Trackpad and Water Damage - Advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nope7308, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. nope7308 macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    Long story short, there's a ton of water damage on the inside of my 13" retina MBP (coke, I think). The trackpad is fully depressed and doesn't click, but otherwise works fine. There's no other issues with the machine.

    I took the machine into the Apple store and the repair was quoted at $500 minimum, but probably more. They said they couldn't adjust the screw that controls the trackpad click because of the water damage, and so the entire lower unit will have to be replaced (battery and all). They said further components could be damaged, which might also drive up the cost.

    Although I have extended warranty coverage under my CC, water damage is not covered. A refurb 13" retina MBP is a little over 1k, so might cost only a bit more than the repair to the current machine (which has a few dings).

    The only real problem is that it's very difficult to drag/drop with a faulty trackpad, which I've learned is more important/functional than you might think. I could hold off on a repair/replacement for a few months, but I'm really not sure what to do.

    I mean, my computer is already 1.5 years old with a few dings, and the repair will cost anywhere from one-third to half the cost of a new machine. That seems outrageous, but I guess that's the consequence of so many glued components. Is the MBP due for an update/refresh anytime soon?

    What would you do? WWJD?
     
  2. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #2
    The trackpad is underneath a glued battery. Just getting to it is challenging.

    You could always use your rMBP with external input. Or enable tap to click and three finger drag.
     
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #3
    I've heard of something (from others in this forum) called a "flat-rate" repair by Apple (may require sending the MacBook to a service center elsewhere, instead of being repaired at the local Apple Store). Cost is a little over $300. Would that be available?

    If the only thing that no longer works is the trackpad, you could take the cheap way out and simply plug in and use an external mouse. If it works, let the failed trackpad be.

    guyprivado's suggestion about a 3rd-party repair shop might be worth investigating.

    A $500 repair doesn't seem worth it (even though $300 might be palatable).

    One other suggestion (to make a "long story short", you probably don't want to hear it, but...):
    In the future, comprise for yourself a more strict "personal policy" about having fluids near the Macbook, and hold yourself to those standards. I do.
     
  4. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #4
    I'm not interested in using anything external. If anything, I'd rather disassemble the machine and attempt to clean it myself, although the service technician said I'd probably do more damage than good.

    At this point, I'm trying to figure out what options are available. Ideally, I'd like to trade the machine in and get money toward the replacement, but Apple doesn't have an upgrade program of sorts. Would third party retailers accept a trade-in computer with water damage? If so, what would be the going rate?

    And please, no moral grandstanding. If I cared about anyone's "personal policy", I would have asked about it.
     
  5. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #5
    I'd recommend eBay or Craigslist, liquid damaged machines still seem to sell for a lot of money on those sites.

    If it were me I would just enable tap to click and three finger drag and live with it, but I can understand how it would be annoying to not be able to press down click.
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    Just a short comment about the "flat-rate" repair.
    Apple DOES offer that, and for around $300.
    The stopper for YOU, is that repair is only for failures due to factory defect - typically those repairs that would normally be covered under warranty. I have seen repairs that result in a 3 or 4 year old laptop that looks near brand new, as they may replace some case pieces that may not reassemble properly.
    Accidental damage caused by liquid spill, or falls : not repairable under that program.
     
  7. nope7308 thread starter macrumors 65816

    nope7308

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #7
    That's a decent suggestion, but I have 3 finger gestures enabled for a host of different functions, so if I enable 3 finger drag, it seriously messes up my workflow as it interferes with the gestures.

    What do you think would be an acceptable asking price for a late-2013 rMBP if I go the Craigslist/Kijiji route? It has 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD.
     
  8. blooperz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    #8
    Flat rate repair is usually only available for older models, I don't know if the rMBP's would qualify for it yet. From my understanding its Apple's way to get some money from people that would otherwise not bother spending so much $$$ to fix an older machine. I couldn't find any official documentation from apple on this so I may be wrong.
     
  9. Ian.C macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    #9
    take it apart, its easy to do. Just take your time.. once the battery's out its a 10 min job to remove the trackpad, clean it up and put it back..

    The battery is glued in, just be careful and take your time, its quite easy to be honest, lift the battery from all corners to make sure the pressure is evenly spread. And whilst your battery out give that a clean as well and look for any liquid deposits that might begin to start corrosion, your machine might work well now but over time it can start to fail...

    good luck
     
  10. l.a.rossmann macrumors 65816

    l.a.rossmann

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #10
    Yes yes..... putting a $5 tool under it to get it out is soooooooo much work. $500 absolute necessity.

    It's not the screw. You need to clean all of that crap off, but even once you do the trackpad button itself could be f'd, so be prepared for that.

    Be prepared to destroy the battery as well on your first time. Even a trackpad AND a battery is cheaper than $500, though.

    Just don't pay $500 for a trackpad.
     

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