The smaller of Apple's MacBook Air laptops featuring dual microphones and 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity.

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Flickering bars on display after coffee spill - what to replace?

I got a small amount of coffee on my macbook air and tried to wipe it off immediately. The computer is still working, passes diagnostics. Camera, speakers, mic, power, all fine. Logic board even seems ok but I developed major flickering and distortion on my display.

The screen appears divided into 6 vertical bars, from left to right they are normal, normal, flickering and distorted, white, normal, flickering. Connection to an external display yields a crisp, normal image on the external display and does not change the appearance ofthe main LCD.

Is the problem likely to be the monitor itself, the cables connecting the monitor to the logic board, or at worst the logic board also? I would've expected a logic board problem but everything else on the computer is operational.

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If able to, have you opened up your MacBook to look inside and inspect if anything was wet or visually see the issue?


I brought it to the applestore where they noted liquid on the airport card and left speaker. Both work though. They opened it in the back so I could not see the extent of liquid damage. I will open it up as soon as I get the right screw drivers and post about the extent of liquid damage. I am wondering if cleaning and reseating the cables would make any progress.


Still waiting for the arrival of my pentalobe screwdriver. I can report that the hazey flickering that appeared on 2 of the 3 bars has disappeared. The one in the middle is still very odd - a lot of vertical colored bars. This makes me think it was liquid in the connection of the monitor to the logic board, but just a stab here. Any suggestions?


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To check for logic board damages connect to an external monitor. If you see the same thing as on your laptop it's GPU/VGU logic board damage. If it looks normal the GPU is ok and your suspicion of a cable/connector is likely.

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That's correct. External monitor connection looks perfectly fine, and I never saw any distortion on the externally connected LCD.


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