Right fan running at 6000RPM after liquid damage
I hope you’re all having a great day/evening!
So I’ve had the misfortune to spill some orange juice on my brand-new 2016 Macbook Pro. Well, actually, not on it because the juice went sideways but somehow got into the laptop through the left USB-C ports. Funny, when you think how much you pay for such a machine!
Anyway, the laptop seemed ok at the time. I was able to run multiple Adobe CC apps with no issue whatsoever. Only, the Touchbar was completely black at times. To be honest, I only noticed that later that day because, well, let’s just say the Touchbar was just kind of a useless thing for me and I wouldn’t use it…
I took my ridiculously expensive Macbook to an Apple Store to have it cleaned but they refused. So I took the matter in my own hands and opened it myself to give it a nice clean with some isopropylic alcohol. It didn’t work. Even worse, the fans were louder and the battery was not working. It was going from 40% to 0% in seconds. Sometimes, it wouldn’t power on at all.
Just so you know, all this happened in March. After my failed attempt to clean it, I just shoved it in a drawer and that was it. I was done with Apple and their high-priced but super-flimsy products. I mean, if this happens when you spill liquid near an Apple machine…
I went to another Apple Store (Genius Bar) in May. They run the famous Apple Service Diagnostics, found loads of issues with the battery, fans, etc. Needless to say, the kindly suggested I pay at least 1,100 to have it fixed. Either that, or I pay the full price for a new machine. No way, man. Just. No. I was totally appalled at the kind of service they were providing, and it was so expensive to fix that it just wasn’t worth it.
So I waited another 4 months before taking it to a third Apple Store (Genius Bar), where they tried to get me to buy a new machine as well. Only, they didn’t run diagnostics because they couldn’t get it to power on, so they supposedly taken it somewhere in the back to open it and have a look inside. It took them, like, 5 minutes to come back and tell me just how badly it was damaged. The battery, the logic board, everything was screwed. Again, they suggested I pay a minimum of 1,100 to have it fixed or buy a new machine. Needless to say, they said the total price for the repair could get to, like, nearly 2,000. Umm… Ok… But no, thanks.
By this time, I was so sick of Apple that I decided to take the matter in my own hands again. So I opened the Macbook, took the logicboard out and submerged in rubbing alcohol (70% isopropylic alcohol, 30% distilled water + blue colouring) for 48 hours. I assembled it back, but it refused to power on. Then I got an ultrasonic bath and gave the logicboard a nice, hot bath, followed by a nice 1-hour stay in the hot oven. It must have enjoyed it, ‘cause it worked! It was powering on, but the right fan was very loud and rotating at 6000RPM. Another issue? I was getting an error with the SSD. It couldn’t be read and the Macbook wasn’t booting into OS.
Of course, I took it out again, gave it another 2 ultrasonic baths + oven stays using a DIFFERENT cleaning fluid for the ultrasonic bath (which I think was of much better quality than the first and specially made for PCB). Hard drive problem solved. The Macbook was booting, the battery was perfect, the Touchbar was working. The machine was actually working PERFECTLY. Unexpectedly so. But the right fan was loud… very loud. I also noticed it started rotating way before the left one when powering on the machine. iStat showed 6000RPM for the right fan and just about 2000RPM for the left one.
At this point, I tried resetting the VRAM, SMC, and basically did everything that was humanly possible, but nothing. Apple Diagnostics only says there’s an error with one of the fans (PPF003). And this has been giving me a splitting headache ever since!
Oh, by the way, it seems that removing the logicboard so many times wasn’t very good for the wireless antenna cables. In doing so, I also had to remove the black coaxial antennas, which cause the wee soldered attachments to come away from the logicboard. Go figure.
Just to recap:
- I spilled orange juice near the Macbook Pro. I powered it on and there were some issues with the Touchbar. I opened it, cleaned it with some Q tips dipped in isopropylic alcohol, but surprise! There were new issues with the battery, the fans were loud, it wasn’t powering on properly.
- The Macbook stayed like this for months (no usage).
- After several ultrasonic baths, everything is well (including the battery and Touchbar), but the right fan is just as loud, which makes the Macbook kind of nonfunctional. Plus, the black coaxial antennas are damaged (I tried taping them and the wireless is working, but no idea how well it’s working).
So right now, I have a fully functional Macbook with a very loud right fan that spins at 6000RPM. Temperatures are fine, no high CPU usage.
I already tried:
- replacing both fans with other fans that I knew for sure were working
- resetting the SMC and VRAM
- all kinds of tests by removing flex cables, connectors, etc.
- disabling Wi-Fi from OS (thinking the problem with the right fan may be due to the damage to the wireless antennas)
- I looked for apps or processes running in the background that might be causing the right fan to behave like that (such as pending printing jobs)
…nothing worked. Any recommendations? I’m totally heartbroken here.
But please, don’t advise me to go to Apple Genius Bar. A child is a lot more genius than they are! And don’t tell me to go to a so-called ‘specialist’ because, while I don’t mind paying for this, the only things that all ‘specialists’ in the UK know is replacing the screen and installing OS. Also, advising me to find any sensor isn’t a good idea because I’m not good at this sort of thing. If I were, I wouldn’t be posting here…
By the way, if anyone wants to know anything about the interior/construction of this Macbook or wants to see photos of it opened, just give me a shout! :)
Temperatures with the right fan at 6000RPM
And a video with the behaviour here: https://youtu.be/FI8SWiLBHUc (you can see that the right fan begins spinning the moment I power the machine on, and it spins a lot faster than the left one).