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The March 2015 update of Apple's 13" MacBook Pro Retina Display, model A1502, features fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and introduces the Force Touch trackpad.

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Trackpad works but haptic feedback not there

I bought an early 2015 macbook pro second hand and the trackpad works and the mouse will click but the haptic feedback isn't doing anything even with it enabled in the settings. The guy I bought it from is not responding to me when I asked for a refund so I'm looking to fix it myself now. I took it in to the store and all they could do was determine it was a hardware issue and will either charge me $90 to replace the cable which I know I can do myself or $400 to replace the whole topcase. What are the chances that replacing the cable will fix the issue so I hopefully don't have to replace the trackpad?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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3 Answers

Chosen Solution

Are you a betting man?

The cable is known to have issues! I personally haven't seen the haptic feedback as a failure of the cable, more likely the trackpad. Thats not to say the cable still could be bad here (just less likely).

Here's the IFIXIT guide to replace the trackpad: MacBook Pro 13" Retina Display Early 2015 Trackpad Replacement which is where the haptic unit is part of. Here's the trackpad with the cable Retina MacBook Pro 13" Trackpad & Cable.

It's a lot less expensive than replacing the complete uppercase.

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Thanks for the quick response. I ordered the cable and should be able to swap it out this weekend. One question I have about replacing the trackpad is the adhesive on the battery. Once I've removed the battery and replaced the trackpad where would I get replacement adhesive for putting the battery back in?

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Boy! You want all my secrets ;-} Now this is between you and me right?

Once the old adhesive is fully removed, I use 3M Stretch Release Tape Here's the data sheet: Double Coated Stretch Release Tape 6657-150. We ordered a case of it 1" wide about two years ago from Tekta. The trick is to leave a tail that you can grab to make it easer to replace the battery later on.

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Thanks a lot for your help. I've now replaced the trackpad and it's working great!

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Have you tried resetting the PRAM? Command-Option-P-R on startup. I was able to restore Haptic feedback on my MacBook Pro when it stopped working out of the blue using that startup command.

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I want to echo something that Dan said.

I went and bought a replacement cable from Ebay for about $13 AUD. It was a bit longer and had more slack. The part was not a genuine Apple part. It worked 90% of the way just like you said, but the haptic feedback was not there.

Unfortunately I had work to do and didn’t want to waste anymore time. I went to apple store and they immediately agreed it was a trackpad cable issue. They charged $15 for the part and $120 for labour. They actually did the job first to confirm & identify that was the issue (without requiring me to deposit my laptop and put it in a queue for a week). It worked.

So long story short. Small things on ebay despite same part number are unlikely genuine. Same on iFixIt, Louis Rossman Repair, and most other sites - specifically if they claim new condition. Only Apple sells genuine parts and not to the public.

You can however buy used parts that are genuine. Powerbook Medic is good for this.

Anyway this is an unfortunate situation. I expensed the repair on my company dime since I use it exclusively for work despite it being personally mine. But I understand not everyone can do this and so I hope someone will find it helpful when they look for the trackpad cable replacement to know that there is actually a difference between a genuine and a non-genuine part. Which sucks.

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