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  1. #1
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues

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    Thumbs down MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues
    My apologies if I am starting a duplicate thread. I am new to this and could not find anything on this topic.

    Issue: The TRACKPAD “click” is failing. Tracking and tap works but the “click” works intermittently. The issue was verified by an Apple Genius Bar technician.

    The machine was purchased in December of 2018, approx. two months ago. The unit is under apple one-year warranty and apple is happy to order replacement parts and repair the machine. From what I understand, the battery, trackpad and keyboard would be replaced. It would take about a week for the repair.

    Firstly, I am very disappointed that machine has hardware issues especially at this early stare when it is barely broken in. I would have expected Apple to simply replace the unit so that I would have the benefit of a new and pristine machine which was paid for. Not one that has hardware issues that is fixed, repaired or refurbished.

    I would also like to note that I have owned MacBooks since 2008. The assembly of the older machines was floor-less and the hardware was problem free. Are apple products getting more and more expensive while the quality is degrading?

    Am I expecting too much? I would appreciate your thoughts.

    This was a very expensive machine. Hardware: 2.9 GHz Intel Core I9 MacBook Pro (15-inch 2018), 32 GB DDR4 with the Radeon Pro Vega 20 4080 MB Intel UHD Graphics 630 1536 MB running Mac OS Mojave 10.14.3

    Thanks in advance for you opinion.

  2. #2
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues
    badshoehabit's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 02, 2011
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    Tyneside, UK
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    1,478
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP Retina late 2015 15.4" 16GB 2.5 GHz OS Mojave; iPhone 7 128gb; iPad Mini 2, 32gb
    I've been in the same situation with an earlier model and reluctantly accepted a repair. No trouble since - but if you do, you have a better chance of a replacement device. Because of that and a long-drawn-out experience with an earlier MBP, I took out Apple Care and suggest you do the same for peace of mind over the next three years.
    Sue

    If the shoe fits, buy it in every colour.

  3. #3
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues
    cwa107's Avatar
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    2018 MacBook Air / Core i5 @ 1.6GHz, 16GB, 512GB SSD
    Quote Originally Posted by Vision Dreamer View Post
    I would also like to note that I have owned MacBooks since 2008. The assembly of the older machines was floor-less and the hardware was problem free. Are apple products getting more and more expensive while the quality is degrading?
    .
    Yes, exactly that. They are being continuously cost-reduced, all the while increasing retail prices. The machines are non-upgradeable and mostly non-serviceable.

    The upside of having a repaired machine means that a qualified, factory-trained technician, as opposed to an unskilled, assembly line worker, has likely performed the repair. In my opinion, the outcome will likely be a more reliable machine going forward.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  4. #4
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues

    Member Since
    Sep 15, 2015
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    Canada
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    Your Mac's Specs
    2018 MBP15, 2.9 i9, 32GB, 4TB, Vega 20 4GB, 2019 MBA 13, 256GB, iPhone6s, Apple TV, Airport Exp & Ex
    I took your advice and took out Apple Care. It was more expensive than purchasing it with the computer. My MBP is now in the shop being repaired. I understand they will be replacing not only the track-pad, but the keyboard and battery as well. I try to keep my equipment in pristine condition. My fear is that it will come back with scuffs and scratches. I should get it back by the end of the day.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I appreciate the vote of confidence.

  5. #5
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
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    Winchester, VA
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    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    If it's being repaired by Apple, it should come back in as good a shape as when you sent it in. I've had two repaired by Apple and both came back in pristine condition. The problem you had is 99% likely to have been a swelling battery. The battery is directly below the trackpad so when a battery swells, it presses up on the bottom of the trackpad and prevents the trackpad from being depressed to register the "click." My wife had that problem on a MBP and Apple replaced the battery under warranty. Battery swelling is a chemical issue with ALL lithium batteries, and seems to appear randomly. I've had batteries that were worked like dogs and never swelled, and batteries that I pampered that started to swell in just weeks. Not an Apple problem, it's with the chemistry inside the battery that some batteries produce excess gas and that causes the battery to swell. No way to predict which will and which won't swell. It can happen to ANY lithium battery, including camera batteries, phone batteries (all brands), car batteries (if you have an electric car with Lithium batteries), etc. You can abuse a battery by overcharging and force it to swell, but the Apple charging circuits are, like most well-made products, engineered to prevent that happening. And the swelling can start as soon as the battery is manufactured, which means if it sat on a shelf for a few weeks before Apple installed it, and if the Mac sat in inventory for a couple of weeks before you bought it, the battery could well be several months old, which can explain why you are seeing it swelling after just two months of ownership. Eventually all lithium batteries will swell up, usually after 3-5 years of service. Normally a lithium battery is good for 2-3 years before it starts to suffer serious decay of storage of power, so most folks with older batteries end up replacing them because they won't hold a charge before the swelling gets bad enough to create an issue.

    Because the battery is glued in, Apple just replaces the upper case, which includes the trackpad and keyboard as well as the battery. It's just quicker for them to swap it out and get it back to you that way.
    Jake

  6. #6
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues

    Member Since
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    16
    Your Mac's Specs
    2018 MBP15, 2.9 i9, 32GB, 4TB, Vega 20 4GB, 2019 MBA 13, 256GB, iPhone6s, Apple TV, Airport Exp & Ex
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    If it's being repaired by Apple, it should come back in as good a shape as when you sent it in. I've had two repaired by Apple and both came back in pristine condition. The problem you had is 99% likely to have been a swelling battery. The battery is directly below the trackpad so when a battery swells, it presses up on the bottom of the trackpad and prevents the trackpad from being depressed to register the "click." My wife had that problem on a MBP and Apple replaced the battery under warranty. Battery swelling is a chemical issue with ALL lithium batteries, and seems to appear randomly. I've had batteries that were worked like dogs and never swelled, and batteries that I pampered that started to swell in just weeks. Not an Apple problem, it's with the chemistry inside the battery that some batteries produce excess gas and that causes the battery to swell. No way to predict which will and which won't swell. It can happen to ANY lithium battery, including camera batteries, phone batteries (all brands), car batteries (if you have an electric car with Lithium batteries), etc. You can abuse a battery by overcharging and force it to swell, but the Apple charging circuits are, like most well-made products, engineered to prevent that happening. And the swelling can start as soon as the battery is manufactured, which means if it sat on a shelf for a few weeks before Apple installed it, and if the Mac sat in inventory for a couple of weeks before you bought it, the battery could well be several months old, which can explain why you are seeing it swelling after just two months of ownership. Eventually all lithium batteries will swell up, usually after 3-5 years of service. Normally a lithium battery is good for 2-3 years before it starts to suffer serious decay of storage of power, so most folks with older batteries end up replacing them because they won't hold a charge before the swelling gets bad enough to create an issue.

    Because the battery is glued in, Apple just replaces the upper case, which includes the track-pad and keyboard as well as the battery. It's just quicker for them to swap it out and get it back to you that way.
    My repair from a few years ago came back with dings and scuffs. In addition, one of the USB socket got very loose so the connecting cable would fall out.


    The current repair of my new machine was supposed to take two hours while I wait in the shopping mall. One day later, Here is an update from the technician.
    It sounds scary but what choice do I have!
    Would appreciate any comments.
    Thanks.


    “I have performed diagnostics on the unit, and everything is passing except your battery.

    I then proceeded to install the old top case with battery and performed another diagnostics, to see if Apple has sent a faulty part or not, and the diagnostics result is the same with the old top case with battery.

    I proceeded to install the new top case with battery again, and performed System configuration testing on the unit, and it is showing as a pass. Upon booting up the device the fan is running at High Speed.

    The fan has now cooled down, so as of right now, I'm physically using the device and running 4K video to test to see if the fan will run at High Speed again, and will be booting the device ON/OFF to see if the fan will run at High Speed during start-up.

    I just wanted to give you an update of what is going on and where I am at with the diagnostics testing. I'm going to let the device charge back up to 100% and physically test the unit, as the battery is currently at 20% when I received the new top case with battery from Apple.”

  7. #7
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
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    5,918
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Not scary, that's what I would have expected them to do. The "top case" is the keyboard, trackpad and battery assembly. So they have replaced that and now are allowing it to fully charge so they can do another test. Sounds all good to me.
    Jake

  8. #8
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues

    Member Since
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    16
    Your Mac's Specs
    2018 MBP15, 2.9 i9, 32GB, 4TB, Vega 20 4GB, 2019 MBA 13, 256GB, iPhone6s, Apple TV, Airport Exp & Ex
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Not scary, that's what I would have expected them to do. The "top case" is the keyboard, trackpad and battery assembly. So they have replaced that and now are allowing it to fully charge so they can do another test. Sounds all good to me.
    Thanks. Appreciate your comments.

  9. #9
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues

    Member Since
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    16
    Your Mac's Specs
    2018 MBP15, 2.9 i9, 32GB, 4TB, Vega 20 4GB, 2019 MBA 13, 256GB, iPhone6s, Apple TV, Airport Exp & Ex
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Not scary, that's what I would have expected them to do. The "top case" is the keyboard, trackpad and battery assembly. So they have replaced that and now are allowing it to fully charge so they can do another test. Sounds all good to me.
    Here is a status at the end of the day Friday:

    "I have charged the device to 100%, I have diagnostics on the unit, and it is passing diagnostics.

    I also chatted with an Apple Channel Support representative, for assistance, and asking them why the fan is running High even though the diagnostics are showing as a pass, and they told me to follow a service guideline which I did.

    The guideline says replace the top case with battery, if the issue still persist replace the logic board. At this point I have tested with the old top case with battery along with the new part, and the fan is still running High upon boot-up intermittently and then it cools down.

    I will have to order a replacement logic board and test to see if that will resolve the fan issue running at High Speed, as I don't have the part in "

    like the entire internals will be replaced!!!

  10. #10
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues
    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location
    Lake Mary, Florida
    Posts
    27,044
    Your Mac's Specs
    2018 MacBook Air / Core i5 @ 1.6GHz, 16GB, 512GB SSD
    Quote Originally Posted by Vision Dreamer View Post
    Here is a status at the end of the day Friday:

    "I have charged the device to 100%, I have diagnostics on the unit, and it is passing diagnostics.

    I also chatted with an Apple Channel Support representative, for assistance, and asking them why the fan is running High even though the diagnostics are showing as a pass, and they told me to follow a service guideline which I did.

    The guideline says replace the top case with battery, if the issue still persist replace the logic board. At this point I have tested with the old top case with battery along with the new part, and the fan is still running High upon boot-up intermittently and then it cools down.

    I will have to order a replacement logic board and test to see if that will resolve the fan issue running at High Speed, as I don't have the part in "

    like the entire internals will be replaced!!!
    I'm surprised they don't just replace the machine at this point. What's left?

    I'd bet dollars to donuts that the thermal problem is related to haphazardly applied thermal paste on the CPU/GPU/Northbridge chips. I've seen nasty globs that effectively insulate the chip, rather than facilitating better contact with the thermal management components. This has been a problem for Apple for a LONG time now. In one of my earlier MBPs, I replaced the thermal paste with some Arctic Silver, applied correctly, and reduced the overall operating temperature by more than 10ºC on average.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  11. #11
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues

    Member Since
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    Canada
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    Your Mac's Specs
    2018 MBP15, 2.9 i9, 32GB, 4TB, Vega 20 4GB, 2019 MBA 13, 256GB, iPhone6s, Apple TV, Airport Exp & Ex
    With a new logic board, what parts will be transferred? CPU, RAM, Drive? Fan? Thanks.

  12. #12
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues
    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vision Dreamer View Post
    With a new logic board, what parts will be transferred? CPU, RAM, Drive? Fan? Thanks.
    RAM, CPU and SSD are all soldered fast to the logic board. It's possible the fans may be separate, but I highly doubt it. I would make a case for a replacement.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  13. #13
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues

    Member Since
    Sep 15, 2015
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    Canada
    Posts
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    Your Mac's Specs
    2018 MBP15, 2.9 i9, 32GB, 4TB, Vega 20 4GB, 2019 MBA 13, 256GB, iPhone6s, Apple TV, Airport Exp & Ex
    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    RAM, CPU and SSD are all soldered fast to the logic board. It's possible the fans may be separate, but I highly doubt it. I would make a case for a replacement.
    From what I am seeing on YouTube, the fan is separate. Does this mean that whenever the fans are removed, thermal paste must be reapplied? My machine was opened at least three time so far. Thanks.

  14. #14
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues
    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location
    Lake Mary, Florida
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    27,044
    Your Mac's Specs
    2018 MacBook Air / Core i5 @ 1.6GHz, 16GB, 512GB SSD
    Quote Originally Posted by Vision Dreamer View Post
    From what I am seeing on YouTube, the fan is separate. Does this mean that whenever the fans are removed, thermal paste must be reapplied? My machine was opened at least three time so far. Thanks.
    On earlier MBPs, the fans were replaceable without having to remove the heatsink/heat tube assembly. Though you can generally replace the fans themselves, I would be shocked if the replacement motherboard didn't come as a complete assembly (i.e. with fans and heatsinks pre-installed). I haven't worked on a newer machine and Apple has done its utmost to constrain availability of parts, so I could be completely off-base, but my experience has been that they try to make repairs as simplistic as possible so that the average trained chimp can do them.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  15. #15
    MacBook Pro 15-inch 2018 Trackpad issues

    Member Since
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    16
    Your Mac's Specs
    2018 MBP15, 2.9 i9, 32GB, 4TB, Vega 20 4GB, 2019 MBA 13, 256GB, iPhone6s, Apple TV, Airport Exp & Ex
    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    I'm surprised they don't just replace the machine at this point. What's left?

    I'd bet dollars to donuts that the thermal problem is related to haphazardly applied thermal paste on the CPU/GPU/Northbridge chips. I've seen nasty globs that effectively insulate the chip, rather than facilitating better contact with the thermal management components. This has been a problem for Apple for a LONG time now. In one of my earlier MBPs, I replaced the thermal paste with some Arctic Silver, applied correctly, and reduced the overall operating temperature by more than 10ºC on average.
    I reached out to an Apple Senior Adviser regarding replacing the unit. I was told that the criteria for replacement is three repairs for the same issue. Thus, the track-pad would have to fail three times which is unlikely. With the number of ribbon cables, screws and heat shields to deal with when the machine is opened, it is very worrisome considering the unit has been opened three times already and will be opened again to logic board.

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