Spill + Keyboard = Warranty???

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mbritten25, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. mbritten25 macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2007
    The unthinkable happened. A spill on my 36 hour old 2.2 SR base model MBP. My baby niece knocked over a glass of a sugar-free milk based sports drink (A Japanese product...I live in Japan). The liquid spread across the entire keyboard and speakers in the 2 seconds before I got it flipped upside down. It was running on battery power at the time and I immediately removed it, but not before the computer shut down. I feared the worse because in that instant, it looked like a lake on my computer, and it shutdown before I got the battery out which made me think there was a short somewhere.

    I kept the computer upside down and gently shook it to get the remaining liquid out. A few hours later, I followed an ifixit guide to remove the top case from the computer. I was surprised to only find a few drops of liquid in the computer. 1 on the RAM, and a few on the top of the Superdrive. The rest of the computer was completely dry and had no stickiness from the liquid.

    I used rubbing alcohol to clean anywhere that seemed touched by the liquid and then reassembled the computer. I let it dry out for about 3 1/2 days with a fan pointed at it on low.

    Fast forward to last night and I finally turned it on. First I plugged it in and was happy to note the charging light illuminate on the power adapter. It took quite awhile to startup, not unlike after updating to 10.4.10, rather than the 15 seconds it had been taking. Everything seemed to be working. The screen was still pristine. Airport connected. The hard drive was fine. Even the speakers seemed ok. Only the keyboard backlighting was a problem.

    Onto my questions:

    1. Will it be expensive to replace the keyboard? All the keys work fine, but the backlighting is obviously not working. The keys in the center are lit normally, but 2/3s of the keys on either side are very dim. I have no problems paying out of pocket for the repair because the spill is not covered by the warranty.

    2. Will I still have a warranty on the rest of the computer? I'm not a trained specialist or anything, but the inside of the computer seemed untouched by the liquid for the most part. I cleaned up what tiny bit I saw. The keyboard and speakers have a plastic backing that stopped just about all the liquid from getting into the computer. If there is no "moisture damage" past the keyboard, do you know if Apple will still void the entire warranty because of the spill?

    3. I tried running the diagnostics program on the install DVD that came with the computer. The simple version checked out fine, but 3 times when I ran the full version it got about 5 minutes in and then the timer never moved again. What does that mean? The drive read the disc fine, so I don't think it's damaged. The timer jumps every few minutes, the so the time elasped doesn't move slowly, but is this normal? I finally shut the computer down with the power button after 12 to 15 minutes of nothing happening.

    Thanks for reading my long post and I appreciate any knowledge you might have. I will contact Apple after work today but I was hoping to be a bit more informed before I call them. Feel free to lecture me about liquids and computers as well because it seems I didn't get the memo.
  2. mbritten25 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2007
  3. cobravap macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2006
    Aquarius, Dakara, pocari? which one was it?

    hehee, the keyboard will cost i believe around $200ish
    not cheap to replace.
  4. mbritten25 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2007
    It was Calpis. It's a new no calorie version my wife bought for our guests. So lovely that they stopped by and spilled it.

    I figured out the hardware test. I'm running it again and it just takes quite awhile to update the time elapsed. It jumped from 5 minutes to 23 minutes, which was longer than the 15 minutes I gave it before shutting down last night.

    Anyone know if the warranty will be salvagable if there is no damage or liquid beyond the keyboard?
  5. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    If Apple were to notice that liquid has spilled on the MB, you will never get a warranty claim honored.
  6. maverick808 macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2004
    You obviously know how to open up the MBP. It'd probably be best to replace the keyboard yourself. You can buy the keyboard from ifixit or find one on ebay.

    I doubt your warranty will be valid. Although you can't see any obvious liquid spill damage it's very probable that Apple will be able to detect it. There's no way they'll let you claim anything under warranty if they detect even the tiniest bit of liquid.

    Let it run for a couple of hours. However, I think it's most likely that something is damaged somewhere. Might be a USB, FireWire, Ethernet, DVI connector that you never use.

    My advice overall would be to send the MBP to Apple just now saying that the backlighting just stopped working. If they detect the liquid damage then they'll send it back for free and you'll know you don't have a warranty anymore. You can then fix the keyboard yourself if you want. If they don't detect it then you'll get everything fixed for free and can be reassured that you still have a warranty.
  7. Trepex macrumors 6502a


    Apr 5, 2007
    Ottawa, Canada
    That said, they might never know.

    I guess if you have Apple themselves replace the keyboard on your own coin and pay whatever the cost is until it is deemed repaired, it might still be covered.
  8. mbritten25 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2007
    Hardware Test finished and reported no hardware problems. Not that it means much, but I'm glad it worked.

    Just needed to let it run...
  9. maverick808 macrumors 65816


    Jun 30, 2004
    Cool. Send it to Apple and say the backlight just broke on its own. You might get lucky. Good luck!
  10. ghall macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2006
    Rhode Island
    I had a spillage problem a few weeks ago. I called Apple, and told them that my shift key just randomly stopped working one day. They fixed it pronto.

    Believe me, they don't want their great customer service record tarnished. Use that to your advantage. :)
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Or why not take it to an Apple Store himself? The people there may not be able to see that liquid seeped through. Mail it to Apple themselves, and they may check for things like that a bit more thoroughly.

Share This Page