[Advice Needed] The MacBook Air I got is a lemon

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by cathyy, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. cathyy macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Hey all, I've been having this issue where my Macbook Air shuts down randomly. Initially it wasn't that big a deal since it reboots really quickly, but about 2 weeks ago it would be unable to boot up whenever this happens making the computer unusable.

    Sent it in for repair and the motherboard was replaced. It was good for a day but the next day it happened again and I sent it straight back. 5 days later the technician said he did an update and left it on for an entire day and it did not shut off any more. I asked him what happens then if I collect it and the issue still repeats, and he said that he can arrange for someone to pick it up if it does.

    Collected it a few days later and used it today. Within less than half an hour it shut off by itself again, and shut down 2 more times while attempting to boot it up. While making an arrangement for the repair centre to pick it up, the Mac suddenly booted up again by itself and it's been fine for the last 10 minutes.

    - Laptop shuts down by itself
    - Sent it in for repair
    - Motherboard replaced
    - Issue re-occurs and I send it for repair again
    - Technician did an update and claimed that he didn't see any more issues
    - Issue re-occurs yet again

    I'm getting pretty damn sick of this. I'm a student staying on campus and I have to head home whenever this happens in order to complete my assignments. I have a feeling this isn't going to be an easy problem to solve so is there anything that I can do to simply get them to change the entire unit rather than going back and fourth to the service center?

    Also I've noticed that the service center (authorized service center, not apple) did not log the problem with Apple the second time I had sent it in. A couple of days ago I called Apple up to enquire on the status of the second repair. Apple had no record of the second repair at all. Is this something that I should be concerned about?
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Could be a power issue, as it suddenly sparks a reboot. Does it only happen when you run on battery or power wire?
  3. Dweez macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2011
    Down by the river
    Take it back to Apple, and keep taking it back until the repair is done correctly. Are you running on battery or connected to the charger when the system shuts down? Did the technician used your power supply when he was testing the unit? Have you by chance tried a different charger?

    Is the MBA fairly new? If so, and it were mine, I'd be asking for a full replacement.
  4. cathyy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Negative. It's happened many times both on A/C power and on battery, and the battery is usually on 60 - 100% when it happens. Sometimes after it shuts off by itself, I can turn it on several hours later and it runs fine for a pretty long time so I'm pretty sure it's not the battery.

    Also no, the technician didn't use my power supply when testing. I highly doubt that's the cause due to the reasons stated above, and also because I had a MBP with power adapter + battery issues and my current MBA behaves nothing like the MBP did. But just for the sake of eliminating that as a possible cause I'll test using my sister's adapter too.

    It's a 2013 MBA btw and the warranty is until 1st Aug 2014 if I'm not wrong. Bought it second hand from someone else but I doubt she was trying to scam me since it's covered by warranty. Battery cycle count was 13 when I bought it and it worked fine for at least 2 - 3 months before this issue popped up.

    What's the requirements before Apple issues you a new replacement laptop btw? I heard there's some lemon rule where they will replace it if the unit still fails to function properly after 3x repairs of the same problem.
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I don't know if there's a "rule", but a number of years ago I had a problem with a PowerBook G4 that required 2 motherboard swaps ath the Apple Store under warranty. They told me they would "discuss" the possibility of replacement if it failed a third time.
  6. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    My point was not a faulty battery. My point was that somehow power management is broken, and the systems looses power for a short or longer periode, due to a bad connector/wire somewhere. Especially since it appears to become worse, based on your description. Try running it under a high power load, play a heavy 3D game, convert a movie or something.
  7. cathyy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2008
    Hmm the possibility of that did cross my mind, but I didn't think the chances of that happening would be even remotely near possible. When it works fine it can last for several hours. When it goes into shut off mode, it often shuts off while trying to boot up or shortly after booting into OS X. Is there any point of running it under a high power load if it shuts off even when doing basic tasks?
  8. filmbuff macrumors 6502a


    Jan 5, 2011
    You've probably already done this but if not you should try wiping the disk and doing a fresh install of Mavericks, then run it for a few days without installing anything to rule out any apps or software glitches causing the problem.

    FWIW, I have a friend whose MBA screen turns off randomly requiring a reboot. Apple replaced it once, then basically said "sorry, can't help" when it started happening again. Pretty poor tech support IMO.
  9. Steveo13 macrumors regular


    Oct 25, 2011
    New York
    I have a macbook pro and it used to do the same thing. I ran a test on it and found out that one of the memory modules was defective. I went to best buy and bought a replacement and installed it myself. It has worked like a charm ever since. This was 1.5 years ago.
  10. iMacC2D, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Have you done the basics like running the apple hardware test and installing istat to check temps?
  12. lina231 macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2013
    Pretty much had the same exact thing happen to me. They are sending me a replacement. Not sure if they will do this for you, they were extremely hesitant to send me a replacement. I have had 6 repairs on my computer total and they still did not want to replace it. It took a lot of pushing, and I definitely made it a point to tell them in what ways the fact that I was unable to use my laptop was inhibiting my ability to do my school work. They do not have a rule about replacements, their goal is to not replace the machine.
  13. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    New England
    Wasn't there another person that went through this same issue and live in England I think , Apple kept jerking him around but in the end I believe they sent him a new one.

    Your experience sounds very familiar . As for what to do, everyone's suggested just about everything to do, If you can leave it at Apple, then I'd let them keep it for a week and tell them to use but give you like a 50 dollar iTunes card for the aggravation, if not more
  14. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Ask for a replacement if you think it's a lemon.
  15. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    With several years in the field it has always been my experience that it's a per case basis, meaning there's no set number. 3 - 4 is typically when thinking starts to turn to replacement vs repair but that is by no means set in stone.

    Assuming you send it back to repair, ask that the technician not just let it run but that they actually put it under heavy stress while booted to it's internal OS (not an external drive/OS) to ensure it's being tested properly in the same environment you'll be using it. The YES command in terminal, the 3D examples in Grapher, a Youtube playlist, iTunes visualizer, etc are all good at getting a Mac to heat up and cycle things through memory.

    If it comes back and still shows symptoms then speak with AppleCare. I don't want to put words in your mouth but I'd assume this is an inconvenience and possibly interrupting your work. If that's the case, bring it up to them. More often than not AppleCare will do their best to make you happy so long as you're reasonable. Desiring a computer that just works and doesn't cause another 3-5 days of down time is reasonable, that's what they would likely try to provide to you, either by an expedited repair or a replacement.

    Hope that helps.
  16. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    yes agree with alphaod - take it back and ask for another, especially if old mate technician has carried out extensive repairs and it's still playing up.

    also, it matters not whether you are the original purchaser - it is the machine that is under warranty, not you

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