Spilled 2 drops of wine on trackpad, no keyboard function!

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by js2us2003, May 13, 2014.

  1. js2us2003 macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2012
    Miami Beach

    I have a 13' MBA, last night while I was streaming video on it I spilled literally two drops of wine on the edge of the track pad and under the space bar, which I quickly cleaned up and kept streaming my video like normal. By the end of the clip however I couldn't use the esc key to minimize the screen, nor apple q command. The mouse and trackpad didn't work either. I finally powered down by pressing and holding power for 4 seconds. The next day I was able to power on and off with the power key and go to the normal log in screen. There I get the message that no keyboard is detected and if I have a Bluetooth or USB keyboard to make sure it's on discoverable. From there I can only press and hold power to power down as there is no function. Question is, how badly have I damaged my computer? If I pulled the SSD could I pull data from it? Since it powers normally is it a simple fix. I own the tools to open it, but won't be able to do it for 10 days as I am traveling abroad. Please advice anyone?!

    Attached Files:

  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Don't drink wine around your MBA?
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Looks like the liquid shorted something out and your best option is perhaps get a usb keyboard for the time being.

    I think the issue is that you kept using it after spilling the liquid which then caused the problem. Powering it off and drying it out is generally the best approach.
  4. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    Your SSD is almost certainly not affected. If a USB keyboard works, then I'd boot it up and backup your data to be safe. Something probably shorted in there by running the machine. It only takes a drop of liquid on the board while electricity is going through it to short the board in that spot.
  5. js2us2003 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2012
    Miami Beach
    Thanks MacDawg :) but that's nearly impossible!


    Thank you guys! My main concern was the extent of the damage and if data could be extracted from my SSD, sadly I only let it keep running because I wasn't aware there had been damage. Sounds like if I can use a USB keyboard then it isn't the end of the world!
  6. Bah-Bah macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2013
    Sorry about your keyboard....Sometimes you're lucky and sometimes you're unlucky.....I think you were very unlucky, for what it's worth.

    But really, drinks around laptops is always a risk! Hope you get it sorted out.
  7. Serban, May 13, 2014
    Last edited: May 13, 2014

    Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    2 drops ?? common guys..i am washing my keyboard with wet wipes every week and i have no issues.
  8. cyber16, May 13, 2014
    Last edited: May 13, 2014

    cyber16 macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2013
    On the bottom side of the trackpad is a pcb board that holds both USB controllers for the track pad and keyboard. It would be at the very top of the track pad and yes indeed a few drops if they fell onto the ribbon cable could take out one or the other as the water would run right into the cable connector using that cable as a guide sort of speaking
    If not under warranty, you could always open it up and replace the trackpad, ebay $50 +/-
    Be sure to purchase the right 13" year model as the keyboard layouts have changed from year to year, if you get the wrong one, many of your top functions keys will not match the actions as the keyboard key assignment logic IS stored on that pcb attached to the trackpad.

    I wager simply replacing the trackpad will take care of the problem. ;)
    You could open in up and try to reseat the ribbon cables. You will find two attached directly to the trackpad and the attached pcb and there is one other very narrow ribbon that goes to the logicboard.

    you will also need a 000 Philips screwdriver and a T6 for the click travel adjustment screw.
  9. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007
    Take it into an Apple store and get it checked out... worst case scenario is they refuse you...
  10. ZombiePete macrumors 68020


    Aug 6, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    With it powered up?
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    He said the water went under that space bar. I doubt that happens when you just wipe the keyboard. ;)

    I know it's tempting to enjoy a beverage of choice while using your computer, but it's just amazing how many threads we have here like this. Hopefully you'll get things fixed, but then you really need to think twice about where you place your MBA while consuming liquids.
  12. js2us2003 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2012
    Miami Beach
    I have definitely learned my lesson about drinks! Thanks everyone, when I get back to the states I'll take it to the Mac store for a new trackpad or keyboard, it still powers on but I will definitely leave it off. Also it's not under warranty so I know I'll be paying so they can't really refuse me. Also does anyone know the approximate turn around time for a repair like this? I'd call but I have no cell phone over here!
    Best, Julia
  13. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    There's no reason not to shop the repair around for the best turnaround time. There are plenty of Apple Authorized Service Providers in addition to Apple Retail Stores. http://locate.apple.com

    There's no way to give an off-the-cuff estimate on turnaround time. One shop may have the parts in stock and idle bench time - you could get it done overnight. Another may have to send it out to a regional repair depot or have the parts shipped in - that could be 3-5 business days, or longer. And there's no predicting which shop will be in the better position to do the job - I've placed my first call to the local Authorized Service Provider and been referred to the Apple Retail Store, and vice versa.
  14. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2009
    On the air the keyboard goes through the trackpad.

    Apple has continued making this even more asinine. It used to be you got a drop of liquid on your Z key, and your power button(which is integrated into the keyboard, and the only way to turn the laptop on) stopped working.

    Now you can get liquid on your TRACKPAD and the keyboard stops working! Amazing.

    It's a good world for repair shops, I tell you, as long as the current engineering staff at Apple never retire. :)

    You can find trackpads on eBay for $35. Open it up, see what it looks like, you may just need a new trackpad. It aint rocket science.

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