Macbook squeaky key

dmelgar

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 29, 2005
1,535
62
My "A" key is squeaking. Its rubbing internally when pressed. Feels very annoying, sorta of like nails on a chalkboard. And its started audibly squeaking as well.

Is there a way to remove the key and see if I can lubricate it? It feels like either lubrication has washed away, or a slippery layer has worn through, or areas that are supposed to slip have developed sharp edges and its scraping now.
 

JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,473
123
Mpls, MN
These keys are weird and new, I'd check with Apple somehow. If you get any useful answers, post 'em.
 

dmelgar

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 29, 2005
1,535
62
JAT said:
These keys are weird and new, I'd check with Apple somehow. If you get any useful answers, post 'em.
I've never contacted Apple before. Do they have an email address or is it phone call only? I'm afraid of the likely hassle. Chances are they'll say to take it to a store (hassel) who I'd have to argue with for them to hear a squeak in a always very loud store. Then most likely they're only solution if they agree its a problem is to ship the Macbook somewhere, way more hassel that I'd like if I can fix it myself.
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,398
3
dmelgar said:
I've never contacted Apple before. Do they have an email address or is it phone call only? I'm afraid of the likely hassle. Chances are they'll say to take it to a store (hassel) who I'd have to argue with for them to hear a squeak in a always very loud store. Then most likely they're only solution if they agree its a problem is to ship the Macbook somewhere, way more hassel that I'd like if I can fix it myself.
I've seen this happen on multiple iBook keyboards and it eventually goes away after a while. Sometimes if you grab the key and wiggle it around it clicks back into correct position, other times it will go back by itself after a while.

I can see how the macbook's keyboard would be more prone to this rubbing though.
 

dmelgar

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 29, 2005
1,535
62
ITASOR said:
I've seen this happen on multiple iBook keyboards and it eventually goes away after a while. Sometimes if you grab the key and wiggle it around it clicks back into correct position, other times it will go back by itself after a while.

I can see how the macbook's keyboard would be more prone to this rubbing though.
Its not popped out. Its been getting worse not better.
 

JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,473
123
Mpls, MN
If you have an Apple Store near you, go there and talk to a Genius. Otherwise call Applecare.
 

dmelgar

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 29, 2005
1,535
62
Not wanting to deal with having to return the laptop, I turned to some spray silicone we use on our boat. Its good for plastic and rubber parts.
I sprayed a little silicone under the misbehaving keys and they're now working very smooth and quiet. So much so that I've noticed that many other keys are rubbing a little, just not annoying like my "A" key was. I'm a little apprehensive about spraying too much silicone under the keys, but so far no bad effects.

I'm pretty happy these days, Mooing has been fixed, keys no longer squeak, and also took some 400 grit sandpaper to sand down the edge of the case. All is good.
 

panoz7

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2005
904
1
Raleigh, NC
dmelgar said:
I sprayed a little silicone under the misbehaving keys and they're now working very smooth and quiet.
That was brave. Nice to hear you got it fixed though. I much prefer fixing stuff myself also, but I don't think I'd ever be able to do that without fear of shorting something.
 

dmelgar

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 29, 2005
1,535
62
panoz7 said:
... fear of shorting something.
AFAIK, silicone is an insulator, not an conductor. The propellant however may conduct and its therefore safer to spray when the Macbook is off (I didn't). The propellant evaporates very quickly. Its therefore unlikely to short something out. Its more likely to prevent contacts from closing, ie preventing a key from working at all. But given the design of keyboards I have seen, the contacts are usually under at least a partial flexible membrane (maybe silicone itself).
 

Impulse29

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2004
62
0
Silicon is among the least chemically reactive elements that exist, so they would certainly not be a good conductor of electricity (not to mention that it is nowhere the metals). While I'd let Apple take care of it while it's still under warranty, I do think that spraying silicone would be more effective at preventing it from coming back if you are able to do it. My Macbook does not have this problem (yet), but my friend's does. Could you give more information about the product you used, and how you applied it? Thanks!
 

dmelgar

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 29, 2005
1,535
62
Impulse29 said:
Silicon is among the least chemically reactive elements that exist, so they would certainly not be a good conductor of electricity (not to mention that it is nowhere the metals). While I'd let Apple take care of it while it's still under warranty, I do think that spraying silicone would be more effective at preventing it from coming back if you are able to do it. My Macbook does not have this problem (yet), but my friend's does. Could you give more information about the product you used, and how you applied it? Thanks!
I used "CRC Heavy duty silicone". I bought it at a marine store for lubricating rubber parts. It comes in a spray can similar to WD40, with a rigid hose that attaches to a spray nozzle. I was able to wedge the end of the hose under the offending keys and give it a short blast. It is easy to apply too much and potentially cause a problem.
I will say that it seems to last. I applied it two months ago and have not had to re-apply. I'm still squeak free.