Lifespan of late 2013 2.3 GHz 15" Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by wdarner, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. wdarner macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    I have a late 2013 2.3 GHz 15" MacBook Pro with the Haswell processor. I am having issues with a worn out track pad and aging battery and am being told by Apple that both need to be replaced. My MBP has the older keyboard style with all the multiple ports which I like. I'm apprehensive of the newer design with only the USB-C ports and the thinner keyboards. Also not sure about the Touchbar technology. I am trying to decide between repairing what I have (about $500), getting a refurbed mid 2015 (slightly better processor but same layout as my current MBP, about $2000) or biting the bullet for a new 2018 model (about $2400 refurbed).
    I am seeking opinions on anyone's guess on the lifespan of my current 2013? I am running current Mojave with no issues and am very happy with the speed. My thought is to ride out another 2-3 years if possible with my repaired current MBP and wait to see what changes Apple makes in the next few years. There seems to be a lot of unhappy users with the current design on the MBP. I just want to make sure I can get another few years from my model. I appreciate any thoughts or input.
  2. collin_ macrumors member


    Nov 19, 2018
    This is the exact same model I have. I couldn't be happier with it because it still runs like it does when I first got it over 5 years ago. Yeah I want the brighter display with a wider color gamut, blazing fast NVMe SSD, TouchID and whatnot, but personally I'm going to wait this one out.

    I got a battery replacement in summer 2017 because the battery was very degraded. When the battery would suddenly die before the charge was drained, that's when I was like, I need to get this replaced. It was $200 and they also replaced the top case. As far as I know, they can't replace the battery without also replacing the top case. Also, I think the trackpad is part of the top case, but I could be wrong. I'm like 99% sure I had a new trackpad after the battery replacement. It clicked deeper and stuff.

    I'm not sure why this would be $500 for you and $200 for me. Maybe the track pad isn't part of the top case and mine just clicks deeper because they cleaned it. If you don't mind my asking, what does "worn out" mean in this case?
  3. wdarner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    Interesting. I originally talked to the Genius Bar guy at my Apple Store who quoted a ballpark of $400 (I think) to replace the trackpad. I don't remember the exact quote and I have a follow up appointment to see them again this Saturday to clarify. There was no mention of any item other than the trackpad.
    I called earlier today to a local Apple Authorized Repair center (independent of Apple) who quoted me $399 for the part and $125 to install. This included the top case with trackpad, keyboard, battery and microphone.
    Both Apple Store and the independent quote $199 for battery replacement alone, but the independent still quotes $125 labor to install.
    I guess the million dollar question is whether the battery replacement includes the top case with the keyboard and trackpad or not. Hopefully I will get clarification from Apple Store on Saturday.
  4. PROFESS0R macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2017
    Your guess about the longevity of your computer is better than anyone’s guess on this forum. There are far too many variables to predict the failure of your machine, and you are more familiar with many of those variables than anyone here.

    Rather than attempt a guess at when your computer will die, I would argue that you need to do a cost-benefit analysis, and decide for yourself what your next step should be.

  5. wdarner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    To answer your question, by "worn out" I mean that there are certain areas of the trackpad that don't register a click. I feel and hear the click, but it just doesn't register. Apple Store says it's a horizontal band running across the entire pad that doesn't work, but to me it feels like it the area just in the middle where I have clicked repetitively over the years. I can work around it by clicking more to the edge, but it's annoying when I forget and click and it doesn't register. I'm curious how common this problem is.
  6. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area

    I am going to guess the replacement is for the entire top case. The Apple techs time is too valuable to mess around with heating up the glue on a battery and peeling it off with a knife.

    Here is the Apple site's description of the battery replacement. It does not detail the work, but does have the price you were quoted.
  7. wdarner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    I don't mean longevity in the sense of the machine malfunctioning, but assuming it remains healthy when the processor will no longer be supported by the OS, slow down, become sluggish, etc. But in the end that too is anyone's guess. I'm just hoping I can get 1 to 2 or maybe even 3 more years use out of it to see if Apple takes the MacBook Pro in a different direction.
  8. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    since it supports Metal gfx... I suspect you can get at least 2 years out of it easily
  9. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    I replaced the trackpad in my 2014 MBP when it died. To get to the trackpad required completely removing the battery which was glued to the underside of the trackpad. All in, it took about an hour of prying to peel that sucker off but it was well worth the value of buying a new trackpad from ebay and installing it myself. I've also replaced the battery in a MBA which was a doddle.

    Replacement trackpad was 35 bucks and battery for MBA was 80 bucks.
  10. wdarner thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2013
    So I returned to the Genius Bar yesterday to confirm my options on repair. After 4 and a half years by battery is still healthy running at 87%. She opened up the case and no swelling involved so the trackpad issue is definitely isolated to the trackpad. Price to repair the trackpad: $399 +$75 labor + tax or about $500. She confirmed the battery replacement is the exact same repair as the trackpad repair, replacing top case/keyboard/trackpad/battery and microphone. But service for battery replacement is $199 total, because it's considered a consumable replacement as opposed to a hardware repair. Her recommendation - skip the trackpad repair and come back when the battery won't hold more than 80% and qualifies for battery replacement. In the meantime, we turned on "tap to click" in trackpad preferences as a workaround which has mostly solved my issues for now. Just not willing to invest $500 to repair a computer that's only worth $600 or $700 to begin with.
  11. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2017
    new trackpad is about $30-40 on eBay, but the problem is you need to remove the glued battery to replace the trackpad, just because Apple shoddy design
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    To be perfectly clear: the only way to be sure that a laptop will last X year is to have warranty for X years. It’s a very complex device with complex potential points of failure which is also subject to aging and natural deterioration. So while I think that your laptop will be supported by next two or three macOS iterations, whether it will survive 2 years without a need for extra repair depends on your luck.

    That said, here are my 50 cents. Pay for repairs and keep it for as long as it goes, then buy a new one. My reasoning is as follows. Since the laptop is already 5 years old and didn’t have a catastrophic failure yet, it’s probably free of inherent defects that would kill it early. The longer one lives, the higher probability of living yet longer, after all :) buying a 2015 model is just a waste of money, after all, it’s practically the same computer and it’s far from cheap. You’d be paying 1500 for a year of warranty which is ridiculous. A 2018 would be an option, but as you said - you are happy with your machine, so why spend so much?

    In the end, paying 500 now and then replacing the machine after 2 years or so seems like a much better long-term investment. And in 2 years, Macs will come with new technologies, faster GPUs and all those goodies, so you’d get much better bang for buck.

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11 December 13, 2018