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Repair guides and disassembly information for the 16-inch MacBook Pro released in October of 2021, featuring Apple-designed M1 Pro and M1 Max SoCs. Model A2485.

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Spilled beer on my M1 Max MacBook Pro - Display issue

So I was a bit of a lemon and accidentally spilled beer on my new M1 Max MacBook Pro. It turned itself on as I opened it in the morning and it had 3/4 stripes on the right hand of my display, the far right one flickering.

I decided to prop it tent shaped in my airing cupboard to hopefully dry it out, now I have no display at all.

I have managed to get the bottom case off to see the damage and its completely bone dry, does anyone know where the water damage indicators are situated cos I see no red dots on it.

Am I screwed or would it be worth taking a chance at the Apple Store?

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Ouch! If you had spilled distilled water then you wouldn’t have faced any damage! The water is not the guilty party here its what’s IN the water, in tap or spring water its the minerals which are dissolved within which reacts with the exposed electrical circuitry. With Sea water, Beer or other drink we have even more complex interactions as the salts, acids and sugars are even more aggressive!

At this point you’ll need to find an independent Mac repair shop willing to work on your system. Even still time is your enemy here! The longer the beer is allowed to fester the more damage (wet or dry!)

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Yeah thats the frustrating thing, I took the machine off my stand to take upstairs, turned around and knocked the can over onto it, so annoying! I bought it on release day so Apple website wont let me buy Apple Care now.

In your opinion would it be worth taking it to the Apple Store anyway as it's still in warranty and I don't see any red dots where the indicators are supposed to be?

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You can try to take it to Apple but even if the dots aren’t red I’m sure they could see corrosion or just smell the beer. Worse case scenario they say they can’t fix it/crazy high price to fix it. Then you could take it to a shop.@hankscorpio

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@hankscorpio - Hard to say, it depends on how hard they look ;-}

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Worth a shot right? I'll leave it in the airing cupboard for another week then go down there :)

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@hankscorpio - Leave it powered off fully.

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If the logic board looks bone dry, it may not be an issue with the board. Or there could be liquid on the other side of the board (I assume you didn’t take it out of the case). I would definitely say keep it powered off, unplugging the battery would be even better since damage occurs when the liquid comes in contact with POWERED components. And power runs through the board even when it is in a shut down state.

Mostly I just wanted to add that on these newer model of MacBooks, Apple no longer uses liquid damage indicators which turn red. They use UV LCI stickers. Which are black and change color under UV light (although you can generally see if they are triggered even with the naked eye. I can’t find a good picture where I can see these, but there are a few on each edge of the board, and some along the top edge. Give what you’ve said I would be most concerned with liquid in the actual display assembly. You would absolutely be able to tell though if beer had made contact with the board because it leaves residue when it dries.

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Yeah I haven't attempted that, I think the damage would most likely be on the other side as the beer was spilled on the screen area. Think I'll have to take the L on this one haha

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I spilt distilled water and never came back on!

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I doubt you spilled distilled water on your system maybe a bottle of drinkable water. But water is not just H2O! It’s a lot of other stuff dissolved within it! Take a pan of water and boil it down what’s left on the bottom is called scale this is all of the minerals and junk that was hidden in the water.

Some of these are corrosive like salts and some are conductive in the case of metals.

Distilled water is what you boiled off re-condensed steam! It’s pure H2O if done properly. You can also get de-ionized water which is just a fancy word for filtered. It still has some stuff in it but won’t react badly when you need to add water to your lead acid battery as the salts will cause a chemical reaction which can spay up onto you getting an acid burn!

Even still your computer is not water proof so letting it getting wet is not smart! You’ll need to take it apart now to clean things up. As I’m sure you have corrosion damage and may have burnt a few components out as well when they got shorted out.

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Hank Scorpio will be eternally grateful.
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