Cracking on 2008 Unibody Hinge and corroded aluminium edge

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by computid, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. computid macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2012
    Hi all,

    Since the Apple support forums are down I thought I'd post this up here and get your opinions on it.

    In 2008 I purchased a brand new Aluminium Unibody Macbook. It was all going well up until a couple of years ago when I noticed some cracking starting to appear on the black plastic hinge cover. I thought that it was a little annoying but nothing much to worry about since it was only one or two lines. Around the same time I also noticed that the front edge of the macbook aluminium body felt a little rough but again, it was liveable and therefore I did nothing about it.

    Since then however they've both gotten progressively worse, so much so that the rough aluminium edge is sharp enough to cut you if you run your hand along it fast enough and the cracks are clearly visible.

    I'd like to stress that the macbook has NEVER been dropped, bashed into anything, used a tester for sand paper or been in the possession of anybody else. I've seen a few other threads on the black plastic hinge cracking due to heat, I can only imagine that this is the same thing. The macbook is always used a well ventilated area as its either on my desk at home or work or occasionally used when sitting on the train etc.

    With regards to the aluminium edge I genuinely don't know whats caused it, I know it isn't because its been dropped again something because of the texture of it, if it was a drop then it would be a clear and clean dent, this is bumpy and rough so the only explanation I can come up with is that its corroded.

    Now as far as I'm concerned these are both manufacturing defects and Apple should replace the affected items, whether or not they will I don't know, I'm going to make a genius bar appointment and see what they see, In the mean time I'd just like to see if any of you guys have had similar problems and if apple did anything about them despite being 3 years out of warranty.

    Heres some pictures so you can make your own minds up about the issues:


    I know the picture of the edge isn't hugely clear but I couldn't easily get a better one. If anybody wants to see any higher res images then let me know and I'll get some links up.
  2. jsw80 macrumors newbie


    Jun 19, 2012
    I'm having the same issue with my mid 2010 mbp's aluminum edge cracking. I've never dropped or damaged it before and noticed it getting rough about half a year ago. Let me know what the genius has to say, I'd also like to have this repaired/fixed because it's an annoying feeling when your typing.:apple:
  3. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    I also have the 2008 aluminum MacBook. No cracks or aluminum edge issues here. I highly doubt they're gonna do any free replacing for a 4 year old laptop, especially since you're the one that just let it get worse and worse. Two measly cracks to that?!
  4. InfinitiG macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2010
    I think the aluminum edge looks like normal wear and tear, I have a few pits on my edge, but no where near as bad as the OP
    However my hinge also has some cracks and this is not normal. Let us know what the genius says about these issues.
  5. computid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2012

    Right guys, sorry its taken me so long to reply but its taken up until now to get the issue sorted. This post is kind of long but it gives the full story of what happend.

    I took it to Milton Keynes apple store and a genuis looked at it. He got the lead genius out who agreed to do the hinge Clutch Cover but said that he thought that I'd damaged the front edge and that it could be liquid damage or something. When I told him that it was aluminium corrosion he told me that aluminium doesn't corrode . I know that aluminium can corrode under the right circumstances, it probably occured whilst the anodising was being applied at the factory and has taken until now to show through. I argued this point with him and the store manager but they refused point blank to deal with it. They replaced the clutch cover and to their credit they did it in less then 24 hours during a busy time (hard disk recall I believe).

    I decided that this really wasn't good enough and I wanted this sorted out, so I phoned up apple care, they quickly escalated my call to an AppleCare Senior Technical Advisor and he understood the problem and contacted the store on my behalf. In the mean time I'd sent photos of the edge over to a friend of mine who is a metallurgist and from the photos and my description of the surface he thought that indeed it was aluminium corrosion. The store still wouldn't budge on the matter and after I'd phoned up again, spoken to the lead genius again (who was quite abrupt and somewhat patronising) I phoned up the guy from apple care again to further explain the situation. He told me that unfortunately AppleCare can't instruct the stores to perform any repair work but what they can do is cover the cost of a diagnostic at an Authorised Service Agent. So sure enough the next day I headed over to Flame Ltd. in Kings Langley. The fellow there immediately agreed that it was aluminium corrosion and said he'd have to talk to apple about it. I left the machine and headed home (some 45 miles). The next day I got a call and he told me that he had spoken to apple about it and sent them some pictures and they agreed that it was a manufacturing defect and had agreed to replace the part at no cost to me so he would order the part hopefully for it to come in the following day. He called me up the next day to tell me that the part was currently unavailable in apples warehouse and as such it would be around the 3rd of december before they got it, he suggested that I go and pick up the macbook and then take it back to them when the part came in. I got an email on the 28th of november saying that the revised delivery date was the 13th of december, but on the 10th I got a phone call saying that the part was in stock and I could bring it in the next day to be fitted. I droped the machine off at 12am and by 15:00 it was done. I picked it up at 17:00 and now I'm sitting here typing this up on it. All in all I've had to drive 360 miles ( ! ) to flame and back over the past few weeks but it is all sorted now. The guys at Flame and AppleCare really went the extra mile for me and I appreciate that.

    All in all it was an experience I do not wish to repeat and I had to put in a lot more work then I should of had to just to get this sorted but at least it is done now. I think apple need to improve their in store customer service at the genius bar, I've never had a problem up until now but this guy just plain up refused that it was their fault and effectively blamed me for the damage. Not what I would expect from apple. They've managed to put themselved back into my good books though, and sure enough I will be buying apple again, I just won't go the Milton Keynes genius bar anymore!
  6. CBillups1 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2008
    mine is heavily corroded in the same spots as you. never been dropped. its very rough. It almost looks as if i took a metal filed and used it on the edge.

    wish they would change my case :(
  7. one1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2007
    Chattanooga, TN
    All Macbooks, white and alum, have some issues that are common. We as Mac enthusiasts want our laptops to remain in good shape as we pay more for them than the windows equivalents, but in that regard and on that thought....... have you ever seen a windows laptop after a year or two? It looks like absolute hell. Cracked everything, broken keys, warpage, discoloration. Every laptop degrades with time, we just tend to me more picky because our laptops are double or better the cost of the windows versions. I say as long as it is not all over and falling apart at every seam, there has to be some small percentage of expectation things are going to age.
  8. akgerber macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2013
    My aluminum Macbook had reasonably extensive corrosion on the right side of the front edge, probably from three years of wrist sweat. I ran a file along the right-front edge until the bubbling corrosion was gone, and now I have a nicely chamfered edge; then I did the same on the left side. We'll see if any corrosion reappears.

Share This Page