Symptom: Expanding or swollen battery. Computer may not run off of battery. Computer wobbles on a flat surface. The trackpad button is stuck or not functioning properly.
Mac Type: MacBook Pro 15″ & 17″ (Silver Keyboard)
Likely Causes: As the Lithium batteries reach the end of their life they can swell causing the casing to expand. While this reportedly does not pose a safety risk (they are designed to expand rather than explode) the expanding battery can cause case damage if not replaced.
When the batteries expand, they can put upwards pressure on the underpart of the top case where the trackpad is located. This can cause the trackpad button to get stuck in the “pressed position” or make it difficult to use.
Solutions: If the battery is less than a year old, it may be covered under warranty. Batteries that are more than a year old where the MacBook Pro is still under AppleCare are not covered under warranty replacement.
Replacing the battery is the only fix for the problem. New batteries can be purchased from the Apple Store or though an Authorized Service Provider such as MyService. The old battery can be recycled anywhere that recycles normal batteries.
In rare instances, the trackpad area may be permanently damaged from the swelling and can be replaced with a new top case.
MyService offers battery and top case replacements for all models of MacBook Pros.
[ MacBook Pro Service ]
Symptom: The trackpad and/or some of the keyboard keys are not working after a liquid spill on your MacBook. Everything else seems to work fine. You can use an external keyboard and mouse, just not the built-in keyboard or trackpad.
Likely Cause: The top case, which includes the trackpad and keyboard, has most likely been damaged by the liquid spill. Connectors can become corroded or chips on the trackpad can short out causing these to loose functionality. Sometimes this may happen a few days after the spill as the corrosion can take some time to break down connectors.
Macs Affected: White and Black MacBooks
Solutions: 9 times out of 10 the top case can just be replaced and everything will be good as new. The new top case includes the palm rest, trackpad, keyboard and power button. MyService stocks this part and the turnaround time is usually within 24hrs.
If the liquid spill was more severe, damage may have been done to the logic board itself. If the logic board has been damaged, we can diagnose and repair the issue.
When MyService installs the new top case, we check for any other liquid exposure to other parts and will clean the area at no extra charge.
[ New MacBook Top Cases ] [ MacBook Diagnostics & Repairs ]
MacBook Pro 15" - Underside of the trackpad, behind the battery.
For the MacBook Pro 15″/17″ (silver keyboard models) intermittent trackpad or keyboard issues can be caused by damage to the area shown in the above pic.
Behind the battery of these models, the connectors for the trackpad button(1), keyboard(2), and top case(3) meet at the underside of the trackpad on the top case.
Although there is a clear plastic shield covering these components, the cables themselves are exposed and can become damaged when removing or replacing the battery incorrectly. If a battery is forced in upside down, the edges can damage the exposed cables.
Also, if debris (often Cheetos crumbs) get stuck behind the battery, they can physically damage the components on the back of the trackpad and cause input issues.
Often the top case is replaced (which includes the trackpad and cables 1 and 3) to fix these issues. If the keyboard cable is damaged, the keyboard is replaced. Sometimes all it takes is for the cables to be re-seated (be careful) to restore proper functionality.
These cables are not visible on the Unibody MacBook Pros.
[ MacBook Pro Top Case Replacement ] [ MyService Free Diagnostic ]
Trackpad from a 13" Unibody. Note the location of the clicker button.
The trackpad on the MacBook (Pro) Unibody is a service part that can be replaced separately from the top case. Traditionally, the trackpad and top case where classified as one piece.
New to the Unibody design is the ability to adjust the pressure sensitivity of the trackpad clicker. There is an adjustable screw that rests on the clicker button (shown in the circle above.) On Unibody models where the battery is removable, all you have to do is remove the battery to access the screw. For newer models with built-in batteries, accessing the screw requires more disassembly.