MBA 11" mid 2013 vertical discoloration problems

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Macbookair2013, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Macbookair2013, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013

    Macbookair2013 macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013

    I am new to this forum.
    I was at work, carefully wiped the screen with a damp cloth as always.
    No immediate problems. Then I had to move my computer and closed the lid.
    As I opened it a little over 1" wide vertical line at the left of the display had appeared. It´s multicolored and flickers. Super annoying. Minor panic ensued.
    Then I found this thread;

    I am now hoping it will pass in time or that wiping it off with a cloth for spectacles will do the trick.

    The stripe does not appear in screenshots.
    It does not appear to be a pressure issue seeing as how even the stripe is.

    Thing is, I did not do anything I haven´t done before, so it seemed to appear out of thin air.

    I attached photos.

    Is this the result of the wiping or could it be magnetized or the result of static electricity?

    Does anyone know?
    Is this a common issue with the new MBA?

    I am pretty sure that it does get covered by my insurance, seeing as the warranty won´t cover liquid damage. For now, I guess I will live with the annoyance and hope it passes. Give it a day or two before I take it to an apple store.

    I bought it july this year on the apple online store.

    Attached Files:

  2. Macbookair2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013
    I find it really strange how perfectly straight the line is. Is it possible that damage from liquid or pressure appear so straight?

    What else could have caused this?

    Anyone know?
  3. Macbookair2013, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013

    Macbookair2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013
    It just got worse.

    I tried to run Sims3....
    Then the fan went on, it usually does when I play Sims or Civ V.
    But the machine just went really warm and then the screen started to get another line of rainbowed discoloration. I just shut Sims down immediately and now the screen looks like the photo I attached.

    Anyone here have any idea of what this is?

    It seemed fine, everything else was working until I launched Sims.

    Could this be a graphic card issue?


    The attached photo did not show what happened seeing as this was a screen dump :( The additional emerging stripe did, however, disappear after shutting the game down. the stripe on the left side is still there though.
  4. happyslayer macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    I have an old 2010 model 11" Air that does similar things. I keep it as a spare since I got my new 2013 model. The wide line of display wierdness isn't quite as bad as yours--it's a lot lighter and can be mostly ignored--but it does get bad if I push the laptop with any kind of game or even using Parallels. It seems to be heat related. I spoke to an Apple genius about it--I didn't bring it in, though, just talked to them one day in the Apple store when I was there for an iPhone issues--and they said it was most likely the logic board. Too expensive for me to deal with on an Air so old.

    On yours, however, I would run--don't walk--to the Apple store and get it handled. Yours is way too new for that to be happening. Also, I do not believe wiping it down with a damp cloth--unless it's literally dripping water--should cause anything like this. Though, I've never really done that. I use the Costco lens cleaner wipes to clean my screen.

    Good luck!
  5. Macbookair2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013

    I had a nice chat with Andrew at technical support. He was very willing to help and suggested a SMC or PRAM/VRAM reset. the SMC did nothing as far as I can see, the second the screen went from black to grey at startup, the stripe was there.

    Then I did the other reset the PRAM/VRAM. The grey screen had NO stripe!
    Neither did the login screen!
    But then, dognabbit! As soon as I was logged in, there it was. Tried it again, same result. The stripe disappears from the grey screen and the login screen, but then it´s back. Imagine the frustration.

    I went back on here to check on my thread and saw another thread on here about a 2month old MBA 2013. Same problem it seems as I skimmed through it.


    Latest update!

    My customer contact at apple support called me just now.

    I had sent her a regular update via e-mail since the minute this happened last night. The last update was a summarized version of the one above plus a video showing how the stripe is gone and then back again as soon as I log in.

    She called technical support, as I had tried to reopen the case with no success. She then put me off hold and told me that the techies said this looks like a repair candidate.

    She said that she will talk to her supervisor and see what they can do. Seeing as I only had the laptop for a couple of months this should be covered by warranty, but she will see how else they might be able to compensate me.

    To me, I need to have a laptop now regardless while this is being fixed and I just can´t afford a new one just now. Macbooks are seriously expensive and that´s why I expect a better quality.

    I was hoping there would be an easier way to fix this. Can´t believe what an evil tease that reset turned out to be.


    The customer support is really efficient and service minded. They have been nothing but polite and understanding and I really get the impression they want to help. They´ve been great.
  6. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    This is more than likely a faulty LCD panel. I've personally seen 5 (my personal MBAir along with 4 others I've repaired) 11" MacBook Airs (from 2010 until now) with similar symptoms and vertical discoloration/lines is a typical symptom of bad LCDs anyway. The color variation could be only visible on certain colors/backgrounds. Apple would likely run an LCD color test that places flat colors and gradient colors on your LCD to see where the issue occurs.

    Apple would need to replace the display assembly, which is a straight forward process. If the part is in stock and their repair queue is short you'd probably have it back within a day or so. I'd take it into Apple or an AASP (find an AASP) and have them diagnose & repair it. It will certainly be much less fuss than dealing with AppleCare and forums on the internet.

    In regards to liquid damage... It IS possible for liquid damage to cause something like this but in my experience you're much more likely to instead see no backlight, no video, cloudiness in the display, etc. From what you've said I wouldn't expect liquid damage when opening up this MBAir.


    How else would you expect them to compensate you? It sounds like they're agreeing to repair it, which is expected when something is under warranty and hasn't been damaged.

    If being without a computer for a few days (let's say 5) is completely unacceptable then you need to factor that into your life. Have an old backup computer, know which of your friend's might have a computer you can borrow for a few days, know where you can access public (university, library, etc) computers, etc. If it's business critical (you're making money using your Mac) then there is absolutely no excuse for not having a backup Mac to use in these situations.

    Check with local Apple resellers (Mac speciality shops), many have rental programs where you can rent your choice of Mac for a few days. Apple has it's Join Venture program for business customers (anyone can enroll, just aimed at business) to provide expedited service as well as loaner Macs as needed.

    There are options out there but I personally can't imagine asking for further compensation. Maybe if this was the 4th failure in two months, where my Mac had been out of my hands for several weeks now, but not in this instance.
  7. Macbookair2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013

    Apple will send me a new MBA with the same specifications ASAP, I will then return my old laptop after transferring my documents, pictures and whatnot.
    To me that should be the least to expect.

    I do have a backup, I have a VAIO. I chose the MBA because it was supposed to be of better quality. I really appreciate how Apple handled this efficiently without trying to shift the blaim upon me as a consumer. I will however invest in a time capsule soon.

    To me if they had just offered to fix it up, I would seriously reconsider ever buying an apple product again. This was brand new, top of the line, latest model of the MacBookAir 11,6" and to justify the prices, they better have the best customer service and I expect way more from an apple product than say, a compaq @$200. The MBA cost me more than $2.500. So yes, I expect more.

    Just glad that Apple expect as much of themselves.


    I think Apple have realized the true value of a good reputation and return of business.


    my old compaq still runs BTW.
  8. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    Glad they are coming through for you but in my opinion you should reconsider buying any more Apple products. Repair is the norm for any company, to expect a full replacement or some sort of extra compensation (outside of normal circumstances) will not end well for you.

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