Spilled tea on my Macbook Air over summer. Should I open it up?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by stillwater32, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. stillwater32 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #1
    In July I spilled tea on my 2014 Macbook Air. I immediately turned it off, disconnected from charger, paper towel dried any liquid, and proceeded to wait for 2 weeks with it off. When I turned it back on, it worked fine, but with some sticky keyboard keys and a little sticky on one side of the trackpad. I had a work laptop at the time so I left it off all summer until I returned to school a week ago. I used it a little and now the keyboard and trackpad are not sticky.

    I bought an ultrasonic cleaner, new trackpad, new keyboard, and branson ec cleaner in July when it happened so I could clean out the laptop properly. After looking at ifixit guides to dissemble to get the logic board out, it seems little things could easily get broken. Should I still disassemble the laptop or given the time passed now is my laptop safe (lower risk) from damage? I bought everything since I thought the logic board could still get damaged over time from using it. Looks like I'll be out $120 if I don't use the stuff I bought. I used to repair and take apart cell phones a few years back but this is a different monster. What do you all think? Thanks!
     
  2. Ian.C macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    #2
    Yes I would, whilst corrosion happens over time, it could be a while before it starts to fail. It happened to mine, I replaced the keyboard and trackpad and cleaned the logic board with 99% alcohol, that was 2 yrs ago and it still working great now
     
  3. stillwater32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #3
    Thanks for your reply! How difficult was it for you to do the repair and how much prior experience did you have repairing electronics? I'm worried something might break. There are many small parts and cable connections that could easily be damaged.
     
  4. Ian.C macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    #4
    Hi,

    Best thing to do is watch a few videos on you tube, I don't have any experience and to be honest you don't need any. Just take your time and understand how the latches work on all the connectors and you will be fine.

    A good clean won't do it any harm at all, and may help the macbook last a lifetime.
     
  5. stillwater32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #5
    Thanks! I'm going to give it a shot. I would rather I break it now and buy a new one than for it to crash in the middle of the semester on me from this.
     
  6. Shirasaki macrumors 603

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #6
    Although I want to recommend Apple Store and Genius Bar, I guess this might not be an option for you.
     
  7. Ian.C macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    #7
    Don't bother with the Apple Store, they will change you for a new logic board and new top case including the keyboard and new track pad. Best part of £600 in the UK...

    You will be fine, just take your time, really check how and which way the locking latches lift from all the connectors so you don't pull in the wrong direction.

    Good luck, keep us posted

    Ian
     
  8. stillwater32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #8
    Thanks! Well I did it and my Mac is working again. Everything seems to be working except a few (important) keys on the keyboard. See keys below.
    Thanks! I did it and mostly everything now works. However, some keys on the keyboard are not working. See step 7 here is where I think the problem is. When reconnecting that keyboard ribbon, the retaining flap fell off. I still inserted the ribbon and used a piece of tape to hold it down. I am not sure if it is the zif socket or the keyboard ribbon or both that I need to replace. It looks like I'll need to replace the trackpad to replace the zif socket. Keyboard could be a pain to replace with all the screws.
     
  9. Ian.C macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    #9
    Hi mate,

    The important keys, do you mean the brightness, volume etc?

    There are two controllers on the trackpad that controls different things. Check the trackpad for liquid damage and both ends of the the two cables, one to the trackpad and the other connecting from the trackpad to the logic board. One or both will be damaged. The connectors are very fragile...

    If you order a new one make sure it's the right model for you macbook. There are slight variations over the years even if they look the same they are not.

    Glad it working, good luck. Let us know how you get on

    Thanks

    Ian
     
  10. stillwater32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #10
    This connectors goes from the keyboard ribbon to the trackpad. The zif connector was very fragile. The brightness keys work. I tested by powering on and holding the ribbon in place and everything works. However, if I'm not holding it in place then it moves slightly out of place and some of the keys don't work (a, spacebar, control, arrow keys, caps lock, shift, think keys at or near the perimeter). I did order a new trackpad and I think it is the same one that I have. We will find out on Saturday if I'm good or not.

    Thanks!
     
  11. toddzrx macrumors 6502a

    toddzrx

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #11
    I had an 11" Air for a while that at one point had some wine spilled on the keyboard around the space bar and the trackpad. After letting it dry out for a couple days, affected keys were quite sticky but it still worked fine. Being the type to dive into electronics repair on my own, I decided to take it apart and try to clean it up myself. Using the iFixit guide, it was pretty easy to do. After getting it apart, I actually just rinsed the keyboard and trackpad under the filtered water spout on my kitchen sink. I then let it dry out for a day or two (I do live in Arizona) and then put it back together. Problem solved; everything worked like new. I didn't replace any parts at all; just cleaned up what had been spilled on.
     
  12. stillwater32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #12
    Well it looks like I messed up. I ordered the 2012 version instead of the 2014 version. Flipped the cable so it would plug in. Noticed the cable felt really hot so I immediately disconnected (I was tested with battery removed and back cover off) the power and unplugged the cable from the logic board. Seconds later smoke came from the cable and it was melted down the middle of the cable. I believe the trackpad connector on the logic board is now broken since the original trackpad and cable do not work either. I have a new trackpad for my macbook coming in next week, but I do not think it will help. What do you suggest? I don't think I can change out the connector on the logic board without special equipment. Should I try selling the Mac as is or try finding somewhere to fix it?
     
  13. Ian.C macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    #13
    Oh mate,

    That not good, using the wrong trackpad can do other damage thats not visible or obvious with the human eye.

    does the connector on the logic board look physically damage due to heat, you may need a magnifying glass to check it properly? it may just be the cables that are damaged and need replacing for your original one to work.

    where about are you? it will be fixable but you may need someone that has logic board soldering and diagnostic experience to fix it.

    Ian
     
  14. stillwater32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    #14
    The logic board connector does not look damaged so I'm not sure. Maybe I'll order a new cable to try it out, but the original cable is not working either. I'm in the United States, and I know there are online places to send it. I'll try talking to some local places that fix Macs.

    The Mac still works. I can plug a mouse and keyboard into it to make it work. I'm trying to figure out if its even worth trying to spend money to fix or if I should sell it as is and cut my losses.

    A lot of the online services I see are around $300. After some electronic trades and selling, this Mac costed me $300 to buy. I think I can get at least $400 on eBay for it. Then it would cost me $400 to buy a new one ($800 when on sale for a 128gb). Does the ssd from the 2014 air fit into the 2015?
     
  15. Left4DeadBoy macrumors regular

    Left4DeadBoy

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    #15
    Man, this tea business. You gotta be careful with how you hold that tea.
     
  16. Ian.C macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    #16
    I would just get a new cable and check the old trackpad is working and go from there.

    The part no for the cable should be on the cable itself
     

Share This Page