Macbook Air won’t turn on repair after leaked water in a backpack

Liquid and electronics certainly do not like each other. We saw this one more time this week when this 2017 A1466 Macbook Air won’t turn on repair after leaked water in a backpack came to our workshop.

It is not unusual for us to see liquid damaged MacBooks, but this one was quite extensive. However, the expanse of the liquid was not the reason why it took us more than 8 hours on the bench fighting for its life.

Follow the case through with us to see why we keep repeating that we should treat and repair liquid damaged electronics ASAP rather than letting them dry. They are not clothes on a cloth line, for god sake!

Macbook Air won’t turn on Repair.

Macbook Air Repair - liquid residue oxidation around screen connector
Macbook Air Repair – liquid residue oxidation around screen connector

When we took it apart, we could see that there was liquid damage which must have stayed in there for a couple of weeks already.

We quoted the customer, and after the go-ahead sign, we stripped the Macbook apart immediately and started measuring around the power IC’s as not turning on would have been a power failure.

Bringing power lines back – Macbook Air won’t turn on repair

Macbook Air won't turn on repair - Repairing oxidation around Power IC
Macbook Air won’t turn on repair – Repairing oxidation around Power IC

Looking at the power IC’s and measuring the missing voltages, we identified that one of the power rails was missing voltage. By poking around the power IC responsible for the power line, we have noticed oxidation.
This had to be clean, and traces rebuild. They were almost non-existent, as oxidation eats through copper.

At this point, we had spinning fans, and the Macbook board was pretty much alive. However, we had to treat couple more areas. One being the PP3GH lines, which clearly had oxidation exposure too. This line carries quite a current, and we need to ensure they are residue-free. Otherwise, we will lose traces pretty quickly.

Macbook Air won't turn on repair - Strengthening high current traces in PPG3H
Macbook Air won’t turn on repair – Strengthening high current traces in PPG3H

Ensuring good contact with all components in this area is vital. Joul’s law of heating basically sums it up as More current you run through conducting traces, less resistance you need on them. Otherwise, it transforms into heat which can cause degradation of copper or damage to electronics components.

Test drive in the blind – Macbook Air won’t turn on repair

Macbook won't turn on repair - Oxidation around screen connector lines
Macbook won’t turn on repair – Oxidation around screen connector lines

The oxidation around the screen connector was quite extensive, so we addressed it by cleaning the area and replacing damaged components. Also, there were a couple of traces that were getting thinner due to the liquid residue. We addressed them too.

Macbook won't turn on repair - replacing shorted mosfet
Macbook won’t turn on repair – replacing shorted mosfet

We could now measure that the MOSFET has failed. Seems like due to the short of the capacitor in the output line with stabilised traces. Of course, we replaced it.

Another area of interest for us was the screen connector. Judging by the damage on the screen connector, we were in for a surprise. To avoid that, we want to replace the LVDS connector too. It will also provide longer life to this great Macbook Air.

Replacing Screen Connector on Macbook Air 2017 A1466
Replacing Screen Connector on Macbook Air 2017 A1466

This was probably the most time-consuming part of the repair, replacing the LVDS connector. We could see that the screen connector had slightly melted pins and had to ensure that the screen connector was making good contact, especially when the screen itself costs as much as this whole repair. We definitely do not want to replace the screen and double the cost of the repair.

Result of Macbook won’t turn on repair

Successfully repaired Macbook Air which did not turn on after bottle of water leaked in backpack
Successfully repaired Macbook Air which did not turn on after bottle of water leaked in backpack

This was quite of a repair, but we have persevered. It is hard to believe how so many components can get damaged if liquid residue is not treated as quick as possible after the incident.

Do you need this Repair in Adelaide?

If your Mac or Macbook is causing trouble and need a Macbook Repair Service in Adelaide, give us a call, and we will advise for the best scenario to get your device repaired.

We at IT-Solve, specialize in computer and electronics repairs. We will do our best to repair your Macbook quickly without involving high costs and long waiting times in repair shops.

Call us now on 0469317177 or drop us an inquiry via Text us via Whatsapp MessengerWhatsApp or Text us via Facebook MesengerMessenger
Our engineers will respond quickly to your question.

Repair before Replacement

We are committed to reducing e-waste in Australia. And the way how we do it is by educating our customers and providing affordable Macbook Repairs.
Although our best intentions and hard work, this is not an easy task. Customers must accept that cost of high-quality electronic repairs, is a third to half of the price of a new device. While we do the repair we target common planned obsolescence design mistakes to ensure the longevity of the laptop usability.

That said, if we buy a new one or write it off via insurance, it does not guarantee that the new one will not meet the same fate as the older one pretty soon.
Quite often, we see accidents reoccurring within less than 6 months gaps. If we can save 1000$ or even 600$ today by repairing our faulty Macbook is great. That’s an extra half laptop cost ready to be spent on another one when the time comes.
When that time comes is up to us to buy a new one or keep pushing the one we have, but delaying it by a year or three is always a good starting point and saves another Macbook polluting our planet.

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