Early 2011 model, A1278 / 2.3 GHz i5 or 2.7 GHz i7 processor.

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MacBook shuts itself off at startup

So my 2011 Macbook Pro shuts itself off on startup, always right when the Apple logo shows up with a status bar at the bottom of the screen. The status bar fills up a tiny bit and boom, it shuts off.

Yes, there was a very small liquid spill many weeks ago, and this was happening then. I replaced the keyboard and thermal paste under the heatsink, cleaned the logic board, and dried everything out throughly, in the naive hope that that might help this issue. The machine worked great for a few days, and now the shutting off problem happens every time. My hopes, dashed!

I should probably add that the battery status was listed as "replace now" after the teardown I did, but it happens whether it's plugged in or not.

How can I find out what's causing the problem, as a non-expert? Please help!!

UPDATE: Here is the list of things I've already tried, if that's helpful:

-Replaced keyboard (previous one was definitely damaged) and thermal paste under heatsink

-Cleaned logic board and checked for visible corrosion

-Tried starting up without both the battery and 1 RAM in at a time (nothing)

-FSCK said disk could not be verified

-Ran disk utility and repaired main drive but "Macintosh HD" was greyed out

I can't run AHT since it crashes before I can get it running.

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If anyone knows how to determine that this is a hard drive issue or a motherboard failure, that would help me out a lot.

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I managed to get into disk utility today, and "Macintosh HD" (2nd one on the list of volumes on the left) was greyed out. So I could not verify it. Does that mean the drive has failed?

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See what happens when you start up in Safe Mode by holding down the Shift key on startup.

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It still crashed at the same place. Oddly, when it gets to the login screen and I choose the Guest account, it workls fine (although I can only run Safari from it).

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it is definately a mother board issue we had one doing the same thing and it was 2 capacitors on the motherboard that needed replaced

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Thank you. I wonder if they will just tell me to replace the whole motherboard if I take it to an authorized Apple place. I certainly can't afford that.

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