Spilled soda into touchpad, can I disassemble it?

Yesterday I spilled some soda which was on and around the trackpad. None of the soda made its way into the keyboard area. After the spill, the trackpad seemed to loose its click, but was still functioning with touches. This morning, parts of the trackpad don't have the audible click, and others have a very loud click, almost as if it sticks and pops. I would like to know if the touchpad can be removed and disassembled for cleaning.

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3 Answers

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You must

clean it. Problems will only get worse over time. Search liquid spill or soada spill, and choose Answers for cleaning tips & techniques

Once you disassemble the top case can be washed with hot water to remove the sugars, then 99% iso-alcohol to speed drying.

Before reassembling and using the parts must be completely dry - read about drying agents/techniques in the other posts about liquid/soda spills.

Applying power (battery) too soon can short the logic board.

Remember to return and mark accepted the answer that best solves your problem.

Good luck,

N

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Thanks Machead3, but I am wondering if the touchpad specificaly can be removed and disassembled for cleaning. I believe the touchpad access is available with just the battery removal, but I'm not certain about that. Sure wouldnt wan't to remove everything if it is not necessary.

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touchpad can be removed after removing the battery, undoing 4 tiny screws and a bit of gentle pulling. in case of having a model with split bottom case, you need to undo the other part as well so you can disconnect the trackpad from the motherboard.

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here is the way to disamble

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2009 Trackpad Replacement

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I was able to 'fix' my MBP without buying a replacement part or taking it to the Genius Bar. After spilling several large drops of juice along the top of the trackpad, the cursor would randomly move, swipe and click in OSX as if someone was using it. Out of warranty, I ended up disabling the trackpad through Terminal and used an external mouse to make my MBP usable again. Here's how I ended up solving this on the cheap -

First, I followed Simran's guide to remove the trackpad from the chassis. I cleaned the bottom of the trackpad with rubbing alcohol pads till every bit of sticky residue was removed. That didn't fix the issue, though. What you really need to clean is this -

Block Image

- the data cable (see above) and the ZIF connector where it meets the trackpad. Any liquid slipping through the top portion of the trackpad could land directly on the exposed portion of the cable and make its way down to the ZIF connector. That's likely where the short was happening. I scrubbed both areas with a cotton swab and cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol several times. Be careful not to damage the cable.

After reassembly, the trackpad felt as good as new. I saved myself the hundreds it would've cost at the Genius Bar and the $100 or so the trackpad and cable would cost to replace. Not too shabby.

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