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{A1989 / EMC3214}—Released in July 2018, the 13" MacBook Pro features quad-core i5 and i7 processors and Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics.

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One USB-C Port Not Working - Repair Process Question?

The front right USB-C port on my MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13” (2018) doesn’t work. Never has. It doesn’t charge, it doesn’t recognize devices, etc.

What would a repair of this one USB-C (Thunderbolt, etc.) port likely entail? Will the entire logic board or will they just be able to replace a single small part in the store?

I’m NOT eager to have to mail this off and/or have major guts from a brand new Mac replaced. Maybe it’s just a loose connection or something, or maybe it’s a bad port. Either way, I’m curious what folks here think.

I looked at the tear-down, but couldn’t tell much. Any help here is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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The 2018 teardown does gloss over some of the details as Apple is basing the updated system on the older 2016 model. So if you look at the 2016 teardown you’ll see the USB-C port assembly is removable!

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And heres a better view of the connector assembly being removed from the case

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So, yes you can replace either one as needed. But there is still a wrinkle here!

What if the connector is not the issue but the logic on the logic board which would require a new logic board. While not obvious each pair of ports has its own Intel JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller.

As this is still under warranty I would strongly recommend you get it to Apple or one of their authorized service centers. But, before you do I would make a good backup of my stuff and if you have anything personal on your system wipe the drive down so if they change out the logic board nothing personal would be exposed.

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Thank you.

The other USB-C on the right side works, so I’m hopeful that's a good sign.

Former Mac Genius here (should have known to look at the 2016 tear-down), so I know the drill re: these types of repairs. At least they do more of them in-store now than when I was working a decade+ ago where nearly every laptop went to Depot. I filed a case within three weeks of getting it, and then re-confirmed that it still doesn’t work under Mojave. My schedule is lighter in a week so I’ll take it to a store then (the nearest is 90 minutes away). It’s plenty well documented, anyway.

What’s odd is that when I plug my Bose QuietComforts in to charge them, they give a blinking red light indicating “error.” For any other peripheral, nothing happens at all - no errors, no popups, nada. Not even on the iPhone which, as we all know, sometimes will give a warning about a non-standard device or something.

Apple Hardware Test/Diagnostics doesn’t indicate any problem.

Thank you again.

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Does the controller to each usb-c port live on that removable pair of ports or on the logic board itself? Thanks

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No, the logic is on the main logic board, the connect is all thats on the removable part.

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Too late for this case, but for anybody else having this issue: resetting the SMC (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295) brought my MBP’s “dead” USB-C port back to life.

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I have a port (right front) that charges, but devices only work when plugged in one direction. Flip them over, and they don’t work.

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More likely a cheap cable. There are quite a few different USB-C cables besides the cheapo's. You need to keep an eye on what the seller is selling. Some are not rated for power (missing the wires) only data. Others are rated for power but not to charge your system as the wire gage used is only adequate to charge a phone or supply a peripheral power. The last version is a cable designed to charge your system often they are missing some of the data lies to make room for the thicker power lines.

So is USB-C so great? Not in my mind! A great idea that failed at the basics, as I can't tell the three different cables as I've just outlined as there is not standard marking approach! Give me a symbol molded into the connector. The Standards group is focused on creating more confusion! Don't mess with the terms as that doesn't help the user.

The best you can do is get a set of real Apple USB-C power cables directly from Apple and use them for charging (White cables). Get a different color cable for the USB-C peripherals (Yellow cables) and if you really need a data only cable get Red cables.

Then lets throw in the cheap cables often times they are not fully wired so only one side is wired, which is your problem here.

You still have another problem! Your USB-C port is damaged as well! This can happen when the cable is not properly wired so the load is not taking advantage of the second mate pin on the other side so the socket breaks down (over heating damaging it).

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Erik J. Barzeski será eternamente grato(a).
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