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after liquid damage, MBA starts up and then shuts down login attempt

So, I spilled a liquid on my late 2010 MacBook Air. Between the liquid and the age, i know its got no warranty. As soon as i spilled it, i shut down and let it dry out (big ziploc and rice) until i could get the pentalobe screwdriver to open it up.

before opening it up, i wanted to see if the non-invasive drying worked. it starts up, but not by pressing the power button. when i pressed that, i got no response. so i just touched all the keys just to test the keyboard and it randomly powered on.

when i got to the login screen, i picked the account and was able to enter 3 letters of my password, then it stops and a few seconds later, shuts down.

any ideas what part needs to be cleaned/replaced? the magsafe port seems ok, it goes bright green and then amber to indicate its charging. SSD seems fine since it boots and appeared relatively unscathed. my guess would be logic board, but for obvious cost reasons, i am hoping there are simpler/cheaper fixes i can attempt first

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Agree with SecondByte757 and the very first thing I suggest is that you clean your logic board, as well as all connectors and take a close look and see if there is any missing, burned components on the board.


I took everything apart, cleaned the obvious spots with rubbing alcohol and let it sit for another day +. put everything back together, and now....completely dead.

like, i plug in the magsafe cord, and i dont even get it to light up. went from bad to worse.

any ideas? my main one right now was to take it apart again and re-do it to be sure everything went back to where it should be and hope i just missed something.

otherwise....i am staring at a dead air, and probably selling it for parts.



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when you spill liquid on anything. When it dries there is still residue. This residue can cause shorts or allow electricity to pass.

Water = Minerals, Metals, etc...

Soda = Sugar, Chemicals etc..

So you still have a connections somewhere. Hence you can boot but shuts off after a couple key strokes..

I know that connecting pin 4 & 27 on the keyboard connector on alot of macbooks send a "start" command. Kinda like hot wiring a car. So you may be sending some signal of sort with the keystroke and connections. I would try an external keyboard and see if the problem still exists. If not then replace keyboard. If so then you have a main board issue.

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I use an external keyboard and mouse but it reboots every time i put in my password. It starts to log in then it reboots


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It is over 2 years old question but for others to be able to know what to do if anyone spil their machines.

I would suggets if there is no tools handy use the hair dryer. Keep it at low temperature and blow the machine at high flow. Move side to side in sweep to make sure you don't melt something. That is the very first thing that might save the board from damages.

If tools are handy I still suggest to use hair dryer if no hot air station while opening up the bottom plate.

Pull the battery, disconnect all cables and connector and remove the logic board. Make sure you have 99.9% Isopropyl Alcohol only. Not the pharmacy grade though and get distilled water(sometimes useful). Clean it with Alcohol with a soft brush like acid brush( not pros just for home remedy) or a sofe tooth brush to make sure there is no residue or corrosion remains.

Then use a dehumidifier or heater to let it dry out for about 2 days. Then use the oven (not in kitchen) or some heating source to 150F or 75C and let it sit for about 20 minutes. The moisture under the chips are hard to get rid of so check it and if required, heat it again.

That might work sometimes and if damage is bad, you will need professional repair not idiot bar. Find a flat rate repair shop and let them do the job. Mostly qbout $350 to $500 depend on the repair centers.

I hope it will help.

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Shut down fix after liquid spill. Well I hope this helps some people. So, I bought this 2011 macbook pro on craigslist for $100. The issue was that it would not stay powered on according to the seller due to a liquid spill so I took my chances. I installed a new SSD and got it to power on. Indeed the it would turn on and then power off. Sometimes it would stay on for hours and other times it would power off before it would even boot up. The number keys would not work and they typed letters instead. What was odd though was that most times when it was on it would open the window that pops up when you hold down on the power button and then shut down on its own. Other times it would shut down with no warning. Another odd thing is that after holding the shift, control and option button (not the power button) it would reset it self like I did and SMC and then I would hit the power button or any key and it would turn on. At this point I was suspicious that something isn't right with the keyboard which might be the source of the shut downs. However, that was a hard fix so 1st thing I did was a new battery. I was hoping that since it still had the original better that maybe thats why it would shut down. So I bought a new aftermarket one for $30 but no fix. So now it was for the challenging mission. Keyboard replacement. I bought a new one on amazon for $20 without the backlight since mine was still working. Once I got everything out I found that the keyboard from the inside is covered with a black plastic cover. So I am thinking wow, it would really be hard even with a big liquid spill for the liquid to reach the logic board. To get the to the point, I go the new keyboard in. Took about an hour and....the Macbook is like new. No shut downs anymore. For those that do not know, the keyboard and power button are connected (once peace) so I am sure thats the reason for the shut downs. Something was shorting out to cause the shut downs. This was actually not a hard thing to do so don't let it scare you. As long as you don't jerk anything out you will be fine. I hope this helps some people. By a new keyboard before you sell your macbook or buy a new logic board. Good luck!

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