liquid damage - replace keyboard only, or is the problem more serious?
I'm trying to help someone who has a MacBook Air purchased in June 2009, the 2.13Ghz model with SSD.
A couple of weeks ago, she reported that she was having problems with it. A little investigation revealed that the keyboard registers the left shift key as permanently down. She took it to the Apple Store and they said that the problem is caused by liquid damage (not unreasonably, since there were visible stains on the keyboard!), and that it would be $750 to fix.
She's been using it happily for a couple weeks with an external keyboard. (Interestingly, if you strike a key on an external keyboard, MacOS is then clever enough to report the shift key state of the external keyboard to applications, ignoring the internal keyboard.)
The machine seems to be working, although it is only possible to start it in safe mode, due to the fact that the shift key is permanently depressed.
I've blown air at the left shift key, and generally tried to see if it could be easily fixed, but the problem persists. I've actually ordered a replacement keyboard for it, thinking that this would be far cheaper than $750. (Apple, and Apple-authorized servicers, apparently won't replace only the keyboard, even on request, if there is evidence of liquid damage.)
However, she reports that the Air sometimes fails to wake from sleep, requiring a full reboot after she closes the lid. Also, it has once or twice refused to shut down, hanging with a beach ball for > half hour instead (at which point she forcibly powered off). She also complains that the battery life is unsatisfactory--and she has had this complaint for a while, since before the keyboard failure.
So the question is: should I install the keyboard, or is this evidence that there are more serious problems, and I should recommend that she accept the $750 repair from Apple?
Thanks for any thoughts!
Is this a good question?