'weak' macbook air 11" hinge- will apple replace?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by will0407, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. will0407 macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2006
    I previously had an 11" ultimate. I didn't notice it at the time but turns out the screen hinge was really strong- I could have it even at the shallowest of angles and it would hold.

    I saw a good deal on an 11" 4gb 128GB 1.4ghz air with applecare on ebay so I bought that and sold my ultimate (i wasn't bothered by the 0.2ghz drop in processor and value the applecare more)

    I noticed when I got it that the screen tended to close itself even from about 45 degrees. Should this be happening? When the fans are going I like to open the lid a little to increase the air flow (is this even beneficial?!) but with the hinge in it's current state I can't as it always just closes on itself.

    Are apple likely to replace it? I've read that it can't be tightened.
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Air exits from the back so you don't need to leave it open, but nevertheless it shouldn't be closing at 45 degrees. Since it's less than 12 months old, it is still under warranty, so I suggest taking it to an Apple store.
  3. will0407 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2006
    OK, Ill book it in when I'm down heading down to he shopping centre.

    I'm sure I've read that they can't tighten the hinges- it's either keep what you have or see if a replacement is any better. I reckon it's unlikely they'll have my spec in stock as most people who add the 4GB ram to the 128GB model tend to add the 1.6ghz option as well so I may have to wait for a replacement.
  4. Duke15 macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2011
  5. Nukemkb macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2006
    Columbia, SC
  6. peapody macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    Where did you read that it cannot be tightened out of curiosity?
  7. will0407 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 20, 2006
  8. RealScience macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    The hinge on my 13" Late 2010 model gradually loosened over the first few days of use to the point where it would open further by itself if the laptop was lifted up while it was open. I was told at the Genius bar that the hinge could not be tightened.

    In my case, they offered to replace the display or just give me a new machine, but I was within my initial 14-day return period. Based on my understanding, you should be offered the display replacement option as long as you're under AppleCare. Hope you get this sorted out quickly!
  9. FX4568 macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2010
    posts like these make me touch my hinge to see if its okay. :(
  10. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    I've had 2 unibody MacBook Pro's and the second one's hinge was way looser than the first one. It doesn't seem to be looser than when I got it. I think all computers simply don't have a consistent level of hinge tightness. It's like yours, though I don't know if you can get it replaced as I haven't tried. I did liked it better when it was tight though.
  11. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    Ummm - thats totally normal...You want the hinge so tight that you pick it up by the top of the screen and carry it across the room and the hinge doesn't move?
  12. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    I think they replace the "hinges" not the screen. Should be easy to do.
  13. RealScience macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    On what experience do you base this statement? We are talking about the MacBook Air here, which is a very tightly engineered machine. It is my understanding that in order to make it as small and light as it is, Apple had to make a lot of unusual design decisions, some more evident, such as placing RAM and SSD modules directly onto the logic board. Others may include making some portions of the assembly not field-adjustable (in this case, no ability to tighten the hinge or replace the hinge separate from the display). As someone who had the hinge issue and had service performed by Apple, I was told unequivocally that Genius bar employees do not have the ability to either tighten the hinges or replace just the hinges. Their process is to replace the entire display part of the assembly, and as this is a free repair, I doubt that Apple would be performing it at a higher cost than is absolutely necessary, especially when such a costly part as the display is involved. I assume that the old display is later refurbished and reused, so in that sense the hinges are probably replaceable as part of *that* process, but were not replaceable as part of standard Genius bar repair for the issue at the time of my repair earlier this spring.

    I understand that we do a lot of speculation here (what will the next model's specs be? when will it come out?) but idle speculation on how a repair will be done when you have no experience with the process does not help. If you do have experience with the process, especially more recent experience than I do, please explain what it is.
  14. RealScience macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2011
    Actually, that's how my new hinge functions, and how the old one functioned prior to the loosening. They also compared it to how far the screen moved when lifting the display models (it didn't, it stayed put at the angle it was open prior to being lifted). This was in the course of being gently lifted from lap desk to about a foot away, btw, not being carried across the room, and certainly not by the screen (why would you even do that?). The laptop was being picked up by the sides of the body, and the screen would slide further open just with gravity and the fairly gentle motion. The tech at the Genius bar certainly didn't have any issues diagnosing this as a problem.

    If you don't have trouble with your brand-new $1,500 laptop doing that, that's great. It bothered me, and Apple fixed it without any fuss over it, which why they keep getting my business.

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