Help! Spilled liquid in MacBook pro!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Var1able, May 30, 2010.

  1. Var1able macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2010
    I was a dumbass and immeditely tried to start it, even plugging it in and leaving it on for a while before I realized it wasn't such a good idea. The good news: my test showed that the battery works and charges properly and the fan inside regulates itself too. The display stays black and plugging into my mini display port doesn't show anything on my external screen. I can hear the hard drive spinning but the disk drive doesn't pull in a cd when I insert it. The keyboard doesn't light up and the sound doesnt work. I finally wised up and left it to dry further but I don't think it will help now. What is most likely the issue? If it was totally screwed up it the fan and stuff wouldnt work right? So what did I screw up? When I spilled the water trickled inbetween the display and rest of the computer and not much else and it just shut off. When I plug my portable hard drive in it acts like it is reading it. No rude comments on how much of a dumbass I am I already know but what specific part is most likely ruined?
  2. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
  3. lcdonnelly macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2010

    Yep, the logic board, if its the new MacBook Pro, take it to an :apple: store or premium reseller and the AppleCare warranty will cover everything, wont cost you a penny
  4. runebinder macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2009
    Nottingham, UK
    Are you sure about that? Thought Applecare didn't cover acc dam and it for situations like these that MBPs have liquid emersion sensors.
  5. bigjobby macrumors 65816

    Apr 7, 2010
    London, UK
    AppleCare does not cover damage by spillage.
  6. lcseds macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2006
    NC, USA

    Good heavens. Totally incorrect. Breaks, spills, dents, etc are NOT covered by Applecare. Don't spread this kind of misinformation.
    OP: You will need a main logic board at the very least. If you spilled a liquid that was corrosive like a sugar based soda, then possibly corrosion has affected you video connection. It has to be taken apart and evaluated. It will be expensive.
  7. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    advice fail
  8. eng42ine macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2010
    Running into a burning building...

    OP: Like was said earlier, you're more than likely going to need a new logic board. But just for giggles, keep it in a bag of rice for a few days and pray 6 hours a day that it will be ok. And start looking for a new logic board for when that doesnt work...
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    You could try a third party shop that specializes in macs (like and get a quote from them. See if maybe the repair would be cheaper that way than through Apple. Seeing as you're now out of warranty anyway...
  10. Var1able thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2010
    It was... Ummmm... Lemonade. Yeah and i think it might have affected only the connection to the built in and external displays and whatever controls the disk drive cuz a lot of it was still Functioning... As far as I could see, the battery, the lights displaying battery level, the fan, USB charging and connectivity and the hard drive possibly. I'm pretty sure the rest isn't screwed up just whatever controls them... Most likely the logic board. Thanks for the advice. Any other help is apprciated.
  11. Coldmode macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2010
    When the computer shut itself off the logic board probably shorted. It didn't help when you tried to turn it on because that could have shorted something else. Since it was lemonade there will be sugar residue inside the machine, and unless you feel comfortable taking it apart and cleaning all that off, Apple won't touch the machine without cash and your warranty is void. Also, if your MBP was made late-2008 or later, there will be spill indicators, which will give you away even if you are able to get it clean.

    As far as what's broken: All of the things you described are parts of the computer that would still be receiving power and would work because of that. But for God's sake stop turning it on! Leave it to dry for at least 3 days.

    Your best bet is probably going to be finding an Apple certified repair shop and trying to Ebay the parts you need. You're probably looking at somewhere around a $1000 repair, so it may be time to think about a new 13" if it's an old machine. If it's new, then it's up to you. I noticed you didn't mention the age of the machine.

    I have some experience with cleaning MBPs after spills, so if you have any other questions, let me know.
  12. dsprimal macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2010
    yeah im sure if you brought it into an apple store, they'll obviously check the water sensor tabs inside (dunno the proper name for it) the mbp to see if you indeed spilt a liquid in order to damage your logic board. hopefully it didn't effect them!
  13. kungfumonkey macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2010
    If you KNOW that already voided the warranty...

    ^... You might as well open up the bottom of the laptop and do this, because it's already broken anyway, you should try to fix it:

    Something that *might* help at this point:

    • Get rubbing alcohol and some cotton balls & Q-tips.
    • Close the lid, flip it over, unscrew the bottom and pop it apart GENTLY!!! Remember to try and 2-finger everything. The less you touch the inside of a computer, the better!
    • Find the battery and simply unplug it or remove it (whatever's easier). You don't want power to be going through the laptop when you start playing around in there...
    • Don't be afraid to get the alcohol on there because it won't hurt your components, that's what they use at Apple. Being smart about it, wipe the lemonade off the components using the Q-tips, cotton balls, and Alcohol. DO NOT use water instead of Alcohol. Alcohol evaporates very fast, removes the sticky junk, and leaves almost nothing behind. DO NOT use a hair dryer for any reason on a laptop or keyboard - even if it sounds like a good idea.
    • When you are confident you got most if not all the junk off the components, don't close it up just yet. The bag of rice trick works like a charm. I don't recommend doing this first because you want to get the sticky crap off the components by using the alcohol, not dry up the liquid and leave corrosion on the components. I would get a big bag or rice from the store, and burrow your laptop down into the bag, as centered as possible. Wait 24 hours, if you can, and then get your laptop out of there. If there are any "water" sensors, they're little strips of paper that color pink/red upon the presence of water, and they should now be reset. This trick definitely works with cellphones, and you can even pick up some of the strip paper online and tack it on there yourself to make it look legit. If they were smart, the sensors would be under the keyboard so check that out before you close it up at the end.
    • Now is when you "blow on" the components to get the rice residue off there. I usually put my hand over my mouth and cough before I blow onto a computer because there could be some spit or surprise that comes leaping out. Just get the dust off the computer and then put it back together.

    Here's the bad news:
    Because you kept turning it on and off after the accident, you may have fried something, and you definitely voided your warranty. Apple will gladly tell you they'll check it out and then charge you for out-of-warranty repairs. Fortunately, you can try to do everything in the list above FIRST, then get it over to Apple if it still doesn't work. Then tell them some crap like, "I was downloading some stuff and backing up my computer at the same time when everything just turned off. Now it's not working". If you say that, they'll start swapping crap out (like RAM, CPU, other supporting boards/cards), find the right component for you and give you a report of what's bad. This might just get you a warranty repair, or at the least you can replace the component yourself after you get the report from Apple. Just remember, if they give you any s*it, just act incredibly stupid and stick to your story. "I don't know man, you guys work here, you can't fix it?" always works at the Apple Store!
  14. pinsrw macrumors regular

    May 30, 2010
    FWIW, I once spilled water on a non-Apple laptop when the power was off. I let it dry for a few days (keyboard facing down with a fan on it), then took it in for service. Only a single fuse had to be replaced, and that was because I turned it on when not fully dry, thus shorting the fuse.
  15. iPatrick99 macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2010
    Westminster, SW1
    For the record, I spilt liquid on my 2008 MacBook late last year and I struggled hard with the idea of a logic board replacement and the astronomical costs involved even by non-authorised repair facilities.

    Luckily, I found NLMS in London who are an independent support and repair service managed to repair the board at component-level which saved me hundreds and I've never looked back - for past 3 months it's still working perfectly.

    The problem is it's soooo difficult to find services who are prepared to, or have the technical know-how to repair logic-boards.

    Is that the same problem Mac users have Stateside?
  16. MBX macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    You should have known to not try to expose it to power when such accidents occur.

    At least you didn't spill wine like i did 2 years ago.

    Despite having spilled wine, my MBP ran totally fine again after i immediately took out the battery (that was when you still were able to remove batteries) and let it all dry for a day.

    Who knows maybe you'll be fine too if you let it dry a bit longer. Unless in you case it is too late and the damage is done.

    Good luck


Share This Page