Trackpad is showing its age

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Boyd01, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #1
    The trackpad on my 2013 11" MBA seems to be having more problems as time goes by. It often thinks I'm right-clicking (two fingers) when I'm really only using one finger. And using the two-finger right-click gesture seems to be very unreliable now, have gotten into the habit of control-clicking instead. It sometimes mistakes rapid movements as other multi-touch "swipes" too. None of this is enough of a problem to warrant repair or replacement, but it can be rather annoying. I never liked trackpads to begin with. ;)

    Anyway, is this a common thing as these models age? Have read about swelling batteries causing problems, but I don't see any evidence of that and still get good battery life. I have always used a mouse when possible, so this is something that I can live with. Just curious if others have noticed something similar on 3 or 4 year old MBA's?
     
  2. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #2
    Trackpad irregularities can be a sign of a swelling battery, or of a trackpad that's wearing out (they're pretty inexpensive to replace). We have 3 MBS, none newer than yours. The only one that with a trackpad that went bad was due to a swollen battery. Can you get it to an Apple Store for a diagnostic?
     
  3. Boyd01 thread starter macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #3
    Thanks, pretty sure the battery is fine, but one never knows. Not worth the effort or expense to repair (no warranty) and it really isn't much of a problem yet. Anyway, sooner or later I'll need an excuse to get a new laptop and this would be an upgrade for my daughter's Mini if I just plugged it into her keyboard and screen. :)

    Just curious whether others have similar issues
     
  4. dogslobber macrumors 68040

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #4
    You can always open it up and take a look at the battery.
     
  5. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #5
    IIRC, when I had the trackpad replaced at Apple on our 2011, the part was $29, and I think labor was about the same amount. YMMV.
     
  6. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #6
    Is the feeling of the physical clicks different? (this could relate to the sensitivity screw - or the battery)
    A swelling battery can cause some unusual issues, but in most cases of swelling batteries the symptom I have noticed is a track pad that will not click at all or requires a tremendous amount of force to click, or only clicks properly when the battery is discharged past a certain amount. I agree it can't hurt to take a look.
     
  7. Boyd01 thread starter macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #7
    Clicking has not changed at all, it just has more errors with multi-touch gestures.
     
  8. dear.leader macrumors newbie

    dear.leader

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2017
    #8
    Swollen batteries are not very common in these MacBook Airs. A MacBook Pro Unibody, sure, happens all the time.

    And especially considering that clicking feels normal and your problems are restricted to multitouch, I'd say it sounds like you need a new trackpad. You could probably replace it yourself too. It's a simple install. Trackpad should run you about $40 or so. Part number is 923-0429.

    You also need some special screwdrivers to perform the job. A P5 pentalobe screwdriver, a T5 torx, and a PH000 phillips.
     
  9. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #9
    I agree they are less common, and I agree that this is probably not a pillowing battery in this instance. (But, while less common than the Unis [or at least less commonly detected by the User], they appear to be much more common than with the retinas. I would estimate that for every 4 Unis I check in with pillowing batteries, I check in one Air.)
     
  10. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #10
    2008 and 2011 macbook air here, trackpads all working fine.

    sounds like you are unlucky to have a failing/worn out unit.

    macbook 2009 and 2010 still all good.
    my 2006 and 2007 macbook pro working ok too.
    and 2004 ibook.

    they should be fairly simple to swap out though from what I seen,
     
  11. Boyd01 thread starter macrumors 601

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #11
    As time passes, this seems like less of a big deal for me, the problems are not that bad and it would not be accurate to say it is "failing". I have just noticed a difference over time. Have made some adjustments to my "gestures" that seem to make a difference, keeping my fingers closer together when I "right click" pretty much solves that issue.

    Anyway, I have no plan to fix or replace anything here, it still works and I'm not going to put any money or effort into a 4 year old computer that has seen heavy use. :)
     

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10 September 15, 2017