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I have a 2016 13" Macbook Pro (A1706). The keyboard has stopped working. Is it possible to replace the keyboard for a reasonable price and not replace the whole system board?

Details: I spilled a bit of water on the machine. I kept it off for a day. It powers on and everything works including the touchpad, but the keyboard. (Actually, the keyboard worked sporadically at first then completely stopped working.) I can use an external keyboard. I have reset the SMC and the NVRAM. I have run apple diagnostics and it found no issues.

The computer is old, but I don't want to replace it until the next generation of apple silicon MacBook Pros comes out. But I'd really like to use the built-in keyboard.

Is there a low-cost way to replace the keyboard to get me another six months from the machine? Does anyone know where this fits into Apple's fixed price list for repairs? Do I need to go to a nonapple shop?

Thanks for your help

Saul

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  • see apple.stackexchange.com/a/392675/119271 for why you shouldn't have done that & what you should have done instead. The longer you leave it, the worse is can get. – Tetsujin Jun 18 at 15:11
  • 2016 Old? My late 2013 MBP is still a great machine. – ATL_DEV Jun 18 at 18:36
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It is likely the liquid made it down to the system board and that can not only short out components but causes corrosion that can get worse over time. Corrosion can short circuit as well as cause open circuits.

The way to fix it is to dissemble the laptop, clean it and then use schematics and a microscope with very fine soldering tools to find the problem and replace chips, etc. Or you can swap the system board.

Louis Rossman is a board level repair technician who has a YouTube channel where most of the Mac's he fixes are water damaged. You can see examples of what corrosion does to a system board by watching a few of those videos. I am not suggesting that you follow these videos and fix it yourself. But Louis shares the videos for educational purposes.

I would say, just buy a bluetooth keyboard to hold you over till you can get a new Mac.

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Go to Apple and see if you can get them to replace the keyboard. If you had problems with the keyboard beforehand, you could explain it to them. They might replace it under their Keyboard Service Program. Since there may be water intrusion into the system, they may charge you for the repair, but it's worth a shot:

https://support.apple.com/keyboard-service-program-for-mac-notebooks

If you have no luck with Apple or they charge you an insane price for the repair, then you can have someone repair it or repair it yourself.

Replacing only the keyboard alone can be costly and isn't worth it. The keyboard isn't serviceable like other laptop keyboards. The keyboard is riveted in place and must be broken off the case to remove it. Installing a new one requires replacing rivets with screws. It's really not worth the effort and the labor will be costly.

A much easier option is to replace the entire "palm rest" or "top case." You'll have to transfer your current working parts over to it. If you're not comfortable have a handy friend or a local computer repair shop do it. Make sure you supply them with the parts and instructions available at iFixit.com. They have repair guides and also document the entire process of dismantling the MacBook in great detail.

iFixit

https://www.ifixit.com/Device/MacBook_Pro_13%22_Function_Keys_Late_2016

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