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The April 2014 update of Apple's 13" MacBook Air features refreshed dual-core i5 and i7 processors, plus slightly increased battery performance.

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MagSafe charging light not coming on.

I'm sure everyone is tired of answering liquid damage questions, but here goes. A friend spilled soda onto her MacBook, which suffered as a result. I have taken the machine apart and cleaned it up. However, the machine was given to me quite a while after the spill. Surprisingly, other that a few sticky spots, there seemed to be little observable damage. Before the spill, the machine operated normally as far as charging, battery usage, etc.

The symptoms are commonly described on the iFixit web site. In my case, the charging light on the MagSafe adapter does not come on and the battery does not charge. Plugging in the adapter will start up the fan (sometimes with what appears to be excessive RPMs) and the machine will boot up (though not every time - looks like maybe something needs to be completely discharged first). I can log in and use the machine normally at this point. However, sometimes after it goes to sleep it won't wake up - not right away at least.

Corrective actions so far:

  • Cleaned up the logic board
  • Replaced the IO board with another one
  • Reset the SMC using the prescribed keystrokes (when I do this the machine goes off immediately and I can't usually start it right away)
  • Tried another adapter, with the same results

Most of what I have read about this issue pointed to the IO board, which is why I replaced it. However, the replacement board was not new so there is no guarantee that it works either. Other research indicates that there might me a fault in the One-wire charging circuit. But here we leave my comfort zone when it comes to home repairs - tracking down and fixing component-level issues is not going to happen.

Any thoughts on how I should proceed? Seems like this is not an SMC issue - is that a safe assumption? Anything else I can try at home?

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Have you tried the MagSafe Adapter on another Mac?


Not yet - I tried a different adapter on the broken MacBook with the same result - no charging light.


What I can think that you could do is see if you can get a MagSafe board to replace to see if it will resolve your issue.

This part should not cost you anymore than $20 USD


Yes, I replaced the I/O board, with the same result - no charging light and the rest of the symptoms described in the post, above.


Do you try to disconnect the battery ?


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To use plain English: there are a few components involved in charging the Mac and working off of battery and/or charger.

SMC is part of that circuit but my assumption would be more towards the "charging IC" and some resistors around it and some "chips" that charge the battery, together with their traces on or through the board.

If you want to explore this, you will need to specify if the green light is on when a charger is plugged in. And what does the battery show: "not charging" or "x" etc.

Then you need to provide us with the board number, find the schematics and board view based on that number, and you will need a multimeter with fine probes to test the lines and the components. And some form of 10x-20x magnification.

But you will reach a point where you will need to remove/replace parts. And that's not a DYI job.

EDIT: following the update you posted, my opinion is that the ISL chip, a few resistors, a couple of traces are potentially damaged. It should be totally fixable at ½ the cost of a new board. Shop around and do the math. If you need to find someone who can fix it let me know where you are so that I can recommend someone.

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Thanks for the response and suggestion. Sorry for the late reply - I was travelling and not hooked into this forum. A repair at ½ the cost of a new board sounds like a bargain. I am located in Vancouver, BC. Any suggestions for competent repair persons in this area would be much appreciated.


@djmauro, I am located far from you but still check my profile. There is a link for a website that has a list of technicians able to repair it for you (not all of them do Macs). I think all those listed near you are in the USA but they accept mail-in. I particularly recommend @jessabethany's Mendon iPad Rehab (she is listed but you can check her profile here on iFixit).


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@rany - thanks for your response (and others as well).

(Didn't know if I could add images to a comment, so I posted here.)

I put the MacBook back together and plugged it in. It booted up right away. Here are a couple of pics showing the charging/battery drop-down and the MagSafe light (which neither lights orange for charging nor green for charged).

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The machine is MacBook Air 13" (Early 2014) and I believe the logic board number is 820-3437.

The wireless works fine and I can access the internet. Sound works, etc. It is basically 98% functional. Shame about the charging circuit.

And I agree with you - I wouldn't attempt repairs on some of those pin-head sized components. I have neither the tools nor the experience to attempt such a thing. Replacement logic boards seem to start at about $300 and considering that this is a relatively recent MacBook (still under warantee, technically - though not after the spill), and that everything else seems to work, a replacement might be the soundest option.

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Im in the same boat with the same model, No light on charger, it started working intermittently, I replaced the IO board cable and IO board , same result, No green or orange light.

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My reply above applies. You need to have your board repaired. It is perfectly doable with the right combination of tools and skills and knowledge (schematics) and parts of course. You can start with a multimeter to try and figure out the issue then you'll need to be able to replace the guilty/faulty parts. If you're not up to it, you need to have someone repair it for you. Just be careful that they know what they're actually doing.


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