help! corrosion in my Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by kaitlyn428, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. kaitlyn428 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #1
    So about a week ago I spilled 2-4 ounces of lemonade in my Macbook on the right side of the keyboard. I turned it over and let it dry for a couple of hours and then turned it back on (I know, I should have left it MUCH longer but in my 9 years of owning iBooks/Macbooks this has never happened to me before, I had NO idea what to do!). It seemed to work fine other than 3 or 4 sticky keys, but they eventually loosened up after I used it a while, so I assumed the lemonade hadn't gotten to any of the main components.

    Well, I was cleaning my keyboard last night and accidentally popped one of the keys off. The little clear plastic thingy that connects it broke, so there was no snapping it back on, and this morning I went to the Apple store to see if they had a replacement. The told me they'd have to replace the whole keyboard but that it'd be free since it was under warranty. So I left my computer with them and went about running some errands while I waited.

    Well, an hour or so later I got a call from the technician who said that there was "a lot" of corrosion from liquid damage so my warranty was void and they could no longer do the keyboard replacement, unless I sent it to the Depot and payed $800. It isn't killing me to be missing the key, but now I'm worried... what does "a lot" of corrosion mean for my Macbook? It's working just fine right now, I'm just worried it's going to one day randomly crap out (I'm a college student and can afford neither a new Macbook nor the parts to fix the one I have).

    Is corrosion really tragic for my Macbook? The tech was kind of an ******* so I feel like he might have been exaggerating, but I'm still really worried. (He also told me that the case had "obviously" been opened and someone had tried to clean it up because there were fingerprints that weren't his on the inside. Even though I don't know HOW to open the case, nor would I want to for fear of not being able to put it back together. This guy was a real winner... even the concierge who was handling my stuff said he'd been pissing people off left and right all day.)
     
  2. Samarium macrumors 6502a

    Samarium

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  3. kaitlyn428 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #3
    I'm kind of afraid to take my Macbook apart... :( what if I can't get it back together? I'm really bad with stuff like this...

    I'll give it a try though. Can't be but so hard.
     
  4. kaitlyn428 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Well, so much for that. I don't have the teeny little screwdriver needed. I'll try and get one tomorrow morning.
     
  5. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #5
    Alot of corrosion can mean lots of things. Its an ambiguous phrase. For laptops, a lot may mean about an inch or 2. However, it may also mean all the area and around where the lemonade hit.

    Just hope and pray its a small corrosion and not a major one. Oh, on the bright side, if the lemonade just touched the outer case, it can be good since the internals may be spared and after all only cosmetics will be your problem. If internals were touched, you are out of luck mate.
     
  6. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 24, 2008
    #6
    Well, if it's working right now, all isn't lost. Actually nothing is lost.

    Alot of corrosion in a computer is pretty much any extent of corrosion as there shouldn't be any. I guess you could ask the guy what was hit... It could possibly be just the keyboard. Bottom line is, if the computer is still working you can clean it up.

    Be a girl and open it up :eek: .

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac/MacBook-Core-Duo/Airport-Card/86/

    Check it out for logic board replacement, that'll show you how to open the whole thing. Once you'll see everything, look for the corrosion. Thing is, it's quite likely it won't be on the main logicboard, so have a good look around.

    Yucky corosion should look like this :

    [​IMG]

    To take off the corrosion, use a small q-tip type thingy, dip it in rubbing alcohol and rub it against the corroded contacts. Then be sure to rinse it again with a q-tip and just water. Then leave it to dry for a long time before putting everything back in. ;)

    Depending on the corrosion, it's quite possible that it could slowly deteriorate the metal it's on, making it unusable at some point.

    Good luck with this.
     
  7. eman macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    The right side of the macbook keyboard is where the optical drive is and the logic board is on the left. Won't hurt to have a look under the keyboard and cleanup the liquid spill.
    If you are referring to the plastic scissor under a key on the keyboard, you can get a replacement from Apple and pop it back on.
     
  8. kaitlyn428 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #8
    I am referring to that piece, but when I went into the Apple store they said they don't carry individual keys/key parts and that I would have to replace the entire keyboard.
     
  9. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    #9
    they may not have had the parts at the store, but they can be had and replaced easily.

    May be able to get them from ifixit or somewhere like that.
     
  10. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #10
    If you need the 'plastic scissor' that clip on the key-cap and the keyboard but your local store doesn't have them.... You can call AppleCare and ask someone there to send a few spares to you, you might have to ask for Tire2 advisor. I know from experience they should be more than happy to mail you a few out for free. Just be prepared to quote your serial number.
     
  11. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #11

    Sorry to correct you but that doesn't look like corrosion to me. That's more likely to be fine dust from the exhaust fans.

    I can imagine why the OP has corrosion in his/her system.. It's all due to the citrus acid found in the lemonade accident. If it we're me, I'd open the system up and take out everything, bit by bit (lay the parts out, in an order you'd remember).

    If the corrosion is on the Aluminium unibody, I'd use some brasso (liquid metal polish) on a cottonwool ball to polish it away, remembering to work in the direction if the brush finish (cause you don't wanna make new scratches). After give it the once over with some liquid lighter fuel because it'll remove the greasiness left by the polish. Wait an hour and reassemble.
     
  12. kaitlyn428 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #12
    It actually wasn't real lemonade, it was from a mix that doesn't actually contain any real lemon juice or anything, just artificial flavors. Would that have the same acidic effect?



    I don't have the new one with the unibody, it's the white one. I bought it in July.
     
  13. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #13
    I'd imagine even fake lemonade still have a hint of citrus acid (lemon juice) it's usually the ingredient that give it the sour taste.

    Well... I wouldn't pay the price Apple is asking for, especially since you can buy a fairly new Top-Case (Keyboard and Trackpad) from $59.95 (used) or $129 (new). Then simply follow the iFixit guides for detailed installation. But if your machine works fine, I'd hold off till such time you really need a new keyboard.
     
  14. kaitlyn428 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #14
    I was able to follow the ifixit guide to take my top case off and saw NO visible corrosion (unless I'm blind or totally not looking for the right thing). The most "liquid damage" i could find was a small stain on one of the inspection stickers.

    I took some pics, will post later (don't have my camera with me at the moment) in case there is something I missed. But my thoughts are the guy saw the water stain on the sticker and cried corrosion so they wouldn't be responsible for the free keyboard repair OR so that, when i heard the $800 price tag for the repair, I'd just buy a new one altogether.

    So where would I find another top case? I didn't have any trouble taking it apart to inspect the "damage" so I feel like it'd be nothing to buy a new top case and put it on myself.
     
  15. kaitlyn428 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    Never mind, just noticed the link!
     
  16. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Well, you don't really need a new top case by the sound of it. That's just the genius who told you that to honor the warranty. By what you're describing, only the keyboard is broken. I guess you only need to change that, no ?

    Congrats on opening it up and finding the truth ;)
     
  17. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #17
    Inspection stickers? Where are they? I've taken my Macbook apart countless number of times once to replace the default thermal paste and another to dislodge something from the fan. To date, I've never noticed the said stickers... Are they white or white with red dots?

    Problem with the MacBook is this, the keyboard and trackpad is integrated part of the top-case. So it's practically impossible to change one without the other.
     
  18. kaitlyn428 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #18
    The inspection sticker I saw was just a little white sticker inside the case, the one that had the stain on it said "Inspection" and was initialed by three people, just to prove that it was properly inspected before leaving the factory.
     
  19. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #19
    Oh...

    Well from reading the thread, I think you should give AppleCare a friendly call. Perhaps ask the first adviser that you'd like to be passed to a Teir2 Technician. Apple knows the plastic scissors used to hold the keycap to the keyboard do break... and if you can demonstrate some technical know how, they will send you some spare parts. It'll be alot cheaper than buying a new TopCase to replace a perfectly working keyboard.
     
  20. kaitlyn428 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 19, 2008
    #20
    So I started having my first "real" problems since the spill today. I started a new thread because it's unrelated to this problem (I think, anyway). Help please :(
     

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