How to lubricate stiff/creaking Unibody MacBook hinge?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by rudds, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. rudds macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2009
    I got my Unibody MacBook the first day they were available, and since late December, the hinge has gotten stiffer and stiffer, making a cracking noise when I move it after it stays in one position for a few seconds.

    I took it to the Genius Bar (covered under AppleCare) but the people there wouldn't do anything about it, saying it's within normal spec and classifying it as a "user perception issue." (The slightly condescending sound of that phrase is for another post.)

    Has anyone attempted to lubricate the hinge in their laptop themselves? I removed all of the bottom paneling and looked at the hinge, but didn't see how to separate it from the case easily. Would it be a bad idea to try to squirt a little silicone lubricant into the hinge to see if that helps the issue? Is there another trick I could try.

    My mom has a Unibody Pro with a hinge that glides nice and smoothly and it's annoying mine is no longer working properly like this. Any advice is appreciated.
  2. VSMacOne macrumors 601


    Oct 18, 2008
    Try some canned air, maybe you have some crap stuck in there.. i'd be careful with any lubricants that close to the logic board..
  3. aluminumapple macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009

    i advise you not to lubricate it the notebooks heat is overwhelming and it will leak into the motherboard and etc, and i dont think apple care will cover that than again, it hasnt helped you so far.
    if anything i would try a watering a cloth and gently wiping it.
  4. The Rabbi macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2009
    Unfortunately, it seems like a common occurrence, but at least you know you're not alone as far as 'clicking/creaking hinges' go. I'm experiencing the same symptoms, after only a couple months of ownership and use, but I expected Apple would declare it a minor, non-performance based issue, and so I'm opting to live with it, hoping that it doesn't become a major issue somewhere down the line. Whilst you could try blowing it out, I doubt that would solve anything, and I really wouldn't mess around with lubricants and the like. I just don't see that ending well, haha. But, your machine, your call.
  5. lopezlist macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2009
    Apple Repairs my MacBook

    Alright, so I finally took my MacBook to the Genius Bar to see if I could get this problem fixed. Well, they kindly told me that they would re-torque it, without hesitation that is. I mean, I was kind of expecting them to be a little hesitant to get this problem fixed, that is, because of previous comments.

    By the way, I went to an Apple Store in Austin, TX

    Aluminum MacBook 2.0GHz

    I found the following video on YouTube, which might help is there isn't any luck with Apple.
  6. ifoney macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2009
    heck, id rather have a stiff squeaky hinge then a loose one, my damn 6 month old 17" macbook Pro has hinges soo loose the display doesn't stay put. Its especially annoying if i am using it in a car while in motion (me not driving obviously).
  7. uplusd macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    I'm having the same problem with my Unibody 13" MBP. The cracking noise made when moving the screen after some time is loud enough to distract other people. I've tried the flossing method linked to in the video above. While it helped marginally, it did not fix the issue.
  8. yezza macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2008
    You could look into a graphite based grease. It will not be affected by high temperatures (ie high temp will not make it "melt" or run) and its viscosity should be such that it will not run or leak into vital components.
  9. cezinho macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2009
    i was able to eliminate the creaking noise on my macbook pro 13" by tightening the small screws on the underside of the computer, near the hinge. a simple trick, but worked wonders! i assume the screws weren't tightened properly after i had my RAM upgraded at the apple store
  10. XboxMySocks macrumors 68020


    Oct 25, 2009
    IIRC, WD-40 does not conduct electricity, therefore it would be safe to use on motherboards.
  11. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    Myself and a friend also have this exact same problem with our late 2008 Macbooks from the first week of availability. I want to get this fixed now, as it's been getting progressively worse over the past few months to the point of feeling like something might break when I move the hinge.
  12. nburman macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2013
    Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk UK
    I know this is YEARS later, but I came here looking for a solution to stiff hinges on my Powerbook.
    How delicately can I say this?



    It is NOT safe to use on motherboards.


    If you have to use some kind of cleaner make sure you use a electrical contact cleaner that is intended for cleaning electrical components, like potentiometers. Guitar and amp repair guys use it on the pots (volume knobs).

    Or dental floss.

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