Tech Talk: New keyboard and battery for my 2013 MacBook Pro

I have a late 2013 MBP 13 inch retina, which is going on 7 years old. It has 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD.

In late 2016, just before my AppleCare warranty expired, Apple changed the top case for me because some keys were worn out. That included the keyboard, battery, trackpad, and top case.

Over the next few years keys started getting worn out again (not sure why) but everything worked fine.

Over the last few months though some keys stopped working well. Sporadic no response from certain keys like “i” and “u” and a few others.

I tried removing the errant keys and using an air duster and then replacing them but still it only helped for a few minutes, if at all. And I think I messed up the scissor mechanism under the “i” and it’s not back in right.

Anyway, it became impossible to use reliably for coding and just general use. So I started using an external bluetooth keyboard and mouse, which worked surprisingly well. With that setup, the external keyboard was in front of my MBP and behind it I have an external 27″ LG monitor as a 2nd screen.

This is ok at home but obviously not great when used portable. I do that very rarely though. But still, it makes travel difficult.

I brought my MBP over to a 3rd party repair shop in Shinjuku where they said they can change the keyboard, and they claimed the battery was also enlarged! I can’t tell, but they swear it is so. More cost. But also worry, because I don’t want the computer blowing up on me in the meantime! I felt a bit strange about that shop, though, and left without getting anything done.

I was also thinking of upgrading to a new MBP, but with the new “Apple Silicon” Macs coming out later this year I feel like I want to wait for that. I would feel uneasy buying into a new Intel version at the moment.

After checking around with other shops, I went ahead and had the replacements done at a little hole-in-the-wall repair shop in Asakusabashi. Very friendly. It cost 50,000 yen = $466, and I think it was well worth it.

First, the battery was definitely expanded. See photo compared to normal.

The repair guy said the battery would not catch fire or explode but gases would start leaking. I’m not sure what the effects of that would be though. But of course it would impact on the trackpad.

The keyboard was messed up due to spilled liquids over time though I swear I never spilled anything on it. There may have been splattered food from time to time though. I guess over time it had a bad effect. I hope I can be more careful going forward.

The repair guy said the key surfaces themselves wearing out over time happens no matter how careful and clean my hands are.

But now it’s like new and I’m a happy camper, and I’m happy to wait for the ARM ones now.

I would think this would have pretty good resale value with the extra RAM (16 GB) and large-ish SSD (512 GB). I can’t think of a reason why it shouldn’t resell for at least the cost of a new basic MacBook Air when it comes time.


On a completely unrelated note, I’m leaving politics off my personal blog this year. But I’m really into the election and, as most of you know, am voting for Biden and really hope to Trump goes down to defeat. I have a completely separate blog devoted to these kinds of politics, and I if you are interested, I hope you subscribe. You can check it out at unitednewsreports.com. Also, I have a FaceBook group for the election for people wanting to work to defeat Trump at https://www.facebook.com/groups/victory2020 – so feel free to join that as well.


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