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MacBook Pro 15" Mid 2009 Battery not recognized

edited June 2015 in MacBook Pro
Hello, I'm having an issue repairing a 2009 Macbook Pro with water damage.
Half a bottle of Gatorade was spilled on the keyboard and the computer was turned off for roughly 1 year before attempting repair.
I disassembled the computer and took the main components (logic board, DC-In) and put them in an Isopropyl bath for ~ 2 days until it had entirely evaporated. I then reassembled and noticed the battery status would go from charging, to no battery detected over and over again. I took the computer apart again and noticed the Gatorade must have gotten into the battery because it was slightly swelling, and was sticky from residue. I removed it and bought a third party battery from Amazon. With the new battery installed, it's not detecting the battery at all.
I ran the coconut battery app and it's coming up all zeroes. As suggested on forums, etc, I reset SMC and PRAM(?) but that didn't seem to resolve the issue either. I'm wondering if I got a bad battery, or something is wrong with the DC-In component, or maybe there is a trace on the mobo that is shorted out. Just looking for a little guidance, I'm probably going to sell it for parts if logic board replacement is needed (~$240).


  • Hi! Thanks for the post!

    First I'd say that soaking in an alcohol bath is probably not the best way to resolve liquid damage. The corrosion/Gatorade needs to come off the board, and letting it soak until evaporation does not necessarily remove it, so there may still be some bad stuff on there. Ideally you would use an ultrasonic cleaner...the next best thing is scrubbing with 99% alcohol and a toothbrush.

    As far as the battery, you don't know if the battery is the problem until you've tried a battery that you are 100% sure is a good battery ("sure" = you've seen it working with your own eyes). So even though it would seem a new battery should work, again, you never know. This is a point of difficulty that comes with dealing with a single computer and not having lots of spare parts, but it's necessary to absolutely know a part is good before making an absolute determination. Otherwise the diagnosis can easily be incorrect. Do you have a friend with a similar laptop who will let you test the new battery?

    That said, bad batteries don't generally show up, then disappear, then show up, then disappear, so I would tend to suspect the board. That said, most batteries haven't been soaked in Gatorade, so it's possible that this situation would present unique symptoms.

    The DC-in is usually not the problem if the machine will power up, and if you get an appropriate green light on the AC adapter connector. It's rare for the DC-in to be the culprit unless the liquid damage happens ON the DC-in itself. And usually even then the problem would be no light on the DC-in, and a failure to power up at all.

    I don't do board-level repair...that's a whole universe I just haven't bothered with at this point. There may be a solution in that universe, but given the stress your board has undergone I'm not sure it would be a worthwhile candidate. Personally, I would scrub down the board with 99% alcohol, then try a known-good battery, and if that doesn't work, probably assume the board is toast.

    If you wanted to give board repair a go, is a reputable company.


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