Accused Of Liquid Damage, Mac book 2008

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by waveznyc, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. waveznyc macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2009
    My 2008 mac book all of sudden started making these weird noises. So i took my laptop in to the apple store. The figured it was the fan, ordered the parts and decided to fix it. I get a phone call two days later that i have liquid damage and warranty is void.

    I know for fact my computer never came in contact with any liquid what so ever. I called apple corporate office, talked with customer relations, even wrote an email to steve jobs. Apple refuse to even accept the idea that there product could be faulty. First they told me the repair will cost 779 then knocked it down to 449.

    here are the pictures... can anyone help me and tell me what they think... they said there is corrosion inside, but wouldnt corrosion be only caused by constant moisture within the laptop? can corrosion happen within 4 months?

    thank & cheers

    Attached Files:

  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Unfortunately coming here won't help you. Seems you've gone through all the Apple contacts to file a complaint and still were declined to get your computer fixed. If Apple says there is liquid damage, you would have to prove that there isn't and that they are wrong. Try to call again one last time. Do you know exactly what is wrong? Perhaps it's a minor problem that you can fix for a cheaper price.
  3. MacSawdust macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2002

    Looks tough on the inside. You need to treat laptops with kid gloves.
  4. MacVibe macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2009
    This sounds rough. If you are certain that nobody including a coworker, roommate, cat, kid, dude on the bus, or cloud from the sky, got liquid on your computer then it is a very sad situation.

    The apple store must feel quite certain that there is evidence of damage from liquid. In my experience, there are usually telltale signs of this like discoloration, for example, the aluminum underneath the small pcb in you upper left pic looks very clean, and if liquid had indeed been there, I would expect to see some discoloration.

    If apple is firm about their technical opinion, there really isn't any point in getting upset or arguing, they do have some policies they need to stick to.

    If you do indeed observe liquid flowing into your macbook the best thing to do is to immediately unplug it and take the battery out. Not so easily done with a non-removable battery. If you take quick action you can usually prevent any damage if you can open up the electronics, gently dab off any liquid with a dry cloth, and then rinse any residue which may be sugary with a cloth dipped in distilled water. Let air dry for 48 hours and reassemble and you should be good to go.

    Now to your corrosion. These things are difficult to discern from the pics but from my experience and what appears in the upper left pic, there is some shorting occurring between wires on the printed circuit board. This can be an easy problem to fix yourself with the tip of a knife gently scraping off the powdery, bubbly stuff on the surface of the pcb in between the wires (this white powdery bubbly stuff conducts electricity and causes shorts to occur). Scrape in the direction of the wires, you don't want to accidentally cut across one and have a broken connection. Do this wherever you see any of this powdery, bubbly stuff on a pcb and then use an air canister to get the dust out. Before attempting this, the apple store employee who looked at your computer may be kind enough to to point out exactly where it looks like the liquid damage is inside the computer. It is time on their part so they might not want to spend the time, and the only professional solution they really can offer is to replace any board that appears damaged.

    And if it is still dead, the price to fix seems pretty reasonable to me even though it is a bitter pill to swallow since you don't feel responsible for any damage.

    Good luck!
  5. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009
    Same situation as me. I hadnt even had mine for a month and the magsafe adaptor **** itself, took it in and they said I had liquid damage so my warranty was void. I knew that I had not spilt liquid, although i lived in a damp house but I doubt it could have been that
  6. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    Did you ask them what part looks like it has liquid damage?
  7. waveznyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2009
    well this is whats really shady... back in the end of august my battery and the light indicator stopped working. I took it in to the mac store... the dude took out the battery put it back in checked for liquid damage, ran some test... couldn't figure out what is wrong with the battery.. then all of sudden he puts it in and it works... voila... he fixed it by mistake lol

    now in dec. the fan problem comes along... i can change the fan by self but the idea is that they sold a lemon and they refuse to accept that it could have been done at there end...

    im going to call them and ask them about the liquid damage today but by the looks of the pictures the logic board looks perfectly fine... its just the battery indicator which shows damage but i had that problem before in august and they have that on record.

    thanks for all the replies guys

  8. milton.sheaf macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2009
    Your terminology is wrong. The sensors inside and the visible corrosion are not from *liquid* damage. They are from *moisture* damage. Remember from your school boy chemistry classes that water can be a solid, liquid, or a gas, and that it can change states rather quickly.

    The moisture sensors inside Apple notebooks WILL be tripped by very humid air. Use your notebook outdoors on a humid day? Or leave it on the counter in the bathroom while you take a shower? Humidity in the air will condense inside the notebook and trip the sensors, instantly voiding your warranty.
  9. MacVibe macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2009
    milton.sheaf, I hope you are wrong. Electronics require electricity and as such are almost always heat generators. Vapor will not condense on something warmer than the air. So a cold laptop in a warm room with the shower running will most likely have a condensation problem. However, using a laptop outside on a humid day should never be a problem since the heat generating device, the laptop, will still be warmer than the surrounding hot (and humid) air.

    The reason I hope you are wrong is simply that temperature variations occur all the time in a portable device. When the device is operating and generating heat then condensation should never be an issue. Apple designs these things to be taken to school and back and for use out and about with a fabulous battery life.

    As a rule of thumb, it is always a good idea to allow electronics to warm up to room temperature before turning them on, with moisture damage being one possible concern in addition to thermal stresses if there is a large delta T.

    The more I think about this I would suggest that the Apple store document exactly what the damage is. If it really turns out to be a condensation issue then there isn't really any point in fixing the laptop if the cause of it can't be pinned down to a certain activity.
  10. milton.sheaf macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2009
    Yes, agree 100% that moisture will not condense on something warmer than the ambient air, so while the notebook is on and operating, humidity shouldnt be a problem. I should have clarified, but I was assuming the notebook was either off, or it had the lid closed and was in sleep mode. The notebook would be susceptible to condensation in this case.

    Furthermore, the moisture sensors are not powered, and they are self contained. I.e. they can be tripped whether or not the machine is on.
  11. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2007
    The first photo you posted (of the small circuit board) definitely shows corrosion from liquid. There is also some sticky residue on the main logic board near the RAM slots, but based on your description, it doesn't sound like the logic board is malfunctioning.

    You may elect to do a partial repair—ask the Genius to replace the fan and the
    small board that shows corrosion, but not to replace the main logic board.

    If they insist that $755 is the only way to repair your machine, ask the Genius to familiarize him- or herself with Apple's policy on "partial repairs."
  12. trees macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2009
    Restore Warrenty

    If you take it to an apple authorized repair place they can fix it (usually at a cheaper price) and it will thus restore the warranty. There is a place in CA that I can not remember the name of but if you send it to them they will clean the computer from liquid damage and then preform repairs under Applecare. Solving how it got there the only thing is if you get it repaired and it happens again and you know it hasn't been anywhere near liquid 100% then fight with Apple that it wasn't a situation you expected with your Macbook, it shouldn't have happened twice and get a replacement.
  13. Salt Monster macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2010
    Yet another "Liquid Damaged" MacBook

    I am helping a friend out with a similar problem. This Black MacBook 2.2Ghz laptop had two repairs under warranty, one of which involved replacing the logic board and the disk drive. The other repair involved replacing the heat sink assembly, the left speaker and the internal battery. Now the MacBook is no longer under warranty and it has corrosion that starts near the fan and heat pipe heat sink. The damage continues along the left edge of the optical drive and then along the underside of the logic board. This woman knows for sure that no external liquids have come into contact with the machine. I have found at least several other reports on the web of similar problems with this exact model. My theory is that there is a design and/or manufacturing defect in the heat pipe assembly that allows the liquid contained therein to leak out.
  14. waveznyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2009
    This is the problem.... After spending so much money on a laptop... you have to deal with this kind of stupid stuff... i don't even get a reply from any more lol

    I guess its like this with any thing made in China... sure designed in California that's about the only thing right with it....

    Apples are like coach bags... looks good but is still made in china n is super over priced..
  15. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    Um. I really don't know what you're smoking here, but that first picture IS water damaged. Normal hardware don't corrode unless it comes in contact with moisture. That includes using it in humid locations or in the bathroom btw.

    Furthermore, this is not a heatsink leak. The liquid inside is a phase changing liquid. It is actually very thick and cannot "leak" per say.

    Sorry to say but you may not have spilled anything but you'd probably came in contact with something in the environment.
  16. lil' brudder macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    It could be if you, like myself, live in a place that is cold. If you leave your macbook in a cold area for a long time and then bring it into a warmer area, there could be condensation that could cause water damage.
  17. Maim macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2009
    if you are feeling brave, you can remove all corrosion using meths and a detail paintbrush (cut short). i restored a totalled mbp which had coke damage and everything was covered in the stuff... the entire logic board had corrosion such as in your pic and i was extremely surprised that it had come back to life when i was finished with it. even the magsafe had large burn marks where it had short circuited. in the state i got it i was sure it was a write off so you never know.
  18. pcs are junk macrumors 65816

    Sep 28, 2009
    well now that you took it apart, your warranty is voided, even if you did convince them that there is no water damage, and they offered to fix it, they could tell that you took it apart because you probably dont have the proper tools and/or training to take this machine apart. apple does. trust me, they can tell anything. now that youve taken it apart youre better off buying a new one.
  19. waveznyc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2009
    Thank you everyone. The problem here is I have been through 2 lemon with apple in a year. This laptop was alreadibg giving problems... The battery indicator stopped working and the laptop won't turn on unless it's plugged in. I took it in and the genius ran some test.. Took the battery out then put it back in and it worked. They wanted me to leave it there so they can replace the battery indicator. I had school so that was not an option. Then the fan noise kicked in and I was notified it was liquid damage.

    First they wanted to charge $779 to fix it then they knocked it down to $449. Which is weird... Then I'm not the only one who have had this problem.. I think the only option left is to break the dam thing on you tube and hope the video goes viral...
  20. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2007
    Or you could suck up your pride and buy a fan replacement for $50.

    Replacing my fan was really easy. I took it in on my last day of Applecare, with the fan making noise, and they refused to look at it right away. I had to turn it off and leav eit overnight. Of course, when the fan started up the next day, it didn't make noise (bearings were going bad and it would only sometimes make noise), so even though it was making noise when I dropped it off, they refused to fix it under warranty.

    Instead of getting pissed and breaking the machine to make a statement, I bought a new fan.
  21. Stephen Alum macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    Have looked at thousands of water damaged returns in my lifetime as well as developed liquid indicators for devices as well as partially studied this phenomenon. In summary, the evidence per the first picture confirms liquid intrusion, and large amount of. This is not humidity - while humidity can cause localized corrosion this is not what the picture shows. The picture shows evidence that material was sufficiently pooled.

    As stated in a previous post, it is not uncommon that when this occurs that in many cases there was no recollection of an event where this could happen. Things like a family cat, an unknown friend or family member, or other random event like a stranger accidentally and covertly spilling coffee behind you exactly in the right opening in your carry case.

    Anyways, the green residue is presumably copper and Nickel Chlorides which are a result of electrochemical reaction. Voltage + electrolyte + metals = electrochemical reaction which when dried up leaves the residue. Along with this residue, underneath it is dendrites or the remains of metallic plating transfer. These conductive lead or tin dendrites cause localized shorting between components.

    In most cases, these dendrites can be removed and cleaned up and the device will then properly work. Suggest if not already done then try this first, using either in sequence alcohol and weak ammonia solution to clean up.

    Attached Files:

  22. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Apple doesn't do "partial repairs" See my ordeal over here on my experience, but basically their opinion on partial repairs is F you.

    Not true. I took my MBP apart to swap the bottom case, as they wanted over a grand to do it, and I told them that was BS. Since then, they've fixed my computer under warranty, even cosmetic issues.

    The trick is you need to be able to put it back together in working order. If the OP can find the parts he needs on ebay, fix the computer, and put it back together, he will most likely still be covered under Applecare.
  23. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
    I had someone swear up and down their machine never came into contact with liquid. The Apple Store said it did.

    I took it apart in front of him, and saw a stain on the bottom case. I put it under water then put a lighter to it, it smelled like hazelnut.

    Since then, I do not believe anyone. Evidence doesn't lie!

    As for "partial repairs", once upon a time, that was what repair meant! If the people making policy at Apple managed recording studios they'd go bankrupt. One bad op amp in a bus module and they'd replace an entire 5316. :rolleyes:
  24. Stephen Alum macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2010
    Hazelnut coffee, this sounds like a really good technique that I will try. I have often tasted the stuff when I had an inkling through smell what is was. Have also had to resort to tastebuds when stuff sent to labs resulted in no conclusions.
  25. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
    Wetting it with water and putting a lighter to it released a smell of coffee that he could not deny sitting six feet away. People are liars.

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