Macbook Air won't charge, randomly works, can't figure it out

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by SamIchi, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #1
    Macbook Air 11" (Mid 2013). My girlfriends MBA has had a weird charging problem. We can never tell if it's going to charge or not. Attach the Magsafe and it charges, disconnect, and then no charge for hours, days, we just never know. For the last week, when we connect the adapter it doesn't work. Then last night when we went to the Apple store and it was charging fine, and the Genius' couldn't really help. The only advice they gave was that it might be dusty, so they dusted the port.

    The problem has been on and off. She has 3 different adapters, bought from Apple, but that doesn't seem to be the problem, they all work when the MBA is accepting a charge. We had the charging port replaced by an authorized dealer, and seemed to work fine, until a week later.

    I've troubleshooted everything I can think of (resets, playing with finicky cords, adapters, or power outlets, etc) and have tried everything I could, scouring the web, but I can't seem to pinpoint the problem. We thought maybe it was the temperature of the MBA or the power adapter, but it's showed the same results hot or cold. There are several articles on the web about this, and seems to work for a lot of people.

    One unique thing that I've noticed is that, when we attach the magsafe, we won't see a light, but if we open the screen (or turn on the computer, if it has a charge) then the light shows up on the charger. This has worked a couple times, but a few times it hasn't. Not a solid pattern, but might shed some light on what's wrong.

    I consider myself pretty good at troubleshooting, but this has got me perplexed. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks guys.
     
  2. Newtons Apple macrumors G5

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #2
    I would take it back to the Apple tore and demonstrate the light problem on the MagSafe connector. It should be green or amber at all times when connected to the laptop.
     
  3. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #3
    That's the problem, the few times we've went to get it looked it, it starts working at the store. It will be unable to charge for days, then take it into the Apple store, and the light shows up and starts charging. This has happened 3 times.

    We were only able to reproduce the problem when visiting an authorized repair shop, when we were stressed for time. They ended up replacing the charging port, but the problem still persists.
     
  4. julianps macrumors member

    julianps

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #4
    Random thoughts of a know-nothing

    The obvious thoughts are the quality of the power supply in your house/flat, whether all the MagSafe/MagSafe 2 pins are in good condition, the MagSafe port connectors as well. Beyond that there are two more thoughts; what sort of condition is that battery in (use coconutbattery) and is the BIOS capacitor still working?

    On Intel's 'boards they long did away with BIOS batteries preferring small capacitors and I've read people working out these were at fault for their woes. Basically run the machine on battery till it's flat then leave it a day (or more). turn off all WiFi access and restart. If, on restart, it can't work out date and time that apparently suggests the capacitor's shot and you'll need a new motherboard, or a soldering guru to replace the 10p capacitor with one from Maplin's.
     
  5. SamIchi thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #5
    Hmm Thanks for the information. I don't think it's the power outlets in your apartment because she uses it in her office also, same results. Same with the power adapters, cause she has 3 different ones. Also the Magsafe port was replaced, with same results.

    I'll check into the battery part. Thanks for the info.
     
  6. nc11 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    #6
    My daughter's 13" (mid 2013) has similar issues. We've got a few adapters and a couple of other MBA's in our household, so could rule out anything other then that particular device. We took it to the Apple Store and were able to reproduce the issue. It's within the applecare plan so will get a MagSafe port replacement at first. Should the issue re-occur - and from your experience, it's highly likely - I'll insist on a board replacement.

    Oh and I checked the battery. It's in a good condition.
     
  7. Airboy1466 macrumors regular

    Airboy1466

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    #7
    it seems like this is a common problem on Macbook air made in 2013 with faulty I/O cables
     
  8. nc11 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    #8
    A quick update on this:

    Magsafe port was replaced. When we came to pick it up, we asked to test it in store. The rep plugged the macbook in, the green light came on and then after a couple of seconds disappeared. We opened the lid and it wasn't charging!

    The technician was surprised, and we called a manager. I told him in no uncertain terms that I will not accept anything but a full board replacement. I also gave him the 'option' of a new refurb :)

    He was rather calm about it, and supported my request straight away. A week gone by, and I will be collecting tomorrow. Hopefully, there won't be any surprises...

    Will update tomorrow.
     
  9. Airboy1466 macrumors regular

    Airboy1466

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2015
    #9
    Nice can't wait to hear the follow up
     
  10. nc11 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    #10
    All done :) logic board, I/O board and flex cables, all replaced. Tested in store and then at home, and so far so good...

    If anyone's interested, total cost of the above was £350. Slightly more than standard, due to the 1.7ghz, 8GB logic board.
     

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