Spilled drink on rMBP trackpad

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by 2ms, May 7, 2013.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #1
    I spilled some Coke on my trackpad and now it's haywire. I pretty much have to use an external mouse.

    Can anyone tell me what my options are on fixing it? I'm really disappointed to see iFixit's stuff about the battery being glued in blocking access to the trackpad etc.

    Has anyone else been through this? Can anyone tell me what my options are on cleaning it or whatever is necessary? I don't live in a place where there are Apple stores or anything like that.
     
  2. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #2
    Clean it with isopropyl alcohol, don't spray it on the trackpad, just use a wetted tissue.
     
  3. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    Feb 26, 2011
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    #3
    In my admitted ignorance, it sounds like the problem is not a surface issue, but rather the Coke penetrated below the surface via the edges.

    Since I don't know doodley about how to fix it, I'm sure you might be able to offer more than me. What might OP do if the Coke seeped under the surface of the trackpad!

    :D
     
  4. Stetrain macrumors 68040

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  5. pricej636 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    First of all, good luck. If its not because of the stickiness on the surface itself it is because the coke seeped down underneath and has damaged either the trackpad or the logic board. The machine needs to be cleaned inside and out, and even that might be too late.

    Second, I do not understand why people continue to keep open containers of liquid anywhere near their computer. I don't care if its my kids $300 POS Acer laptop or my Retina MBP, I don't have a drink or any liquids anywhere near them. No drinks allowed on the desk, no drinks on the coffee table if there is a computer on it.
     
  6. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #6
    If the coke was removed right away it won't seep into the internals, I think the weird behaviour is just the coke on the trackpad, I had something similar a few times, like hand crème on it from my fingers, acted weird, cleaned with alcohol (water didn't work) and that solved the problem.
     
  7. pricej636 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I hope that is the case, but unless the OP was absurdly quick chances are at least some coke got down underneath the trackpad. If it were me, I would get it looked at and cleaned even if I ahd to send it off and it cost me a few dollars.
     
  8. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #8
    I too would open it to be sure, but I still think you have some time to clean it before it gets into the laptop, the trackpad is tightly squeezed against the body, it takes time for liquids to seep trough such narrow spaces.
     
  9. SMDBill macrumors 6502

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    Apr 12, 2013
    #9
    And if it's not obvious, do so with the machine powered OFF!! Alcohol is great to clean electronics, but it will create a path of conductivity to ground or another electrical path so it's imperative that no power be on any surface you clean with it. And watch for static electricity (ESD) while working. Ground yourself before you touch any electronic circuitry, particularly the ICU chips themselves. Make sure it's completely dry before re-enabling power.
     
  10. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #10
    Understanding Conductivity

    And about static electricity, most Macs are made of aluminium, in this case it is a rMBP which is aluminium, it is easy to equalise yourself by touching the aluminium.
    But yeah, always take care with static electricity.
     
  11. SMDBill macrumors 6502

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    Apr 12, 2013
    #11
    I suppose what I should have said was once you use isopropyl to clean a matter that was previously a liquid (the soda) you will create a new conductive path that could carry current between conductive paths. I realize the isopropyl alcohol itself is not conductive, but the matter being cleaned will still be conductive once liquified during the cleaning process, learned from years of experience as an electronics technician.
     
  12. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #12
    That of course is true.
     
  13. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 22, 2002
    #13
    The Coke evidently got inside through the edges. It's common tense, but thought I'd point out to anyone who has this happen: Pick up the macbook and turn it upside down and then wipe it ever-so-lightly to get the liquid off the trackpad. If you do what comes natural, you push the trackpad down and then the liquid goes underneath.

    Anyway, having dried out, now the trackpad mostly just doesn't work great and doesn't have multi-touch. It is not moving the cursor around by itself etc anymore.

    But is there any way to open the machine up? Has anyone here done that? When I look at the iFixIt, I'm not sure, but it seems to give the idea that you need to disassemble almost the entire machine just to reach the trackpad.

    Anyone have any experience with this at all? If I can clean it then I think it will be fine. It's the sticky sugar that's gumming things up.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #14
    You also have to be aware that the cola is corrosive so over time it will destroy any circuitry it comes into contact.
     
  15. lulla01 macrumors 68020

    lulla01

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    #15
    Take it to the apple store. Let them check the machine out and don't talk too much as to what happened. They may open it up and be able to just clean it out. If they find damage they will let you know.
     
  16. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #16
    Yeah, you totally won't look like an idiot because it won't be obvious a coke was spilled in there. Take it to the Apple store be honest and they'll help you out, if you're lucky they won't charge you since you were honest.
     
  17. lulla01 macrumors 68020

    lulla01

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    #17
    Its 50/50 either way. I would just let them diagnose it.
     
  18. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 22, 2002
    #18
    I live in a country where there are no Apple stores. How long does turnaround for this kind of thing generally take anyway (just curious)? I ask because, for example, at this moment I absolutely need to keep it because I am in the middle of some important work that I need to finish and I don't have another computer.

    So I guess it is impossible for a person to service their own rMBP at all? Even just for cleaning? That seems crazy. Still hoping someone out there can tell me they have opened up their rMBP and cleaned the inside themselves...
     
  19. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #19
    At this point its difficult. Do you have the proper screw drivers to open up the laptop? They don't use traditional philip screws and you can easily strip them.

    If you're not experienced with working on laptops and computers I'd not recommend it, particularly because the rMBP is difficult to dissemble
     
  20. SMDBill macrumors 6502

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    #20
    To cap on the message above, you'll be potentially cleaning circuitry directly. If you've never done so, one single damage may render the machine practically or completely useless. It's worth even paying for Apple to fix/clean it for you. They'll test it when done to make sure it's working correctly again and you'll only feel foolish for having to tell them you spilled the coke on it rather than explain later that you spilled coke on it, got the right tools with no experience working on laptops, attempted to clean it and now have damaged the machine. Hopefully you wouldn't hurt anything, but you have to get every bit of Coke out of there and to be that thorough you may really be making contact with a large number of electronic chips and various circuits and solder runs.

    With such a difficult machine to work on and without the proper equipment and experience, this is one I'd gladly pay for. Spend a few hundred to fix it rather than be forced to replace it if you break or damage too much. You spent way too much to risk the machine further.
     
  21. pricej636 macrumors 6502

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    Colorado
    #21
    Obviously we cant tell you what to do... but If I were you, I would stop using the machine immediately and get it sent in to be diagnosed. Like said above, the coke is corrosive and the longer it sits there the better the chances are of it doing more damage. I'd much rather get it looked at, and possibly just be inconvenienced by having to use an external mouse in the future rather than the whole logic board failing because of a small amount of soda that was left in there. Surely someone has a computer that you can borrow temporarily?
     
  22. thundersteele macrumors 68030

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    Oct 19, 2011
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    Switzerland
    #22
    Are there no Apple authorized resellers?

    Since you need the laptop right now, I recommend getting an external mouse (or even an external touchpad from Apple), and make backups. You don't know where else the Coke has gotten, so the machine might still die at some point.
     
  23. ROGERWILCO357 macrumors 6502

    ROGERWILCO357

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #23
    Hmm

    Well accidents happen take it in and have them clean it up maybe it just needs a good cleaning ..good luck either way ..I too love my coke and E-Cig when surfing the web or forums it just happens..
     
  24. 2ms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #24
    I really was only a small amount of Coke so I'm confident the damage will be limited to trackpad.

    Well I found an Apple reseller who claims that I just need to leave it with them for a couple days and they send it to some Apple repair place who will get it fixed with total bill being something like $130. It was informal in that they didn't look at any list of prices or anything. But they seemed confident that's what it would be. So I guess I'm going to do that. I'll be pissed if I'm out the rMBP for several days and then it comes back needing $250 or something along with more time out of commission. But won't be entirely surprised. Let's see. Have to say I am disappointed the trackpad is so inaccessible that I can't even take a look at it. But I suppose this is the way things need to be to make these devices compact enough to compete in marketplace.
     

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