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macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 6, 2010
New York
I've got a 13" MacBook Air here that someone gave me after they spilled water on the keyboard.

It's been off for quite a few months so, so it's dried, and I'm looking at what works and what doesn't.

What is wrong...
1.) Won't work without power cable attached. If you yank off the Magsafe, it shuts off immediately.

2.) Keyboard doesn't work, trackpad doesn't work. But, both USB ports work because you can plug in a mouse and keyboard and they work fine.

3.) Internal fans kick up to pretty much full speed immediately and stay that way.

My question is, what sort of repair would you say this needs to become normal again, and is it even worth doing? I'm assuming the logic board has been at least partially damaged, and could very well be the root of all the symptoms. What do you think?

Bart Kela

Oct 12, 2016
It's impossible to make a full assessment from a simple verbal description, it needs to undergo a full visual inspection by a trained and experienced technician plus hardware diagnostics which is done with hardware and software tools that the typical end user neither has access to nor experience in using.

These are complex devices and most of Apple's recent computer designs have no user-replaceable parts.

Having read hundreds and hundreds of "water spilled on Mac" threads over the years, I'd say the minimum it would require is an expensive motherboard replacement but other components may be damaged as well (like the keyboard, trackpad, accessory ports, power port, battery, etc.) based on some of your commentary.

Your best course of action would be to take this to an Apple Store's Genius Bar or an authorized Apple service center and have them do a full diagnostic and repair cost estimate. Only you can be the judge of whether or not it is worth it after you see the estimate.

Based on other threads here, it will probably cost several hundreds of dollars.

You don't mention how old this MacBook Air is or what you intended to do with it, but many in similar situations have decided it was more cost effective to replace the system.

Good luck.
Last edited:


macrumors newbie
Feb 26, 2017
i would check the cable from track pad to board look for liquid on the ends of the cable fans will run at full speed if the board cannot see the track pad that is normal then turn unit on look at the battery and see if the mac can see it could say plugged in not charging or something like that it is common for the battery to die after liquid damage
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