I have a Macbook Pro 15" 2011 2.2 i7. Was running like a dream until I tried to add a second drive with an optibay. To cut a long story short a puff of smoke came out of the airport card. After the initial shock I rebooted to find no airport and the machine was running super hot when plugged in running off the mains. My dilemma is the machine works perfectly but is a potential fire hazard. As I soon as I plug into the mains the temps hit 70 quite quickly, too hot to touch underneath. When switched off it comes on by itself when plugged in also. So it has become a big silver coaster. Apple say they will replace the logic board and airport for £465 (which is actually not a bad price) but could it be something simpler. Any help would be appreciated. My household insurance will not cover 'mechanical' parts. If I had spilled coffee, dropped it or was stolen I would be fine. Any help would be much appreciated. I have Applecare also which makes it worse.
Since you've paid for AppleCare - send it in. It doesn't make sense you would be charged for a repair unless there was some sort of external damage, so perhaps you misunderstand the quote.
Perhaps the pricing was for an estimate if the fault was not covered so you could be prepared in case that were the case.
Call back and ask to have your situation cleared up or drop by a store with if one with a Genius Bar is convenient. I would remove the third party RAM and accessories (as Apple will ask you and inspect for before beginning service) before presenting your Mac for service. Inform them you have had a second drive in the optibay and offer to let them have / evaluate the part if desired to ensure it didn't cause the malfunction.
Here are the North American terms of service - and you can see that Apple may charge you a diagnostic fee if you send them a Mac and the failure is due to third party parts being the cause.