aluminium casing bulging on new MBP - a common problem?!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by poohking, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. poohking macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2007
    i just wondered if anyone has had a problem with the casing expanding and bulging on the MBP and if so what did they do about it? or more to the point what did apple do about it?!

    my MBP is not even 4 weeks old but within two weeks it had developed a slight bulge in the casing above the lid opening mechanism. this is my first MB and i have been treating it very gently - its hardly been moved around in fact. and whilst i guess this isn't a huge technical problem but a smallish issue of appearance, i figured this isn't normal on a brand new nearly $2000 machine. so i took it to the local applestore on saturday to see what they thought and what fun that was!

    first the mac genius took it off to the back of the store...and then after some time returned to tell me that i must have damaged it in some way - putting undue pressure on that area maybe and that it wasn't covered under the warranty. when i insisted that this was not the case explaining that most of the time i use an external graphics tablet and pen, he disappeared to the back again. in the meantime another mac genius (this guy was really nice and the only one who seemed genuinely interested in helping) who had overheard said it was something to do with a sensor in that area that heats up and causes the problem - like its a known problem. anyway then the first guy came back and again explained that 'dave the manager guy' was going to come and talk to me!

    so i sat and waited and then dave arrived and explained that 'actually its all to do with the way the aluminium is designed to expand and contract like an aeroplane does so it really is a good thing you see.....and it happens all the time on macbook pros and if we send it to apple they will just send it back without fixing it because its not a technical problem and the computer works fine....or they might fix it but it will come back in worse shape with more bulges because they'd have to take all the casing off you know and well they do that by hand and...blah blah...or 'they may even bill you for fixing it' chips in the first genius guy!! so we don't think theres much we can do..' you get the gist?!

    so anyway i was even less happy now as it kind of felt like they were fobbing me off with all sorts of reasons (stories maybe!?) why they couldn't do anything and dave kept disappearing out the back to that mysterious room for advice (or maybe a cup of coffee...sorry to be cynical...they kept me hanging around for ages!) so anyway i sort of mentioned my slight disgruntlement its not even 4 weeks old and it cost nearly $2000 and if i'd spent that much on a new tv and it started bulging i think i'd get some help or a replacement or something! and you're not going to fix it or actually do anything because it might be my fault or apples because its designed to fly if necessary and anyway apple will ruin it if you send it in.....and...etc etc... and at the same time i'm thinking... maybe this isn't a big deal.....its just a small bulge and there are wars and famines and etc....

    so i thought i'd ask you guys.....since you seem to know much about such things. i'm sorry if this has already been addressed - i have hunted the forums but have found no mention of it which is interesting to me in view of the fact that it is such a 'common problem' according to the mac geniuses! unless it is so common no one bothers to mention which case i apologise for making a fuss!!
    any help or suggestions would be gratefully received!
  2. ToXicWaSTe macrumors member


    Sep 10, 2006
    Battle of the bulge

    Hmmm, I don't believe it's suppose to expand and contract into a bulge... Yes, aluminum does expand and contract when heated and cooled, but any significant misshaping shouldn't be possible without something seriously overheating..

    I would try to talk with that genius who seemed to know something about a sensor. Try to see if he can get your MBP replaced or repaired. Try hijacking him into a corner and discuss the issue, without bringing your MBP.

    Besides, not even my toaster bulges, which is aluminum and its freakin hot !!!

    BTW, Any pictures would be great... :p
  3. DerekS macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2007
    If you've had one apart like I have, you would realize that minor fit/finish inconsistencies are near impossible to prevent.

    I agree with their assessment that trying to fix it may make it worse.

    My recommendation is move on and live with it.
  4. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    Most MBPs do NOT have the bulging aluminum above the latch button so should we all take them in and tell them that it's defect because it's supposed to be bulging? Come on! It's a design defect and Apple knows it. I returned several that had it and they accepted them, albeit not without a fight. Point them to the display models and ask them why they don't have the bulge. The reason it bulges right htere is because it's a very thin piece of metal that is not properly secured from behind so that when you put pressure from above, it presses it out. I thought they had finally fixed this issue with the latest rev of MBPs - is your model one of the latest?

    Seriously, it should not bulge. Argue with them until the replace or repair it. Or call apple customer service and they can authorize it.

    Good luck.
  5. Sdao macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2007

    You just spent your hard earned money on an Apple product and it is obviously a defect. Call apple and speak to someone at customer service, dont forget to mention the lack of attention given to you at the store.
  6. poohking thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2007
    thank you!

    thats really helped me - thank you. i don't feel like i'm making a fuss about nothing now. and interesting to know i'm not the only one whos had to fight apple on this....though i hope it won't end up in huge fisty cuffs of course! (it nearly did on saturday!)

    my MBP isn't the very latest one- its the model just before the led screen i think - so should i try to get them to replace it with the latest maybe mentioning that i understand this problem has been resolved on the latest model or is that pushing it too much?

    thanks again everyone
  7. aaron.lee2006 macrumors 65816


    Feb 23, 2006
    Ontario, Canada
    Happened to my old core duo. It was annoying as hell. Take it to Apple. And to the guy who said just move on and live with it... Why?
  8. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    Every single non-LED MBPs I've seen at the store (note I've only looked at one LED so far) has had some sort of bulging under the trackpad or above the superdrive. Some display models were so bad you could slip a piece of paper between in the crack.

    HOWEVER mine seems to be fine for the most part, I have no bulging under the trackpad, but I do have slight bulging above the superdrive. It seems like this is pretty normal for these laptops.

    Now every SR mbp that I've seen has had fit and finish issues with the area above the display (both 17s and the 15), in that the aluminum (that contains the iSight et al) becomes "loose" from the grey plastic thingy (when looking from directly above say the iSight, though it's not restricted to the isight).

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