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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > 15" AL Powerbook, hinge is sticking

15" AL Powerbook, hinge is sticking
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deviousgelatin
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Aug 19, 2004, 02:07 PM
 
I've noticed recently that my hinge is sticking if the PB is left in one postion (open/closed) for too long.

This happen to anyone else? Any way to oil it up (safely) myself, or do I need to send it back to Apple? I've got a month left on the old warranty, so if so I'd like to do it soon.

Thanks!
     
mdc
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Aug 19, 2004, 02:29 PM
 
mine is doing the same thing recently.
my 15" powerbook is having a hard time recently. the hinge, my latch is dead. . . and to make matters worse i am in london.
i tried to get it serviced here but they said 3 weeks before they even look at it.

i am taking mine to an apple store as soon as i get back to the U.S.
if i were you, i'd take it back soon and get them to fix it, especially since it is under warranty
     
Alex00087
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Aug 19, 2004, 04:51 PM
 
Mine sticks too if it's left in one position for a while, but I didn't think it was a serious problem that needs to be fixed?
     
sray
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Aug 19, 2004, 04:58 PM
 
Me too. My 15" Alu started sticking a month or two after purchase. If the screen is left open it makes a sticking noise if I attempt to move it. However, there is no apparent difference in resistance or any functionality of the laptop.

I did get AppleCare on this PB so I'm tempted to take it in to the nearest Apple store. However, I highly doubt the screen can be serviced at the store, and I cannot afford to lose the PB for a week while they work on it.
     
pathogen
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Aug 19, 2004, 08:35 PM
 
Consider fixing the hinge pressure yourself. These are kits you can buy:

http://www.radtech.us/Products/Glides.aspx

I'm tempted to get one myself as soon as I have some extra cash because my hinge is really tight and it's trouble brewing for my TiBook.
When you were young and your heart was an open book, you used to say "live and let live."
But if this ever changing world, in which we live in, makes you give in and cry, say "live and let die."
     
Arolte
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Aug 19, 2004, 09:26 PM
 
For what it's worth, I too get a sticky hinge accompanied by a slight "snapping" sound when I leave my 12" PowerBook open for a while and attempt to push the display down. It sounds pretty bad, but it doesn't feel like a lot of pressure is being exerted on it to really cause any damage. I'm thinking the display will loosen by itself with constant use. I really don't mind since I think it's better to be too tight than too loose.

My theory as to why it's occuring is from the material and design of the aluminum PowerBooks (not specific to 15" model). I believe aluminum has a tendency to expand and contract with the varying temperatures of an environment. Remember, the heat vents are located right along the hinge. If your PowerBook heats up while it's left open for a while, the aluminum will flex slightly. Since that flexing aluminum is in an already cramped space along the hinge, it will get all sticky in that one position and you may get an aweful snapping sound while you close it.

I don't think there's any defect with the PowerBook itself. It's just the natural properties of aluminum and the positioning of the heat vents on the aluminum PowerBooks. It's possible that the reason this hasn't occured much in previous models is because previous materials wouldn't flex so much with varying temperatures. Aluminum may simply be more prone to that. In any case loosening the hinge may help (great link, pathogen) to some extent, but it may get a little too loose when contracting under normal use. You'll need to find the perfect middleground of tension.
     
rytc
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Aug 19, 2004, 10:37 PM
 
Originally posted by Arolte:
For what it's worth, I too get a sticky hinge accompanied by a slight "snapping" sound when I leave my 12" PowerBook open for a while and attempt to push the display down. It sounds pretty bad, but it doesn't feel like a lot of pressure is being exerted on it to really cause any damage. I'm thinking the display will loosen by itself with constant use. I really don't mind since I think it's better to be too tight than too loose.
I was just about to post a topic about creaking hinges when I saw this one. I too get a really creaking/snapping sound when I try and move the screen on my 12" PB if it has been sitting in the open position for any length of time. I hope you're right re: it being simply due to metal expansion, the sound is a little disconcerting to me as it is a very similar sound to what the iBooks used to make before their screens crapped out! I have 3 years on my AppleCare so will keep an eye on it - perhaps get it checked if it gets worse.

Cheers Ry
     
rytc
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Aug 19, 2004, 10:39 PM
 
Also, it only comes from the right-hand hinge point. What do you think would be the reason for the noise only beginning a month or two after purchase, surely it should've made the noise from the start - the hinge would surely be tighter at this point?
     
Frumpy
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Aug 20, 2004, 09:11 PM
 
Been having the same problem with mine. I have a 12" that I purchased in May and now I get the creaky hinge when left open for a while. I've heard that Apple is opening a new 'edgier' store in Syracuse, so I'll just wait for the opening of that and take it in. The thing is covered for a year from Apple, so other than losing my PB for a week or so it shouldn't be a problem. BUT, now that I read that...I think i'lll wait until next year to send it in and see if anything else comes up. A creaky hinge really doesn't warrent a 1-2 week repair.
Specs:12" PowerBook-1.33GHz, 768 PC2700, Airport Express, Panther (10.3.9), iSight, 15GB 3G iPod
     
rytc
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Aug 23, 2004, 07:03 PM
 
I'm going to take mine back in, I don't think (in my case anyway) that it is merely a case of metal expansion as the creaking - more of a cracking sound now - can happen when I only just switch the computer on and lift up the lid. Besides - it's a brand new expensive laptop and squeaky hinges shouldn't be a feature of it.
     
rytc
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Sep 10, 2004, 06:41 PM
 
Originally posted by deviousgelatin:
I've noticed recently that my hinge is sticking if the PB is left in one postion (open/closed) for too long.

This happen to anyone else? Any way to oil it up (safely) myself, or do I need to send it back to Apple? I've got a month left on the old warranty, so if so I'd like to do it soon.

Thanks!
As a follow up, I took my PB into an Apple Shop yesterday and picked it back up today - pretty quick turn around which was good. They took the cover off an lubed up the hinge and it's now back to its usual smooth self - definitely worth doing. So, I'd reccomend you take it in now to get it repaired. Speaking to the people at the shop who said it's a similar problem to what the iBooks suffered from (i.e. the tight-creaky-hinge) it would seem that metal expansion doesn't really play a role, it's more to do with lack of grease or whatever lubricant they stick in it.
     
vexingv
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Sep 10, 2004, 10:03 PM
 
Originally posted by rytc:
As a follow up, I took my PB into an Apple Shop yesterday and picked it back up today - pretty quick turn around which was good. They took the cover off an lubed up the hinge and it's now back to its usual smooth self - definitely worth doing. So, I'd reccomend you take it in now to get it repaired. Speaking to the people at the shop who said it's a similar problem to what the iBooks suffered from (i.e. the tight-creaky-hinge) it would seem that metal expansion doesn't really play a role, it's more to do with lack of grease or whatever lubricant they stick in it.
rytc, what apple store did you bring your pb to?

i've had this problem in recent weeks. if i leave my PB 12" open for awhile it cracks everytime i move it. i brought it to the store in white plains but when i got there and showed the tech, it wasnt creaking anymore. so he said he couldnt do anything since the unit was fine and didnt want me to have to leave my computer there for who knows how long. but since ive brought it back i think the noise is worse. like a plastic breaking type snap when i move the hinges. i even started recording the snapping sound. i'm thinking of bring it to the apple store in soho NYC, but i dont know if they'll be able to do anything.

i dont have any webspace but if anyone can/wants to host some files, i can put up the recordings of the popping sound.
     
rytc
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Sep 10, 2004, 10:28 PM
 
Hey, I took it into an Apple Shop here in Auckland (NZ) - it's an Apple Certified dealer, we don't have any Apple-run stores here besides the online site. My hinge was getting so bad that it was getting difficult to even move the screen and was making very loud popping/cracking noises, this was also causing the screen to flex a bit - not a good look. My receipt showed they only did 1/2 an hour of work, so it's a pretty simple fix. From what you say your's sounds identical to mine, I'd say your hinge is also lacking in lubricant.

From my experience is doesn't get better, only worse, in a couple of weeks you'rs will most likely creak whenever the screen is moved and Apple will find it hard to claim there isn't anything wrong.

Originally posted by vexingv:
rytc, what apple store did you bring your pb to?

i've had this problem in recent weeks. if i leave my PB 12" open for awhile it cracks everytime i move it. i brought it to the store in white plains but when i got there and showed the tech, it wasnt creaking anymore. so he said he couldnt do anything since the unit was fine and didnt want me to have to leave my computer there for who knows how long. but since ive brought it back i think the noise is worse. like a plastic breaking type snap when i move the hinges. i even started recording the snapping sound. i'm thinking of bring it to the apple store in soho NYC, but i dont know if they'll be able to do anything.

i dont have any webspace but if anyone can/wants to host some files, i can put up the recordings of the popping sound.
     
Tomac
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Sep 10, 2004, 11:47 PM
 
I took my 1GHz 15" Al in 2 weeks ago -- picked it up yesterday in Toronto -- with these problems (similar):

-Screen wobbles/flops with the slightest movement of PowerBook. I can be typing on it and the thing just shakes making it disorienting. Definitely not good for an iSight
-Loud sharp cracking sound when the screen is being opened/closed -- not comforting.

Fixed under warranty, but would have cost $1000+CDN dollars otherwise. The display "flopping" was pretty extreme. Had to replace the entire lid/LCD -- new screen's even better than the previous, with less "shadows" in the corners. Must have been pinched or something before. <shrugs>

The new hinge... is actually a hinge!!! Smooth as butta. Thank G.
     
d.fine
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Sep 11, 2004, 03:41 AM
 
Originally posted by Tomac:
-Loud sharp cracking sound when the screen is being opened/closed -- not comforting.
Exactly, thats how mine sounds as well, scary sometimes ...

stuffing feathers up your b*tt doesn't make you a chicken.
     
rytc
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Nov 8, 2004, 03:56 AM
 
Originally posted by d.fine:
Exactly, thats how mine sounds as well, scary sometimes ...
Well it's around 2 months later now and I have to say I am very disappointed, my screen has started creaking again and in the last 2 days has gotten worse and worse. Based on last time in a week or so it will be all jammed up. This seems to suggest that they oiling job they did last time wasn't the correct solution to the problem, in any case I'm pretty peeved. Having to send this laptop in twice 4 months after having purchased is not a good look!
     
d.fine
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Nov 8, 2004, 07:37 AM
 
Originally posted by rytc:
Well it's around 2 months later now and I have to say I am very disappointed, my screen has started creaking again and in the last 2 days has gotten worse and worse. Based on last time in a week or so it will be all jammed up. This seems to suggest that they oiling job they did last time wasn't the correct solution to the problem, in any case I'm pretty peeved. Having to send this laptop in twice 4 months after having purchased is not a good look!
That sucks. Now that I think of it, mine hasn't done it in quite some time now. I think it is more likely to do 'crack' when the casing is cold, but I haven't heard any lately.

I hope you can get yours fixed right this time ! Good luck.

stuffing feathers up your b*tt doesn't make you a chicken.
     
Frumpy
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Nov 8, 2004, 11:47 AM
 
My problem is concentrated on the amount of heat and expansion of the case that makes the creaking sound. Whenever I'm using it indoors it's creaky as hell. After leaving my PB in my car for half a day and opening, it was like the day it came out of the package. No creaking. As soon as it heats up though, CREAKS AWAY! Oh well. I was going to take it into the opening of the Carousel Center location but I figured it wasn't worth the wait to have it 'fixed'.
Specs:12" PowerBook-1.33GHz, 768 PC2700, Airport Express, Panther (10.3.9), iSight, 15GB 3G iPod
     
alligator
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Nov 8, 2004, 10:20 PM
 
Same problem here on my 12". I don't consider this a major problem worth a drive to my Apple store. So I'll live with it.
     
MrForgetable
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Nov 9, 2004, 01:52 AM
 
I have the same problem.
iamwhor3hay
     
vexingv
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Nov 14, 2004, 05:17 PM
 
ive had this problem for the past 2.5 months. it comes and goes especially since some weeks i dont use my powerbook much at all. for me it usually creaks as i open it, so ive found that if i need to readjust the angles, i can close it a lil bit and then open it to reduce/prevent the creaking.
ideally id bring the pb in, but ive been busy and everytime i show up to the apple store the genius bar is always packed. (the one time i managed to get an appointment, the creaking sound disappeared)

have any of you tried the Alglide kits byRadtech. does using this void the warranty? (from what i understand you unscrew the top panel and the rear panel to open it slightly, but never open it up completely)
     
rytc
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Jan 27, 2005, 10:28 PM
 
As a followup to this, finally took my laptop back in to the Mac shop (had been out of the country for several months so wasn't able to during this time) and told them the prior lubrication didn't last, they ordered in a new hinge and fitted it. It's now back to it's silent self. I'd suggest others do likewise as it would seem to be a faulty hinge and lubrication would appear to be a short term fix.

Cheers Ry
     
wy4tt
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Jan 28, 2005, 03:04 AM
 
fwiw, my 15" went through a creaky stage. there were a times it would make the crack sound when i went to close it. I didn't have anything done to it, and it seems to have worked itself out. Doesn't make a sound when I open/close it now.
15 inches of aluminum fury
     
iboy
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Jan 28, 2005, 04:04 AM
 
I had the same problem. They fixed it in December with a new... no, a refurbished Display (there are scratches and marks on the cover). The Display is not perfect at all (uneven illumination). The apple-technician fotgot to tighten two screws, so I had to do by myself before they fall off. Beside the sleep-mode didn't work properly, so I took it back again. Finally they changed also the logicboard (RAM-problem), but unfortunatly they putted the wrong inside and so the odysse continued. Yesterday I became my loved Powerbook back with the right board... with some additional marks and scratches of course!

My 8 month old PowerBook looks now like a 10 years old one, after this 4 repairs in the last 1 1/2 month. I have absolutly no trust in my Powerbook anymore... what's next?

poor product, poor service, shame on Apple... it will definitely be my last Powerbook when I sell it in May after the blocking time is over (hardware discount).

iboy
( Last edited by iboy; Jan 28, 2005 at 04:16 AM. )
Al 15" Powerbook 1.67GHz / 1GB RAM / 64MB VRAM / Superdrive
     
rytc
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Jan 28, 2005, 04:55 AM
 
That's certainly some shoddy workmanship iBoy! I'd complain to Apple, technicians like that shouldn't be working for any company, returning scuffed up incorrectly put together laptops with old parts isn't on IMO.
     
iboy
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Jan 28, 2005, 10:08 AM
 
Hi rytc

You are right... I was in iChat with an other Apple reseller and he gave me the same advice as you!

I called Apple this afternoon and spent about more than one hour on the phone to tell my story several times... finally I got very annoyed and then suddently (after I mentioned the law) they gave me the fax-number to apply for unit replacement! We will see...

I'm sure most of the apple-technicians are very, very faithful and honorable... unfortunately in my two cases I didn't find one of these!

iboy
Al 15" Powerbook 1.67GHz / 1GB RAM / 64MB VRAM / Superdrive
     
rytc
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Jan 28, 2005, 04:42 PM
 
Good luck with that, luckily the worst I've had was the technician failing to replace the feet on an iBook which went into repair - they seem to be single use and I had to have them taped on after that.
     
rytc
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Feb 9, 2005, 05:03 AM
 
Originally posted by iboy:
the sleep-mode didn't work properly
By this do you mean the Powerbook no longer sleeps when you close the lid? Because I've just noticed that mine no longer does after the last repair job!

Edit: fixed, seems the new hinge didn't include the sleep magnet, they popped one in and it's as good as new
( Last edited by rytc; Feb 9, 2005 at 10:58 PM. )
     
Dr.Michael
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Feb 9, 2005, 02:21 PM
 
Originally posted by deviousgelatin:
I've noticed recently that my hinge is sticking if the PB is left in one postion (open/closed) for too long.

This happen to anyone else? Any way to oil it up (safely) myself, or do I need to send it back to Apple? I've got a month left on the old warranty, so if so I'd like to do it soon.

Thanks!
Yes, moving parts do need oil now and then (of course!).

Simply apply a few drops of any oil (olive, bicycle, sewing machine etc.). I use an injection needle for a perfect placement of the drops. Even old hinges are smooth as butter afterwards .
     
   
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