise. My house is very quiet.

  13. poppakristof macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2010
    I had this on my 2011. What reduced it for me was making sure the bottom plate screws are tight. There is some flex on that end because it's so thin and I think the plate taps against the body. I ended up putting sticky notes on the inside of the bottom plate edge where it would touch the body. It helped it 90% on that machine. I've used sticker notes a few times. It's paper (duh), does not conduct electricity and peals off easy without residue. Since its at the very edge of the computer and away from heat/components it works ok in this situation. Then again spending $1k on a puter only to "fix" it with stickey notes is odd to do. I'll end up doing it again on my 2013 ultimate which I should be getting on Friday. I can show pics then which will detail how and where I put the sticky notes. But you need that special screwdriver to open the machine.
  14. JimBanville thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2014
    Thanks! I watched the steps for disassembly at ifixit website. Need to order the screwdrivers, etc. Like u said, sad u have to band-aid a premium $1k laptop!!
  15. perkedel macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2014
    Yes, yes you are. 2014 MBA here, I don't notice. Then again, I don't do the tapping like you do.
    Stop tapping it like it's a freakin' drum! :D
  16. JimBanville, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

    JimBanville thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2014
    U r lucky u don't have the noise. I'll either send it in for repair or try to fix it myself. I'm handy with a screwdriver :)
    Premium $1k laptops shouldn't rattle when u tap the touch pad. Whether soft or firm, or fast or slow. This isn't my first laptop. Just my first apple one.

    Poppakristof used paper to quell his rattles. I had thought about short strips of electrical tape, rolled back on itself and placed strategically between the components and connectors under and around the touchpad, wherever they may b touching each other. It's electrocally benign and reversible (easy to remove).

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