Buying used Macbook Pro 13" with bad trackpad - risky?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MarvinHC, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. MarvinHC macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014

    I am thinking about buying a cheap Macbook Pro for my young son. I found a late 2011 13" MBP which according to the seller is in perfect condition but the trackpad needs replacement.

    From what I can see on ifixit changing the trackpad is quite easy and the part is not so expensive.

    But I am wondering: what is usually the reason for a non-working trackpad. Could this be an indicator of water damage? If so is there an easy way to see it?

    Any opinion and known other issues with the late 2011 13" Pro would be very helpful. Thank you.
  2. tmoerel macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    A bad trackpad can be caused by many things. Perhaps the computer had some water damage and right now all that it has is a bad trackpad......but who knows what else might fail over time because of corrosion.

    Think twice before buying this!
  3. MarvinHC thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2014
    Thanks, I am thinking twice, which is why I wonder if there is a quick way of detecting other damage without completely tacking it apart (maybe just taking the back cover of)?
  4. raptor402 macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2011
    You can take the back cover off to check for corrosion or water residue, but it'll be hard to tell. My brother dropped coke on his 2009 white MacBook. It worked fine for a month before the keyboard started dying.

    If the deal is really great, you might want to seriously consider it. The trackpad isn't too expensive. Replacing it is very simple. If it doesn't work out, you can always sell the machine for parts. The display (whole top panel) itself will net a good $200 or so. A top case with a working keyboard can also be quite profitable.

    Best of luck!

  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The only thing that comes to mind when I see a laptop for sale with a bad trackpad - water damage. I'd stay away from the sale, there's no way you'll be able to tell whether it was a victim of liquid spill without opening it up and I doubt the seller would agree to this prior to the sale, regardless if there's water damage or not.
  6. Chris7811, Mar 14, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014

    Chris7811 macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2012
    Personally I would go with the air from 2011 or the new one they are cheap

    I personally have the newest macbook air. I recommend it because I got my tutor to buy one and he loves it because he can take it to work and school if he needs to. The pro always has issues with the trac pad I had one it was fine then it stopped working this and there was no water or corrosion on the inside. I swear on my grave it is a great computer. My brother had one but my mom dropped it so I took it and I spilled something on it and I took it apart and no corrosion it just works till it dies. Plus they put way newer things into the air not the pro because my bro has the pro from 2011 and he can't play any games I have yet they work on the air from 2011 with no issues just keep a fan blowing across the fan area and you will be fine (not 5 dollar fans 10-15 is the range you can get one thats usb at walgreens if you have one its not that much for a metal incased fan) but its up to you but my brother and I loved the air when we both had them from 2011 then I sold mine (not enough storage) (gave my brothers to a friend cracked screen) but by this token it is an over all good computer for anyone.

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