MBA screen hinge seems too loose, is this covered under AppleCare warranty?

watermelonbook

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2014
173
38
My MBA's screen hinge has always felt a lot looser than other MBAs(such as the display units at Best Buy or Apple Store) When I bought it, I figured that was normal, because I didn't have anything to compare it with.

The screen does stay up just fine... it's just that when I open the screen, there's almost no resistance from closed position to full open position.

I do still have more than 1 years of AppleCare left on this MBA. Is this type of "issue" covered? Should I even bother having the Apple Store try to fix it? (like the old saying, if it ain't broke don't fix it... as opening the MBA may end up causing more problems?

Thanks!
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
I think they can pop off the black plastic part to do it.
When I've seen this done, the person doing it always took off the bottom panel to do it.

It's not a big deal to "crack open" the case if you just mean removing the bottom panel. It's just held in with some screws. You do have to have the right screwdriver though because they are pentalobe.
 

darngooddesign

macrumors G3
Jul 4, 2007
9,310
210
Atlanta, GA
When I've seen this done, the person doing it always took off the bottom panel to do it.

It's not a big deal to "crack open" the case if you just mean removing the bottom panel. It's just held in with some screws. You do have to have the right screwdriver though because they are pentalobe.
It may be accessible that way. I suppose my point was that tightening the hinge is something that can be accomplished in the store, instead of sending it out to a repair facility.
 

watermelonbook

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 31, 2014
173
38
When I've seen this done, the person doing it always took off the bottom panel to do it.

It's not a big deal to "crack open" the case if you just mean removing the bottom panel. It's just held in with some screws. You do have to have the right screwdriver though because they are pentalobe.
My nearest Apple Store is 101 miles away. I just called them. Apparently they no longer "adjust" the hinges. If my MBA's hinge is loose, even slightly, they will just replace the hinges at the store.(as long as I get an appointment first)
 

JBat

macrumors regular
Apr 6, 2007
157
17
Washington
The computer bottom is going to have to come off. Do it yourself, it takes 5 minutes. You need a 1.2mm pentalobe driver.
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,317
118
Is that wise? I still have more than 1 year of AppleCare warranty left.
It's just a piece of aluminum that's held in with some screws. There's no way Apple would know that you opened it and there's no way just taking that aluminum off could damage anything.
 

JBat

macrumors regular
Apr 6, 2007
157
17
Washington
I agree with motrek. There's no seal there to alert Apple that you removed the cover. I believe there's 10 screws and the cover just pops off. Very simple, and you would also be able to clean out any dust that may have accumulated in there. The screen is held in place with 2 hinges, each with 2 screws, IIRC. You will need the pentalobe driver, though (for the cover).
 

Dadioh

macrumors 65816
Feb 3, 2010
1,120
27
Canada Eh?
I agree with motrek. There's no seal there to alert Apple that you removed the cover. I believe there's 10 screws and the cover just pops off. Very simple, and you would also be able to clean out any dust that may have accumulated in there. The screen is held in place with 2 hinges, each with 2 screws, IIRC. You will need the pentalobe driver, though (for the cover).
It is "possible" that the screws that are loose are the ones that can be accessed with the bottom panel off. However, 9 times out of 10, I have experienced that the loose screws are the ones that are inside the black clutch cover. To access those you obviously need to remove the clutch cover but to do that you need to remove the screen from the base to be able to slide the clutch cover over and release it. Not a huge deal for someone used to working with these but not for someone who is nervous about even opening the bottom cover. If Apple will do it for you under AppleCare then I suggest going to them.
 

SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2012
1,004
1,767
Interstellar
It is "possible" that the screws that are loose are the ones that can be accessed with the bottom panel off. However, 9 times out of 10, I have experienced that the loose screws are the ones that are inside the black clutch cover. To access those you obviously need to remove the clutch cover but to do that you need to remove the screen from the base to be able to slide the clutch cover over and release it. Not a huge deal for someone used to working with these but not for someone who is nervous about even opening the bottom cover. If Apple will do it for you under AppleCare then I suggest going to them.
I too have a loose hinge and have just tried to tighten the 4 screws that sit on top of the logic board. Alas it hasn't done anything. I'll mention this to the Apple Genius' as I've got a feeling they'll say it's within normal parameters.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,142
1,804
Between the coasts
The issue isn't whether Apple might detect that there was a do-it-yourself repair, but what happens if that repair attempt goes bad. Damage done during an unauthorized repair is not covered by AppleCare. One of the corollaries to Murphy's Law is: A dropped screwdriver (or wrench) will land where it can do the most damage.

If a person is not experienced at these things, I would not encourage them to try. Sure, the nearest Apple Store may be 100 miles away, so a successful self-repair would save a lot of driving. An unsuccessful repair could turn a functioning computer into a non-functioning computer and still require that 200 mile round-trip - perhaps twice that, if the repair takes several days.

Finally, check to see if there's an Apple Authorized Service Provider closer to home. They'll also perform AppleCare-covered repairs at no charge.