Soda spill... 2013 MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by TRC2k13, Nov 28, 2013.

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  1. TRC2k13 macrumors newbie

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    I was working on my 2013 MacBook Air (model A1466) with a 95% empty glass of coke to my left... and bumped it... spilling a VERY small amount on the lower left corner of the laptop. The coke landed on the trackpad and a few of the keys (space, x, c, v, b, command)... I had a towel on the table and instantly wiped up the mess but of course there was some soda that got between the letters and the surface of the laptop.

    This happened about 36 hours ago.

    I've cleaned the keyboard with rubbing alcohol and everything appears to be working... no issues with the laptop itself and all the keys work fine. I just spent over an hour testing every key over and over and over and am using it now to type this message. The problem I do have though is I have a few sticky keys, no doubt from the coke that seeped between the keys and got underneath. The affected keys are the spacebar and a couple letters above it.

    Also, the backlighting on the keyboard has one area that is bright... the 7-9 keys and F7-F9 with the entire rest of the keyboard still lit, but much dimmer.

    I've researched replacement keyboards on Ebay with various results... 2012 MBA keyboards (not sure about compatibility) for $25 and the keyboard plus the lower section which I don't need for $100-$250.

    I'd love to be able to just clean the keyboard but it looks like I have to take the case apart... and if I'm doing that and can get a replacement at a decent price I might as well replace the keyboard. I am assuming that nothing else "underneath" was affected other than the keyboard... due to the small amount of coke that was spilled and how quickly I cleaned it.

    What are my options? Can I send it to Apple a cleaning? I contacted them earlier and was given info on local authorized service centers as well as the Apple store. I'm assuming the warranty is void due to this but the rep told me it might not be... if I get it serviced by approved personnel.

    Input greatly appreciated.
     
  2. mpantone, Nov 28, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013

    mpantone macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Apple authorized service centers are consistently cheaper than asking Apple to do repair work.

    Having an authorized service technician perform the work should not void the warranty. Opening the Air yourself will definitely void the warranty. If there is a future problem with your Air, you will not be eligible for repair work under warranty. You will pay out of pocket.

    I strongly suggest you find a local Apple repair shop that has been around for a *long* time.

    The glass could have been 95% full, not 95% empty. You are a fool for putting liquids in close proximity of your expensive electronics. This will be an expensive lesson, but at least you have a working computer.

    Also, if you have premium credit cards, use those to purchase electronics. The better credit cards (American Express is one, I believe) will provide short-term replacement insurance (e.g., you buy an iPhone and shatter it a week later getting out of your car). These cards also extend factory warranty coverage.

    Debit cards, extended warranties, and cellphone insurance are for chumps.

    Good luck.
     
  3. TRC2k13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Heh... yeah it was pretty dumb but live and learn.

    Expensive as in? I'm thinking a replacement keyboard is the solution... surely it wouldn't be more than ballpark $200 or so? I've seen replacement keyboards for 2012 MBA's for $25-$40 on Ebay... what's labor on computer work like this?

    Ok? Are you telling me I got lucky?
     
  4. mpantone, Nov 28, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013

    mpantone macrumors 6502

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    I don't know what the labor costs will be at your local repair shop will be, however it is likely that they will charge at a rate higher than that of a plumber (with at least a thirty-minute minimum).

    It's usually the labor costs that dominate repair costs, particularly on a device like a MacBook Air which is notoriously difficult to repair. This is not an Apple-specific issue. It's cheaper paying a factory worker in Shenzhen to assemble your system from brand-new parts, than to have a computer technician in Seattle take it apart, clean/fix it, and reassemble it.

    In the same way, the part prices for a Mercedes-Benz are relatively normal, it's the labor charges that are pretty insane.

    Absolutely.

    Your repair might be just a new keyboard. If you had dumped a nearly-full glass of soda on your Air, it might be a new keyboard, logic board, battery, peripheral port connections, etc. If the glass was full, it might have splashed onto the display as well, basically destroying your entire system.
     
  5. TRC2k13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I've made an appointment at a local Apple store Genius Bar tomorrow and am going to call a couple authorized repair shops as well.

    While it was incredibly stupid I do think I got lucky... the issue is sticky keys, but they are all fully functional and after nearly 48 hours I haven't seen any other issues. You would think after this amount of time if there were any other issues they would have showed up by now.

    I've got my fingers crossed.
     
  6. mvmanolov macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    you definitely got lucky! A friend of mine just fired her MBP with some tea .. glass 95% full type of thing...!

    Good luck at the shop though, and ocngrats on having a relatively inexpensive lesson :D
     
  7. Acorn macrumors 68020

    Acorn

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    any spill voids your warranty. so even if you get it working 100% you still lose your warranty.
     
  8. cyber16 macrumors 6502

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    The keys ARE removable.
    Check YouTube for videos and remove them, then clean the plastic scissor hinge with a q-tip, do not remove this hinge, then clean under each key where they make connection to the scissor hinge, then re-install the key.
    Done it many of times to them soda sticky keys.
    The back-lite will also look brighter if it now looks a little dim due to the cola drying out
     
  9. TRC2k13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Thanks for the tip... I watched a video and just successfully removed and cleaned a key.

    It's late and I'm not going to mess with it any more tonight. I am still going to go to the Apple store and repair shops tomorrow and have them take a look before I consider going any further myself.
     
  10. TRC2k13 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Update:

    Just went to the Apple store... the top case + keyboard is $157, but not before they follow Apple policy and get the laptop sent off and diagnosed to the tune of $300 or more...

    The genius suggested I remove the keys and clean with rubbing alcohol and to check with an Apple authorized store regarding buying a top case and keyboard and having it replaced.

    He said it should be about a 90 minute job.

    At any rate, gonna clean the keys first... I am on vacation in PA/NY and won't be back in WA till Tuesday night so getting something done locally isn't really an option. I might as well take the time and clean underneath the keys first.
     
  11. mpantone macrumors 6502

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    There is no way that there is only one authorized Apple repair shop within a hundred miles of Seattle. That is just nuts.

    Anyhow, good for TD Curran. They scored your business because of your inability to use Internet search engines correctly.

    But then again, you are the one who damaged your computer to begin with and then asked why you were lucky.

    Anyhow, enjoy your repaired MacBook. Don't know if you learned anything from this episode.
     
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