Macbook pro 2018 display - liquid or heat damage?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by amehy, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. amehy macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2018
    Hi everyone,

    Yesterday I wanted to clean my macbook keyboard with some rubbing alcohol as it was getting a little greasy. However, stupid me accidentally spilled some liquid onto the screen. The liquid rand down from the screen and got stuck in the gap between the main body and the screen. When I tried to blow the liquid away with a hairdryer (on the heat setting, pretty stupid in hindsight) a big smudge started to appear on the screen.


    Now I'm wondering if the screen has liquid damage (I didn't spill that much liquid) or heat damage and if there is any way to fix this. I've already considered replacing the screen assembly myself, but there aren't that much parts available at the moment. I found a screen without frame on aliexpress, but I'm a bit worried about the quality so I guess I'll have take my macbook to the genius bar if there isn't any other fix. Unfortunately I have heard stories about prices of up to 1000 euros for a new display. (I'm from Europe)

    The screen has its regular brightness on the location of the smudge and has become much darker everywhere else.


  2. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    Looks a lot like alcohol damage to me, heat might have caused it to vaporise faster...

    I doused an iphone 5S (which was water damaged) with isopropanol and it looked kinda like that after it booted.
  3. amehy, Nov 1, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018

    amehy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2018
    That could very possibly be it. But the weird thing is that when the screen is turned off, it looks completely normal. No visible stains whatsoever, even when I shine on it with a flashlight. Shouldn't the stain also be visible when the screen is turned off if there is liquid damage?
  4. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
    the iPhone 5s that i rubbed with alcohol didn't have any stains turned off - any at all. It only looked spotty when turned on (dark/bright spots) but it was more spotty because i rubbed it from all sides and the back, not just from one direction.
  5. Premal212 macrumors regular


    Jan 26, 2017
    London UK
    The alcohol may have damaged the lighting or array at the front. I'm not overly sure what the different layers are, but this could have maybe warped one of the layers or corroded one of them. Hence causing this funny smudge on your screen.

    I suggest either taking it into Apple and seeing what they say, or wait a few weeks, see if it 'clears up' by itself, but I have little confidence in the latter. I reckon you're going to have to take this to Apple
  6. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Jan 21, 2008
  7. AppleHaterLover macrumors 68000

    Jun 15, 2018
    This. The damage is done, water sensors have probably been triggered, and by the look of things that's going to be a display replacement + a potential logic board replacement + top case replacement if you go to Apple. All of them out of warranty.

    If I were you, I'd do the following ASAP to cut your losses

    1) Try to purchase AppleCare+ remotely RIGHT NOW if you're in the 90 day window (you need to pass remote diagnostics. Since your laptop is working there is a chance you might pass). Then if nothing works it's a flat rate repair that's doesn't cost your kidney.

    2) Leave it open and turned off for a few days to see if it dries. I've seen water damaged iPhone screens dry out over time.

    3) If none of this works, take it to Apple for a quote - but then also get a quote from an indie specialist. I've had great success with them for repairs in the past when Apple wanted to replace the entire logic board.
  8. amehy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2018
    AppleCare+ sadly isn't available in Belgium and in the Netherlands you can only purchase it within a 60 day window so that isn't an option sadly. It seems the most logical to me that I only need a new display assembly as I only spilled onto the display itself and I don't think any liquid could have seeped into the main body. But indeed anything can happen when going to one of those "authorised service providers". I'll also have a look at an indie specialist but I fear that third party displays for the 2018 model aren't readily available yet.

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7 November 1, 2018