Where to begin? Coffee Damage...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by samarasimpson, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. samarasimpson macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2012
    So long story slightly shortened:

    I'm assuming what was about 3oz of a caramel macchiato was spilled on the keyboard of an early 2009 15inch macbook pro. The keyboard was wiped off, but the computer was not turned off for about 3 hours after this happened.

    This was about 48 hours ago, there have been multiple attempts to turn the computer back on (not the right way to go, I know).

    At this point, here is what I do know;

    The hard drive is still in perfect working order, I put it in my MBP without any issues

    When the little button on the side of the laptop is pressed, it shows that the MBP has a full charge.

    When there is a power cord plugged in, it charges.

    There is a sickening caramel smell coming from the keyboard.

    And there are absolutely no startup sounds, none.

    This is my best friends laptop, and she will be on a plane in 2 hours with my iPad on her way to Italy for an internship for the summer. I have 3 months to fix her computer, and her AC is over so I can hop in there without voiding anything.

    I'm assuming she fried her logic board, but my goal is to fix this as cheaply as possible, which I'm hoping won't be too hard without much of a time constraint.

    Please? Coffee is not something I've ever had to deal with before, and I'm looking for the best place to start. I'd also love to get rid of the smell at some point...
  2. Comeagain? macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    It wont be easy, and will most certainly need a new logic board. Who knows what all will also need to be replaced to get rid of the smell.

    Coffee will be just as bad as any liquid, so I wouldn't treat it any different.
  3. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    You're looking at replacing the logic board for sure.
    If the RAM got wet, it'll have to go too.
    Keyboard will have to be replaced and I imagine the touchpad will need to go.
    SuperDrive may need replacement if it got wet.

    I all honesty, the only usable part of the computer may be the screen and unibody.
    It may be cheaper to buy a replacement laptop than to buy all the replacement parts.
  4. samarasimpson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2012
    That is what I was afraid of, would it be safe to try just the new logic board at first? or do you think I'll see no results until everything is replaced?
  5. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Can't see any harm in trying a new logic board and RAM, but if you buy that and it doesn't fix the problem, where do you go then? You're going to end up spending even more money on it.

    The keyboard will also need to be replaced, I doubt it will function and will be extremely sticky even if it does work.
  6. samarasimpson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2012
    touche, my main concern is spending too much. While I realize she left me with an expensive mistake (she did leave two blank checks to cover costs) I just don't want to give up on the potential 'cheap route' too easily, just because it isn't my computer.
  7. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    It's kind of a catch 22 for you then. It may work, but then again it may not.
    If its just a logic board, you may save your friend $200 or so. But if it's more parts, you're going to end up costing them more money than it would cost to just buy a user 2009 MBP.
  8. puke macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2007
    A new one will be cheaper, for sure. Replacements logic-boards are expensive enough to pretty much say it's worth it to get a new one, sadly. My brother got my 2009 MBP when I got the 2010 from work and spilled sodawater over it. I swear, that even if you get logic board + ram cheaper then a brand new one and it does work (with only those two replacements) the money would be better spent on a new 2011 or 2012-model MBP.

  9. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    Don't think anyone's mentioned it'll need a keyboard too. IMHO it's not worth it to resurrect one that's died in many cases. Sell it for parts disclosing the damage and buy refurb/new.
  10. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Don't think you checked very closely ;)
  11. JohnnyChao macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2012
    by the time u pay for costs and repair

    u may as well buy another macbook brand new free of coffee damage
  12. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Just wait for the new MBP to drop and buy the late 2011 model on heavy discount to replace the broken 2009 laptop. It might be cheaper than any other option - depending on the discount.

    You have a few months so it couldn't hurt to wait and see.
  13. sweetbrat macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2009
    Redford, MI
    My big concern with doing the repair is that there might be damage that isn't visible now but shows up later. You could repair it, it could work for a while, and then some other component that was damaged by corrosion could kill it. If it was me, I would probably just put the money towards a refurbished MBP. She could have a much newer computer, complete with a one year warranty from Apple, and it might not end up costing all that much more than the repairs you'd have to make on the damaged one.
  14. samarasimpson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2012
    I've definitely been considering something like that... The horrible part of me is considering swapping her hard drive into my computer and giving that to her ( I have a late 2009 MBP that is slightly better than hers). Which would give me the opportunity to build myself something without having to fully fund it myself.... ^_^
    but then I imagine I'd feel like a bad person
  15. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Why don't you offer her that option? Seems to me you'd both be doing each other a favour.

    You could also get a few dollars parting out the non-damaged parts of her laptop.you could probably reclaim $300-$400 from the screen, unibody, SuperDrive and battery.
  16. samarasimpson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2012
    I think I'll do that, it's a pity. I was hoping to be her knight in shining, err, dress?
  17. goRoostr macrumors member

    May 17, 2012
    Philadelphia Suburbs
    If your doing the repair yourself, there's no way of telling what's good or bad without trying known good parts. If there's a local computer shop that specializes in Macs it might be worth while to have then diagnose what's good/bad Aslong as they don't charge to much, because they should have a tester logic board to try.
  18. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2012
    Spaceball One
    You can find many parts on ebay, you just have to look for models that are not liquid damage. If you wish to repair it, the best way to go is to buy a separate system that does not have liquid damage (run about $600-ish, depending on what you can get, where you look)

    You *could* fix it for cheaper than a new model, but for the work involved, its your choice.
  19. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    Now I know why the wife made me an eye Dr Appt :)
  20. plucky duck macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2012
    Sell her yours at market price less the friend discount, take her computer and sell it to recoup some $$$, and use the funds to fund your new laptop. Win-win situation?
  21. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    Before you spend all that money and give up your laptop, try something as sort of a last ditch effor. Take out the logic board and soak it in rubbing alcohol--the higher the concentration, the better. I like using 91% isopropyl for stuff like this.
  22. macmastersam macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2011
    Essex, england
    I would say that since you have a nearly identical MBP to your girlfriends, swap the hard drives so that hers is in your MacBook, and yours is in her broken MacBook. Give your MacBook to her, with her HD in it, and you take the broken MacBook. She won't notice the difference unless you have something that looks obviously differant between your MBP and hers. Second part: while she thinks she has her computer, you have the broken MacBook. I would say at this point take it to the apple store and get it fixed for accidental damage. They could charge you a fortune for it. Or if you are lucky, came on a good day and got a good genius, they could give you a new MacBook pro.

    Good luck with the repairs.

  23. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    Sorry about your friends loss.
    I would purchase a used macbook pro of craigslist, swap the unibodies, and then put her hard drive in.
  24. JohnnyChao macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2012
    not everyone has a tech know how to swap all the parts

    @OP, next time invest in a keyboard cover if ur incompetence decides to place drinks near the computer and spill again
  25. iMacC2D, Jun 3, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017

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