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A pair of weeks ago I spilled coffee on my MacBook Pro Retina 15'' (MacBookPro10,2, Early 2013), and now I just received the quote from the customer support centre.

It's a 3rd party authorized reseller and service provider (listed on Apple's website).

Their evaluation:

Spillage is visible on Logic board
no light on magsafe adapter
Certain keys not working on Topcase
Full Diagnostics unable to be completed due to issue.
New logic board needed (661-7386)
New Topcase needed (661-7454)
New Magsafe board needed (923-0096)

They are going to replace these components:

  • 661-7386 PCBA,MLB,2.7G,16GHZ-HYN,VRAM,KEPLER (£ 380.00)
  • B661-7454 BATTERY OOW, TOP CASE, 15 (£ 150.00)
  • 923-0096 PCBA,MAGSAFE 2 (£ 30.00)

They explained to me that in order to replace the keyboard they also need to replace the whole top block, which also comprises the battery, the speakers and the trackpad.

Also, the processor (Intel Core), the 2 graphics cards (integrated and discrete) and the memory (RAM) are all soldered to the logic board, so they have to replace them all.

Basically, the only components not being replaced will be the SSD, the display and the fans.

I have got a couple of questions:

  1. is their list of components to be replaced correct? Is it true that replacing the logic board also means replacing all the rest?
  2. What's the normal Apple policy for this kind of replacements? Do they have to use new components, or can they use refurbished ones? (I'd rather to get new parts)
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I don't know about keyboard replacement, but I had Apple replace a faulty trackpad and they replaced the entire top block, including the battery. So my experience matches yours. They also replaced the magsafe port, but I was unclear whether they had to do that or whether they just declared it faulty. –  indiv Jun 11 at 17:18

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Their evaluation & explanation sounds legitimate. I would assume that when the coffee was spilled it made it's way into the keyboard. If this is the case it's entirely reasonable to assume that it would make it's way through the keys and inside the top case, with the next component it reaches being the logic board.

In regards to your two questions:

1) Without seeing the Mac and only relying on my experience (see below) I can only make an assumption, but from the information given the list of parts does seem very likely. Yes, the logic board contains a majority of components for your Mac. The processor, GPU, SMC, some ports, etc are all located on this one major component. With the way I'm assuming the spill occurred the coffee wouldn't have made it to the SSD, which connects directly to the logic board, thanks to the SSD being located on the opposite side of the logic board. The only fault I see with their explanation is the speakers, I haven't replaced a Retina top case in a while but I could've sworn that the speakers are still separate components.

2) There's no way for them to tell you upfront if the parts are new or refurbished. Apple re-uses eligible (meaning not beyond economical repair) parts after a strict refurbishing process that includes individual testing of components. When technicians receive parts there is no distinguishing feature to know if it's used or newly manufactured. Honestly, the only way to be sure is if you request a part for a Mac that was just released, simply because there wouldn't have been time to collect used parts and put them through the refurbishing cycle. Either way in my experience I've never seen a trend of service (repair) parts being faulty. It DOES happen from time to time but I've never seen a trend of obviously refurbished parts leading to repeat repairs or premature failures. Apple's replacement parts do carry a 90 day warranty or take over the rest of your existing AppleCare warranty, whichever is a longer period.

Did the AASP mention a flat rate or depot repair to you? I haven't priced out the parts they mentioned in a while b considering the amount of damage that might be a little bit cheaper. Basically Apple offers tiered flat rate repairs for out of warranty situations. Since this is liquid damage it would likely be a tier 4, the highest of them, but it might still be a little cheaper. Might be something to ask them about.

Source - I worked as a Genius for several years, as an in-store and onsite AppleCare certified technician for several years and have dealt with AppleCare extensively on both sides (as a technician and as a representative for an enterprise customer) for several years. I've repaired well over 1000 MacBooks, around 1000 iMacs, several hundred MacBook Pros/Airs and a couple hundred Mac minis and Mac Pros. Everything from in warranty failures to severe fire and liquid damage.

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Thank you for the detailed answer. No, they didn't mention a flat rate, and are charging £90 for the labour. –  tompave Jun 11 at 14:52
    
What about the battery? I might be ok with a refurbished logic board, but I'm not sure about the quality of a refurbished battery... –  tompave Jun 11 at 14:53
1  
Sorry, I forgot to mention the battery. The battery IS built into the topcase but will more than likely not be refurbished. There was always some debate about whether Apple refurbished batteries but the consensus seemed to be that if they did they were only reusing the housings, not the actual cells or battery technology, which makes sense. –  Mr Rabbit Jun 11 at 15:16
    
I understand, thank you. –  tompave Jun 11 at 15:24
    
About the speakers: sorry, I think they mentioned the speakers when I first brought them the laptop, but they are not part of the quote and they said nothing about replacing them. –  tompave Jun 11 at 15:26

Your first question can not be answered without physical access to the hardware.

Your second question about parts:

If for some reason Apple service uses refurbished components! they will inform you.

If refurbished is used it is

a) apple certified

b) comes with Apple standard warranty.

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