does re-apply thermal paste void warranty

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by financeguy, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. financeguy macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2009
    My rev B macbook air does get hot and I’ve been reading some forums that reapplying the thermal paste helps a lot. I know that technically it does void the warranty but my real question is if they can really tell what I did to it. I mean if, for some reason, I have to send my macbook in for repair and they open it up, can they tell that I opened it and messed with the thermal paste? I think on some laptops there are sensors that turn a certain color if they are exposed or something like that.

    Also, can any of you recommend a good link that has step-by-step instructions for re-applying the thermal paste?

    Thanks for your help,
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Technically yes because the case is not meant to be opened by you.
  3. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
  4. nph macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    Please let us know the results when you have done it.

  5. financeguy thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2009
    I'm not going to do it if Apple can tell and will void the warranty.

    Has anyone who had done it ever sent their MBA for repair?
  6. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    I have. I didn't get any complaints about it.
  7. financeguy thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2009
    Ok, so I did it. My laptop was getting really hot when I was leveling my Death Knight, so I finally gave in and re-applied the thermal paste to try to help things.

    The equipment I needed:

    -Tube of Arctic Silver
    -#00 Phillips
    -#000 Phillips - link above doesn't mention this one but I needed it for the heat sink screws.

    So when I opened the laptop I did notice excess amounts of thermal paste spilling over the cpu and graphics chip but not as extreme as some have described.

    I reapplied the thermal paste in the correct amount and now my laptop is running a bit cooler when running WoW, but it is still hot. So I would say there are gains from reapplying the paste but nothing dramatic.

    Regarding voiding the warranty. I did not damage anything when opening the MBA, which is good considering I've never opened a laptop before. However, the screw heads do get a bit scratched up when unscrewing and screwing them, so if the someone was looking right around the screws they might notice that they are a bit warn now.

    I hope that if I ever have my laptop sent in for repair the Apple Warranty man doesn't say, "These screws look warn. I'm voiding your warranty now!"

    Oh well, it was a really good learning experience as I'm not an IT person.

  8. nph macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2005
    Did the bottom of the case get cooler or warmer after you applied AS5?

    Also what about when you are just idling or running safari, any difference?
  9. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    Did you bend the "L" shaped bracket down a little bit to give some more pressure on the heatsink to proc.'s contact?

    It helps.
  10. financeguy thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2009
    The bottom does feel a bit cooler, but I don't have any software that tells me the temperature. Overall it did improve the heating issues but not dramatically.

    NC MacGuy - yes, I did bend the bracket down a bit and you post was very helpful. However, I'm not sure if I applied too much paste. Your post suggested to put a very thin layer but when you apply it, the paste is so sticky that its hard to smooth it out.

    In any case, besides waring the screws, I'm happy with the results.
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Thermal paste should be as thin as possible; when you are applying it and after you spread it out and it looks like it might be enough (especially with some lines without paste), that usually means it's enough.

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