liquid spill - fix or replace?

debtman7

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
3
0
So, stupidly, last night I spilled a beverage all over my laptop. I didn't think I spilled much, so I wiped it up very quickly and figured probably no big deal. A few minutes later some of the keys stopped working and then it made a loud beeping sound, froze and shut off. Whoops. When I moved it I'm pretty sure some liquid drained out of the dvd slot, though it could have been from the bottom of the case too...

I let it sit overnight, and this morning it powered up fine. Like completely ok, except for the not working keys. I've been using it for 4 hours straight, watched videos to tax the CPU, etc. Everything seems completely fine except for some non-functional keys.

So now comes the dillemma. I have applecare, however with a liquid spill it would cost me an arm and a leg to get it repaired through them. A new upper case (which includes keyboard and trackpad assembly) is $330. Add in another $30 for speciality tools to do the job. Replacing that looks to be quite non trivial (but hey, my warranty is already voided at this point so...).

My main concern is what damage could be lurking under the surface. Years ago I ran my iPhone through the washing machine and it seemed to survive fine, until I upgraded to iOS 4 and suddenly it would reboot every 10 minutes. I don't want to drop $400 fixing this laptop for it to start to develop issues in the next couple of months. It's a mid 2010 2.53 core i5 machine so it's not really too old. But I could pick up a refurb 2.2 quad core i7 for $1400 and know that I have a machine that's not as likely to die on me any day...

So this is the dilemma... Anyone know of a way I can test it out to see what problems may be lurking under the surface? Or the odds that if it runs fine for a few days it'll probably be fine for years? Like I said I really hate to spend $400 on something that may not last long.
 

chrisfromalbany

macrumors 6502
Jun 24, 2010
403
19
So this is the dilemma... Anyone know of a way I can test it out to see what problems may be lurking under the surface? Or the odds that if it runs fine for a few days it'll probably be fine for years? Like I said I really hate to spend $400 on something that may not last long.
Other idea is buy a refub now and get that one fixed.. once comes back fix sell it on eBay or Craiglist and let difference after repair cost go towards the new MBP.
 

FuNGi

macrumors 65816
Feb 26, 2010
1,112
28
California
In the future you should always immediately power off your machine when exposing it to liquids. Then dry the machine out before powering it on. It seems you did neither so I would not be surprised if your machine suffers long term damage. That being said, I would stop using the machine now and dry it thoroughly. You may find that the key functionality returns - as did mine after pouring half a beer onto it :eek:.

Invert the laptop or put it on it's side at the very least. Then put either a fan or a blow drier (set on low!!!) some distance away from the laptop to force gental warming air through the keyboard and down the vents of the screen. Leave it 2 feet away or so so it doesn't get too hot. Leave the air blowing on it for 1-2 hours. Other's seal their precious electronics in bags with desiccants or rice for up to 48 hours. Don't get rice in your keyboard!!!

Try this before a) replacing the keyboard (not-trivial), or b) selling it off as damaged goods.
 

katmeef

macrumors 6502
Jul 20, 2010
368
0
... i thought chrisfromalbany had a great suggestion. get the keyboard replaced, sell it on ebay, and then buy that refurbished $1400 computer you're looking at, you can get $800, all the way up to $1,800 depending on the size, memory and other extras of the computer. you'll eliminate the chances of having problems with it later and you'll get a newer one! see it as a sweet down payment for a newer, better product! get the $1400 or if you're short on cash, get the refurbished MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Dual-core Intel i5 for $900!
this is why I don't buy used computers
 

user418

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2010
668
12
anyway, after a wk i went to the apple store and DID NOT tell them about the water!!! 4 days later, i got a call from the store saying the repairs were complete and my computer was ready to be picked up!!! it was the greatest feeling of relief ever!

--Take it to apple, say the keys stopped working and you have no idea what happened, and hopefully they'll replace it for free, chances are you didn't trigger the liquid sensor indicators or maybe you did, maybe the tech guy's having a good day and decides to replace it anyway...what's a measly $173 to a corporation that's worth $600 billion! i read people's stupid comments about morality and "doing the right thing" whatever the **** that means. i say screw them! it's chump change to them, i'm happy, they're happy...we enjoy a lifelong relationship and you know what, those ****ers win in the end bc you know you'll be buying their products til we die!!! anyway, good look with that. update us!
Ok, here's a stupid comment for you since no one else will say it. One day someone will lie to you and rip you off because they think you are in a better financial position and can afford it. Be sure and post back and let us know how you feel. What goes around comes around. The point is not whether Apple can afford it, the point is doing the honorable thing. Something you obviously know nothing about. You probably lie, cheat, and steal on a regular basis. People like you make me want to puke....
 

sjenkins49

macrumors member
Jul 1, 2010
30
0
Indianapolis, IN
My daughter spilt Dr Pepper in my MBA while it was still in warranty but no Apple Care. I took it to the Genius Bar and told them what happened. The Genius said since I had never had a claim they would fix it at no charge. The MBA was fixed in less then a week. Besides the display and the aluminum base they replaces everything else. Sometimes it pays off to just be upfront and honest.
 

icewing

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2008
374
0
St Louis
haha...in a nutshell i think it's this thing called karma, but idk, i'm morally bankrupt and probably stupid. see, i told you there would be some holier than thou ****er on the prowl for a troll session...but omg you're so right, i can't sleep at night. maybe i should go see a therapist....p.s. you probably puke on yourself on a regular basis haha

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and this is b.s. it ALWAYS depends on what you look like...
Wish there was still a down-vote button.
 

user418

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2010
668
12
haha...in a nutshell i think it's this thing called karma, but idk, i'm morally bankrupt and probably stupid. see, i told you there would be some holier than thou ****er on the prowl for a troll session...but omg you're so right, i can't sleep at night. maybe i should go see a therapist....p.s. you probably puke on yourself on a regular basis haha

----------



and this is b.s. it ALWAYS depends on what you look like...
You're brilliant. Took you four days to come up with such a profound response. Not holier than thou, just a bit more honest than thee. I'm sure you'll probably pass those admirable traits on to your kids. Our tax dollars will be wasted on two generations of your family serving time in the same prison. Enjoy your ill gotten gains while you can. We'll change your screen name to prisoner 465387.
 

mac-n-sauce

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2012
209
2
Tampa, Fl
So, stupidly, last night I spilled a beverage all over my laptop. I didn't think I spilled much, so I wiped it up very quickly and figured probably no big deal. A few minutes later some of the keys stopped working and then it made a loud beeping sound, froze and shut off. Whoops. When I moved it I'm pretty sure some liquid drained out of the dvd slot, though it could have been from the bottom of the case too...

I let it sit overnight, and this morning it powered up fine. Like completely ok, except for the not working keys. I've been using it for 4 hours straight, watched videos to tax the CPU, etc. Everything seems completely fine except for some non-functional keys.

So now comes the dillemma. I have applecare, however with a liquid spill it would cost me an arm and a leg to get it repaired through them. A new upper case (which includes keyboard and trackpad assembly) is $330. Add in another $30 for speciality tools to do the job. Replacing that looks to be quite non trivial (but hey, my warranty is already voided at this point so...).

My main concern is what damage could be lurking under the surface. Years ago I ran my iPhone through the washing machine and it seemed to survive fine, until I upgraded to iOS 4 and suddenly it would reboot every 10 minutes. I don't want to drop $400 fixing this laptop for it to start to develop issues in the next couple of months. It's a mid 2010 2.53 core i5 machine so it's not really too old. But I could pick up a refurb 2.2 quad core i7 for $1400 and know that I have a machine that's not as likely to die on me any day...

So this is the dilemma... Anyone know of a way I can test it out to see what problems may be lurking under the surface? Or the odds that if it runs fine for a few days it'll probably be fine for years? Like I said I really hate to spend $400 on something that may not last long.
You do not need to replace the whole upper case assembly.

Remove the bottom panel, the key board connector is next to the battery connector. See if there is any visible signs of corrosion. If there is any corrosion on the logic board, then it will need to be cleaned or it will continue to damage components. You can get isopropyl alcohol from a store that is 90% pure or greater. You can then pour some on the dirty spots and gently clean with an old toothbrush.

Make sure the battery is disconnected.

Let it dry completely, then you can try again.

If the backlight is still working on the keyboard, then all you will need is a keyboard assembly for your model. You can get them for $30-$50 on ebay.

I can walk you through the process if need be, it is a little time consuming, but not that hard.
If you are interested, then take some high quality pictures of the logic board with the corrosion and post them.
If you can tell me your model number, I can show you pictures of where the keyboard connector is located.

Good luck!
 

Astroboy907

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2012
1,387
13
Spaceball One
You do not need to replace the whole upper case assembly.

Remove the bottom panel, the key board connector is next to the battery connector. See if there is any visible signs of corrosion. If there is any corrosion on the logic board, then it will need to be cleaned or it will continue to damage components. You can get isopropyl alcohol from a store that is 90% pure or greater. You can then pour some on the dirty spots and gently clean with an old toothbrush.

Make sure the battery is disconnected.

Let it dry completely, then you can try again.

If the backlight is still working on the keyboard, then all you will need is a keyboard assembly for your model. You can get them for $30-$50 on ebay.

I can walk you through the process if need be, it is a little time consuming, but not that hard.
If you are interested, then take some high quality pictures of the logic board with the corrosion and post them.
If you can tell me your model number, I can show you pictures of where the keyboard connector is located.

Good luck!
Year old thread, dude. But good advice nonetheless! :)