Flexgate has been fixed!

Yes, you’ve read the headline correctly… There is finally a professional fix for the Flexgate issues that people with a MacBook from 2016 or later are seemingly running into on a daily basis now.

If you’re not familiar with the Flexgate design defect, then let me sum up the whole issue for you to get a better idea of what is driving MacBook users crazy!
This issue occurs when the backlight flex cable for the MacBook screen has increased pressure placed upon it when you open your laptop screen up past a certain angle, usually near full opening.

The fragile flex cable is then pulled tighter together causing this pressure and eventual tearing of the cable. The picture below is of a Flexgate issue that is partial and starting to fail. This will eventually break if not repaired.


If this picture looks familiar to you and you don’t have a 13-inch MacBook (2016) then you’re not going to like what Apple’s repair programme has to say…Luckily for anyone who has this issue, we at Absolute Circuits have begun using the first fully professional, affordable, and quick fix to Flexgate regardless of what model of MacBook you have!

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Flexgate

So… I can’t open my laptop screen?

Well, not quite…

So this issue is seemingly caused upon repeatedly opening and closing your laptop screen which over time will inevitably be done as we all do. However with these MacBook’s it will then cause the weak flex cable which is wrapped around the display controller board to tighten once the laptop screen has been lifted open.

If you’re seeing a backlighting issue with your MacBook (usually within 2016 models and later) as the cables that supply electricity to the backlighting panels of the screen are (as we know for definite now!) quite fragile and easy to break.

Is my laptop likely to be affected by this Flexgate?

We have seen this issue affect 2016/2017 and 2018 models, we have successfully repaired all of these models.

We have also noticed that it affects 15inch models which are also repairable under the same methods below.

As you will likely have heard from other sources, and we can confirm to be accurate from the repairs that we’ve been making at our repair company, 2016 and 2017 models have an increasingly high likelihood of developing this fault, so if you’re seeing any issues with the backlight of your MacBook from 2016 and 2017, then you may be one of the MANY people going through this hardware fault.

Ok, can I just send my laptop into Apple to have the flexgate issue repaired?

You would have thought that the answer to this question would be an immediate ‘Yes of course!’, but sadly… this isn’t the case for everyone who has encountered this issue.

Back in 2019, Apple released a Backlight Repair Programme which was rolled out for people who have the following models of MacBook:

  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

These are the only models currently listed on Apple’s Backlight Repair Programme so if you have another model (a 15-inch version perhaps) then you’re going to have to look elsewhere for your Flexgate fix.

I have a MacBook that isn’t listed on Apple’s repair programme, what do I do?

There has been a lot of discussion within the repair community about how this massive issue can be fixed and actually stand the test of time.

You may have seen on other articles that having a longer flex-cable (the culprit responsible for this issue in the first place) as can be seen in 2019 MacBook’s will solve the backlight problem and restore your laptop back to its former glory…

However, you would need a 2019 MacBook for this to not be an issue for you… and if your laptop isn’t listed on the Backlight Repair Programme then what else can you do?

THE SOLUTION!

Here at Absolute Circuits we are happy to announce that we are now offering a professional fix for anyone who currently has a Flexgate fault on their MacBook.


This solution is much better than temporary fixes that some exist out there today
.

To properly fix this issue the flex cable must be extended. At Absolute Circuits we micro-solder a replacement cable to the existing flex cable which not only extends the flex cable itself but makes it appear factory made. We even go the extra mile to remove a small part of the Wi-Fi antenna to prevent further stress on the cable.

The great thing about this fix is that we’ve managed to find a fix that won’t cost a lot of money for our customers which is fantastic news! Compared to Vs Apple’s £500+ solution of replacing the entire screen, it’s definitely cost effective.

If you’re having trouble with Flexgate with your own laptop or know someone who is, we would love for you to get in contact with us so we can give you a professional solution that will actually work.

So how do we do it?

Step 1: We remove the screen from the MacBook

Step 2: We locate the affected flex cable and cut off the top just after the tear shown in the picture below

Step 3: We tin the traces of the cable with solder ready for a new cable

Step 4: Then the replacement cable is tinned and soldered directly to the current cable

Step 5: It is folded onto itself with strong adhesive ready to be fitted

Step 6: Cut the notch in the Wi-Fi antenna and test

Step 7: A happy customer with a fixed MacBook!

A closer look at the FlexGate issue

Flexgate - Extended Cable (Before)
Flexgate

As you can see in this image of the problem-causing flex-cable, the length of the cable itself is the major issue with the whole Flexgate drama that is sweeping the internet at the moment.

Due to how short the cable is, the tension that’s applied to it when opening the MacBook screen causes excessive strain on the cable and causes the backlight problems that you have probably seen online or with your own MacBook.

So, now we have identified the problem and what needs to be done i.e. extending the length of the cable whilst maintaining full functionality, let’s get into how we actually fix the problem here at Absolute Circuits.

Flexgate - Extended Cable (After)
Flexgate extended with ruler

When we have soldered on the replacement cable, you can see that the overall length of the cable is extended by a few millimetres yet still looks identical to the original flex-cable.

Doing all of this ensures that the length of the cable is extended so that when the laptop is being opened, there isn’t as much pressure exerted on the cable itself which prevents the backlight malfunctioning.

Flexgate additional piece added

The flex-cable is then carefully placed back into the area highlighted by the red arrow in the picture above.

As we have only cut the plastic part of the Wi-Fi antenna this means your network connection won’t be affected and you can use your MacBook as normal.

How much does it cost and what is the turnaround time?

Flexgate repairs cost £200 incl. VAT

They usually take 1 day to turnaround or in busy periods 2 days.

They are available to both UK & European customers, we ask European customers to contact us first.

Have Apple had any backlash over Flexgate?

Massively…

This has even been taken to court and didn’t turn out too well for Apple.

As a result from the class-action lawsuit that happened recently, judges had determined that Apple had knowingly sold laptops with this issue.

It had even gotten as far as Apple removing community posts on their forum that were complaining about this issue as well.

With 18.21 million units of Apple MacBook’s sold each year, there are a lot of people going through this particular issue right now and with more being resold every day. This is looking like it’s only going to get worse for Apple.

The lawsuit only covered 15-inch models according to 9to5MAC which is quite strange considering that the back-light repair programme that Apple had rolled out only includes 13-inch models.

Here at Absolute Circuits, our method to fixing this problem isn’t model specific and we’re more than happy to repair this issue for whichever model your MacBook may be.

Conclusion

Apple knowingly sold millions of MacBook’s with a major issue that would cause flickering and malfunctioning with the backlighting to their laptop screens.

Luckily, we have an affordable, professional, and quick fix here at Absolute Circuits so that we can help as many people that are banging their heads against the wall trying to find a computer/Apple repair shop that have found a method to fixing one of the biggest problems that Apple have ever had. Or sick of Apple quoting horrendous amounts of money for something that is technically solvable.

If you’re one of the millions who have been sold a MacBook with this particular defect or have any other issues that you need a professional to take a look at, we have a mail-in service which means we can repair laptops from all over the country.

If you’re interested in having your laptop repaired, fill out our form and we’ll get back to you within two working days.

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