Buying and installing spare parts for the Mac
November 20, 2008
I’m quite happy with my MacBook Pro 15″ (Core2 Duo, late 2006 model), but recently the left cooling fan started to make grinding noises at medium RPMs. It’s fine and quiet at 2000 RPMs and it makes the normal noise when it’s maxed out, but in between you think you’re operating a coffee mill and not a laptop. I figured the fan’s ball-bearing is shot and I better have it replaced before it grinds to a complete halt. However, Apple’s 1 year warranty is long over, as is the extended warranty (2 years) that dealers have to give for all electronic items in Germany. So this might turn out to be more expensive than expected. In addition to that, I’d have to take the laptop to the local Apple dealer and repair shop which takes time, not to mention that I’d be without my main computer for two or so days. All that just for a simple operation that I could just as well do myself.
(Also, the local Apple dealer in Dresden isn’t exactly my favourite shop anymore. They used to know my name when I walked in the store, now their sales staff almost makes you apologize for disturbing their coffee break. Typical German service for ya, but certainly nothing I want from a shop selling premium computers. Way to scare off a previously regular customer! But I digress.)
Having decided to do the operation myself, I wondered where I could get the spare part from. That’s when I found out about Apfelklinik, an operation by one Michael Kliehm, selling brand spanking new spare parts for Macs (with warranty!). I wrote him an email ordering the part, wired the money via PayPal and two days later I had a new fan for my MBP. I installed it this afternoon with the help from the excellent iFixit website which has detailed instructions and photos for pretty much all repairable and exchangeable parts. Here’s a (rather crappy) shot I took with my camera phone half way through the operation: