Anyone DIY-fixed a liquid-damaged MacBook Pro keyboard?
Long story short, I wiped my keyboard with a moist towel and I knocked out exactly 6 keys on my mid-2020 MacBook Pro (Magic Keyboard, A2251).
I'm now looking at either paying $300+ to have it serviced by a technician. But I have the tempting option of buying an aftermarket replacement keyboard for less than $100 and replacing it myself. That + I'm in the spirit of DIY repairs to keep my things going longer.
Has anyone attempted this before? Any tips and advice?
It seems slightly daunting because the keyboard is adhered to the aluminium body so I would have to literally tear the existing one off.
I don't know where you live or what your situation is, but I'd try taking it to an Apple Store first. Similar thing happened to me a few years ago when I spilled a full large glass of coke on my keyboard. I immediately shut it off and lay it upside down, open in a ~45 degree angle. I waited a day and turned the device on. It was working but the left side of my keyboard was extremely sticky from all that sugar and wasn't working. I took it to a nearby Apple Store (I was living near one at the time). I was sure that I was going to pay a hefty price for my carelessness, not only because accidental spills are not covered by Apple but my device was out of warranty. Much to my surprise and delight, they said they will fix it for free and I had the device ready the next day.
I suggest you try your chances at an Apple Store first, assuming it's convenient for you. You never know how lucky you can get. Sometimes the person you're talking to takes a pity on you or sometimes Apple do it for supply/legal reasons that customers are not privy to, but whatever it is, I've heard way too many Apple-fixed-my-stuff-for-free-when-they-didn't-need-to stories.
If that doesn't work, try other alternatives.
Why do you need to replace the entire keyboard after having only popped off a few keys? Did the mechanism underneath the caps break when it happened?
p.s. It looks like you may be able to buy individual Type-R Magic Keyboard replacement parts instead:
Related video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omYY8fly2pE
Oh, I meant that I short-circuited those 6 keys (I think). The mechanisms are fine. They no longer register presses however.
Ah, bummer. Are you sure the mechanisms are actually fine though? Have you tried to pop off those keycaps and properly re-seat everything?
How wet was the towel? Because just a bit of moisture shouldn't have done that sort of damage. Full droplets of water likely would have had to get under the caps in order to short out parts of the board.
In any case, if it is water damage, I wish you luck. I have never worked on Mabooks, so unfortunately can't help you much if you do need to replace the whole keyboard. :(
Like 2-3 pats from my wet hand after running it under the faucet.
It was perfectly ok beforehand and I’ve given it many many wipe downs in the past (I have oily fingers!). But this time I may have given the towel one wet hand pat too many 😢.
(So others beware.)
Ah. Yeah, using water to clean electronics is almost always a bad idea. In future, and for anyone else who wants to safely clean their electronics: Do it while the device is off, and use a microfiber cloth (or paper towel) with a bit of rubbing alcohol on it. Then use cotton swabs dipped in the alcohol to clean any crevasses. The alcohol will do a much better job at removing skin oil residue, and since it evaporates a lot quicker than water it's also much much safer to use. You should still wait a few minutes before powering on your device again after cleaning it though, just to be safe.
Well, I clean my keyboards in the dishwasher. No lie, it works well. Caveats-no detergent (or anything else) in there, let it dry absolutely. But it makes them shiny and brand new looking.
Probably wouldn’t put my mbp in there, tho.
Heh, I have done the same with some of my older keyboards too. That’s why I said “almost always” instead of just always. :P
I've replaced keyboards and everything else on older Mac's (circa 2008-2015.)
Macs are getting harder and harder to repair.
While I DIY almost everything, I would seriously consider paying the extra $200 for a glued on keyboard.
As much as I hate to reward this sort of behavior, Apple can do it faster, better, and would eat the cost if they destroy the laptop.