There is an issue that affects primarily the 2016 and 2017 models (although it also shows up on 2018-2019 models as well) of the MacBook Pro that causes issues with the screen’s backlight. The issue has been dubbed “flexgate” as the cause of the problems is a flex cable that is just a few millimeters too short and slowly gets pulled until it begins to crack, causing the screens backlight to turn off.
Flexgate can cause a couple of symptoms:
- Dark Screen – If the screen of your MacBook Pro is completely dark, but if you point a flashlight close to the screen you can see the computer is still actually on and the screen is showing something, you likely have a backlight issue. With a 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro, it is extremely likely the cause of this issue is Flexgate.
- The screen goes black when opening the lid – Sometimes the screen on your MacBook Pro will go dark as you open the screen all the way. You can start to close the screen and the screen will light up again, but as you open it the screen goes dark. This issue is almost definitely caused by the flex cable pulling away from its connection (Flexgate).
- Glitching display – Another common sign of the Flexgate issue is when the display fades to white or stops responding during use. Moving the display will usually bring back the image, but over time it will likely get worse.
- Backlight ribbons – The final symptom of Flexgate we see a lot is when the backlight is not even across the display. This makes what looks like stripes across the bottom of the screen of bright and dark areas. Many people refer to this symptom as “stage lighting”.
Note we only offer repairs for the backlight issue, if you are having an issue with your camera connection or ambient light sensor, we would replace the display to fix that issue.
Flexgate Repair Service $199-299
Flexgate Repair Options
Apple admitted that the issue was caused by a manufacturing defect (making the flex cable just a little too short), and they set up a repair program that covers the models they have deemed to be affected. This program is starting to expire as the laptops age. The fix that Apple uses is to replace the display assembly which includes the cable that is not long enough. If the computer is covered under the program, there is no charge for the fix. If the computer is not covered under the program, they charge for the display replacement.
We are able to offer a component-level repair for the Flexgate issue. Instead of charging to replace the entire display, we take the computer apart and extend the short flex cable the couple of millimeters needed, then reattach the connection. By extending the cable we also fix the underlying problem so the issue will not reoccur. We are one of the few shops in the country to offer this repair.
MacBook Pro Flexgate Fix Cost
There are a couple of ways to fix the Flexgate issue, so the price of the repair is determined by the route taken to fix the issue.
- Here at MackTechs, we offer our Flexgate repair service for $199 for 13″ Macs, $249 for 15″ Macs, and $299 for 16″ Macs. Note we only offer repairs for the backlight issue, if you are having an issue with your camera connection or ambient light sensor, we would replace the display to fix that issue.
- Our service comes with a 1-year warranty. This service extends the backlight cable and reattaches the connection. By extending the cable during the repair we ensure the same issue does not happen again. We offer the service to our clients locally, as well as nationwide through our mail-in mac repair service.
- Another option is to replace the entire display assembly. Most shops quote for this repair as it does not require special expertise to complete. The cost to replace the entire display assembly is currently $475-900 for most shops.
- Apple will either cover the repair if it falls under their repair extension, or they will charge between $475-900 for the screen replacement. Apple has a 90-day warranty on its repairs.
At MackTechs, we offer the best value for Flexgate repair with our affordable service that comes with a 1-year warranty. We extend the cable during the repair to prevent the issue from happening again. Other shops usually charge more to accomplish the same results, but we utilize our experience and expertise to repair just the component that is broken.
2017 MacBook Pro Black Screen Case Study
This particular MacBook Pro came in from a client nearby in Malvern. They let us know the computer was exhibiting a completely black screen. They mentioned the issue seemed to start with a flickering screen that progressively got worse. We started with a free diagnosis to verify what was causing the issue.
Connecting the computer to an external monitor allowed us to verify that everything was working properly except the screen itself. Seeing that the model and issue were pointing towards a Flexgate repair, we were not surprised when we disassembled the machine and found the flex cable was cracked and broken.
The client approved the Flexgate repair service, so we continued with extending the flex cable and getting it soldered back to its connection. In order to provide this repair service we utilize the following special equipment:
- Hakko Soldering Station
- Micro Solder Pencil
- Quick 867DW Hot Air Station
In order to complete this repair, you have to have good micro-soldering skills. The flex cable needs to be spliced and extended to prevent future fatigue and failure.
Repairing the Apple Flexgate Issue Yourself
As mentioned earlier, our method of extending the Flex cable requires a lot of experience and expertise with micro-soldering. If you are not very confident in your micro-soldering skills, we do not recommend attempting this repair on your own. It can be very frustrating as the soldering points are very small and very close together.
If you want to fix the issue on your own and you don’t have the soldering skills, it would be better to replace the entire display assembly as that is a much easier repair.
Flexgate Repair In Philly
Our fast turnaround and component-level repair options make us the best choice for MacBook Pro repair services. You can come by anytime with your MacBook for a free diagnosis, or you contact us for a quote over the phone on what you need to be fixed.