|PowerMac G5 Coolant Leaks/Repairs
Originally posted August 2007
Reports/Info last updated: Aug 15, 2011
(FYI: The free repairs (or better) many have noted here since posting this page in 2007 are a thing of the past now. The PowerMac G5 (of course years out of warranty) is now on Apple's vintage and obsolete products list. The LCS models are in the Vintage in US/Obsolete in Asia-Pacific/Canada/Europe/Japan/Latin America listing as of summer 2011. (California owners may still fare better than others due to state consumer laws but even that may no longer matter.) Regardless, I do feel this page was worthwhile as I know it's saved in total over $250K (at least) in repairs/replacement machine costs to those fortunate enough to benefit from the advice and info/reports here. I wish everyone with a leak could have had the same treatment though.)
DIY Delphi LCS Overhaul Guide: Expanding on his original article from fall 2009 here, Bill sent a 6 page Guide to Overhauling a PowerMac G5 Delphi Liquid Cooling System. (FYI: In August 2011 Bill did -another- leak check on this repairs and all still ok (zero leaks) several years after his repair/rebuild with Viton o-rings. However a couple G5 tower owners that had Apple repair leaks have said they eventually had leaks again - last report on that was 18 months after the original apple repair.)
(Original page intro from 2007 follows)
Prior to the summer 2007, I've had some reports G5 tower coolant leaks (and a few owners mentioned it on the G5 tower random shutdowns page), but nothing like this large a batch at once in a reader mail from August 2007. (Note: since posting this page in Aug. 2007 I've had a LOT of reports on leaking systems after a few years of use, as shown in the many reports below. Many had repairs covered, even out of warranty. (And in some Rare (overall) cases, a new mac pro replacement system) as this is potentially a safety issue.)
I wish Apple would have publicly posted a policy on these repairs or at least issue a bulletin to their employees for a consistent response.
(from August 2007 email)
"I have a lab of 17 Dual 2.7Ghz G5s that are all now leaking their coolant - all at once. A significant number are dead in the water and
the rest are just holding on right now. Symptoms are wide-ranged but will include fans spinning wildly, machines shutting down when they
heat up, greenish liquid leaking from the case, and if you are able to look, crystalized liquid forming where the CPU meets the heatsink as
well as corrosion of all the metal surrounding the CPU module.
Eventually, the machines just stop working altogether necessitating a
replacement of CPU, Logic Board, Power Supply, and two smaller parts. (If you spot a coolant leak DO NOT keep using it.-Mike) In one case the power supply started to shoot off black smoke and then died. (some others noted this also when the coolant leaked into the power supply.)
As of yet, Apple has been fairly unresponsive in fixing or replacing them and I am now working on making this more public. I am curious to
know if any other people are having this problem. I know of 3 other cases outside our own lab here. The machines in our lab were the first of the dual 2.7GHz - they were bought right when they came out.
Systems & Network Administrator
Instructional Development at UCSB"
Latest Reports on PowerMac G5 Coolant Leaks: (later mails first - some updated since their original posting date as noted.) If you've had a G5 tower that leaked coolant, send a report. (Model, how long it was used before leak occurred, if it was repaired by apple under warranty or not, etc.) Below are replies from other tower owners since Aug. 2007 that have had a leak.
If you have a liquid cooled G5, check periodically inside for any sign of a leak to catch it early & minimize damage. Do inspections with AC Power disconnected. If you see any evidence of a leak stop using it. (You should to remove the heatsink cover to inspect for evidence of leaks if none are visible elsewhere - but often many are run with a leak for long periods with a large loss of fluid. If no leak is visible (after checking carefully/completely inside), with the side cover off, tilt the case so the open side is facing down and leave it that way for several hours (or overnight). Then check for any evidence of leaking coolant.)
Here's a Photo that shows an example of white granular buildup that's evidence of a leak but the same buildup could be on other surfaces as well:
Of course all too often leaks go undetected for months (or years) - resulting in damage to motherboard/CPUs/Power Supply, etc. - here's an example photo from a Oct. 2007 report here showing major corrosion and damage.
From his photos of the damage it was leaking for quite a while before being noticed. (He's not alone in having run a leaking G5 for months/years and having damage like this - just one of the few that posted photos.)
LCS models usually have the leak warning stenciled on the power supply top cover inside the case. (But read on.) Here's some models verified as having LCS, either from leak reports and/or photos of the LCS. (The bottom of this page has links to Apple specs pages for all 5 series of the PowerMac G5, but Apple only lists LCS on one of them - the Dual 2.7GHz Early 2005.)
- "Late 2005" Quad 2.5GHz (two dual-core CPUs)
- "Early 2005" Dual 2.7GHz (single core CPUs)
- "Late 2004"/"June 2004" Dual 2.5GHz (single core CPUs)
There's been debate on some other models like the "Late 2005" dual-core 2.3GHz - one owner reported a leak here (in Nov. 2007 mail) but three other owners have said their dual-core 2.3 were air-cooled, despite having the 'liquid warning' stencil on the PS. (From the photos one 2.3GHz owner sent, it clearly appeared to be air-cooled, not LCS.)
BTW: When reporting on a Leak, please note your G5 tower model/speed, when it was purchased/how long it was in use. Thanks. (There's photos of various LCS systems used (some Delphi made, some Panasonic) in a post below. If you happen to know which design yours had, mention it.)
Reminders on what to Stress when Contacting Apple: (Original advice)
I've had several more reports from G5 owners on leaks/repairs in the last couple weeks. I've mentioned this many times here since 2007 - but remember to not give up if you get refused a repair initially and stress this is a potential safety issue (an all metal case w/AC input Pwr Supply below the Coolant source, etc. - and of course like any coolant, you should avoid contact with it). As I've said here repeatedly since 2007, my feeling is that is why many reports here noted repairs were covered (or in some cases, a new machine) even years out of warranty (and as some have noted here, even as 2nd owners!) BUT again YMMV - this is why I've said for years I wish Apple would post some Official Policy on G5 coolant leak repairs. I hate to repeat this again but maybe it might help those that have not been so lucky on repairs. (One owner in the US is to the point of filing a BBB complaint and I get the feeling that those outside the US often have a harder time. California owners may have the best luck/treatment, perhaps due to their consumer laws.)
BTW - I've had a couple LCS G5 owners ask if anyone that had free repairs (or new machine replacement) would provide them (privately) with their case number as the apple support reps they had talked to seemed unaware that anyone had gotten any free repairs covered (or repl systems) and asked for an example case number. (This is why I've wished for years apple would at least issue a bulletin on this to all support personnel, as it seems to be a roll of the dice as far as awareness/uniform policy on this since day 1. And it seems like they may be running out of some of the common repair parts for the G5.) (The PowerMac G5 is now on the Vintage and Obsolete Products list.) The request for case numbers has come up before, but I've been hesitant to ask readers for their Case number, even though it would not be posted publicly. I had one reader kind enough to do this but after giving the number out privately to 3 people and despite my specifically asking - not one ever replied if that helped or even how their case turned out.
(From Aug 12th, 2011 mail)
"Just came across this page. After a power surge my G5 Dual 2.5Ghz Powermac G5 wouldn't start up. No power at all.
I've done a bit of reading and have now opened up the G5 and removing the power supply, whereupon I have discovered a liquid leak. I couldn't say how long this has been leaking. It has reached the power supply but I have as yet to check if the power supply has failed or not. I have attached a voltmeter to the pins 1 and 23 and have signs of life. More extensive checks required.
The machine is a mid june 2004 model which I've used and relied on since 2005.
I did grapple with this machine into the Apple store but they were not vintage Apple staff! Unless it had an 'i' in front of it I'm not sure they knew what it was! They plugged it in and said it wouldn't work. It was worth the strain just to hear this glib analysis! They couldn't do anything, couldn't recommend any repairs alternatives or anything. I left feeling somewhat bemused at their apparent lack of knowledge. Genius is a word used too lightly these days I fear!
I have the power supply out. Just need to get it more fully checked. The leakage has apparently been mainly soaked up by the absorbent material but there has been an overflow which has run on down onto and through the PSU. The path of this is hard to fathom.
I'm not sure how long this leak has existed. Its all quite dry. Nothing leaked out of the case. Could this be related to the possible failed power supply?
As someone mentioned elsewhere it appears that there is a design fault regards the leakage and how the area has been prepared to deal with a leak which obviously they must have anticipated happening to have installed the absorbent material in the first place.
As I've opened up this machine I guess Apple wouldn't now touch it with a barge pole so I guess I shall try to resolve this myself.
Thanks for your website. Its a source of so much useful information.
All the best from Scotland
(From Nov 13th, 2010 mail and Dec. 7th follow-up)
"My Dual 2.7 G5 just went down. I followed the advice on your page and contacted AppleCare. It was escalated to a safety specialist when I mentioned concerns over the electrocution hazard. I was told I'd get a phone call back in a few days regarding Apple's resolution. The next day, I got a call back advising me to bring it to the nearest Apple store or repair facility, and the repairs would be free under an "exception code" noted to my serial number. I dropped the machine off today (at a NYC Apple Store), and the Genius Bar wrote up an estimate for $3,185.76 in estimated repairs, with $0.00 due (free). They advised me that it's standard for Apple to try to fix the machine, but with the cost to repair exceeding the cost to replace, Apple may simply provide me with a new machine free. We'll see what happens, and I'll update you with information as I hear more. I have both a Case ID number and Repair number I can provide, after I get resolution.
(And a later follow-up mail on Dec 7th, 2010)
Just an update... today I got a call from my local Apple Store, and they've opted to REPLACE the machine at their cost, with the base model MacPro ($2,499 one). It took 3 weeks to get to this point, but I'll be walking away with a new machine free. I've opted for the 8-core, so I'll be paying the difference ($1,000).
it's pretty amazing to me that the machine is replaced free, 5.5 years after purchase. Your page was invaluable to me in gathering the information for Apple to have a successful outcome.
Thanks, Mike I."
As I've said for years now, I just wish there was some uniform policy on this that all apple support reps (worldwide) were aware of. (Unfortunately from some owner experiences that isn't the case.)
(From July 7th, 2010 mail)
"My late 2004 G5 died after a LCS leak (which likely started years prior). I read your website and followed the coaching you kindly provide (with AppleCare on the telephone). After being transferred to a product specialist I was asked the standard liability questions others have described and told they would be willing to fix my computer free of charge.
I remained very calm and unassuming as you advised. After 21 days the local apple store administering the repairs told me because the machine was "vintage" they were unable to source a logic board replacement and offered me a new in box quad core Mac Pro. I decided to pay the difference and buy an upgraded 8-core with 12 gigs of ram. In the end it was a 2,499 credit on my tab so I spent appx 1,200.
Thank you very very much for your help; I am delighted with the new machine. The experience has left me amazed with Apple's generosity and proud to be a shareholder.
(I asked to confirm he was in the USA.-Mike)
Yes this was in the US. I made the initial call late May and received my new computer in the third week of June.
I wish all worked out so well. Until recently many reports here often noted repairs were covered (and a few noted new mac pros), but some of the latest reports (see below) were not so lucky. (And my feeling is outside of the US makes that worse.)
(From June 27th, 2010 mail)
"Today I pressed the power button on my trusty powermac g5 and it would not power up. I brought it in to my local apple store and the folks at the genius bar told me i most likely had a bad power supply. I noticed later that there is a bit of green coolant leaking. I see on your website that many owners have had this problem repaired by apple at little or no cost. (Since summer 2007 many have, but YMMV, especially those outside the US - and based on reports since Feb 2010, the free repairs (or new mac pro) may be a thing of the past.-Mike)
Please help me with any information you have on how I can get apple to take care of this for me.
thanks and best regards, Anthony F
I don't have any advice other than what I've already posted here (see above notes, read reports here, etc.). I don't have any direct apple contacts on this. As I've said since posting this page in 2007, I wish apple would make some public statement/policy on this issue.
(From June 26th, 2010 mail)
"I have a dual G5 2.5 GHZ that I purchased 4 years ago. I seem to have a coolant leak as well, as reported by the local Mac repair center. After the diagnostic the Mac repair guys told me that it would be $1000 to repair the machine. They also made me aware of your site. I contacted apple and told them about the problem and also my concerns of a safety issue, they then told me they would have to contact engineering and would contact me in a few days.
Today I received a call from the Apple Care Specialist and they informed that the computer was too old for repairs and the only option I had was to purchase a new one. They offered no compensation or replacement. This really sucks and I feel as though I have been sold a lemon with an obvious design flaw. Although I like using the computer and the software I doubt I will buy anything from them again. This is so annoying.
(From June 22nd, 2010 mail)
"Dual 2.5ghz G5. Serial no: CK448HG8S8K
A few days ago, my dual 2.5ghz G5 started making funny noises which turned into fans running at max speed, climaxing in shutdown. Tried every troubleshooting technique I could get my hands on.. to no avail. Until someone pointed me to this page. As a last resort I checked around the processer and voila- liquid dripping away very happily.
So Monday morning I called Apple care and they dutifully booked me in to see a Genius. Arriving at the apple store, the genius enlightens me to the Apple theory - 'my machine is vintage'. I'm thinking fine wine here, ready to savor. Nope they won't even take it off my hands. So why did apple send me down here? After a few hours discussion to and fro from store and apple care: The genius manager agreed to fix my mac. No mention of cost. Hooray!!
The saga turns sour though as a few more vintage hours mature.. The genius manager via telephone informs me - they cannot fix my Mac and the problem is in apple care's hands. Hmm!
Apple care manager calls me next day, "your machine's a write off, best to buy a new one... repair issue, not health and safety" He mentioned "there was a program to deal with 2005 manufactured machines, with similar spec to mine"
My inclinations are to pursue this with Apple in the US and possibly DTI in the UK.
Lessons learned are if investing in a Mac which is essential for earning a living, I need apple care, extended warranty and an avenue to getting a backup mac if and when necessary.
(From June 19th, 2010 mail)
"I have just bumped into your site today and read some interesting facts on those G5s that have a coolant leak. As it happened, i bought and collected a lot of those machines and sadly enough, my own G5 that I have just rebuild might start having a leak, But I am thinking about re-doing the entire cooling system as I don't think that Apple will cover this. I have talked to a lot of people in my area concerning this issue and no one have ever heard of such thing or they are in total denial. "leaks" that is.
I have recently picked up a G5 DP 2.5GHz that had a serious leak and blew the power supply and sure enough, the cooling system had leaked all over the motherboard and Power Supply. so that machine is gone, not sure about the graphic card though....
(From June 13th, 2010 mail)
"On June 7, 2010, my Dual 2.5GHz G5 Power Mac seems to have fallen victim to the same Liquid Cooled System (LCS) defects that have been publicized on the internet for several years now, and is in complete system failure due to a coolant leak which caused a shortage and certain component damage. I purchased this system in 2005.
Before the actual occurrence, there was a distinct notice of the cooling fans working overtime and remaining on constantly, uncommon shutdowns, going into sleep mode while typing, and random spin-ups sounds coming from the CD drive for approximately 2 or more weeks. We live in an area where it is not uncommon for complete power outages, but I also noticed on 2 separate occasions that our power would flicker causing the G5 to power off completely.
When I reached down to take a look at the box itself, I noticed a quarter sized puddle and a few drops of yellow/green liquid on the back foot of the tower. Knowingly purchasing LCS system, I immediately felt my heart in my throat as I knew what the problem was and it was a big one. After removing all power from the system and pulling the box out, there was a stream of the same fluid that had stained the carpet, so it was evident that the issue was persistent for some time.
I have contacted Apple support and although my system is well out of the warranty limitations, they have at least agreed to pay for full repair services that range in the $1800.00 ? $2400.00 price range. They contacted a local Certified Apple repair company for me. I dropped the machine off and visited with them in regards to the safety concerns I have regarding it happening again and not being so lucky with a 240 volt power supply, liquid, and aluminum case. The technician explained that he had received 3 other cases as recent as 6 months ago, and through his experience repairing is costly and he could not reassure me that it would happen again, and I was right to be concerned for safety reasons. As it stood I have major corrosion throughout the system and all major components will need to be ordered and rebuilt.
I will be updating my experience on my blog here.
(From June 7th, 2010 mail)
"G'Day - Thanks for the informative site!
PowerMac G5 Dual 2.5GHz 512/160/Superdrive
Purchased: December 2004
RIP: June 2010
While my G5 was still working....during 2009 - early 2010, The fans would madly spin & sounded like fighter jets taking off! Sometime the computer wouldn't shut down and I had problems booting up. (these symptoms only occurred randomly)
I figured the G5 was over 5yrs old - and this was normal!
Saturday 31st May 2010
Noticed a very small amount of yellow/green liquid while changing the hard drive. Didn't take much notice...the G5 still booted after the hard drive exchange.
Saturday 5th June 2010
G5 refused to start, power light would illuminated but NO 'boot chime'!!! Checked power board (surge protected).
Check power cables/changed, swapped power points/power board. Still no JOY :-(
Logon onto www.apple.com.au - support. - came across this website - time to do some further investigating!
Monday 07th June 2010 (morning)
- contacted apple care - explained the problems with my G5 (mentioned potential safety issue and fire hazard)
- The first guy I spoke to (mr customer relations) brushed me off! - he said my G5 was out of warranty. "sorry nothing we can do - mate" and the only choice I had was to take it to an authorised apple repair centre and pay for any repairs/parts if I wanted my G5 fixed.
- obviously not happy with 'mr customer relations' decision - I asked to speak to someone more 'senior' after about 5 or so minutes on hold, I was put through to a female 'senior technical advisor'
- she seemed understanding & advised me to stop using the G5 & to unplug it from any power source straight away!
- asked a few questions & issued me a case number, my next step was to take it to the nearest authorised repair centre for diagnosing.
Monday 07th June 2010 (afternoon)
- managed to lug the G5 to Next Byte Adelaide (forgot how heavy these bloody things are!) - the receptionist punched in my serial no. - said it was out of warranty & told me I had to cough $75 to look at it. I explained to her regarding my phone call to apple care earlier, I provided my case number and told her that apple care would cover any costs involved.
- to cut a long story short.... she disappeared & I ended up dealing with some other boffin - he also said I had to cough up the $75 fee or they would not diagnose my G5. I was pissed off - but what choice did I have? I ended up paying the $75 fee :-(
Monday 07th June 2010 (evening)
- I contacted apple care again! as I was pissed off. I ended up speaking to another 'senior technical advisor' (this time a bloke) - he explained that the female 'senior technical advisor' had provided me with misleading information & that my machine was actually 'too old' for any 'out of warranty repairs' He quoted "as far as we know - it is not a manufacturing fault and things just get old and they end up breaking, it's your responsibility to maintain & repair the G5, as it is over 5 years old now, maybe it time to consider a new machine" ...WTF?!
He ended up agreeing, to arrange a refund of my $75 fee, but was adamant that no out of warranty repairs would we done to my G5!
hmmm - looks like my G5 will be going to heaven! :-(
I NOW have to consider getting a new Mac - but definitely not from Next Byte! Not after my dealings with them today!
(From May 17th, 2010 mail)
"Hi Mike, Thank you for compiling the detailed reports on G5 coolant leak problem. I live in the UK, I'm a self employed graphic designer and have been a Mac user since 1982. I have a Dual 2.7 GHz G5 with many of the same leaking coolant issues described in the posts on your site. but I'm experiencing a very different, depressing response from Apple UK.
The G5 froze in the middle of some work last week, while a client was present (embarrassingly!) and it wouldn't reboot. I quickly went over to my laptop. Later after more than six attempts, I managed to boot to desktop. The fans powered up, and whirred loudly but the system went into sleep mode after about 10 minutes. I followed all the usual procedures, repairing permissions, cleaning out the fans and vents, even changing the battery. I installed Temperature Monitor which measured steady rise in temperature until going into sleep-mode at around 103¡C. I tried to transfer some important data (auto back-up wasn't scheduled to kick-in until late in the day) managed to back-up some but soon gave up as any extra strain on the processor caused a furious temperature rise and shut down.
After Googling your site and reading the reports, I went for it and removed the heat sink cover to reveal drops and puddles of the green coolant fluid in and around the unit. I immediately rang my local Apple centre and booked a Genius Bar appointment for the same day. As I placed the G5 in the back of my car an alarming amount of green fluid drained out of the casing onto the seat! I quickly transfered the G5 into a leak-proof bag with plenty of paper towels to soak up the liquid. At the Apple store I booked it in for a triage and a quote on repair. Interestingly the Apple Genius explained that it was only to be expected that some coolant fluid would leak on a machine of this age (2006) it was "general wear-and-tear issue", and that fluid collected in a 'drip-tray' therefore when I tilted the unit to get it into the car, quote, "gravity would do the rest and the fluid would flow out". However I understand there is an absorbent pad but it's not a drip-tray.
Late this afternoon the Apple store rang to inform me that it will cost £743 (about 1,080.00 USD) for Apple to repair a fluid damaged power supply unit, but as the Mac it was now out of warranty I would be charged for parts, labour plus tax. I explained I was very unhappy with this and asked if any further damage had been found, he said that they had stopped at the power supply. I then asked if further investigation would show damage to other components, the logic board for example, so then the repair cost would be even higher. He said this was very possible. Finally he offered not to charge me for the initial 'triage' and that if I didn't want the repair I could come and pick up my dead G5. I told him I'd speak to Apple Care first.
I rang Apple customer relations, I mentioned I'd read a number of detailed reports on www.Xlr8yourmac.com about G5s leaking coolant fluid which resulted in serious damage and that Apple had made good on the repair and some cases had replaced the faulty Mac with a new machine, however this was all brushed aside by a rather confrontational and unhelpful customer relations guy (it was late in the day so maybe that explained his grouchy attitude?), he said, quote, "Information like this, on third-party sides is not to be trusted, Apple do not recognize information on these sites". He went on to say and that if there was a G5 problem it would be on the Apple site and Apple had no record of repairing a coolant damaged Mac "for free", and that I had no evidence that they had done so (information on your website is pure invention apparently!) He referred, vaguely, to a repair extension program for this fault that had closed last year. I said I had found no mention of any such repair program on the Apple website, he said I wouldn't do as it had now closed! He then grudgingly admitted not knowing any details of this program. (Later I did find a repair program for G5 power supply issues that closed in January 2010 https://www.apple.com/support/powermac/powersupply/repairextension/) (I posted that repair extension program link/info in the news page back when it was first issued - it's expired now however (page notes "As of January 31, 2010, this program is now closed"). It was not related to coolant leaks.-Mike)
I continued to argue my case, my safety concerns, that others has received a much better response from Apple than this, but all to no avail. He said. "Well you will need to prove that this coolant leak is a result of a manufacturing fault on the part of Apple". I asked how I was expected to do that when they didn't recognize the growing number of report of this fault on third-party websites? His answer was that Apple would need to examine the unit further and only they could decide. As the call went on he sounded increasingly bored and irritated by my persistence. I tried to remain courteous but assertive throughout. In the end he said we were going round in circles and that I'd need to speak again to the guys at the Apple store because when I spoke to them I was "Speaking to Apple" (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean!).
Finally, I had another session searching and found an April 2010 example on Apple Discussions where it appears Apple has come good on this issue https://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=11231366 (no longer online). (BTW - one post there commented that reading this reports page made it sound like everyone got a new Mac Pro - that's FAR from the truth. (A few did, but of the 100+ reports here, the number that were offered a new Mac pro was small, percentage wise.) Another case of someone just reading a few reports - but granted this page is very, very long, and would take some time to read all the reports.) I've emailed the poster asking him if he can help by supplying further Apple repair details that may strengthen my case. I'm sorry this has rambled on a bit, but I'm quite shocked and disappointed by the very negative, almost 'In-denial' response I've had from Apple so far.
(From May 6th, 2010 mail)
"Wow, I just heard of this issue...of it being an issue that is. My G5 died almost 8 weeks ago now due to a fried logic board resultant from the coolant leak. At the time I didn't even know G5s utilized liquid cooling so imagine my confusion when I noticed a small puddle of liquid sitting on the top-side of the rear leg stand just prior to bringing it to a local repair shop. It was there I was told what happened and that it would take upwards of $3000 to repair it.
As it happened, I had already been thinking in terms of replacing it in recent months since I had hit the OS ceiling, what with the introduction of Snow Leopard. I'd bought the G5 very early 2005. It was a 2.5 GHz dual processor. Obviously it was time for a new machine, I just wish my hand wasn't forced as it was. I opted for a 27" iMac i7 but now I think I should have gone with the MacPro.
But that's all beside the point. I was just alerted to the breadth of this issue this evening by a videographer I know who had this happen to him. Unfortunately I don't know how the issue was resolved for him--or if it even was--as I got the info second hand, but the implication was that people were receiving some level of satisfaction, even outside of AppleCare, which I had had with this G5 (by now expired, of course). I will continue to search through this issue online...
(From April 20th, 2010 mail)
"Fantastic article about the G5 coolant leaks. Without it. my G5 would be recycled by now. I own a 2004 dual 2.25GHz G5 that died back in December 2009. I had been reading this article about leaks before and was starting to get paranoid. I had checked for leaks (although had not removed the CPUs or heat sink to do so). I never saw any liquid, even after it died and I left the tower on it side for a day or two. I really hadn't noticed any other symptoms that the Mac was about to die, except the day or two before it did go, it got flakey. I was also having issues with my UPS & video card, so it really wasn't a good week. When it did die, it died one CPU at a time. The last time it had successfully booted, it came up on only one CPU, and the system handled it like that was normal (albeit slower than usual).
Any way, after replacing it with a new Mac Mini, and letting it sit for a few months, I had to know if it was a coolant leak or some other terribly expensive repair. I took it in to the shop (didn't want to hassle with an Apple Store, plus this is a good shop and was here long before the Apple store) and paid for a diagnosis and was told it was due to a coolant leak, and that they put a spare CPU set in the tower and it booted up fine.
Well, now it's time to deal with Apple. This is a June 2004 G5, and I didn't hold any hope that they would fix it now (late March 2010). I think my only stroke of luck was that the first time I called, I was placed on hold for 45 minutes before I had to get on with my life. The next time I called, I mentioned this little tidbit, and guess I got a bit better treatment right off the bat. I was quickly transferred over to a senior advisor and started the process of requesting the repair be covered by their extended, but long-a-go terminated warranty. After gather my info, it was sent to some other department that would make the ultimate decision. I was told it would be 3-5 business days and would hear back the following week (this was a Thursday afternoon ... before Good Friday). When I got to the office on Tuesday (yeah, I took Monday off), I had a voice mail from early Easter Sunday saying the repair was tentatively approved, once they had some more info.
The quick summation, I really didn't have to fight for this repair, although I did manage to work into the conversation how many older Macs I have, and that they are all still working. Reading your article and a number of the posts really helped prepare me, and maybe that is why it seemed so easy. I don't know how long they can keep this up, but I'm glad I have my G5 back.
Thank you Accelerate Your Mac & your readers.
- Allan R."
I wish everyone was no lucky - many past reports since posting this page in summer 2007 have noted free repairs at least - but from later reports (spring 2010) most are not so lucky.
(From April 10th, 2010 mail)
"I have a Dual 2.7 GHz PowerMac G5 purchased in November 2005 that quit working a month ago. As I was putting the Mac into a box to take it to the local Apple Store for troubleshooting, I noticed a small puddle of what I figured had to be coolant. I'd heard the cooling systems on these Macs wasn't very reliable and costly to fix, so I figured it would have to be trashed. Sure enough, when I got to the Apple Store, it was still leaking and the Genius said it would cost upwards of $1000 to fix.
I wasn't happy to hear that, but what could i do? It was out of warranty.
I bought a new 27-inch iMac as a replacement and went back to work. While on the way, I started wondering if I could fix the Mac myself as a hobby project. At work, I posted a question on Apple's Discussions (and replies referred him to this page)
Right away, I checked out your site and was shocked. I had no idea how much leaking had occurred, but after seeing photos of the damage to other Macs, the possibility of mine having caught fire while unattended gave me the willies because I'd been leaving my Mac running during the day so the Tools app could run thorough tests.
I called Apple support and told rep how upset I was over a potential safety problem that was not mentioned on the Support website. He transferred me to Customer Relations where the rep made arrangements for me to get the Mac serviced.
So I took back the iMac and gave them the G5 for repair. Two weeks later, I got the Mac back. The replaced the following:
- 076-1047, Fan Kit, Rear Exhaust, w/Cable, Dual
- 661-3234, Power Supply, 600 W, Grommet
- 661-3552, Drive, SuperDrive, DVD+R DL, 16X
- 661-3588, Multiprocessor, 2.7 GHZ, w/ LCS
- 922-6388, Cover, Power Supply
- 922-6772, G5 Enclosure
- S1491LL/A, HARDWARE REPAIR-LEVEL 2
They gave me back a resurrected G5 for no charge! Thanks for your help in getting the problem solved!! I'll take your advice and check often for leaks in the future.
Warm regards, Chris"
I wish everyone was so lucky. (Some employees seem unaware of the issue period - it's almost a roll of the dice depending on who you talk to, especially outside of the USA.)
(From March 11, 2010 mail)
"We have a dual G5 2.7 that started exibiting the same symptoms as are mentioned with this problem. I checked and there is a coolant leak.
Took it to the apple store they confirmed it and let me know that it would be about 2 grand to fix, followed by you can buy a nice Imac for that.
So, I guess I will go pick it up tomorrow. I will not be buying an imac to replace it. I would appreciate any additional help or suggestions to remedy my situation. (I replied with a reminder on the notes at the top of this page and in reports here since summer 2007. I don't have any special apple contacts for this problem. I wish I did.-Mike)
(A later reply from March 17, 2010)
I wanted to follow up a bit. We spoke with a gentlemen that was quite pleasant but very guarded. He agreed to have the machine repaired. I asked if repairing it would only be a temporary solution until it decides to leak again. No comment. At this point, I commend them for actually agreeing to rectify the problem. However, I do think it would be nice of them to at least notify the owners of these machines that a potential leak and other problems could occur.
(From March 2nd, 2010 mail)
"Hello - I found your site through the Apple forums. I am wondering if you might have any advice or additional experience regarding leaking G5's? (See above notes/comments (I bolded, put some in red, etc. as many don't seem to read them or the reports here fully. I wish I had better advice or some direct contact, but the above notes/info are all I have to suggest. Sorry.-Mike)
I own a G5 dual 2.5 GHz. In March of 2009 it leaked out. After much research and much pressure on Apple, they agreed to replace the system ($1,100 + worth of repairs including the motherboard and coolant system).
Now, less than a year later, the computer is experiencing all the same problems:
- excessive fan use for even the simplest of tasks
- inability to zap PRAM
- inexplicable and strange system behavior
These are all the same problems I experienced in the first leak.
There's an earlier report below (Feb 10th, 2010 report w/bold "Leaks after (free) Repair" heading) that also noted having another leak in January 2010 after an initial repair in late 2008.
(Added Feb 10, 2010)
"First of all, thanks for having your site about coolant leaks. You saved me $2500 - thanks!
I purchased a dual processor 2.5 GHz Powermac G5 in March 2005. It has been a great machine and I used it daily.
On Jan 26, 2010 it spontaneously shut down while I was watching a video on wired.com. My AppleCare warranty has long run out, so I figured I would take it apart to determine the problem. Searching the web to find repair procedures, I came across this site. I put the Mac back together and took it to my local Apple store where they told me I was out of warranty and the parts needed would exceed the cost of a new Mac Pro. I plead my case stating others have received out-of-warranty repairs, but they told me to call AppleCare to see if they would help. When I got home I did call AppleCare and they told me I was out of warranty and they couldn't help me. I asked to speak with a Senior advisor. He went away for awhile then said Apple would fix my machine for free (cool!), just take it back to the Apple store and he gave me a case number. The Apple store people were surprised to see me back and somewhat sheepish I was getting my machine fixed when they had sent me away. They ordered new: CPUs, power supply, main logic board and a case - in essence a newly rebuilt G5.
Two weeks later the same Senior advisor calls back that they were unable to repair my computer and were going to give me a new Mac Pro for my trouble! The replacement machine was the entry-level current product, but I was allowed to upgrade and pay the difference. They also sent me a pre-paid FedEx shipping label to ship my G5 back to Apple.
So if you have a similar problem with your G5, call AppleCare and ask to speak with a "Senior" advisor. Plead your case about this being a safety issue and a possible fire hazard. Hopefully you will at least get a free out of warranty repair.
(Added Feb 10, 2010)
"Hello Mike, I found your website and the information on it VERY useful in dealing with the issues I was having with my 2005 G5 Dual 2.7 system. I had been using it in a recording studio for about 4 years when the coolant started leaking from the LCS. I had NO IDEA this was happening. The system was displaying weird symptoms, such as random freezing, going into hibernation without warning and system power downs. One day, the system would no longer power on. I had my business partner take it to the Apple Store so a Mac Genius could take a look at it. We were told that repairs would be in the ballpark of $1700 or so.... When my partner asked what caused this problem, he was told that it was due to a ventilation issue. When I caught wind of this I couldn't believe it!!! Ventilation issue!??? Ha! I cracked the case to the system and saw corrosion on the bottom of the case and there was a whitish crystallized substance all throughout the case as well. I knew it was time to call Apple Customer Relations and have a chat about this.
I was connected to a L1 support representative and I stated my concern about the safety hazard that the design of this machine poses. I was almost immediately connected to a Senior Support Rep. Again, I explained my concerns and within minutes I was given a case number and a support ticket was placed with Engineering. I was calling on a Thursday afternoon and the rep I spoke to advised me that he would have the next 2 days off and I would more than likely receive an update on either Sunday afternoon or Monday. Monday afternoon I received a call back and was informed that the entire system would be rebuilt and the cost would be covered by Apple even though the system was out of warranty. I was also informed that notation was added to their system in regard to my serial number and any future issues I had in regard to the cooling system would be covered as well. I'm glad that Apple is owning up to the errors in design with these systems, but I'm not sure how I feel about re-implementing a system with such MAJOR safety issues back into my production setup. The tech at the authorized Apple repair center that I dropped the system off at offered the same concern. He said that Apple SHOULD simply replace the unit with a better designed system. He also suggested that this was still a possibility and he would do what he could to make this happen.
I'm not holding my breath.... I was VERY impressed with Apple Support in the way they handled my case. They were VERY professional and caring. I did not have to raise my voice or argue with them. They expressed concern and seemed anxious to resolve the issue.
Thank you for this resource! Without it, I probably would not have even TRIED to contact Apple and seek a resolution to my issue.
Best, Ty R."
(Added Feb 10, 2010)
"Hi Mike, Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making this information available. If not for your postings on G5 coolant leaks I would be out at least $1500 that I definitely cannot afford at this time.
Like heart disease, my first signs of a coolant leak were fatal. I was happily typing away on my late June 04 Dual 2.5GHz G5 when it went to sleep. I woke it up and it went to sleep again. This repeated several times until it wouldn't wake up anymore. I rebooted and suspecting a hard drive problem started backing up my family photos to a firewire drive. Halfway through that the system froze up and I rebooted. The power chime rang and my power light was on, but my screen was blank. After unsuccessful attempts at starting from my install disc and booting in target mode, I pulled out the boot drive, put it in a firewire enclosure and mounted it on my PowerBook. No problem with the boot drive.
So I lugged my G5 to my nearest Apple Certified Repair Center and reminded myself to start working out. Those G5s are heavy! Anyway, the next day the repair center gave me the bad news, my processor had leaked.... After a new processor, power supply, absorbent pad and labor: $1412 + tax. I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out if this was something I could repair myself (maybe, but risky), get done cheaper (probably) or bite the bullet and get a new system (painful, but exciting). And then I stumbled upon your extensive postings (this page) on this issue. Cue choir of angels.
The next morning I called Applecare and was informed my warranty was expired, but since I mentioned it was a coolant leak and a safety issue my support agent was very friendly (didn't even mention a $49 fee) and said she would need a little time to research the issue. Three minutes later she connected me to a specialist, he took a few more details and after wondering why apple had sold me a late June 04 G5 in early 2006 even if it was a refurb, he told me he had to see if was even possible to get the parts to fix it. He took the contact info for my service center and told me that he would discuss the repairs with them. Two days later I got a call from the service center informing that Apple was COVERING ALL COSTS and that I would have my G5 back in 3-5 days. Hallelujah!
There may be an underlying product liability issue here, but still I have to give Apple HUGE credit for taking care of this. I can't imagine any other computer maker standing behind a product that was almost two years out of warranty. I'm hooked for life. Thanks again to you and everyone here who has written in about their experiences with G5 coolant leaks. And to anyone who is going through this process now, remember, be polite and gracious, mention that it's a safety issue and if all else fails, you could mention that this is a potential product liability issue.
Cheers, Justin V."
That has always been my feeling/opinion for the free repairs (or new systems).
Leaks after (free) Repair: (from early Feb 2010 mail)
(Added Feb 10, 2010)
"Hi Mike, Please add this to your list of G5 tower leaks. This one is a little unusual in that this is the second leak to occur to the same machine.
G5 2.7 dual, purchased around early 2005 in Australia. In retrospect this machine was always a little problematic with performance and irregular fan noise but things took a turn for the worse. The machine refused to boot after an extended moth-balling from June 2008 until October 2008. Just out of Apple Care, I took it to a not so local accredited repairer. They diagnosed defective memory and replaced it at my cost.
The G5 was still a little off colour in so far as weird fan spin-ups and a failure to sleep without human intervention but again put into perspective, this had almost always occurred from new. I had been viewing your web site for another project and lo and behold, I stumble upon problems with G5 tower coolant leak. Well, straight onto the phone to Apple, asked and received an exemption case number and off to a more local accredited repairer. He called back and informed me it was a coolant leak, that he had contacted Apple and the repair was approved at no cost to me. Happy days!
The PSU, CPU, case, motherboard you name it, was replaced. Returned home booted up, here we go again weird fans etc took it back to the repairer. Diagnosis: bad memory, replaced at no cost. So we suffered along, again, not to bore you further, but it was as good as new, which was not great.
January 2010: the earth leakage device tripped in the house switchboard (this is a safety switch required in all Australian homes to avoid accidental electrocution due to the 240 volt power source). After a process of elimination I find the culprit: Apple Mac G5. I turn it on, the house power goes off.
Back to the repairer we go. Diagnosis: COOLANT LEAK! He contacts Apple and Apple approves the repair at no cost to me. Replaced PSU CPU and absorbant pad. Back at home we boot up, you guessed it, strange fan operations, will not sleep on its own blah blah blah.
Yes I have a lemon. We have no "Lemon Laws" in Australia, but the point that I would like to make is, in reading most of the reports relating to this problem, it would seem this is the first to have a double failure, indicating an inherent design fault which is replicated after repair. The second failure was catastrophic enough to cause a short to ground, thus tripping the safety switch. Had the safety switch not been installed, the computer would have been live with 240 volts, risking electrocution to anybody coming into contact with the tower. Perhaps Apple would now consider a complete recall or replacement after this case.
Thank you for your fantastic website.
Kindest Regards, Max"
I don't know if it's the same outside the USA, but I know some friends that got new Macs after 3 (Apple) repairs to the same machine. I'd contact Apple support again (or their customer relations) and stress the repeated failures after repairs.
Updates to earlier report: (Jan 31st, 2010) I've updated an earlier report from Gil F. - he's getting a new Mac Pro finally.
(from Jan. 14, 2010 mail)
"Hello Mike, Wanted to provide yet one more success story with my leaky G5, dual 2.7GHz (all thanks to your site and the many other people who have posted their stories and results here).
I'm not sure how long the unit was actually leaking prior to the system failure. The first tech that I brought it to seemed to think it could have been up to a year or maybe even more judging by the corrosion of the case and the crystallized substance around the power supply and processors.
Same story with the typical coolant leak issues (slow performance, fans ramping up, eventually no booting and then the oozing liquid). So instead of focusing on that area, I thought I might write a little about my experience with Apple and how they took very good care of me during the process of replacing this machine.
FIRST OFF: Apple IS making good on repairs as well as replacements for this issue. (As noted in earlier reports here - many owners have noted free repairs in the past. (For those that wrote, unknown what % of total affected owners that is). Some even said they got repairs even as 2nd owners) But nothing is a sure thing for everyone. (Especially outside the USA - in some countries awareness and reponses are not good and that may lower your odds perhaps. This is why I KEEP wishing Apple will post some official/uniform policy on leak repairs - or at least issue a bulletin to personell about this for some sort of uniform response.) Several here have noted getting new MP system replacements instead, BUT compared to the total reports here since Aug 2007 - those cases are rare overall. As I've said before, IMHO those cases may be a judgement call (may be related to total repair costs/parts availability and even just the mood the person making the decision is in perhaps - clearly it varies and can't be assumed you will get the same treatment). But if you read _all_ the reports here, in the past it has been very common for at least repairs to be covered - but just like the "extended warranty" on the flawed MBP 8600M GPUs - YMMV and often not giving up if refused at first matters. However it's almost a roll of the dice what your luck will be, especially if outside the US.) However, you may need to fight for it a little (or a lot) depending on who you happen to get. Point being, you need to be persistent with them. Polite yet persistent.
My machine is a 2005 Mac G5, dual 2.7 GHz, LCS unit. I purchased it in August of 2005 (along with the 3 year Apple Protection Plan) which I always purchase with the more expensive (meaning tower units) Mac stuff that I buy.
The machine was about 1.5 years out of Protection Plan warranty when it started lagging, performing slow and finally puttering out. Fortunately, prior to its final "successful boot" I was able to backup what I needed from the system drive, safely. Phew!
My wife's Toshiba laptop quickly became my only computer and thus my only means of getting on line to diagnose this problem. Eventually I came across your site (as I searched the Apple Forums) and proceeded to read while I also printed the entire list of other user stories out (so I could take it to work and continue researching).
I took my Mac to the place where I originally purchased it back in 2005 (not an Apple Store - but an Apple Certified repair center). I paid a fee ($69) to have the tech open the unit, examine the damage, take photos *(VERY IMPORTANT TO DO THIS) of the unit and the damage caused by the leaking and then provide a rough estimate on the repair costs). Upon leaving, the tech informed me that, for sure, I would need to replace one of the processors ($799) + the cost of installation. After that he wasn't sure if the power supply or the motherboard were affected. He would need to attempt booting it before he could provide that information.
From there I contacted Apple and was immediately told that my Apple Care Plan was expired and that this call would cost me $49 but to go ahead and tell her what was going on with my machine. I made sure the L1 service person knew that I was calling regarding a "safety issue" with the machine. This is very important to mention as the person immediately connected me with a Senior Advisor. Once there, I described my issue and she immediately went "to bat" for me.
Like many other people who posted their stories on this site, I wasn't really interested in a repair - mainly because of the safety concerns I had with the general design of this particular line of G5s (a liquid cooling system sitting above an electrical power supply, housed within an aluminum case). It's very important to make sure that the person helping you (whether an Apple Genius at the Apple Store or the person you talk to when you call up Apple Service, is aware of this.
Like many users, my computer is constantly on 24/7. My wife and I aren't home during the day so a flawed design of this kind is a huge concern to me.
I happened to call on a Friday afternoon so my Senior Advisor wouldn't be able to provide me with any kind of solution until Monday (as she was off for the weekend). I had informed her that I had made an appointment with an Apple Genius just in case I needed it, for Saturday morning. She told me to take it down there and have the techs take a look at it.
The Apple Genius took a quick look at it and made the same determination as the first tech (processors needed to be replaced and the power supply was no good). However, he was able to estimate the dollar amount of the damage. I made sure to inform the Apple Genius helping me, of my concern regarding the lack of safety with this particular design. I didn't get the impression that he was listening to me as the Senior Advisor at Apple Care listened to me. With a 15 minute window to look at, diagnose and offer advice and options, I just don't think those guys have time to really pay attention to what their customers are trying to say to them. IMHO I'd extend the technical appoints to at least 30 minutes and keep the 15 minute appointments for the non technical stuff (like instruction on an application and so forth).
Monday came and went. No word. I decided to email my Senior Advisor Tuesday morning and see where I stood with all of this. Got word back Tuesday afternoon that they had decided that a replacement was the best way to go in this situation. They took me through a simple "upgrade" process and then asked me a few questions regarding shipping back my old G5 in exchange for the new machine.
I have to say, that my case was taken care of extremely quickly (taking into consideration the weekend and all). I am very pleased to report that everyone at Apple Care was sympathetic and very willing to help. They listened, provided alternatives and then listened some more. Probably the biggest thing that stood out the most during this ordeal was something that my Senior Advisor had told me as we were going through the "upgrade" process. I had asked her about my older software being compatible with the new Snow Leopard OS. She said, "whatever isn't compatible, we'll replace at our cost." She went on to say, "From your (meaning my) perspective, your computer suddenly stopped working, during an edit session, due to our malfunction. We know you can't work with a broken computer so we're not going to leave you in a lurch by leaving you with software that doesn't work on your replacement computer."
I thought that was the coolest thing a support tech could tell a loyal customer. To some it may not mean that much but I was blown away. It's definitely the first time I've ever heard such supportive and encouraging words from a tech.
In closing, I must say that I've never taken on "big business" before this. Quite honestly, I almost didn't call Apple at all. I was scared they might brush me off and humiliate me over the phone by inferring that nobody gets a replacement computer and not to even try. I almost felt guilty that I was calling asking them to replace a faulty product that they designed. Who needs it? I guess I can sometimes talk myself right out of something before giving it a shot.
But the posts on this site helped out a lot and I am forever thankful for such a superb resource. Thanks to everyone who posted and gave the little guy hope. I appreciate it!
Creative Director, Avista Video Histories"
(from Jan. 14, 2010 mail)
In the past couple of weeks, I've had problems getting my Late 2004 dual 2.5 GHz G5 to reboot; I noticed the longer I let it sit after running, the better chance I had of rebooting. Eventually it would not boot at all, stalling just after the startup chime. After spending many, many hours combing random Mac listserves for ideas, I made an appointment at the Apple Store in Pasadena, California, and took the computer in a few days later on 1/08/10 (the earliest available time).
The technician noted there seemed to be some "moisture" on the bottom footing of the computer, and immediately after opening it, confirmed there was coolant leakage. He said I'd need a new processor ($1200), didn't bother looking at anything else, and encouraged me to buy a new computer, or barring that, scour Craigslist for used parts.
Dismayed, I carried the computer back home. However, after Googling the problem, I came across your website and noted that Apple was recently giving other people repair/replacement offers, so I called Apple Care and pleaded my case on 1/10/10. Since my computer is over five years old, the customer service rep told me he'd have to charge $45 for the call, but I told him I had a coolant leak and I wanted Apple to take care of it. He waived the fee and transferred me to someone else, who immediately said, "Ah, you have a coolant leak--you must have a G5!" and asked me a series of questions hand-tailored for this problem. ("Have you seen melting/sparks/fire, etc?") She told me the coolant was extremely hazardous and should not be touched by anyone.
(Of course you want to avoid contact with it, but the coolant used is not any worse than your car's anti-freeze/coolant IMHO. (Which is of course poison - many pets die every year from drinking it.) Back in 2008 here I posted a link to the Delphi Coolant MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet at apple but that link 404's now. They either pulled it or moved it. As I've said many many times here since 2007, the biggest safety hazard IMHO is one of Elec. Shock - from liquid flowing down to the Pwr Supply (w/AC input) in an all metal case.)
She then gave me her email and phone number and hung up, consulted with the engineers, and called me back later that afternoon to offer full replacement of any parts damaged by the coolant, and made another appointment for me at the Apple Store for 1/11/10.
I have a 22-month-old daughter and the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to have a computer with a known safety problem sitting in my home. I emailed the same consultant and explained that I'd prefer to have a replacement MacPro, but she never answered. I called her and left a message explaining again (in friendly but firm terms) that I didn't want an unsafe computer in my house with a toddler...but she never called back.
So I dropped off my G5 at the Apple Store on Monday. The technician automatically ordered a new logic board, processor, power supply and cover, saying those were typically the parts needed in such a situation, and he told me it would take 5 to 7 days for repair. I asked him about the possibility of a replacement MacPro, and--contrary to testimonials on this site--he said "That would never happen," and refused the option.
Most as noted here (since posting the page in Aug 2007) did not get Mac Pro replacement systems - but a few did - a very small % of the total reports here. (Personally if I even got a free repair of a years out of warranty system I'd feel lucky - try that with Dell, HP, etc.) But if you read _all_ the reports here it's clear that the response you get from any specific apple support person can vary by a huge margin. As I've said here over and over and over from day 1 on this, until Apple posts an official policy on G5 coolant leaks YMMV. (Those that really have read all the posts here since 2007 as well as the news page posts on this must think I have Alzheimers to keep repeating this over and over and over...)
(from Jan. 9, 2010 mail)
Hi Mike! (Pardon my poor English, I normally speak Dutch) Premium info on your site...!!! Helps really out!
I work with 2 Powermacs G5 Quad. (My main-G5 is still 100% OK.) My 2nd G5 started (some weeks ago) acting bizarre... Fans going berzerk, shutting down after a time... Impossible to boot again (for the next 5 min, at least) and 2 red LED's "2" & "7". I put the HD in my main-G5 & I installed TemperatureMonitor.dmg on it. After, I re-inserted the HD in the "faulty" G5, booted (this worked) and quickly I saw that the temperatures of "Core A" were rising (after start-up) from 29.7°C to 97.17°C & then the system shut off... Quite a handy tool. I fully recommend it (Temperature Monitor is freeware as noted/linked here many times over the years (not just on this very page). TM was also used in my tests of 2009 Mac Pro CPU Core temperatures article... but that's digressing.-Mike)
Yesterday morning, I phoned Apple Support about the problem. They first send me telephonically to Switch (an Apple store). First they didn't want to accept the Mac, since I didn't buy it at their store. Yesterday-afternoon 18.17Hr (!) I phoned Apple Support again & explained the case & this time the details (temperatures). The person I spoke to, told me he had to talk to his superviser. I waited (a little while) on the phone & finally he gave me a "case-number" & re-directed me to (the same) Switch-shop. Today, I went (again, this time with the G5, completed with a carrying strap, quite easy, i read it on your site) to this Switch-shop. I explained (again), but this time including the "case-number" & the "apple-support-phonenumber". They finally accepted the case.
They say I will be (soon) informed about the following steps...
If you want, I can inform you.
Kind regards, Herman (Belgium)"
(from Jan. 5 and Jan 8th, 2010 mails - updated again)
Thanks for this page! I'm waiting to hear from Apple in San Francisco (downtown) regarding my Power Mac Dual 2.5Ghz. G5, which I left with them on Saturday 1/2/2010. I didn't know about the leak until the Genius (who bore a striking resemblance to actor Hugh Laurie; which made me feel very good about him. Who wouldn't want Greg House diagnosing their ailment?) noticed it, after first marveling at my machine's odd behavior (sleeping and waking spontaneously). Mine was leaking clean anti-freeze looking liquid. There were several drops on the Mac's feet and some on the counter. My Mac (I am the original owner BTW) has been freezing frequently - requiring forced shut down - for several months. Is that related to this leak?
I am thrilled at the idea that Apple will do the right thing. God knows I've spent enough money on their products, and advocated for them without compensation (as have so many of us) over the past 15 years - they should do the right thing. But I'm horrified that this leak issue has not caused a recall! My G5 lives in my "office", which is a walk in closet in my 12 year old daughter's room. It is mere feet from her bed. Had this caused an electrical short or worse, led to a fire; the "right thing" wouldn't be anywhere near good enough.
I'm hoping to hear from someone at Apple soon (I called the store to check on my machine, just prior to finding this page), but given the lack of disclosure about this - even within Apple - I'm not holding my breath. The fellow I talked with said my machine was "in Hold status" and that he'd e-mail further up the line to get me an answer as to whether Apple will cover my repair. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks to all of you, I feel fairly well prepared to deal with this problem.
(Jan 8th mail)
Hi again, I went back to the Apple store on 1/7 and talked with the manager in hopes of getting my G5 out of "hold" status (I call it limbo). He went downstairs, talked with someone (an engineer I believe he said), and put through a full repair at Apple's expense. The parts have been ordered - including a new enclosure. I am impressed with Apple's footing the bill for my 5 year, 2 month, 1 week old G5, but I wish they'd seen fit to replace it with a Mac Pro as others have had such good fortune. The timing of being without this computer is truly bad right now. Had my G5 held up until even the 10th of January, all this would have been MUCH less difficult.
I talked with an Apple Expert today in hopes of getting some reassurance regarding my fear of my forthcoming "new" Power Mac G5. My fear is that this computer lives less than 10 feet from my daughter's bed. How am I to deal with the dread that it will leak, short out, start a fire, etc.?
I asked for a call from an Expert, and while filling out the form online, I chose "Possible Safety Issue" from the drop-down menu. His advice was to sell the computer when I get it back - and replace it with a Mac Pro. Personally, I was waiting for the March update as it's close, and the current models are not my favorites (not that I wouldn't have been absolutely thrilled to have had them give me one instead of building me a new computer from 5 year old parts), but I see his point. Financially I will be far less well off than those who've gotten the Mac Pros, but that aside - I'm still responsible if someone else suffers for this machine's failures. Apple will not give me an answer that pleases me on this subject. Can you? How am I to trust that this machine will not hurt someone in the future? It may not be my family, but that doesn't lessen the responsibility I feel. So tell me; Is there a REAL threat of these starting a fire? Has it happened?
I am 51 years old. I can afford a new Mac Pro. I've been an Apple consumer and advocate for 2 decades. I've owned about 20 Macs (I have a small business as well as a family of techies) and countless other Apple items. I'm a kind person and am never confrontational. My mother was big into courtesy. So am I. I live in San Francisco (close to Apple). I NEED a Tower NOW! My son desperately needs it Now - he's got a video project due on 1/10. He's been editing on my G5 for months, and now he's screwed!) I feel I'm as deserving as anyone (though I have real joy for those who have been given new machines when they couldn't have possibly afforded one). Had my old super-genius (he was promoted to be a genius trainer) still been at the downtown SF store I am certain he would have replaced it and I'd have been up and running for 5 days by now instead of waiting yet another week or more for a G5. Though I do not suffer from envy - - I can't even remember the last time I was remotely envious - - I feel it now. I feel "cheated". I also feel ungrateful. Apple is repairing/replacing my computer way past its warranty. How the hell can I feel cheated? All in all, this has been a very difficult situation. Now I feel like an ass on top of being profoundly inconvenienced. Please tell me I can feel safe about my computer when I get it back.
Thanks again for your page - which am barely 1/4 of the way through.
(Update: from Jan 16, 2010 mail)
Still seeking affirmation that I should feel safe plugging in my repaired/rebuilt PM G5 (though no repair status had given as promised), I emailed on 1/12/2010. Ignored. I emailed again on 1/13/2010. I once again stressed my health and safety concerns and sought affirmation. I got a call 18 hours later. The rep was of the opinion that these repairs never worked out, so she went to her supervisor and got me a replacement offer! Mac Pro Quad 2.66. She also offered discounted upgrades. I went from 3 to 8 GB memory for $100, and from a 640GB HD to a 7200rpm 1TB for $50. They'll ship it in a few days with labels for returning my old PM.
After 2 weeks of being treated poorly by multiple Apple employees regarding multiple Macs (when it rains it pours) - I felt as if the company had gone to the same customer service hell so many others have in this sad economy/modern day. I am happy of course, with the final solution on my PM G5, but there is no excuse for their failure to, at the very least, have a procedure in place for their employees re this issue. Obviously a recall or published policy would be best. It is pathetic that they seem to be dealing with this, first by embracing a "don't ask, don't tell" tactic where a customer has to deal with workers who act as if they know nothing or really don't - and then have to educate themselves (thanks to you for the education, Mike) and then persevere through any number of employees that range from ignorant to obfuscating and/or unconscionable before hopefully finding one that is what we all expect an Apple employee to be; intelligent, compassionate and proactive. My time lost and stress dealt me were not only unnecessary; they damaged my faith in Apple. That is not good business.
Thanks again Mike. YOU are THE Man!
Thanks - but no credit to me (other than keeping this page alive for a couple years). I too have wished/hoped/begged for years for apple to post some official policy on Leaks/repairs, that would avoid every affected owner having to go though this.
(I ask for deails in reports but none provided on this one - most of the last 13 years has been spent with back and forth mails asking for missing info, etc. even when I put requests in red text - so it's just human nature.)
(from Jan. 5, 2010 mail)
G5 coolant leak, was repaired 11-09 by Apple (motherboard, cpu, powersupply).
(from Jan. 3rd, 2010 mail)
Sometime in the fall, my PowerMac G5 dual 2.5GHz model started to act up as detailed here: fan running hard, sleeping unexpectedly, hard to restart. I use my G5 for stitching photo panoramas and scanning on a 12x18 scanner, and I couldn't really do anything because the G5 would sleep on me once the processors started getting a workout. The first thing I tried was to clean the entire thing out (very dusty), but the problem persisted. Then I removed the 4GB of memory I'd added to the base configuration. No change. I reset the PMU. No change.
A quick Internet search of my problem led me to this thread on xlr8yourmac.com. My G5 was showing no external symptoms of coolant leakage. Last night (1/2/2010) I followed the advice on this thread and popped the side off the case and put it open-side-down on a piece of white foamcore. This morning, the foamcore was still white and dry. Sigh. (That will only show if there's significant loss of fluid for some time (as many have been - some had horrific corrosion evident on disassembly) - but the first step is to check inside (cover has to be removed) for early signs of a leak. I've warned to check that frequently since posting this page in Aug. 2007. However most don't notice the problem until damage is already done from long-term coolant leaks. (As the system still ran for months.) Earlier this year a G5 owner sent his Repair article with photos showing what to look for if you don't see any obvious signs on initial/cursory inspection. This photo shows an example of white granular buildup that's evidence of a leak. My G5 tower was an early Air Cooled model, otherwise I'd have posted my own guide to inspection. However with repairs often covered (or as in your case and several others - a new mac pro) - I'm sure some question the incentive to even check for leaks to catch them early.-Mike)
When I cleaned the G5 a month ago, I could not get the locking pin off to remove the heatsink cover and clean inside the processor/pump area. This morning, I tried one more time to get that darn pin and rivet out. For those of you having trouble with this, it's pretty easy to get the pin out of the middle of the rivet with a knife blade. The rivet is another story. I ended up threading a small screw into the rivet and using that as a handle for wiggling it out.
On the back of the heatsink cover, which had been on the bottom overnight, there was a single drop of reddish-brown fluid. I shined a flashlight into the processor/pump area and I could see some other minor evidence of leakage. I called Apple, got a case number, and an appointment at my local Apple store for 20 minutes hence... on a Sunday. Yikes! I quickly pulled out the 2nd hard drive, slapped the G5 together, attached an old suitcase shoulder strap to the G5's handles, and headed to the Apple Store. It's in a shopping mall, and the shoulder strap made the trip from the parking lot, through the food court to the store almost bearable.
With the G5 up on the Genius Bar, the evidence of coolant leakage was even more dramatic. There was dried fluid residue on the plate beneath the processors, and corrosion back where the power supply attaches to the logic board. I can't believe this thing was still running!
I got what I expected from the Apple Genius. He estimated the replacement cost of the parts at $3000 and suggested I buy a nice, new iMac instead. I pushed back, stating that I'd had to sort this problem out over several months, and completely dismantle the G5 to get conclusive evidence. In the mean time, I said I was pretty creeped out because the G5 had been running despite the potential of fire or electrical hazard. I told the Genius that I wasn't really even interested in repair because I didn't want another faulty liquid-coold system in my house, setting itself up to fail in two years. I also mentioned my research on the Internet (namely this site) had taught me that Apple was still making good on repairs or replacement even on clearly out-of-warranty G5s - as late as November of 2009, and I would like the same opportunity that others had received. He went and talked to the store manager, and after a little more back-and-forth, I left the Apple Store with a new Mac Pro.
So, even though my story is similar to many others on this site, it's worth telling for these take-away points:
1. My G5 was still running, and showing no outward evidence of coolant leakage. Once I got the heatsink cover off, it was pretty clear it had been leaking for some time. I think that's really scary.
(The clear lesson in these reports is that leaks are usually present for many months before damage or problems appear. Severity of the leak can vary - some noted liquid outside the case (rare overall) but many never noticed any problems until major damage was already done. Just look at the corrosion in some of the photos - that did not happen in a week or even a few months.-Mike)
2. Do remove the heatsink cover to investigate leaks. Pop the pin out and use a small screw to wiggle the locking rivet free. I could have resolved this G5 flakiness a lot sooner if I'd been able to get that heatsink cover off the first time I tried it.
3. Hook a makeshift shoulder strap on your G5 if you have to carry it into a mall-based Apple Store. It makes the trip easier, and gets you a lot of surprised looks as you walk down the aisles with the oddest of shoulder bags.
4. Do not let Apple tell you this was a problem two or three years ago, but they're not addressing it any more. I got my G5 swapped for a Mac Pro in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sunday, January 3, 2010. They know they have a problem with these things even if you have to poke them a bit to make good on it.
That lesson/advice is also noted in some earlier reports here (i.e. not to give up if first refused) - although many had an easy time of it, some had to press to get repairs (and in some cases, a new system). This is why I've repeatedlty said here I wish apple would post some official policy on Leak repairs. (After 2 years though I've almost given up on that wish - but am thankful that many times they have covered it. The reports on this page over the last 2 1/2 years has saved a lot of affected owners a ton of money. And not just the owners that sent their experience - some didn't want to have their story made public.)
(from Dec. 30th, 2009 mail)
"I would like to extend my thanks. My story is similar to most here. My G5 2.5 Dual starting acting odd, not waking up, freezing and finally going to sleep and not waking up. All I got was the sleep light on permanently.
With the machine being a June 2004 and knowing that it now being November 2009, warranty was not even a consideration. The local shop told me to forget it as repairs would run as much as a replacement machineI resigned my G5 to the cupboard, not wanting to give up just yet.
After coming across articles regarding iMac main board issues and folk who had repaired them I thought I'd see if anyone was doing the same for the Powermacs. It was during this search I came across this site. I read each post and was nearly giddy with the possibility that I might get the G5 back up and running. I opened the side and removed the heat-sink cover and low and behold, green stains. I had not noticed any external signs of leaking so the though never even crossed my mind. I was not the original owner as is the same for others posted here and I was taking nothing for granted but I crossed my fingers and called Apple Care.
The polite gentleman on the other end asked for my serial number and tactfully informed me that the machine was out of warranty and the call may cost me $45 but for me to go ahead and tell him what was going on anyway. I explained how the machine had behaved and what I had found I also mentioned in am FYI non threatening, by-the-way, manor that I had come across some mention online that others had experienced the same issues and had been lucky enough to get some help as far as repairs.
He listened and seemed to be taking notes and then asked me if I wouldn't mind holding. On his return he told me he was passing me to a second level tech who would get further details of this issue. The next person I spoke with asked me how long I had had the machine and when the trouble had started and asked me to verify the symptoms and the physical damage I had seen. I described the green stains running down the heat-sink where in meets the processors and the damp feeling to the ambient pad.
He asked if I could take some photos to clarify my description, three in total, one of the unit as a whole and two of the stains. He said that once he had the pictures it would be up-to about 5 days before I heard anything.
I sent the pictures that afternoon and waited. 4 days later I received a call from the level 2 guy. He told me that the engineers agreed that this was indeed a coolant leak, that they were dealing with these cases each on their own merits and in my case Apple were going to authorize the repair of my machine under warranty.
He told me to remove any 3rd party memory as it would not be covered. He asked me where I would like to take the machine and when. He then set up the appointment with the Apple store near me, gave me a reference number and told me he had spoken to them and they were up to speed with the case but to call him if there were any issues.
When I got to the store I spoke with a very polite and friendly "Genius" who, after a few short questions and some deliberation, informed me that they had no memory to test the machine with, that this was more than likely and major repair running over the cost of a new machine and could take some time to complete, and bearing all this in mind he said he was going to swap the unit out for another product if that was alright with me.
There was no brain time expended on that one, so minus the box I received a new base model Mac Pro with a years warranty. All hail the mighty Apple, why on earth would I buy anything else after that. As long as they stand by their products like that I'll keep buying them, I don't know of many companies that will fix a 5 year old machine for free let alone replace it even if it was a design issue. (O-rings leak, pumps fail (eventually in anything), although in these cases often it's not detected until major damage is done.) I did email my Apple guy and thank him very much, as I thank the entire Apple corporation for doing a nice thing and making my Christmas extra special.
Thanks also once again to you for posting this stuff/ I'd still have a G5 doorstop if it wasn't for you. Happy New Year
Most (not all) reports here had repairs done although several others have noted in the past they were lucky enough to get a replacement Mac Pro instead. It's a case by case basis decision apparently. (I used to think it was based on total repair costs/labor and/or parts availability.) I keep hoping eventually that Apple will post some official policy on Coolant Leaks. (As some owners have not had an easy time trying to get repairs covered in the past.) But I'm amazed at the overall % of owners that have however. (Although as I've said before, IMHO the potential safety issues/liability might be a factor in why Apple has covered many of these.)
(from Nov. 20th, 2009 mail)
"I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and give high praises to the folks at Apple for taking care of my situation with our G5 2.5GHz LCP computer. Our computer began acting odd at the beginning of last week. Fans ramping up, long tone at start up etc. Throughout the week it kept getting worse and by the end of the week it would not even boot up. Tried all the tricks to get it to book and nothing. Took the unit to our local MAC service center and he said he could see right away that there was corrosion on the bottom of the computer which was a result from the coolant pump on the processor card leaking coolant.
A little side bar, we are not the original owner and when Apple looked up the computer it had been de-activated by the university that was the original owner. (An earlier report on a free repair also noted he was not the original owner - which surprised me. (Try getting a years out of warranty report (LCS or otherwise) from other mfrs even as original owner)-Mike) No Apple Care and no remaining warrantee on the computer. Apple must realize they have a design flaw in the liquid cooled processors and are standing by their name and reputation by taking care of their faithful computer owners. (I won't repeat my comments on why IMHO they're covering these (repeated hint - potential SAFETY/LIABILITY))
I called Apple after reading many of the posts on your site and told them my story. I explained to him what was happening and what my service tech had found. They forwarded my call to a product specialist who put me on hold and called my MAC service provider. A couple minutes later he came back on the line and said it would be repaired for us at no charge. They are replacing the processor card (LCP type again) , the logic card as well as the power supply since the coolant had leaked down on and into the power supply.
I am told that the repairs will be completed by the end of this week.
The LODGE Recording Studios"
(from Nov. 13th, 2009 mail)
"Hello Mike, I first want to thank you for having this site up and keeping track of all the G5 leaks, and the resolutions people received from apple. I have a G5 DP 2.5GHz, bought it the very first day it was available. (I kept on calling the store every day asking "is it there yet" like a little kid.)
About a month ago it started acting up, the usual for this problem! locking up, fans blowing full blast, multiple tries to boot up after an overheating instant.
At first I didn't know what the problem was, so I tried the usual p-ram and even the reset button by the ram (on the motherboard). I also swapped ram sticks (I had four 1GB sticks) but nothing would work. I was debating to sell it for parts or build a system on the same case (I know a lot of case modifying but I was desperate). I knew the power supply was still working cuz I could hear the fans. But no chime!
On my last try of getting it to boot up, I put it on its side and moved the ram around for the last time (hopping for some sign of life) when I finally set it up and was getting ready to press the power button I saw a small amount of liquid on the rear bottom leg... a clear slightly green with a slippery texture (not quite like car coolant but similar).
(FYI - Don't forget the tip (sticky) above in red on checking for leaks by placing the case (w/cover removed) open side down for several hours/overnight as another way to check for leaks if they're not visible from just visible inspection normally.-Mike)
A friend of mine google G5 green liquid, and bingo! (this page)
I called applecare, talked to a level one tech who was really friendly and told me my G5 was out of warranty but to go ahead and tell him my problem. As soon as I mention green liquid he told me to hold and got his supervisor with in a few minutes. I explained to him the problem and he asked me a series of questions 5-10 (I don't exactly recall) but something about If there was any personal or property damage. (as I mentioned earlier, IMHO the reason for the repairs out of warranty is the hazard potential (considering all metal case w/AC PS in the bottom, above coolant source)-Mike) He asked about smells, if sparks were visible, fire, electric shock, any smoke signs or smell.
After all that, he told me he would contact the Engineering Department to know how to proceed. A couple of business days later he called me back and told me to take it in to one of the stores (he made the appointment for the next day).
At the store the Genius asked me what the problem was, he saw some of the liquid and proceeded to order the parts. Logic Board, Processors/cooling system, Power Supply (in the final paperwork they also have a level 2 repair).
I just got back from picking up the computer and everything seems to be working great. I dropped the computer at the store Nov 5th and the fix was done on the 11th (six days later). I picked it up on the 12th. But they had originally quoted 7 or more days.
Sorry if I wrote a big e-mail, but just wanted to be specific about the process since it help me calm me down reading other people experiences! and thought I should do the same.
One more time Thank you for keeping the site running, and updated... And a last thank you to Apple for covering the fix after 5 years of service (2 years after Apple care had expired). A great way on keeping their customers happy and coming back!
(added Nov. 6th, 2009)
"Hi Mike, This is an update. I am so glad that I found your site (it wasn't hard as it is at the top of a search for G5 coolant leak!). After reading your site I had decided to go to the Apple store and p/u my G5 turn it on its side and then bring it to the university Apple store and show them the leak since they seemed more responsive to one person on here. Instead I decided to cut to the chase and call tech support and tell them I have an unresolved issue with a repair and that I wanted to talk to Customer Relations. I was connected and spoke with someone there. I told him my problem nicely and asked him what should I do after 3 Geniuses looked at the G5 and found no leak.
I mentioned the safety issue and said that I felt like asking the geniuses if I brought it home and plugged it in I can be sure that I wouldn't get electrocuted because they are sure there is no coolant in there. I told him I also asked if they checked the power supply and they said no it is sealed. I asked if they ran the coolant system or checked the levels -no. Asked what they checked and they couldn't say. He put me on hold and then came back and told me they would extend my warranty and cover any repairs needed.
Shortly after I got a call and was told that the leak and damage was so bad that they decided to give me a quad-core Mac Pro. Wow! Unbelievable. I have no problem obviously with how they handled this in the end, but it was a foggy course. I hope this helps someone else. And again thanks Mike.
Glad it turned out well. (I keep hoping one day Apple will post an official policy on these leaks.)
(added Oct. 28th, 2009 from 10/20 email)
"Hi Mike, I just wanted to write in and say thank you for your site. I've been a fan for a long time (since the Quadra era) and you have consistently provided a wealth of information for us geekier-than-average Mac users. We have three PowerMac G5 2.7Ghz systems, all with full PCI slots (pro audio rigs) and dual hard drives. Two are sitting upright in our studio and one is rack mounted on its side, and travels frequently.
About two years ago (January 07) we had our first coolant leak. We had just come back from the holidays and discovered the machine had a gooey green puddle underneath it. Long story short, I read your site and took our grievance to Apple. What followed was several hours of persistent head-banging followed by thinly veiled threats. Eventually the specialist(s) ran out of steam and escalated the case to the proper person, who finally offered to repair the machine at no cost to us. (This story comes secondhand from my assistant--he was a trooper.) About a week later we had a new motherboard, 2 processors and power supply. That machine has been running fine since then, although I have noticed recently that the processor temps run consistently in the 190-200 F range when under load.
A couple weeks ago our second G5 burned up (10/7/09). Cooked the power supply and a processor, but fortunately didn't leak outside the case. I called Apple, who asked me to take it to a local repair shop for diagnosis. The diagnosis confirmed coolant leak. Called Apple back to discuss. My experience was markedly different; everyone I spoke to was courteous and sympathetic. I politely pointed out the encyclopedia of cases documented on your site, which caused them to immediately escalate the case. I went through a few more layers of specialists before ending up with one who started asking pertinent questions as seen here: any external leaking, property damage, come into contact, etc. I gently suggested that some other customers had been able to get repairs done. Once he had all the information he needed, he told me that I would hear from him in a few days. True to his word, the specialist called me back on Tuesday (10/13) to inform me that they would indeed cover the cost of repair. By the end of the week (10/16) we had our machine back in working order.
Our third machine has been flawless so far (hardware at least...software is another matter), which is surprising given its portable nature and side mounted configuration. The only discrepancy is the number of operating hours.
Again, a huge thank you to you and your site. Without this information we would have given up hope of maintaining these machines a long time ago.
Best, Alex L.
Stewart Levin Productions, Inc.
(added Oct. 28th, 2009 from 10/15 email. English not native language)
"I found this site by googling my problem. The problem is a leak in my G5 dual2.7, a powermac which is about 4.5 years old. It all started with a call to apple support to ask for a quote on the cost to repair the computer, or cost of repair parts, or what it also was to be the problem. The were so kind to tell me at once that they will fix my compuer for free, it really triggered me to hear that - so it got repaired, they replaced nery everything inside the computer except the harddrives.
However, it took me 5 days to wait for the repair to be done, I'am a photographer and normaly I have an insurance which covers incidents like this that I can rent a temporarly computer to work on so I can deliver the jobs to my own clients.
However, despite to my insurance company they claimed a force majeur that a rental computer will not be covered as it it is clearly Apple's resonsibility due a mfg fault once and my insurance company claimed that they do not wish at all to have my computer covered in my insurance and that Apple shall replace it to a new one instead.
I quoted all this to Apple and they do not want to help me any further then the repair they did, the repair was appreciated but in the end it came down to be a huge cost to me, rental computer for a 5 days with the Adobe CS package were very expensive - an excuse to my clients on that I can not deliver at the does not exist. And a computer that my innsurance company do not what to cover any more in the future happenings with it.
It is off course a computer that's 4 years old, but I do have a dell computer 10 years old or plus give a few years which I run my accounting on, I didn't pay that much for the Dell - and the dell still runs flawless free of error.
Is there anything of knowledge and experience you guys can help me with to solve this with Apple!?
Kind Regards, Patrick
I really don't know anything to suggest if your insurance doesn't cover this sort of thing. (And I suspect if it had been a dell (or other PC) that had leaked/failed after the warrranty expired I doubt they would have even offered to repair it for free. I've been surprised at how many G5 leaks have been repaired at no cost - often saving $1000 or more in repair costs.)
(added Oct. 28th, 2009 from 10/5 email)
"Hey Mike. Great site and it saved me $1500 to! Saw your reports of G5's leaking and I was keeping a good eye on mine because with my luck I knew it was only a matter of time before it would go. I bought it new in August of 2004 and received shipment in September. It's been running 24/7 since then in a prepress environment. Over the years it has had extra ram installed (6.5 gigs now), a Pioneer DVD writer, and an extra SAT hard drive. It's running Tiger 10.4.11.
About a month ago it started acting up a bit, it started crashing when I was doing more than one thing at a time, and hanging in many different applications. A log out and back in or a re start fixed the issue every time. Then about two weeks ago it wouldn't reboot. It would bong, but no boot screen. I sent it over to an Apple Care place to be checked out as I couldn't see any liquid leaking inside. They had it for two days and said they couldn't find any problems with it. It passed all the Hardware tests. I was pretty pissed off at this point because I already ran that HardWare test DVD that came with the G5 and I didn't get any errors. I asked them to leave it on for a few hours and see if they could get it to lock up. They called back the next day and said it had locked up and it needed a new processor at the cost of $1500.00 US. I told my boss to go get it because it would be cheaper to just buy a new one. We were going to need a new Mac anyway as Snow Leopard doesn't even support PPC's and I'm sure that soon Adobe won't either. After the G5 was back I had another look at it. It booted up fine and seemed to run ok after I removed 6 gigs of Ram. It would restart no problem.
I put the Ram back in and no restart! So I called the place I bought the Ram and was sent new Ram. I put that Ram in and again no boot. Next I put in a new battery. It booted right up even with that Ram I thought was bad in it. So now I was thinking maybe just a battery? I ran it like that for a few days with no problems. Then I had to restart to clear out the font caches and it wouldn't reboot. I opened up the side and took out the battery, replaced it after a few minutes and tried to boot it. It booted right up! So for the next few days anytime I needed to reboot I shut down, removed the battery and it restarted no problem. Then on Monday of this week after a shutdown it wouldn't restart no matter what I did. So I opened it up and still couldn't see anything leaking. I removed the processor shroud and there it was, a small pool of a light green liquid. (Coolant)
I sent my boss a link to this site's G5 leaking page and he called Apple Customer Relations. The next day we got a call telling us to take it in to get it repaired for free! I still can't believe it! Apple has got to be the best company I've ever had the pleasure of doing business with, and I will let everyone who asks where to buy from to go Apple!
Thanks again for this site Mike, this isn't the first time it has helped me out and I'm sure not the last.
Prepress Manager & IT"
(added Oct. 28th, 2009 from several emails in Sept.)
"Thank you for all of the information on coolant leaks on your site. You can add my G5 dual 2.5 purchased in July 2004 to your list.
Mine had been showing most of the same symptoms the others had shown; extremely loud fan, would not sleep and would run all night with loud noises if I didn't shut I down, would shut down unexpectedly, occasionally would not boot up again, etc....then recently it started making noise inside the machine similar to a "rain stick". I shut down, and opened the machine looking for a leak but saw none. I did not turn it on it's side at that time as I was afraid if it leaked I might damage the hard drives.
Upon plugging it in again and trying to restart, I had no power, no noise at all. I made an appointment at the Apple Store in Modesto, CA. Upon setting it on their counter, the liquid began dripping out of the bottom. After opening it, you could now see corrosion on the bottom. The Apple tech was not familiar with coolant leaks so went to ask his manager and call some other Apple Stores. He came back saying there was nothing he could do here, but referred me to customer relations. He wrote up a report stating he saw the leak and corrosion and gave me the number to call. They removed the hard drives for me and I requested to leave it at the store as I didn't want to haul the dripping liquid machine in my car.
(she later wrote)
Apple is willing to repair my G5 2.5 dual, but they say they are going to replace it with an air cooled system instead of the liquid cooling system. Do you know anything about those? From what I have read online, Only 2.5GHz and 2.7GHz models were liquid cooled. 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 and 2.3 of all generations are all air cooled.
So....I'm wondering if they are planning to put in a slower processor as well.
I have been battling with them for almost a month. The latest offer is to choose between:
1) Repair the G5 (w/air cooled system), 90 day warranty on parts they replaced only, Aperture, and a possible discount off a new computer on the online Apple store, but probably not as good of a discount as my nephew who works for apple could get.
2) 30% off the retail price of a stock new computer at the Apple Store here in town....no upgrades. Plus Aperature.
I am an educator so this discount is probably about 15-20% off of what I would be paying with my Educator pricing.
As this page is already over 200KB, I've posted a reader's notes/photos of his (dual 2.7GHz) on a separate page. See PowerMac G5 Coolant Leak Repair/Overhaul.
(BTW - Apologies to about 1/2 dozen or so other readers that have sent leak/repair reports (typically covered) in the last few months. I'll try to catch up/add them here within the next week or so.)
(from Aug 22, 2009 mail - updated Oct. 28th on resolution)
"The story's has been told hundreds of times by now:
G5 fails to boot due to coolant corrosion-caused PSU failure.
Pictures at http://cse.ucdavis.edu/~chaos/share/G5_Coolant_Leak/
Planning to contact AppleCare shortly.
(I wrote him to ask if the repair was covered)
Yes. Apple repaired the G5 at no cost. The power supply and CPUs were replaced. Fairly prompt: took Apple support about a day to decide.
(Late adding this - from July 23rd, 2009 mail)
"I first wanted to thank you for the information you've put together on this site - I had assumed when my G5 started leaking (and stopped booting) that my mac was toast, and that I'd have to find money to replace it. Fortunately, based on the information you've posted here at xlr8yourmac, I was able to get the machine fixed at no charge.
My story is very similar to others - the machine had been showing signs of the problem before final failure - fans running at high speed, etc. - but I didn't think too much of it at the time. However, after returning from a vacation, I found the mac would no longer turn on. Opened up the side panel, and sure enough - there were clear signs of corrosion. My first response was to start researching on the web, to see how common this was (anecdotally, I have a relative who works in the IT department at a college that maintains Mac labs, and their lab of liquid cooled G5's hasn't faired so well - of the original 16 or so machines, only 2 have *not* failed due to the LCS). After finding the information on this site, I gave Apple a call to see if I could get my machine fixed.
Here's my experience from the phone call - the first level tech (who was very friendly, and wanted to help) was insisting that I take my mac into an Apple store to have them diagnose the problem. I reassured him that it was a very clear case of the liquid cooling system failing, and that there was coolant (and corrosion) below the processors. I also relayed to him that I had heard of owners of other machines speaking with product specialists (and in turn engineers), and being authorized to have warranty repairs completed as an exception. He agreed that he wanted to get my call to a level 2 specialist, and began looking for the verbiage that would allow him to do that. This next part (it's been mentioned here before, but I thought it would be good to highlight) was important - after looking, he had no way of telling the system that I had a coolant leak - the closest he could come in diagnosis was to say 'power supply failure', and since my system's serial fell outside of the PS repair program, he couldn't escalate my case.
After talking for a few more minutes, his supervisor (whom he had been talking to, on and off, trying to find a way to escalate within the normal system) came back with the news - since I had coolant leaking (again, this was the most important part of the process), the problem could be classified as a health and safety issue, which results in the immediate escalation to a product specialist. Just be polite and calm, and if you mention you feel that you have a health and safety issue (again, they were kind enough to do it for me on this call), you should be good to go. As soon as I got on the line with the product specialist, it was a matter of minutes before he called the engineering department for authorization to fix the machine under a warranty exception. In my case, I called late enough in the day that the engineers weren't still at work, and I had to wait for a call back at this point.
A few days later, I called Apple back up, and was transferred to the engineering department (the engineer apologized for not calling back sooner - it sounds like they normally try to call within a day of getting the request), and was informed that Apple would repair my G5 at no cost to me.
I scheduled an appointment at my 'local' Apple store (about an hour and 15 minutes away), and took my (heavy) G5 in for service. They asked a few redundant questions in store (like - what do you think the problem is with this mac), opened up the machine, and saw the corrosion. They went ahead and ordered parts on the spot, including a new motherboard, new processors (including LCS), new power supply, and in my case, due to the corrosion, a new enclosure. They estimated 7-10 days for the repair.
Fast forward to 6 days later. I called to check my repair status, and was informed that the last piece had shown up that day (the new enclosure), but that they were waiting on a call back from engineering before proceeding (which struck me as odd). Later in the afternoon, I got a call informing me that (if I was okay with it) they felt the damage to my machine was so widespread (apparently my had been leaking slowly and corroding a *lot* of the interior of that machine) that they didn't want to attempt to repair it, replacing it instead with a new Mac Pro. I was very pleased (to say the least), and we walked through what options I still needed installed as extras (at no charge) to match my original build. They've ordered the new mac, and it should arrive at their store within the week for me to pick up.
A few quick notes on the whole process - I was not the original owner of the G5 (which is why I was not expecting much to come from the call)
I did not purchase Applecare for this machine
I probably would not have gotten transfered to the level 2 product specialist had it not been for classifying the problem as health and safety
The decision of the store to replace my G5 with a Mac Pro was based solely on the amount of corrosion they saw, and getting clearance from a product engineer to make the replacement. In chatting after the fact with the individual responsible for working on my machine (and my thanking him up and down), he said that he really felt it was the right thing for Apple to do - this would lead me to believe that a lot of the decision tree for new vs. replace has to do with the personality of the person assigned to your machine. But I never once brought up or forced the issue of a replacement myself.
So that's my story. And I'm thrilled to be sitting here, waiting for a new Mac Pro to arrive, upgraded at no cost with additional ram and HD space. Many thanks to xlr8yourmac for posting this information, or I would have just assumed the machine was scrap.
(from Aug 22, 2009 mail)
"My early 2005 powermac 2.7ghz with some really nice upgrades, purchased about 4 and a half years ago, simply stopped working all of a sudden. when I pressed the power button it just gave a third of a second of life sign. didn't start at all. I went for a psu reset, nothing. I had to finish a video so in order to take out the hard drive and connect it to another mac, I had to move the tower. (FYI: As I mention (in red warning at top of page here) with these LCS G5s, I'd always disconnect AC power first - in case leaking fluid should come in contact with any A/C input/contact points - as this is an all metal case w/metal cased Pwr Supply, etc.-Mike) I felt liquid on my hand and immediately assumed the worse. I dismantled the processors and indeed the leaking had been going on for some time now. I have a damaged power supply, and some signs of corrosion on it. What surprises me the most is the amount of cases described on the net regarding these leaks. Apple creates amazing products, but boy do they suck big time for this crap. I spent so much money over 4 years ago and now I can't work, technical assistance in portugal is a joke, most shops are closed during august for holidays, i'm screwed...
who is the genius who thought that using liquid above a power supply would be an excellent idea? this is an amazing piece of crap that apple did and they should have warned owners of these machines to check periodically for signs of leaking, like you mention on xlr8yourmac.com. Now, off-course, it's too late and it's a sad day for me and my beloved g5.
(I wrote to ask if the repairs were covered)
Not really. my G5 was over 4 years old, and given the portuguese poor and highly expensive post sales service, I just decided to request help from a tech friend, and we repaired it together. we fixed the pump, filled it with new liquid, took out the processors, fixed the power supply, ran tests, and it's running for over two months now. Only drawback is that one of the 2.7ghz processors heats more then the other. (How much more? it's common to see one CPU run hotter than the other, as one CPU tends to have most of the typical usage load.-Mike) Also, when pushing high with demanding apps, the B processor reaches 80°C, when the A processor never gets higher then 72°C. so this is the only drawback. (That's not much difference (only 8°C) between the CPUs really - granted I'd prefer lower temps but was that at 100% (or near that) load for some time? A post here from 2006 from a Quad G5 (Dual 2.5GHz dual-cores) with 100% load reported seeing 90.1°C on CPU B Core 2 diode with appx 30°C lower reported temps on the other cores. But others noted lower temperatures on that page and his comments about fan duty cycle (even at 40% load) with that CPU made me wonder if there was something not normal with his system. With fans on full he noted that CPU dropped from 90°C to 83.6°C.-Mike)
I think we forgot to use thermal glue on the processor joints. now I just don't have the patience to do it again.
We fixed it and it's running, not thanks to apple.
(from June 29, 2009 mail)
"Mike, Just to report G5 PowerMac with a LCS leak. Same story as other folks; Cooling fans running hard, then in shut down would not reboot in start up until system cooled, finally coolant leak out bottom of unit. We did not experience dramatic burn out of power supply because the machine was shut down when coolant leaked out.
Our first call to dealer tech indicated this would be a very expensive repair out of warranty etc. We called a tech friend and ID'd LCS unit, googled and found your website.
Called Mac help and reported problem. They fast tracked us into repairs, waived out of warranty repair cost and set us up with the local dealer (who wanted to sell us a new machine before). So far so good. I believe you helped us out of a major expense. Thank you much.
Tom V., VT"
(added June 8, 2009)
"Shortly after Apple Care expired my Power Mac G5 (Dual 2.7 GHz; early 2005) experienced various problems (e.g., non wake from sleep; sleep to run-away fan; loud fan; etc.). No coolant leak was initially observed.
After a loud "pop" and the smell of burnt components the G5 was "toast" (and coolant was clearly observed).
At a local Apple Store I was helped by a very efficient Apple 'Genius' and after consultation with his store manager I was informed that repairs would be completed at no cost. The repair invoice listed the following: Power supply, Logic Board H, Multiprocessor 2.7, and Hardware Repair Level-2.
Apple displayed laudatory customer service--thank you Apple!
Although most reports here since this page was posted in Aug. 2007 noted getting leak related repairs covered at no cost (some easily, others had to press for it) - this reader wasn't so lucky:
(added June 3, 2009)
"My PPC was running solid for about 4 years now. After a week of sporadic behavior my my dual 2.7 G5 PPC died. It had the original Delphi cooling system and apparently had a slow leak that toasted the processors, power supply and logic board.
I was quoted $950 to repair the system which is prohibitive on a 4 year old machine. (Apple parts prices have typically always been very high (compared to typical/standard PC motherboards, PS, etc.) - but some have noted G5 repair costs (CPUs + MB + PS) much higher than that (some $2000 or more - one recent report below mentioned $2800, although apple covered it he said.)-Mike) I called Apple service and after going back and forth with a representative and manager, I got no where besides some condolences and advice to part out the machine. Not really what I was hoping for and it doesn't give a lot of hope for the other G5 in my office.
I understand computers depreciate but it's not quite what I expected from a $4000 machine. I'm not stuck on Mac's so after this little disaster and lack of support this will be the last desktop or laptop system I get from Apple. I understand machines break down but the repair costs are outrageous.
I agree that the typical repair costs are much too high to make paying for a repair practical. (Some have mentioned repair prices near the price of a new Mac Pro system.)
(added June 2, 2009, from May 30 - June 10th mails)
"I have a Power Mac Pro G5 Dual 2.5 GHz. It was purchased Dec of 2004. I took it to the local Apple store and they told me that the power supply was bad. When they received the replacement power supply, they called to inform me that it also had a coolant leak that took out the logic board in addition to the power supply and the repair cost would be about $1,500 minimum. They suggested I look at a new Mac, as my G5 was out of warranty. When I asked about the coolant leak and if Apple would cover it at the Apple store, an individual at the store suggested I look at your website. I came across your web page. I called Apple Customer Relations and am now waiting for a response.
(on May 3rd he wrote)
Apple called back and they are going to pick up the repair cost. I am still concerned about how long the replacement will last before it too will fail. Thank you for this web page, as I would not have known about the possibility of having Apple picking up the repairs without it. Will let you know about the computer after the repairs have been completed.
(Update - on June 10th he sent a note the repairs were done)
Apple completed the repairs and the computer is back up and running. Thanks for providing the information needed to get Apple to authorize the repairs.
(added June 2, 2009)
"My G5 Dual 2.5Ghz (purchased in 2004) crashed 27/4/09. There were clunking noises and a very strong smell of smoke. I took it to an Apple repairer. I was told the processor coolant leaked onto the mother board and then short circuited the power supply. Cost to replace parts and repair: $3,568 AU in other words it was a 'write-off' and I needed to buy a brand new computer. I rang Apple and they initially told me they hadn't heard of this problem (!!!) and it was a year out of the 3yr extended warranty that I had purchased and they couldn't do anything about it. I asked to speak to the manager. and I was passed on to Customer Relations who also told me they hadn't heard of this problem. I looked on the internet and saw many others had the same problems (I really appreciate your site!!!).
After reading of others in the same situation I persisted with Customer Relations and she spoke to her manager and then offered me 20% off replacement parts cost (not off the repair cost) or 20% discount off new machine. I wasn't at all happy with that offer. Later after I persisted again, she offered to replace/repair at no cost to me. That's great but I'm concerned that if it is just repaired, because of it's design, it's just a matter of time before it could do it again. The product has a design problem and should've been recalled and fixed. Apple have been very pleasant to deal with but have only acted after my determined persistance. They obviously recognise the design problem but will only do something about it after you persist.
I tried very hard to get the machine replaced so that this wouldn't happen again but after significant effort they refused to budge on their offer to repair it at no cost to me so that's what I accepted. Many thanks to your site for airing the concerns of many regarding this particular model.
As I've said before - components eventually fail (including mechanical ones like o-rings, pumps, etc.) but with an all metal case and PS in the bottom (above the coolant source) leaks like this have the potential for some RBT (really bad things). As mentioned in many reports here since Aug 2007 - some have had to push (not give up) to get a repair covered, others not. (And again - I really wish they'd come out with some official/public policy on these leaks...) But I have to give them props overall for the many no-cost out of warranty repairs (and in some cases a new Mac Pro replacement), but again IMHO that may be due to the potential safety issue/liability.
(added June 2, 2009 from May 12th - June 2nd mails)
"I have a PowerMac G5 2.7 GHz that stopped booting about 6 months ago, and took it to a shop for repair estimate - $950 for logic board replacement and install.
We decided to wait on repairs and set it aside. At the time I did not notice any leaks.
Today I went to borrow the gfx card from it and saw it leaking an oily, rusty colored fluid, unlike the green cooling liquid others have seen. I can only surmise that it had been leaking internally for some time and the coolant had wither oxidized or damaged other internal parts which changes the color of the coolant.
Since the unit is nearly 4 years old, there is no point in repairing it. Just thought I would add to the archives.
(I wrote Barry to say regardless of the age, many have had repairs covered out of warranty (not all, but a very high % as shown in the many reports here). Of course YMMV, but if I had a leaking G5 I'd try to get the repair covered.-Mike)
Thanks. After a few phone calls to Apple describing the leak, they agreed to repair the G5 out of warranty, and replaced power supply, logic board, processor even put everything in a new enclosure. Basically a brand new unit. Thanks to you and Apple!
(added June 2, 2009 - from Jan 14 - May 18th mails)
"I have dual processor G5 (can't give you all the details today since it is at Apple!) and it sprung a leak. This is from apple:
"The coolant got in everything. The computer is "Beyond Economical Repair" meaning it is cheaper to purchase a new computer. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news...
How would you like to move forward?"
More info later.
(follow-up mail on May 18th, 2009)
I NEVER GOT BACK TO YOU on this. Sorry.
Apple repaired it for free! I couldn't get a new Intel, but fixing for free is pretty good :) Thanks for your continued support of the Mac community.
This may not have been leak related, but posting as a FYI.
(added June 2, 2009 - from May 19th mail)
"G5 Coolant Leak?
My June 2004 PowerMac G5 2.5 GHz was sent to Apple Japan because it just shut down and would not Boot again. They charged me their flat fee of 51,450 Yen on delivery at my door. They never contacted me they just fixed it and returned it. However, I received the copy of what they replaced
661-3165 Multiprocessor, 2.5 GHz, w/LCS
661-3234 Power Supply, 600 W, Grommet
I priced these parts on Google, the lowest price I could find was 500 dollars for the first part and 200 dollars for the second part, no labor. (You can get it cheaper used) that's about 70,000 Yen no labor. I purchased this computer in August 2004 received Sept 2004 I guess you must pay in Japan for a 4 1/2 year old computer.
Just thought I'd let you know,
Brian also questioned if the problem could have been coolant leak related. It's too late now, but if I had an LCS system, I'd have done some internal checks for evidence of a leak before reporting the problem to Apple initially. (Including the 'cover side down' tip noted in red at the top of the page here.) If an internal check (after disconnecting AC power cord) doesn't appear to show any sign of a leak, try taking the side over off and place the tower with open cover side down for a day or two - then check to see if any coolant fluid is seen.) And again as noted in red here since fall 2007 - every LCS owner should regularly check for leaks (to hopefully spot one before it does major damage.)
(added June 2, 2009 from May 11th mail)
"Monday 5/11 - 9:30am CDT. Last week, I discovered my Dual 2.5GHz G5 "off" when it should have still been running. Any attempts to start up the G5 failed, and the G5 smelled like something was burning. We immediately thought the power supply burned out. Upon loading the G5 into our vehicle, we noticed the G5 was leaking coolant.
Upon further inspection the Apple repair shop said the power supply may have been damaged by leaking coolant, and the items that needed replacement were the power supply, the processor and the attached liquid cooling system. The cost for repair was over $1000, and it was at this point that most of us would consider replacement with a newer MacPro tower. Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to pay for this repair much less a brand new machine.
Our G5 was a build to order, and was manufactured in June 2004. On Apple's website, my G5 computer did not fall within the expected Serial number range for the problem with the power supply (https://www.apple.com/support/powermac/powersupply/repairextension/), but after finding your website (www.xlr8yourmac.com), I decided to give Apple a call, and see if there was anything they could do.
The first technical support person informed me that the product is out of warranty, and elevated the call to a Apple Computer Product Specialist. Both of the technical support service representatives were very receptive to my inquiry, and a case number has been generated. The request for a service authorization had to be made to the Engineering department with a "medium" priority 3 business day response level. I am hopeful, and cautiously optimistic that this case will be resolved to my satisfaction.
Monday 5/11 1:30pm CDT
Just received a voicemail message from Apple regarding our G5. Apple will indeed "take care of the cost to repair the unit." All I have to do is give my case number to our Authorized Apple repair shop, and the repair shop will get paid directly by Apple. I was always a loyal Mac user, but this gives me even one more reason to support this company!
Thanks to your website for pointing out the problem, and about other people's success stories with having Apple repair the problem. It is such a relief to have this problem quickly on it's way to resolution. Thanks again!
(added June 2, 2009 from April 30th mail)
"Powermac Dual 2.5GHz G5. Like Geoff and others, about a day before the actual occurrence the fans started to increase in speed. That night's use resulted in 5 shutdowns, like going into sleep mode, while typing, but subsequent restarts, by hitting the spacebar. The last one however, resulted in it not starting up. So I made an appointment with Apple genius bar using my G4 laptop.
On pulling out the computer and tilting forward to get at cables, I removed all cables and when I set computer back down level, out of the front of the case and on the floor was a clear puddle of liquid...
Genius dude confirmed for me that it was a coolant leak and processor was shot and would cost $1250 to replace, and he didn't sound sure if the logic board wasn't damaged too. So, I wound up calling 1800-my apple on a recommendation from the genius dude, since I mentioned apple had been repairing these for free, for people out of warranty.
The call was relatively painless, initial tech did not have authority to make a repair exemption, so he passed it on to level 2 dude and we talked for a few minutes and he gathered all research about coolant leaks and talked to customer relations. I waited on hold for less than 30 seconds when he came back on to tell me they were just going to replace the computer. Since it was a custom build, I was going to have to retrieve it from Apple store and ship it in. As soon as they see it is being shipped back and my replacement unit is configured, it will be on the way. :D
I love Apple. This was the right thing to do (repair or replace). My guess, they don't have repair parts anymore.
Mine was purchased in June originally and was one of the delayed shipping units, so I didn't get it till Sept of '04. Shutdown occurred on thursday April 23rd. Call to Apple made on Wednesday the 29th.
(added June 2, 2009 from April 29th - May 18th mails)
"I have a dual processor 2.5 GHZ G5 that died yesterday morning. I woke it from sleeping mode, and shortly soon after, I could smell a burning odor and the computer shut itself down. I suspected it was a failed power supply, and pulled the cord. On closer examination, I noticed a small about of liquid on the bottom or the rear leg of the machine.
I called my local Mac repair shop and they said it wasn't worth fixing. I didn't bother calling Apple because of the machine's age. After reading your blog I have hope that Apple will cover the cost of repair....
(another reply from April 30th)
Last night I called Apple and asked to talk with someone in the Customer Relations department. I explained the problem and told them about your blog. The representative was very nice and told me to make an appointment at the Apple store so they can survey the damage. She went on to say that they will try to work with me on this so I am hopeful. I'm dropping it off tomorrow night with my fingers crossed and a print of the readers posts in hand.
Thanks again for posting. Like another reader mentioned, I probably wouldn't have bothered calling them because of the machine's age until I came across your blog.
(and a final mail from May 18th)
I had called Apple Customer Relations after I read your blog, then took it to an Apple store so they could asses the damage. Two weeks later they called me to tell me it was all set to pick up. Apple covered the entire cost of the repair. The itemized invoice totaled up to $2,800.00.
Thanks again for posting your blog. If I hadn't seen it, I probably would have scrapped the machine.
Best regards, Brian S."
(added April 24, 2009)
"I just saw Geoff's 4/21/09 report (below) of a coolant leak with his Dual 2.5GHz G5.
His problem is exactly what I experienced with a Dual 2.5GHz G5 purchased 8/24/04 which has the Delphi cooling system. My fans were running high and at times the computer would not restart until it had cooled off. I have always been wary of leaks and checked for them often but never found any signs of leaking. Thinking that perhaps a sensor was out of whack I took the computer to my local genius.
Once I brought it into the store and stood if up for the genius a few drops of coolant that must have seeped out of the case when it was on its side became apparent. Without doing anything the genius said it was definitely a leak and the processor, logic board and power supply would require replacing and that at about $1800 it wouldn't be worth it. He offered no other help or alternative course of action.
I was aware of this problem and learned from your site that many powermac g5s were being repaired or replaced out of warranty so I called Apple customer service who were very sympathetic and transferred me to a specialist who was aware of the problem and did say they were fixing some "out of warranty" g5s as exceptions. He said he had to take it higher and would call me back in a couple of days.
Since my I have the same computer manufactured about the same time as Geoff's and experienced the same problems I expect to hear good news in a few days.
I'll let you know what happens.
(less than an hour later he wrote)
While they told me it would be a few days before receiving an answer I got a call back within an hour form the level 2 support rep and he told me that they would be repairing my computer at no cost to me. All I have to do is bring it into my local Apple store which is only a mile away.
In the meantime I bought a new MacPro 2009 Nehalem Quad which I love. I guess I'll sell the Powermac. Gotta give Apple props for doing the right thing. (they have for a lot of readers here - see reports below from the last year and a half-Mike)
Thought that I should mention that when on the phone with Apple re my leaking PM I was very nice and reasonable.
When the first level support said she didn't know if I would be covered I very nicely mentioned that I just read about someone with the same computer, produced the same time, with the same problem who was getting his repaired for free.
I did refer to xlr8yourmac.com. Thank you for keeping track of leaking PMs. I probably would not have bothered calling Apple if I hadn't been aware of what was happening with the issue.
Thanks, Chuck L."
(Added April 21, 2009)
"Dual 2.5GHz machine, Manufactured 2004, Week 34 (August). Bought in late 2004 or early 2005 (I don't remember), and used daily, more or less, since then.
Fans started running louder than normal for few weeks, then REALLY loud one day. That day, it began crashing regularly (seemed to sleep but wouldn't wake). I could force shut down and restart that day, but by the next day it crashed and wouldn't restart.
I brought in for repair to an authorized third party repair shop. They called me today to say that, although they saw no sign of a leak at first, when they tilted the machine then the coolant leaked out. (Tilt check (system off/AC power disconnected) is mentioned above, as many don't notice leaks until it's done major damage.-Mike) They said parts that need replacement are Power Supply, Main Logic Board, Processor Module. Once they open it up, they might find other corrosion/damage. They suggested I call Apple about getting repair covered.
I called Apple (April 13, 2009), talked to Customer rep who put my on hold for about 10 minutes. She then put me on the line with a Product Specialist. He said it is a "known issue" and he had dealt with one before. He thought he remembered reading what to do, but couldn't find it now. He said he'll send an RTA (Request for Technical Assistance) to Engineering. He said to expect them to take 3-5 business days to get back to him, and he'll then contact me by phone or email to tell me what they say about what steps to follow. I will email you again when there's any progress.
(he later wrote)
Follow up on my earlier email:
After my phone call with Apple on Monday, April 13, I called the Product Specialist back on Friday, April 17. He said he had just received a CS code earlier that day so that Apple will cover the full costs of replacement parts and repairs needed because of the coolant leak. I contacted the third-party authorized repair shop who has my computer, and gave them the code. They have ordered replacement parts so that they can do the repair (hopefully with 2-3 days), at no cost to me.
(Added April 9, 2009 from April 6th email)
"I have a dual-2.5GHz late 2004 G5 (Delphi LCS) purchased when the machine first became available in June and received in September 2004 (ordered the Nvidia 6800 Ultra). I began hearing clicking noises that sounded very much like the beginnings of a hard drive failure, but after checking the SMART status on all of my drives, and removing them one-by-one (SwiftData200) and not having found the source of intermittent clicking I decided (based on reading the reports on your most excellent website - seriously, you guys have come to my rescue so many times!) to check for leaks. I unplugged the machine, popped the CPU cover off and poked around a bit in the radiator (felt the absorbent pad for moisture, looked around for leaks or corrosion) but found nothing, so I closed it back up and continued using it.
Fast forward 3 weeks later, the power goes out (normally a 24/7 machine, but the outage outlasted my UPS), and I turn it off. 5 hours later when the power finally comes back up, I go to turn on the machine, the front LED powers on, the fans spin up, but nothing more happens. Let it sit for a couple minutes, but it turned into a jet plane. The fans had been running a bit higher than usual, and the CPU temp had been idling close to 85°C (normally around 75°C), so now I'm sure. I unplug it again, pop off the CPU cover and, sure enough, there's water pooled on one of the support beams (leaking from the hose leading into the uppermost CPU's cooling plate - I guess the hose clamp failed) and the absorbent pad is wet. (I'd be surprised if a clamp failed unless it split the tubing? Often leaks are from the pump/o-ring seal but can flow along tubing or other parts.)
At that point I drop everything and phone up Apple Care, give the L1 guy my serial numbers, he starts in on the "Your machine is 1057 days out of telephone support . . ." bit, I tell him it's a leaking G5 and he tells me to take it to a service center. I scheduled an appointment in the morning with the Genius Bar at the Apple Store in Tampa, FL for that Thursday. Thursday I pulled all of the drives from the machine, drove out to the Apple Store and hauled the G5 up to the Genius Bar (toting a 60lbs G5 through Neiman Marcus is quite an experience). Had to wait about a half hour to see a Genius, guy starts to hook it up, I tell him it's leaking and he promptly stops. I described the situation to him, he opens the side of the machine, wipes off some dust from the PCI divider, "confirms" that the machine is leaking (a very thorough inspection - there was no visual evidence of a leak outside of the
radiator assembly), looks up some part costs, gives me a quote and says there's nothing else he can do.
I ask to speak to a manager (end up with an AM1, which I didn't realize when I was talking to her), she tells me that there's nothing they can do for me (I was sure to mention the safety issue and that it's really a manufacturing defect) (although over time any pump, o-ring seal etc can fail.-Mike), and refers me to some local service providers so I can shop around. I asked if I could call Apple Care and see what they would say, then had to talk them into giving me a case number (so Apple Care didn't just send me right back to a service center).
Today I finally got some time to call Apple Care. Called, gave an L1 my case number, he put me on hold for about 10 minutes and came back with a Customer Relations representative. I told the representative my story, he asked me what I wanted Apple to do and I told him I wanted either a repair or replacement, he put me on hold for about another 10 minutes, came back, gave a short speech about how far out of warranty (didn't buy the Apple Care at the time, the last one I tried to buy for my Quicksilver G4 in 2001 had to be refunded thanks to some Florida state law involving online extended warranties or somesuch) the machine was and then offered me a warranty exception. I stated my reservations about the replacement parts failing and the safety implications of that, but he kinda side-stepped it and gave me his information instead. Going to see if I can't get it into the Apple Store this week (out of
town at the moment, though), and I'll let you know how it all works out. Thanks for the awesome site!
(Added April 9, 2009 from April 4th email)
"I've had a liquid-cooled G5 since they first came out - I ordered mine immediately. Ran great for all these years! I often looked for leaks but never discovered any. (see note above about removing side cover and setting system on the open cover side down for several hours (or overnight) to check for leaks if none are easily visible-Mike) There may have been some "breathing" symptoms, but I can't be sure. I came home a couple weeks ago to find it dead. Took it in to the Geniuses, they looked for leaks and declared that there were none, it was simply a dead power supply. I agreed to pay for repairs. When they took it apart, they discovered that it had, in fact, leaked all over, and it needed a new logic board, processors, and power supply as well as the cooler. At first, they were recommending that I just scrap it. I talked to the Apple Customer Relations folks at the AppleCare number, and it took but a few minutes for those folks to agree to cover the repairs. Joy!
But, the folks at the Apple Store felt that the liquid was too hazardous for them to be dealing with, (FYI - I guess they're overly paranoid but good for you. Here's the previously posted link to MSDS [Material Safety Data Sheet] (original was at images.apple.com/environment/resources/pdf/powermacg5_msds-082004.pdf, but no longer online) on the OEM Delphi 151 Coolant fluid. I've got far more hazardous materials under my sink and in my garage.-Mike) and they convinced the Customer Relations folks that it was not repairable. Long story short - I have a brand new Mac Pro Quad (single 2.66GHz base system) waiting for me at the store, free! What other company, in any industry, would step up like this? Apple rocks!
A few other earlier reports here (before the 2009 models were released) noted they were fortunate enough to get a new Mac Pro, sometimes (but not always) due to parts supply problems or problems after a leak repair. However I guess some centers may not want to bother with major repairs. Regardless, although some had to press for it (i.e. not give up on any initial resistance), most reports here on leaks since posting this page in Aug. 2007 have noted they at least got out-of-warranty leaks repaired (saving big repair costs - typical repair costs are more than the G5 system is currently worth) and in some cases a brand new (usually dual 2.8GHz) Mac Pro. (And some noted the replacement Mac Pro had upgrades (RAM or video card) if their G5 tower was ordered with upgrades.)
(Added April 9, 2009 from April 3rd email)
Apple Power Macintosh G5 2.5 Dual Proc (M9457LL/A), purchased in August of
2004. I just got this machine back from the service shop today. In late February the user reported that it was not booting into OS X after an attempt to change out the monitor. Would sometimes boot to the Apple loading screen but would freeze shortly afterwards, and the case fans would rev up to full speed.
I looked at it briefly and was able to get it to boot into OS X by removing all the external devices, but it would power itself down shortly after getting into the os. I figured it was over-heating, and brought it back to my workroom to look into it more. I started looking into G5 overheating and related issues, and that's when I started hearing about these coolant leaks. Once I started reading about them, I remembered noticing greenish liquid on the floor where the G5 had been sitting and realized that's what the problem was.
Our local Apple service shop had never dealt with coolant leaks before, so couldn't tell me what kind of reaction I'd get from Apple. I called Apple directly and it was actually pretty painless. (many have not gotten any resistance, although some here have noted not giving up initially paid off-Mike) I told the first tech that there was a coolant leak, and after a minute or so of being on hold, he transferred me to another tech who got my information and said he would submit the case to Apple engineers. About a week later they called back and said they were issuing an exemption and would cover all repairs caused by the coolant leak. Brought it to our local service shop, they got the necessary parts from Apple, and the machine is now up and running again. If I recall, they had to replace the logic board, the processors, the power supply, the coolant system, and I think they even gave us a new case. Possibly some other small bits as well but I forget them.
Overall, no issues. If anyone is experiencing this, just call Apple directly and tell them about it. They seem to be taking them one case at a time, and considering that our system was not as bad as others that I've read about and was also 4.5 years old, there's a good chance you'll get an exemption.
Technology Support Analyst
(Added April 2, 2009)
"I recently picked up a beautiful Powermac G5! (I just bought it. It does have the panasonic pump?!? Did they replace old (delphi) pumps with panasonic? It's a late 2004 model.)
I finally decided to retire my old Powermac G4 with the gigadesigns dual 1.8ghz CPU (good ole' air cooled). Well late last night my G5 began lift off. The turbines kicked into high =] Well video became laggy and I thought my x800 bit the dust. I replaced it with a raedon 7000 series pci card. Nope, no better. After letting it sit I noticed green liquid on the lowerhandle, and oozing out back by the powercord, also noticed it coming from the door, all over my sock =/ To make things worst I smelled burnt toast, and noticed our less than 3 month old carpet, WHITE CARPET was stained. I called apple. first guy said dont use it and said call apple store. Second guy, was amazing. We joked, said the green coolant isnt dangerous, though he doesnt reccomend drinking it, as it isnt "Koolaid"...lol. (The potential safety issue IMHO is a shock hazard - leaking fluid in a metal case w/AC input Power supply in the bottom (also metal cased) - well, you understand the potential... although to date no reports of that every happening, but I still think that's one reason why they've been covering these out of warranty.-Mike) Well I told the apple guy about how it dripped on the lower front and rear handle, and how some got on my foot, (small cubicle) That made him concerned, he gave me his number and ext. Said I'll get a call Thursday (2-3 days) on the verdict! Ill get back with ya! THANKS
(he later wrote)
Hey I got a call from Chris at Apple. Put a warranty extension on the powermac g5, for full repair!
(From Mar. 27, 2009 mail)
Add me to the list of people with an apparent coolant leak. I have a G5 2.5GHz ordered in December of 2004 and out of Apple Care warranty. Early in 2008 I had a PSU fail and paid for it myself - although it was documented by Apple. Now just a year on, I'm back in the same boat.
A few weeks ago I went down to my home office/studio and power up my machine and 'click' and nothing else. Thinking it was PSU problem again I came across your site and upon further investigation I see some dried white stuff towards the back of the machine behind the processors. I got on the phone with Apple, talked to level 1 support, then on to a Product Specialist. He's indicated he will research the issue and get back to me. I pointed out that there are a number of cases of this happening and that I want it resolved.
Part of my challenge is that I've moved for work reasons from Boston, MA to Bangalore, India and don't have the ability to waltz in to an Apple Store for a resolution. On the other hand, I live down the street from an Apple Authorized Repair Facility that seems to handle much of the in-country warranty work.
I'll keep you posted on the outcome.
(Feb. 17th, 2009)
"Hello - firstly, thanks for the website. It really helped me out! My (purchased February 2005) Dual 2.5 G5 leaked and died last weekend. Took it to the Apple store in west London on Tuesday and by Friday had a brand new Dual 2.8 Xeon (£1710 retail value) courtesy of Apple. What a fantastic company, my machine was 4 years old and way out of warrantee but they did the right thing and gave me a new machine. No argument, no haggling or bartering. This is why I will ALWAYS buy Apple!
Although some leaking G5 owners have been lucky enough to get a new Mac Pro, not all have. But many have gotten out-of-warranty repairs covered. (Sometimes a new Mac Pro was given after problems getting G5 repair parts in a timely fashion or repeated problems after repairs.)
(from Jan 28th, 2009 mail)
"I've dealt with a total of three faulty G5s in my department at a major university (we may have one more that hasn't failed yet; I'm not entirely certain, as they were purchased prior to my arrival here). One leaked coolant, shorting the motherboard and power supply and was repaired under warranty, then failed again for unknown reasons outside of warranty.
The second leaked under warranty, but replacement parts were not available in a timely manner and it was subsequently replaced with a Mac Pro at no cost.
The third (the one on my desk, of course) just leaked, though nothing has shorted to my knowledge. I may try contacting Apple regarding the two broken units we have, given the random successes reported.
I asked he report back on any resolution (if like many he gets the repairs covered, etc.)
Jan. 26th, 2009 - updated earlier report from Jan 12th w/notes he's gotten the repair done at no cost.
Jan. 13th, 2009 - updated earlier report (Jan 9th, 2009 post) with notes on finally getting repairs covered.
(added 1/12/2009 - updated 1/26/2009)
Mike, My Dual 2.5Ghz G5 died Christmas Eve with a coolant leak. It was purchased in June 2004, shortly after the 2.5Ghz model was announced, and finally delievered near the end of September. I bought Applecare, in part because I suspected possible problems with the cooling system, and it expired on September 21, 2007.
Right after the 10.5.6 upgrade, I began noticing that the fans were running more often and that playback of HDTV files recorded with EyeTV would stutter a little, but I didn't think too much about it. (As noted above in red, LCS G5 owners should check for leaks frequently (I'd do it once a week personally) - although even with my G5 air-cooled at times after OS X updates I've seen the fans run higher than normal (i.e. when not stressed) - an old tip for that is toggling Energy Saver performance options. Has helped several owners (not Leak related) in the past. Resetting the PMU (disconnect AC power cord for several minutes) is another thing to try if that doesn't help, but again coolant leaks also cause overheating (and damage).-Mike) On Christmas Eve, the G5 woke me up at about 3 a.m. with the fans blaring (which had always meant a kernal panic in the past). It was not panic'ed, but running slowly so I decided to reboot from the Leopard DVD and check the hard drive. (G5s will throttle down cpu/bus speeds regardless of ES performance option if overtemps are detected (and will shut down if a thermal overload is detected.) Often leaks are not detected until major damage is done (to logic board, Pwr supply, CPUs, etc.) - some earlier photos linked here show horrible corrosion/damage.-Mike)
The reboot hung at a gray screen I was unable to even retrieve the DVD until I started up with the option key. In fact, I was able to boot one more time, long enough to get the DVD out, before it stopped booting completely. When I put my ear near the computer, it made a gurgling sound, like you hear in the movies as the subject is dying.
My first call to Apple that morning went pretty well. I went through all the steps the representiave had me do and told him I thought the liquid cooling module had failed. After roughly 45 minutes of troubleshooting, he wanted me to take it to an Apple store an hour and 15 minutes away, but I was already leaving town and made arrangements to take it to an Apple approved company that does warranty repairs on the morning after Christmas because it was five minutes away from my mom's house.
When the repair facility took it apart, they found coolant in the bottom of the case and that the pad beneath the processors was wet. He seemed to think it had been leaking a while and that I was lucky it hadn't shorted out. He charged me $80 for the out of warranty diagnosis and gave me a quote of $1100 (plus $160 labor) to replace the processor module, which includes another liquid cooling module. He said he wouldn't be able to tell if the power supply and motherboard were damaged without replacing the processor module first and that the repair could be as high as $2300. He also said he's already repaired four of these for the local university, but that they were all still under warranty when he did the repairs.
When I got home on Monday, I called Apple again and reported the results along with my case ID. I got bumped up to a very nice gentleman who said there was nothing he could do. He also pointed out that I'd never called about this particular G5 and so up until that point from their perspective it was working fine. I mentioned that I had kernal panics all along and had forwarded them to Apple all the time. He did say he'd investigate some more and call me back, which he never did. I've spent the better part of a week reworking my Macbook Pro to be my main workstation so I haven't yet had a chance to make one more phone call and plead my case. I'm also planning a trip to the Apple Store next week and will take it with me to see if they can do something there. (I asked he report back if he had better luck.-Mike)
...Two friends have also recently had iMac G5s die unexpectedly (power supplies).
(Some iMac G5s (like some PC motherboards several years back) had the 'bad' capacitors (which swole/burst, etc.) - it's closed now (expired as of Dec. 15th, 2008) but back in fall 2006 I posted info in the news page about Apple's iMac G5 Repair Extension Program for Video and Power Issues (now expired/no longer online). Although of course as with anything, over time failures happen even to systems w/o flawed components.)
(Update: On Jan. 26th, 2009 he sent a follow-up mail)
Apple covered the out of warranty repair of my Power Mac G5 that was leaking coolant and failed to boot on Christmas Eve. It took one more phone call (a total of three) after I sent you the previous e-mail and they were extremely nice about it.
Previously, I had taken it to an Apple Authorized repair service to have the problem diagnosed, but this time I chose to take it to an Apple retail store 30 minutes closer to my house to have it repaired. I took it in on January 16th and it was ready to be picked up on January 23rd. It boots and seems to be running well. At first I was concerned about the fans running, but it was just Spotlight reindexing the drives since I had pulled the original drive with all my data on it and cloned it using Superduper. My out of pocket costs were $80 to have the problem diagnosed at the authorized repair facility plus about $40 in gas for the two trips to the Apple Store.
Because I moved all my work to my Macbook Pro, I'm probably going to turn the G5 into a personal test server and media recording/playback/storage device by adding a couple of really big hard drives and perhaps another 4GB of memory. My sense if that if it leaked once, it'll probably leak again so I don't want to get too attached to it, but it also probably doesn't have much resale value. At least this extends by some small period of time my next desktop purchase.
FastPipe Media, Inc."
(added 1/9/2009, last updated Jan 15th)
"Please add my tower to the list of the (un)lucky. A Dual 2.5GHz G5, bought in mid-2004 - AppleCare expired about a year and a half ago. No history of repairs until the machine failed to start up just before Christmas (great timing). I took it into my local Apple repair place. Their initial diagnosis was a probably Power Supply failure (with slight coolant leakage apparent on the pad), but replacing the PSU didn't help. Upon further review, they observed more coolant leakage than they had seen previously. They recommended that I call Apple for a warranty exception, which I did.
The first call did not go especially well. After some haggling over whether I needed to pay for the call(!), the level 1 agent consulted with a Product Specialist, who denied my request. She then patronizingly explained that my computer is like a "senior citizen" and I should bite the bullet and buy a new Mac Pro. How's that for chutzpah? (To be honest, I suspect any other computer mfr (Dell, HP, etc.) would deny covering repairs out of warranty, regardless of cause.) Before ending the call (I had to leave), I did obtain a case number.
After reading this site last night, I felt confident that I could make a good case. I called Apple first thing in the morning, and asked for a Product Specialist. "Mr. Denial" was mildly sympathetic but would not budge an inch when it came to Apple's responsibility or a warranty exception. After 20 minutes, he transferred me to Customer Relations. After being on hold for 20 more minutes, the CR agent came on, and offered to see whether they could do anything for me. After putting me on hold for another 15 minutes, I was transferred to a more senior person (at this point I lost track of job titles). He listened as I briefly stated my case again, and politely told me that he needs to consult with Engineering to see whether there's anything they can do. He gave me his direct phone and said he would be contacting me within a few days. We shall see. The entire call took over an hour. I'll update this when I hear back from Apple.
(On Jan 9th I asked if he had heard back from Apple yet.-Mike)
Yes, I heard from Apple late yesterday. They now want to speak directly with my Service Provider (they also lost my serial number), presumably to find out more about how much damage there is, and the extent to which the leakage is to blame. I could have given them the contact info four days ago had they asked for it (maybe I should have thought of that, but after going through the Apple customer service telephone gauntlet for an hour, one's mental facilities tend to become depleted).
Then, after speaking with my Provider, they will (again?) consult with an engineer. Judging by their intent to continue and 'deepen' the investigation, Apple must still be considering taking responsibility for this. Meanwhile I've been without my computer for nearly two weeks. PS - I neglected to thank you for putting this page together. It really helped me craft my strategy and argument for dealing with Apple. The stories are pretty amazing, as is Apple's wild inconsistency -- from no help at all to a brand new Mac Pro -- in how it handles complaints.
Update (Jan 13th, 2009))
Mike, Here's an update on my situation. After speaking with my service provider, Apple has agreed to cover the entire cost of all of the repairs caused by the coolant leak. Apparently all of the parts (power supply, CPU, logic board if needed) are in stock, and the ETA for the entire job is 3-4 days. Needless to say I am very pleased; this has restored (at least some of) my confidence in Apple -- keep in mind that this is a four and a half year-old machine.
Looking back, though, I'm puzzled as to Apple did not set up a program a couple of years ago whereby G5 owners could, say, bring their machines in for a free inspection and possible parts replacement -- before the major and more expensive damage was done. Surely that would have been less costly in the long run? (I hate to keep harping on it but as noted in red above (for about a year now here) - if you have an LCS G5 tower I'd check frequently (at least once a week IMHO) for leaks. Now that they all have a few years of age leak reports (and often damage due to not being detected early) are more common-Mike)
I also think that forcing loyal customers to scratch and claw for a warranty extension in these cases is ridiculous. Apple should take a consistent approach and ask to speak with the service provider to decide whether the coolant leak is the culprit. Arguing with customers for an hour isn't a productive use of time for anyone, especially if they're going to end up covering the repairs anyway.
For those who have the misfortune of experiencing this problem, be persistent and don't give up. The first couple of people you speak with at Apple are likely to say "no" no matter what you say. I, too, heard the argument that no previous problems with the computer absolved Apple of any responsibility. That's baloney -- the leak could have been going on for months before the computer died. (Typically that is the case - an oring (typically) leak usually takes some time to lose enough coolant to cause overheating and damage (from contact with other components) - from some earlier photos (extreme corrosion, etc.) clearly the leak was present for months IMHO.-Mike) I also think that mentioning a) mentioning the safety issue and b) emphasizing that it was a design flaw that caused the major components to fail both strengthened my case.
(on Jan 15th, 2009 he wrote)
I'm writing this email on my newly-repaired -- and revived -- G5. I just got it back today. They replaced the the CPU (which includes the Delphi coolant assembly) and the PSU. The service guy said that closer inspection of the bad CPU showed dried coolant that had leaked out. Normally, the repair would have cost more than $1000 including parts and labor.
I'll be curious to see not only whether it keeps running, but also whether it runs better or differently. Will the fans rev up as much as they used to? Will it be quieter? Hopefully it will last until the next round of Mac Pros ships. Thanks again for posting this page; it saved my hide, for sure.
I keep hoping Apple will post some official policy on leaks. Clearly as these systems have gotten some age on them, o-ring seal leaks have been more and more common. (Unfortunately rarely checked/spotted until major damage/problems resulted.)
Everything fails sooner or later (even faucet o-rings leak over time) but with the locations of the LCS relative to other components in the case - leaks not only result in overheating but major hardware damage (short circuits, corrosion, etc.)
"On 1-4-09, my G5, 2.5GHz PowerMac died (No start up). I took it into the Apple Store Genius Bar. He found a lot liquid coolant dripping inside the case (I watched at the desk). They gave me a brand new 2.8 GHz Quad-Core MAC PRO for FREE, saying they did not want me to go home with a leaking computer.
They took out my G5 Hard drive and installed it into my new Mac Pro. They kept the Mac Pro box to ship back the G5, but if I had brought my G5 box with me, then I could have kept the Mac Pro box.
(I asked what area he was from/where he had gotten the system swapped)
Seattle, WA University Store. It may make a difference to hand carry it into a store if there is one near by. I made an online appointment for the Genius Bar for the afternoon after the G5 death. It had sped up like a jet taking off. I shut it down. Then it would not start at all and showed two red LED lights through the grille.
"Around a month ago my late 2004 dual PowerMac G5 2.5Ghz was starting to make some weird noises. At first I was under the impression that the internal hard drive was going south but after closer inspection I discovered the noise was coming from around the logic board area. After restarting a few times it just died and there was no way to get the system up. I knew about the G5 coolant problems, so I decided to open the CPU cover and yes, my Mac was experiencing coolant leak around the CPU area. (AppleCare had expired already).
I decided to call Apple, after spending some time with Apple representative and explaining about the leak they asked me about the model number and serial. After a few minutes on hold I was told that the computer will be repaired free of charge. I was given appointment to the local Apple store in Palisades NY; machine was promised to be fixed in one week. Around day six a representative from the local Apple store called me with news they are unable to repair the machine and instead they will give me a new Mac Pro free of charge. It's a dual quad Xeon 2.8Ghz. I have to say I'm very happy with Apple's response and the way this case was resolved.
(Dec. 29th, 2008) I've updated an earlier report from Sept. 2008 with notes he's finally gotten his repaired G5 tower back.
(added 12/9/2008 - Updated comments on 12/26/2008)
"I came across your page regarding G5 Coolant Leaks/Repairs and I currently have my dual 2.5GHz G5 tower in for repair for that very problem.
Not knowing the history of this issue, when my G5 died and I tried in vain to determine the problem, I gave up and brought in into the local Apple Genius Bar. When I plopped it on the table I only then noticed the green liquid oozing all over the lower handles. (see notes above (in red) about checking for leaks frequently (disconnect AC power first), including tilting the case towards you to check for fluid if there's no evidence of a leak from an initial visual check. If there's any evidence of a leak *stop using it*.-Mike) The tech looked at it, opened the case, then brought into the back for further investigation. When he came out, he said they will replace the MotherBoard, Pwr Supply, CPUs and a few other things. Parts costs totaling $2,000, but they told me they will replace all of it at no charge.
I was blinking my wide eyes in disbelief that Apple is giving me essentially the guts of a new G5 after 4 years of faithful service, but knowing a good thing when I heard it, uttered not a single complaint and signed the repair order. (No, I wasn't asked to sign a NDA nor were there any other discussions or comments regarding this issue.)
All I can say that Apple definitely but pleasantly surprised the heck out of me! I'm just waiting for the call to pick up my "new" computer! :)
(He later sent an update)
UPDATE December 12th:
The Apple Store contacted me Wednesday to notify me that all the parts finally came in but discovered that the new CPUs were defective, so instead of trying to acquire another pair of G5 CPUs that are NOT faulty, thereby delaying yet again the repair and leaving me without a computer for an indeterminate amount of time, they've gone ahead and authorized a brand new, current model Mac Pro dual 2.8 GHz (8-Core) and will configure it similar to the specifications of my deceased G5, to include upgrades of 4 GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 8800 GT video card and Airport card.
I am SO IMPRESSED with Apple's service and commitment on this issue that it has definitely paid me dividends for being a loyal Apple user since the original Apple II+ then Mac II! And I originally came in expecting the worse-case news that my G5 was dead and preparing myself to buy a new Mac on my own.
(On Dec. 26th I asked if the Mac Pro had arrived)
Yes, the Mac Pro arrived at the Apple Store a couple days ago, configured to closely match my BTO G5. This means it had the RAM bumped to 4 GB, an upgrade to the nVidia GeForce 8800 GT and Airport Extreme card. Total retail price is $3,500 for all the upgrades.
I am MORE than satisfied with how Apple handled my failed 4 year old G5! No other computer manufacturer would have done what Apple did for me.
(added 12/5/2008 from Dec 4th mail)
"First of all, thanks for your great site. I have successfully used information found there many times... including the detailed info on G5 coolant leaks. About 2 weeks ago my G5 started having freezes and growing problems rebooting from not only the hard drive but also from the install CD. I did all the usual stuff with no luck. I then stated looking for coolant leaks. I found nothing obvious and hadn't heard any crackling or popping.
With a flashlight I finally found what looked like yellow-green dried residue on the top of the rear foot of the PowerMac case. It was three or four maybe 1/8" in diameter dried little rings. Hard to see. Nothing showed up on the bottom of the rear grill. Even with closer inspection inside I still found no sign of a leak. Only after shining a pinpoint light into the gap between the side cover and back of the processor/cooling system unit could I see dried liquid, some white tiny crystals or powder and corrosion.
I called Apple and they helped me right away. It took perhaps 20 minutes on hold after giving the first customer service rep all the info before I got bumped up a level. That person asked me to immediately unplug the G5. He also asked how much the unit was leaking. He then asked me to take it to an Apple store or certified repair facility. I'm in a rather rural area and just happy to have the repair place.
I took it in and the repair guy found all the info on my case in the Apple database. He said Apple will pay for everything. After pulling off the CPU/coolant unit cover he found the damage severe. A few days of receiving multiple DOA parts from Apple passed. I gave another call to customer support and asked if I could just get a replacement MacPro. That was a no-go supposedly because my PowerMac was now 4 years old.
I got the G5 back today and it is working fine. Nice and clean inside too.
Here's what they replaced:
- Power Supply
- Logic Board
- Both processors and cooling units
- Power supply pad
My G5 is a Dual 2.5GHZ PowerMac, Purchased November, 2004 with GeForce 6800GT and 4GB RAM.
I did have Apple's extended warranty but that expired a year ago.
(added 12/1/2008 (from 11/27 mail) - updated at 3:40PM)
"I own a Powermac G5 with dual 2.7 ghz processors. It was purchased in the summer of 2005. For over a year now, periodically, the cooling fans would fire up and just not stop. The computer might freeze, or just cease to show me an active usable screen. Recently, I discovered corrosion on the base of the interior of my cabinet near the cooling fins where my processors are housed. I will be contacting Apple tomorrow.
(he later wrote)
After speaking with Level 2 customer support, and after they ran my situation up the chain of command, they agreed to do the right thing and stand behind their product. I was instructed to take my Mac to the Genius Bar at the local Apple Store, an appointment was made for me by tech support, and I dropped off my machine. They agreed to perform all repairs necessary to get my Mac up and running. Expected time for repair 7-10 days.
Sincerely, Keith R."
(added 12/1/2008 from 11/24 and 11/27 emails)
Dual 2.5 GB G5 PPC, March '05. Freezing, then fans blowing hard. Manual restart.
I rang Apple (Australia) and spoke to Level 1 who spoke to tech and then I got put onto Customer Care Guy who was well-trained. Took the G5 to the local tech. Apple has now agreed to replace the processor blocks with a 3 month warranty. I'm a bit concerned about having a liquid cooled system still. Does anyone know the health risks associated with it? Certainly looks like a design fault that Apple are dealing with (hushing up) case by case.
(Did they mention any coolant leaks (or LCS repairs)? Way down the page here in an older post is a link to the MSDS (material safety data sheet) on the Delphi coolant fluid, but IMHO the main safety concern is a -potential- for leaking fluid to create a short ckt at the power supply's AC power input (which with a metal case could lead to bad things... granted that's never happened that I know of but leaking fluid with a metal case/metal PS case system that has AC power input has that potential.) One reader also had a pump burn up (w/smoke) but thankfully not cause a fire.-Mike)
(later mail from Nov. 27th)
When I rang Applecare I could tell they were taking it fairly seriously because the first guy went off to talk with a technical person and then put me on to a Customer Relations guy who asked me what I wanted from Apple. I asked for a new Mac several times and argued on several points, but the fact that I bought the beast 3 years and 8 months ago didn't help me much. I was pretty angry and talked about feeling betrayed by Apple after faithfully buying and recommending Apple products for years. I also said that I expected a lot more from a high end product. He ended up saying I would need to take it to an Apple Tech to confirm my story.
I'm pretty far from any major centres, but it turns out the closest town (Bega, AU - pop: 20 000) has a pretty good Mac Technician who I had already met through other circumstances. He found the leakage as well as some faulty RAM that the Apple Hardware Test didn't pick up. In the end Apple shipped new processors and power supply overnight and I didn't pay a cent. I was impressed, especially considering how far out of warranty I am.
The technician loaded it in and continued to test. He found that my fans were still pushing hard, but when he started up from an external hard drive they ran as normal. (Note: when running the apple hardware test, the G5 fans will spin up to high speed (failsafe mode) IMHO as I don't think any fan control software is running when booted into AHT. My air-cooled 2003 G5's fans run full blast during AHT.-Mike) He suggested I remove as much 3rd party software as possible. He also said Adobe CS3 apps can be problematic. (Great! I work as a web, video, graphic designer so I run a few applications - often at the same time.) I've now zeroed the hard drive and reinstalled OS 10.4 and so far the fans are running much, much more quietly.
I also think that Apple are dealing with it (coolant leaks) on a case by case basis with the standard line that it's a very uncommon complaint, but still giving substantial assistance to people who do complain to keep it quiet.
I still rang them back and tried the Health and Safety line (I've got two small kids, work from home, etc) "can I get an air-cooled machine", but didn't get anywhere. Still, I've got a pretty good outcome, and if it dies again in 3 years and 8 months time I'll feel I've done pretty well.
Good luck to all others. From my experience and what I've read of others, there's a good chance of getting assistance from Apple, with or without warranty, so credit to them.
(added 11/26/2008 from 11/21 email)
Finding this page of info helps a lot to realize that this is a widespread problem.
I just had a G5 dual 2.5 GHz system stop booting (Machine ID 7,3), the machines were about 4 years old. Upon opening the case there was a small amount of liquid below and behind the CPU stack. Campus repair (Authorized Service Provider) informed me that the CPU stack and the power supply were bad. Since liquid had sprayed over the logic board that was probably bad as well. Repair would be:
- Multiprocessor Stack $1047
- Power Supply $136
- Logic Board $733
- + Labor?
For a total of more than $1916 on a machine that cost $3000 for the whole shebang! I did not wish a new system since I did not want to replace various PCI cards with PCIe cards either.
I called Apple education support and everyone denied that they had personally ever handled a coolant leak and that this system was not under the power supply problem warranty. There was much surprise that such a thing could happen but not much that they could do. I expressed dissatisfaction with this as a known problem and I was not happy having been purchasing Macs for a long time. I referred them to these pages and any simple search engine phrase but they were unimpressed as if they already knew the problem.
After being elevated through 2 levels who finally consulted with a 3rd level, about 45 minutes to an hour of phone time. They agreed that Apple would provide parts if I paid for the labor for repair. That was perfectly acceptable to me and makes me a much happier customer. Now I am just worried about my other 4 liquid cooled systems! (as mentioned in red above -I'd check the others frequently (at least weekly) - disconnecting AC power first and even tilting the case to see if any fluid is present. Often nobody notices until major damage happens (some of the corrosion photos are unbelievable - the leak must have been present for many months...) And monitoring temperatures with utils like temperature monitor or iStat pro to keep an eye out for abnormal temps/loss of cooling.-Mike)
Case #111169980 in case there is a question. No NDA required, they just told me to have the authorized repair facility to check the serial number and it would show up as parts provided by Apple. This is more than satisfactory, but it is odd that Apple does not send out a message to get these in for a cooling system check. If it had been another 3 years or so, I would just chalk it up to old hardware. But the advantage of Apple products is that they will be useful systems for 6 to 8 years.
I wish apple would post (or at least inform all support staff) of some universal policy on these repairs. And they are a potential safety hazard (although a longshot, should leaking coolant flow over the AC input connections in the PS with a metal case system there's a shock hazard.) Only one report so far of a pump burn up (w/smoke) that thankfully didn't start a fire)
(added 11/26/2008 from 11/19 email)
I recently went through this process with a Dual 2.7. I brought it into a service shop "not an Apple store" and they told me it'd cost $1000 to repair. After putting it on ebay and getting a note from a "guardian angel", I pulled out the processor and checked behind it. Sure enough there had been a leak. It was dried by now. Then, I called Apple directly. The machine was out of warrantee by about 5 months (I had applecare). Upon calling first they threatened to charge me with a phone support charge because it was out of warrantee. After reading up on this web page I simply never backed down. I told the first person that I thought this was a "safety issue" or a "manufacture defect". This got me through to the support tech. I explained the situation and they confirmed it was not under warrantee and there was nothing I could do. I did not mention hearing stories of "other people" with the same delemma because I didn't want to appear to take advantage of the situation. I continued that I "smelled an ozone smell one day when turning it on" and that I strongly felt it was a safety issue. Finally I got transferred to a manager and pitched my case again. Reading up on this webpage while on hold got me to another point. "I should not be responsible for damages to the other components of my computer because the processor leaked...I'll pay for the 5-cent O-ring but damage to other components is not my responsibility" Again I lamented on the safety concern. I think she was ready for me because then she said "I'll just need to run down a few questions...." At this point I KNEW I WAS IN. Here are the exact questions she asked me in order (I wrote them down so I could post this later)
1) How long after purchase did the problem happen?
2) How long until I brought the machine in? (for me it was 5 months so there's hope for all of us!!!)
3) Was there burning near the space?
4) Was there damage around the product?
5) Were there fumes?
6) Were there sparks?
7) Was there discomfort or injury?
8) Was there smoke?
9) Were there flames?
I answered no to all because I just wanted my case #. She gave me one. I did ask about a machine replacement vs a repair and she said it would be determined by the store manager.
So I brought my machine into the apple store along with the material data sheets on apple website for the coolant. I explained to the genius that I was concerend about the safety of the thing and that there could be chemicals spewed throughout my case. (not to mention potential for elec. shock/short ckt) He seemed sympathetic and I talked with him for quite a while. After that I just got informed my machine was repaired free of charge and I could pick it up...
So long story short, I really tried all I could to get a new machine. I think if this was the 3rd time I brought the machine in for service they would have. (after 3 repairs to his iBook, a friend got a new Macbook. Maybe something related to lemon laws)
Cheers, Scott M."
(added 11/19/2008 from 11/14 email - updated Dec 1)
I have a G5 dual 2.5 GHZ PowerMac 7,3, built in June 2004 and purchased in November 2004.
I don't know which LCS it has because it is still in the repair shop and I never checked.
Problem: I had very similar symptoms to those described in this thread: could sometimes get it to run, but never reboot. I would hear the chime and generally it would go to a black screen and after a while the processor would begin racing faster and faster. I could not boot from the OS disk and I could not get it to open in console. I had it freeze numerous times when I did get it to start.
I opened the machine, but did not see any clear evidence of damage (not that I was looking for it). This is an important point. You may have the problem with no visible external sign of damage. (yes, clearly from some owners's pix of heavily corroded parts inside it must have leaked for months before finally having a major failure. However monitoring temperatures (freeware Temperature Monitor, iStat Pro, etc.), checking frequently for leaks (including tilting the case - after disconnecting AC power first) may help spot a leak early. Most however don't know there was a leak until major damage had occurred.-Mike)
It was only in retrospect, after reading your page that I remembered seeing a small pool of liquid near the machine some weeks ago, but I had forgotten that it was liquid cooled and did not make the connection.
Service attempts: I took it to our local Apple store and the "genius" told me that it was probably the logic board, but (to his credit), he did recommend that I get a second opinion. I then took it to an authorized service center which identified the problem as the processor. The service guy even told me about working on similar machine with a bad leak problem, but didn't think to look more closely at the processor. It was only after my discovery of this page that I went back to them and insisted that they remove the processor cover, and sure enough they found signs of a leak and concluded that both the CPU and the power supply had been damaged.
Apple cares (a little): Over the phone, I was referred eventually to a "Product Specialist' who looked the matter up and noted that Apple had yet to issue an REP (Repair Extension Program) on the matter, but based on the facts of the case he was willing to issue an exception so that the machine would be repaired. He had no authority to go beyond that. I was then referred to a Customer Satisfaction Rep. I pointed out to her that my understanding was that the actual cost of parts and labor to repair the 4 year old G5 might exceed the cost of a replacement. I was also concerned with how much time the repair was going to take and the fact that they would then leave me with a repaired machine with another potential leakage problem and only a 90 day warranty.
We need to provide case numbers. The Customer Rep. steadfastly denied that they could provide an replacement in such a case. I noted that I had seen a number of cases on the web where people had been provided with replacement machines. She denied this and challenged me to provide her with the case numbers of such instances. This is where I need your help and that of others who have responded to this thread. Would those who were offered replacement machines be willing to provide me with their case numbers? (Most didn't get a replacement system although some said they did. Initially I suspected this was due to lack of available repair parts (or total cost to apple (parts + labor) for cases where there was major damage (CPUs, motherboard, Pwr Supply, even case corrosion). Sometimes a reminder to the support person on this being a potential safety issue was an aid in getting a repair after initially being turned down. I wish apple would post an official statement/policy on Leaks - but as it is, unfortunately there's no guarantee you will get the same service that others have. If you're lucky enough to even get repairs covered, that may be all they will do in most cases now. (And maybe they've ordered more spare parts after the number of systems with leaks/damage has increased. (As o-rings, pumps, etc. have aged and failed.) I've had the leak check/warning in red above for about a year now, but of course many are not aware of the potential problem or this page.-Mike)
I have been provided with a CS# to take to the service provider, but I am going to insist that we check for other possible damage, get a full estimate of the total cost involved, and then take the matter of a replacement up again with Customer Relations.
Thanks to all for posting your experiences. I was about to simply write the machine off and get a new one.
(He later wrote)
You can post a happy ending to my story.
After calling back, I was connected to a more reasonable CR rep. We discussed the minimum cost for replacement of the processor and the power supply - 1600 - and the fact that only then would we discover if there was further damage. I offered to meet Apple partway on a replacement. After a couple of days, I got a call back offering a new 8-core replacement with a partial payment from me. I felt that this was a good solution all around. In my discussions with this rep and in followup communications with Apple, I have stressed that there should be some kind of an alert system whereby the serial # for a liquid cooled machine should trigger an investigation for a possible leak.
Yes, you are correct re: the nondisclosure requirement...
Lesson: It pays to be persistent. Be willing to negotiate. Good luck to all others who face this problem.
Unfortunately as I mentioned above, one of the reader mails I recd earlier this month (Nov. 2008) mentioned a non-disclosure requirement after a repair (he did not even want his real first name posted) - so I suspect people are not going to be willing to give out their case numbers (if they bother to write at all if this NDA is now the norm on any repairs.) And some may not even remember the case number.
(FYI - I've also updated some reports from earlier this month (below) with comments from their later mails.)
(added 11/12/2008 - Updated 11/19/2008)
We have a power mac with signs of a coolant leak. It started with fans running loud constantly. We had the mac tech where we bought it run a diagnostic, and he said we needed a new processor. We pulled it apart ourselves and found some problems. (Make sure to disconnect AC power cord - as leaks could find their way into the Pwr Supply and short AC input to the metal case.) A basic drawing (dual-pump model) of the problem is enclosed. (temperatures shown are degrees C.)
My tech is on the phone with Apple Support now. I'll let you know the results...
(On Nov. 19th she sent an update)
Mike, thanx for your advice.
Apple tech on the phone called back and said that Apple would fix any damage caused by coolant leak and sent us to a nearby repair center.
We picked up the mac today (they had it for 6 days total) and they replaced the whole cooling system with something new (it looks different). They also replaced the logic board and processor and put in a new power supply.
(he later wrote)
No mention of non-disclosure. Machine is very quiet, and running great.
Last Friday I noticed my 2.5GHz G5's fans revving up when I wasn't even in the room. Curious, I started using it, and found the fans revving pretty much any time the processor was asked to do a little work - no matter how minor. Decided a restart might be in order, so I started the process and left the room for a few minutes. I came back to find a black screen and the fans screaming. Not good. Shut down using the power button and restarted. It chimed, then sat there - a little bit of hard drive activity, then silence and no video. Gradually the fans started revving up and up. This scenario repeated itself no matter what I did in the way of troubleshooting; PRAM reset, SMU reset, swapping out RAM, removing peripherals and installed PCI cards etc. etc.
I hauled it off to my local Apple reseller/repair shop, fearing a dead logic board and weighing the possibility of a thousand dollars (CDN) worth of repairs or over twice that for a new Mac Pro. I came home to do a bit more searching online and came across your thread on the leaky G5s. Well, I could hope - but I hadn't seen any leaks in my poking around.
Today, the tech from the Apple reseller called to let me know that he had "bad news" - my processor needed replacing because of a coolant leak, and he also recommended replacing the power supply. I think he was a little surprised when I was HAPPY to hear this - I asked him to call Apple, telling him what I'd read here at xlr8yourmac. He did and called back to say that Apple would cover all the repairs. BUT...they had no G5 processors in stock (according to him - Apple later disputed this, but didn't make an issue of it, choosing instead to take my word for it) and he didn't know when I'd get my repaired machine back. Further, he wouldn't know what else might need replacement until he'd completely removed everything and that wouldn't happen until he got the replacement processor. And it was going to cost Apple $1700 to $1800 in repairs as it stood now. And of course, it could leak again...and let's face it - liquid+electricity=not good/safety hazard.
So, armed with all this info, I called Apple myself, and after spending a good deal of time on hold between levels of tech support, I ended up talking to a Customer Relations Specialist who agreed (after a bit more delay on hold) to replace my G5 with a new 2.8GHz quad core MacPro; the same deal as most others who've been offered replacements here have reported. I don't need 8 cores (I do web design and photography, no video editing or high-end games) and this will be a wonderful bump up from my G5. They threw in a wireless card for free since I had a modem in my G5 (not used) and before I ship the G5 to them, I need to dig up my old hard drive, old keyboard and old mouse, and take out all add-ons I put into it, most of which will go into my son's single processor 1.8GHz G5. My only expense with the new MacPro will be RAM upgrades (purchased elsewhere, of course) and a new PCI-Express eSATA card, since the G5 has PCI-X and I can't switch that card over. The biggest challenge will be finding a box big enough for the G5 in order to ship it back to Apple.
I was extremely happy with Apple's response to this - everyone I spoke to was courteous and sympathetic and the Customer Relations Specialist was terrific - and had a great sense of humor - which must help in that job!!
My Dual 2.7 GHz G5 stopped working about 2 weeks ago (Late October 2008) - I just took it in to the Genius Bar, and the Genius was very helpful, but in the end said that the repair would likely require a new CPU or Logic Board... At the time, I was not aware of the leak problem and there were no external signs of leaking.
I chose not to leave it for repair because it would have cost the equivalent of a new mac book... didn't think it was worth it. Upon searching for disassembly instructions on the web - started seeing all of this leak stuff... When the G5 covers finally came off, there was clear evidence of leakage and corrosion on the lower CPU heat exchanger/manifold ... I think this computer is in the very early stages of the corrosion problem... Fortunately, something else went toes up before the power supply got leaked on.
I have used macs for 20 plus years and this is the first real hardware problem I've had (besides a disc crash). I hope your website can pull-together enough data to support a more 'comprehensive' replace/fix policy for the Liquid Cooled G5's... I can be pretty understanding of the difficulties in manufacturing things like this... But this seems to be a defect shared across a wide range of date codes and with a wear-out failure time that is well inside what should be expected of a world class high performance computer system. (typical failures are O-rings, although some pumps have failed also.) Any help would be appreciated.
Polar Bear Studios"
I suggested Dan do as many others have here - contact Apple support direct and see if they will cover the repairs (or replacement). As shown in many reports here over the last year, they have often done that (IMHO as it's a potential safety issue.) On Nov. 17th he sent a follow-up:
"Well, I just had an extremely frustrating conversation with Apple Support. Starting with - this machine is outside of its warranty period... I'd sure like to know what the secret words are (did you mention it's a potential safety issue?) - but the person I talked to on the phone kept going back to the top of the flow chart... Which starts with - we don't know what's wrong because the computer doesn't power up... you need to go
to the Apple Store to figure out what's wrong... But I did that... em... Back to the top of the flow chart... Anyway - if interested I've posted relevant pictures of the computer that I can't power up to perform the diagnostics that wouldn't tell me about the coolant leak anyway.... https://gallery.me.com/polar_bear_north#100012&view=grid&bgcolor=black&sel=0 (as of Jan 2010, photo gallery no longer online)
Besides the corroded screw on the pump housing, there is a corrosion line (probably Aluminum Oxide) formed under the coolant diaper (what a great solution) ('absorber mat')... The coolant Diaper is still damp... Something about 1.) Coolant fluid, 2.) Aluminum, 3.) Heat and 4.) Free flowing electrons reminds me of problems with GM Aluminum Block engines from the 80's and 90"s...
Any other ideas would be appreciated. I think I will head over to the discussion boards and weigh in with the evidence. It sure is frustrating to have been such an evangelist for these guys over the years, only to be nickel and dime'd in my one time of need.
My dual 2.5GHz PowerMac G5 just experienced a coolant leak. I bought the computer in Aug 04 and have used it regularly ever since. I haven't seen inside the enclosed processor area so I don't know which coolant system I have. The computer is still at the Apple Store ATT.
It started with what sounded like a rattling in the fans, followed by a sort of gurgling sound and increased fan activity. At first I opened the case and cleaned out the dust around the fans and logic board with canned air. The noises died down but the fans started running amok. I decided to reboot the computer to the DVD and repair the permissions (normally I never shut the computer down, just put it to sleep). When I did, it wouldn't reboot. I just got a white screen. I took it to the local Apple Store and the guy at the Genius Bar opened it up. You could see the greenish liquid oozing out from under the processor enclosure. It wasn't visible when I cleaned the dust out about a week earlier, but it may have seeped out when I put the CPU back in its box and drove it to the store. After a couple of days they called and told me it was uneconomical to repair. The coolant destroyed the processors, logic board, power supply and even the case (corrosion). The bill came to $2,889.00. Yes, more than the G5 cost and even more than a baseline Mac Pro.
The store wasn't able, or willing, to do anything about it. I called AppleCare and after talking to a Help Desk Technician and a Product Specialist, I was forwarded to a Customer Relations Representative. He was extremely helpful and offered to either repair the G5 under warranty or replace it with a new Mac Pro. As I didn't want a repeat of the leaking incident, I chose the new computer. He even made sure that all of the programs I use would work on an Intel Mac and OS 10.5 (I still had 10.4 on the G5). It took about an hour of phone calls between the store and AppleCare, but it was well worth it.
They are sending me a single 2.8GHz Quad-core Xeon. Basically the low end Mac Pro, but it is still much more powerful than the G5 so I can't complain at all. They allowed me to make any upgrades I wanted for the difference on the BYO page of their website. I chose only to pay an extra $150 for an upgraded video card (Nvidia 8800GT.) I could have gotten another quad-core processor for $500 but didn't feel like I would need it. I'll use the money saved to get more 3rd-party RAM and some software upgrades. (Instead of Apple's original PowerMac G5 $500 4GB ram BTO upgrade (from base 2GB) cost you can get a PowerMac G5 memory upgrade for a small fraction of that price.)
This website really helped me plan what I wanted to tell them and it worked. I originally posted a comment about my computer leaking on another Mac website and someone kindly sent me the link to this page. I read the whole thing and it was really eye opening. Hopefully others will be able to benefit from this as I did.
Glad it helped - and again Kudos to Apple for covering these repairs (out of warranty) in many cases or replacing the systems with a new Mac Pro.
(added 11/3/2008 - updated later that day)
I have a dual 2.5GHz with a coolant leak. The system started freezing and stopped starting up 2 days ago. I opened the case and found a brown burnt spot and some green liquid by the processor. I called apple yesterday and got a case number. I'm waiting to hear back.
(he later wrote)
I bought it in june of 2004. After talking to two techs about the safety issue apple offered to do a full repair. I took it to the apple store and they told me they will give me a new customized mac pro. I should receive the system within 10 days.
"Hi, I'm having coolant problems with my dual 2.5ghz PowerMac G5. However, I'm not the original owner, would that be a problem in getting repair work done from Apple? (I don't know - but it's worth a try. Will the original owner call them to report this for you? AppleCare (extended warranty) is transferrable but since this is a potential safety issue it's worth contacting apple regardless.-Mike)
I'm not seeing green coolant (like some posts describe on your site). I am seeing a yellowish greasy liquid that only started leaking when I laid the case down on its side to take a closer look. (as some others noted - leak wasn't apparent until tipped on its side. However for safety make sure you disconnect the AC power cord before doing this.-Mike) I'm also seeing white crystals around some of the pipe connections in the processor area. (another sign of a leak)
"I wanted to send this note to update you on my PowerMac G5 LCS system. I had a leak in my system in August 2008. I was more than 2 years out of warranty, but because of your website I decided to call Apple to see what they would do.
After about a half hour on the phone they said that they would take care of the full repair, even though it was out of warranty. They did ask a few questions like, "was there any property damage?". My computer just stopped working and would not power on. I spent about $100 with FedEx shipping to the closest service center and my machine was gone for just over a week. I think that is pretty good. They ended up replacing my power supply, the cooling unit and the processors. I hope I can get at least another 4 years out of this machine before it completely quits on me again.
"I also had my Dual 2.5GHz G5 "parts" replaced due to coolant leak in July though August. It was out of extended warranty by about 4 months.
It was running fine, however the fans were running a bit faster than normal, which means I usually have to blow the fuzz / dust etc stuff out of the radiators, it being mid summer.
When I opened the case, I saw some discoloration and dried "goo" on the back bottom of the case. Since I've followed your web site on this issue, I pulled the drive and began transferring all the data onto different Macs (about 130 gigs worth of stuff).
While that was going on, I called Apple Canada, talked to a tech support person and after I mentioned "G5, Coolant Leak, Known Issues" I was bumped up to a senior Support Guy in California. After a bit of "convincing" that this was a factory defect issue, he said he'd talk to an Engineer and see what they could do. He then phoned me back an hour later and Apple agreed to cover all repairs. So I took it into my local Mac dealer (no Apple stores here).
However it took 5 weeks to fix because Apple shipped multiple dead replacement parts, which included one dead mother board and two dead CPU units. The total invoice was $105 in labour and $4870 CDN for "parts" (they counted the DOA parts they shipped in the price). Basically everything except my Ram, ATI Graphics Card, 3rd Part Sony DVD DL++ Drive, 160 gig Hard Drive and case were replaced, some parts multiple times.
Also after the 2nd CPU Failed and 2nd mother board arrived, I was called by Apple whom wanted to replace it with an x86 Intel Box of some sort. I was firmly against that as I need to use Classic for some of my development tools and I still do a lot of Altivec coding too, so I need my G5 for my testing facilities.
"I have a dual 2.5GHz at work. I use it for scientific computing, so it is often at 100% CPU for weeks at a time. I came in on Monday and it was asleep. I woke it up, and it ran normally for a couple of minutes, then with elevated fan speeds, then put itself to sleep again. In addition, there was a subtle clicking or burbling sound, which I now think was air in the coolant pump. I opened the case, expecting coolant everywhere (this was our second dual G5 to fail this way) but nothing! Looked perfect.
Reboot, same thing, put itself to sleep after 2 minutes of elevated fan noise. So I rocked the machine back to see inside better, and coolant came dribbling out of the bottom of the case.
Called apple support, they said the machine was years out of warranty, nothing they could do. I said that it seemed to be a safety issue to me. 30 seconds later I was talking to a senior support person, who gave me a "customer satisfaction number". Took my machine in to retail store, and they fixed it for free. Took about 3 days, and they replaced motherboard, processors and power supply. I was pretty happy with the process, though I had hoped they would just replace the thing. One thing I didn't like, is that they didn't really clean out the inside of the case, so there is flaky, crusty, dried coolant all over the inside of the case.
(added 9/17/2008 - updated Nov. 9th, Nov. 17th and Dec. 29th 2008)
PowerMac G5 Dual 2.7GHz (June 2005).
First I noticed the G5 getting noisier and noisier then, one day in July 2008, it froze and I was no longer able to start it up again. Apparently there was no liquid spill, but after removing the processors cover (cover is the right word?) and the processors I noticed some coolant leak (I have pictures, if you are interested), just behind the processor card, pretty close to the cooling plate.
I wrote a polite letter to Apple and 1 week later I was contacted by an IT manager. I was asked to bring the Mac to a certified Apple service and they will fix it at Apple's expenses. Will let you know if they manage to replace the parts (I believe logic board, processors and cooling system, not that easy to find) or if they will be forced to replace the unit with a newer Mac. In the meanwhile, given that work == money, I bought a Mac Pro 3.2GHz, which indeed is not as fast as I imagined.
(On Nov. 8th he sent an update via email)
The Dual 2.7 GHz G5 got fixed at Apple expense. They decided to replace: motherboard (it is brand new), Processors and LCS (brand new), PSU (although I have the feeling the PSU is the same I had before). Now it works, for how long?
(I had previously wondered from the Mac Pro performance comments above if the apps you're using on the Mac Pro are Universal Binary? (if so there should be a noticeable increase in performance with the new Mac Pro.)-Mike)
Update on the MacPro speed feeling. I was booting it off the old G5 HD (SATA 1.5Gb/sec drive). I recently put two 500 GB HD as RAID for the boot drive and it now screams!
(he later wrote)
The pump of the LCS (liquid cooling system) is very noisy. People ask me whether I have a Diesel computer or if there is someone drilling upstairs! I first thought it was one of the fans, so I started ruling out the fans by removing them (just for the boot) or by unplugging the power cords from the logic bard. At the end I realised it was the pump, in fact after unplugging its cord the noise disappears.
Even if the noise was bearable I would prefer Apple to replace the LCS: a defective pump can cause the liquid not to get cooled and the pressure increase may force the liquid out again... Will keep you posted. The whole thing started last June-July...
(Update - from his Dec. 27th 2008 email)
20 December 2008
I finally got a working and quiet unit. I had to wait another month for the processor and LCS to be replaced. Apple has never offered a Mac Pro replacement but I have never complained in this direction. To tell the truth I am also a low end Macs collector: so one day this G5, which indeed has the fastest PPC Apple has ever used, will go in my Mac basemen collection. It will be a matter to check for coolant leak and replace the O-rings and the coolant liquid once every 2 years: we do that in our cars, don't we?
I've hung onto my G5 Tower also (original 2003/first model Dual 2GHz - Air Cooled thankfully). I've also got quite a collection of older Macs over the years (2 Genesis systems (one a Quad 180), PowerTower Pro, PowerCenter Pro, 8600, 9600/350, Color Classic, Mac SE, etc.) and more old cards (video, CPU, etc.) and parts than I can list. (Probably should have gotten rid of them on ebay years ago while they were still worth something - although good to keep around for repairs of older systems.)
9/17/2008 FYI: I've updated an earlier report from Boris, who finally received a new Mac Pro replacement system.
(added 9/9/2008 - from 9/6 mail)
ME too - G5 dual 2.5GHz. I was running a complex model 3D frame rendering overnight, the room temp was 80-85 degrees F. The unit set off the smoke alarm when the power supply shorted out from the coolant system failure.
The first unit lasted 31 months before the failure.
The fluid was contained in the case power-supply so no visible outside leak.
I called procare on Sunday afternoon and took it over to the Apple store. The tech confirmed the leak and failure but also found that it fried 8GB of Apple ram. The wait on a replacement was about a week so I called Applecare and requested a loaner for the project I was working on.
They checked a bit and called me back on Monday and had me go pickup a brand new G5 2.5GHz Quad with 8GB of Ram and the necessary Final Cut studio upgrade to allow me to finish my project when.
I called on Tuesday they told me to go ahead and keep the new unit.
I was very impressed with the quality of service given to me as a Business customer.
Today I was repairing a customers G5 and noticed an absorptive tray beneath the cooling system on his that mine did not have. Mine was early june 2004 manufacture date, his was late june 2004. I do believe that Apple is aware of this issue on some units hence the quick service and the tray on the slightly newer unit.
I asked if he could send a pix of that "tray". (There's an absorber mat but curious what that "Tray" looks like.) As mentioned earlier, it's considered a safety issue which is apparently why even out of warranty some have gotten repairs done at no cost or in some cases - a new Mac Pro replacement system. (Although not everyone has been so lucky.)
(9/2/2008) Updated report from Aug 18th (Steve) who is getting
a new Mac Pro (after complaining about refurbished/'rebuilt' parts being used in repair).
(8/27/2008) Updated report from June 24th (Alan) where after repeated problems (after no-cost repairs) he was finally given a new Mac Pro instead.
"I have a 2004 dual 2.5GHz G5 (purchased Nov 2004). One day last month, it suddenly stopped working and there was a bad smell in the room. I looked inside and there was no obvious liquid but the machine would not startup. As I was looking around for the serial number and tilted the machine backward, I noticed some liquid from the back of the machine on the counter. I called Apple education support (I work at a University) and discussed the matter. The employee on the line was nice and held to the party line that there was no known issue with coolant leaks in this model. I laughed and asked if Apple would do anything to repair or replace the machine since I regarded it as a defective design. He checked with his supervisor and said no.
Surprisingly, a couple of days later, I got a call from someone else at Apple who said they had decided to repair the unit for free. I took it to my local Apple Store and, after a good deal of trouble trying to find the repair authorization in Apple's system, the machine was accepted. It was fixed in an about 10 days. Why they called back with the repair offer, I do not know. It seems like a lot of work to fix these things. Personally, I think it would be a lot easier if they would just give a pro-rated credit toward purchase of a current machine with an apology for designing something inherently unreliable.
The most common failure seems to be an o-ring (seal) in the pump failing after years of use, although some have also had pumps simply fail. (Delphi supplied pumps seem to be the most prone to this although many don't note the LCS design/brand used in theirs. And like anything, it will fail at some point in time) Although there's an absorber mat inside, that's not helped in many cases when leaks were not detected early - check often for this and stop using it immediately if there's any sign of a leak inside. (Remember the G5 tower has the Pwr Supply in the bottom of the case.) Although ckt boards used in mil-spec products are typically conformally coated (for example HumiSeal), consumer product/computer boards usually are not.
(added 8/26/2008 - later updated several times)
I was just reading through the page after experiencing a coolant leak today. I noticed something was wrong a few days ago because the fans would run full-bore when the processors were only at 15% load or so and I could hear intermittent "glitching" sound like air pockets being pushed through the coolant pump. (Was there any evidence of a leak inside the system?-Mike) I am currently at the apple store in Palo Alto, CA on "Standby" at the genius bar and hoping they'll take care of it. The machine is a early dual 2.5ghz G5, 2005 (purchased sept 2004) with delphi LCS. I'll email any updates.
This page is the only thing thats helping me not lose my mind, i'm in the middle of a video editing project which has to be delivered this week! Thanks for the page!
(He later wrote)
Coolant drops collecting under each junction where the rubber tubes connect to the metal tubes. The absorbent pad at the bottom was also noticeably wet. What was interesting is the tech at the Apple Store (Stanford Shopping center) mentioned that the training to become a genius included being able to spot and deal with G5 coolant leaks. He asked very little questions and said that they would cover the repair costs as the problem was a safety concern. The estimated turn around they gave me was 5-6 days.
(Although reports so far only mentioned hardware damage resulting from leaks, there's several -potential- safety issues (with mfr liability) such as short circuits (worst case - with the unusual design w/Pwr Supply at the bottom, a possible short of AC input to the tower's case - which could have real disaster potential) and fires (one reader already mentioned a pump burned up in an earlier report). And just to cover all the bases, down the page here is a link to the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on the Delphi 151 coolant (<2% Propylene Glycol + distilled water) with notes on contact with skin, ingestion, etc... Again although rare some pets may try to drink it should the leak spill and not get noticed. (A common concern also with automotive coolant which is more hazardous/typically larger spills - there's attempts now to add a bitter additive to Antifreeze/coolant to help prevent many needless pet deaths every year)-Mike)
(he later wrote)
Hey Mike, Here's my notes from the past several days. (8/31/08)
Got the machine back today with an exact Delphi LCS replacement, brought it home and only 1 processor is being registered by the OS. After a call to the Apple Store they said simply booting up with the Leopard DVD and restarting would trigger the other cpu (weirdest non technical support i've ever been given), of course it didn't work. After the next call they suggested calling back tomorrow and speaking with a specific genius and that it would likely mean they would have to order another CPU. My frustration level was high at this point and was losing patience. It would seem that all the testing and calibration they claimed they were doing was a lie. I had called everyday for updates, even though they promised they would call me. I never got one call from the store. At one point they told me that it would be a quick repair since the adhesive on the LCS system (to the CPU side) could only be exposed to the open air for less than 15 minutes before being applied and that the longest part was the testing phase. I really believe they didn't do any testing as only an idiot would fail to recognize a whole cpu not showing up.
notes from (9/2/08)
After another call was told that the machine would have to go in for repair again and the same parts would have to be ordered. Unacceptable at this point, been without a machine for 10 days and my business can not afford any more down time.
Several more attempts calling various support numbers and getting nowhere finally was able to talk with a tech who first advised going back to the store. I tell him I need to speak with someone in customer relations.
Transferred to someone named "Dee" in austin texas. Give her the story from the beginning and told her I knew of similar situations where mac pro's were given as replacements (did not mention xlr8yourmac page), she says only a manager at the store could make that decision.
The best she could do was schedule another appt and write up a detailed description so they might be able to expedite.
Go to my scheduled appt, they tell me I have no appt and it was for the following day.
I ask to speak with manager and he gets me the lead genius. I tell the lead genius my story, says the only thing they can do was to order more parts and replace but that he would take 20 minutes to look at the machine immediately. I suggest a replacement which he responds "thats not going to happen given only 1 repair on a 4 yr old system". After 20 minutes he rolls out a cart with a new Mac Pro. Has me sign a paper for the swap. Go home happy that this nightmare is finally over.
(added 8/18/2008 - updated 9/2/2008)
"On 6-6-2005 I bought a Powermac G5 2.3GHZ. I do digital imaging and everybody I know told me to GET A MAC when my PC died. One week later, to the day, the computer died and wouldn't start. I took it back to the point of purchase and the computer had completely died. I spent 5 hours at the store and the computer was replaced with a new unit. This took a lot of talking on my part. The new computer was a G5 Powermac 2.7GHz unit, (with liquid cooling) for which I paid a little extra. At this time I bought the extended AppleCare warranty. Last Thursday (8/14/2008) evening I went to turn on my computer and there was a puff of smoke and an acrid odor and the computer would not turn on. Upon inspection there was fluid leaking from the back of the computer. This computer was exactly 1.5 months past the (AppleCare) warranty. I took the computer back to the point of purchase and they said that because the computer was out of warranty (1.5 months) there would be a normal charge to repair the unit. I was outraged to say the least. I was even more angry because this was the second unit that I had received and the store was well aware of this fact because I do a lot of business there.
I spoke with the tech at the store and he suggested that I contact apple re the problem because he had heard that sometimes apple honors the warranty past the expiration date, hmmm, interesting. Anyway I called Apple and I was connected with an idiot that couldn't care less that my computer had burned and he said that Apple didn't care about these things. Once again I was outraged and I requested another service rep. I was connected to a woman who listened to my entire story including the fact that this was my second unit and she was also outraged at how I was treated by the first person that I had talked to. She was very concerned and she eventually put me through to a section of the company that deals with these problems. Apple has a complete department for this as I understand. The tech that I spoke to said that there were 15 questions that he had to ask me regarding what had happened. The questions included topics ranging from was there smoke to was I considering legal action for damage and would I be OK with letting an Apple representative inspect my work place for any damage.
I also found this very interesting. The Tech rep said that Apple would fully cover all repairs and the machine would be made as new for me. He was very concerned that the problem had happened. They called the store and told them that Apple was authorizing complete repairs. The store is an authorized Apple repair center. He also told me that Apple was very concerned with this problem. The new parts were being shipped immediately upon technical inspection and I should have my computer back in a few days. I was given a company representative phone number to call if I had any problems. The rep also said that she would be checking back with me on Monday 8-18-08 to make sure that all was well. I will be interested to see what the outcome is.
Now I am writing this on an old PC that my son uses for school work and my wife uses for business. We have had this PC for quite a while and with some very minor normal maintenance it still works. It is at least 8 years old. On Monday I will call Apple and I will let them know that I do not want to have a liquid cooled unit any longer.... I will be very interested in seeing what happens with this request. That's my story. I am not a happy camper. The more I investigate problems with the liquid cooled Apple computers the more unhappy I get. I cannot understand why a company like Apple would let this problem continue. So I will await with baited breath the outcome of this ordeal. I guess that the worst thing that can happen is that I will end up with an almost new G5 and I will have to wait and see how long this one will last. In the mean time I am going to talk to a person that I know who builds custom PCs.
(he later wrote)
As of now Apple is completely rebuilding the unit. I am even getting a new outer shell, why I dont know. (maybe due to corrosion on some surfaces) I will ask them about another system tomorrow, I really dont want this one any more, as I think that it will go out again in the future.
(Update from 9/2/2008 mail)
Hello again, Further notes on my G5 problems. I was informed by the tech that was working on my computer that replacement parts were rebuilt. (refurbished) It seems that new parts for G5 computers are not being made any more. When I heard this I went over the edge and I contacted the person at Apple who is handling my case and I told her that this was not an option that I wanted. I told her that I was extremely angry about the situation regarding my G5 and I wanted another solution. I was contacted by Apple a few days later and to my amazement I was told that I would be given a new Mac Pro to replace my G5.
I have to return my G5 to Apple within 30 days which will be no problem. They agreed with me that it would be useless to repair my machine because of all the damage that the leaking cooling system had done and the machine would not be reliable. My computer was out of the Apple care warranty by 1.5 months when this happened... This took about two weeks to happen and a few calls to Apple on my part. The person who was working on my computer was a great help because he was honest with me and he told me that the computer could be repaired but the parts were all rebuilt and he did not like that either. He said that some of the parts that Apple sent were bad and he had to return them and get other parts. Not a good sign.
So the company came through for me. I am impressed that Apple would do this. I am looking forward to receiving the new computer. I will think seriously about buying another Apple computer tho when the time comes. I never had these problems when I was using a PC.
(added 8/12/2008 from multiple mails)
My G5 just melted down. Coolant leak. I'm on hold with Apple right now...
Info on my leaking G5:
- Dual 2.5GHz purchased November 2004
- Did not purchase AppleCare
Unit ran fine until this week when I wasn't able to start it up after repeated attempts. Finally opened the case and immediately noticed what looked like battery acid running out from under the processors. It was dried and brown and looked burnt.
I called my local Apple repair shop (Small Dog Electronics), explained what I saw, and they very quickly diagnosed it as a leaking coolant system. A Google search quickly confirmed this.
(and a final mail on Aug 11th)
I just got a call back from Customer Relations and was informed that Apple will be shipping me a brand new Dual 2.8GHz Mac Pro with the standard configuration as early as tomorrow to replace my G5. This was after a relatively short phone conversation on Friday afternoon that involved minimal haggling. From reading the posts on your site I wasn't too surprised that Apple did this, but it was a lot easier than I thought considering my machine is four years old, out of warranty, and has not been officially diagnosed by a certified technician. All they asked is that I send in the G5 within 30 days and they'll use my credit card as insurance until they receive it.
Though I'm a little inconvenienced at not having my main machine for another few days, getting a new Mac Pro for nothing certainly seems like a good deal to me. Apple must be taking this issue more seriously. Thanks again for helping out us leak victims!
Although some other readers w/leaks got similar service (new Mac Pro or repairs), not everyone has. But I'm impressed they do this at times on machines years out of warranty. I just wish there was some official policy on these leaks. (Granted most companies don't do anything for failures out of warranty.)
"My model PowerMac is a dual processor 2.5GHz that was purchased in September of 2004 for over $3000 and has been running pretty much nonstop since. I started to notice a burning smell about a few weeks ago but it didn't register that it could have been the computer. Then the tower started to run its fans at full blast when doing light tasks like checking email, followed by random sleeping, then the computer shut off and never woke up. I currently can boot it randomly, it just gives me a white screen nothing more and has no visible leak except for a small patch of coolant in the tower. The estimated repair bill is around $1500 for a new mainboard, power supply, and cooling unit.
I find this disheartening, seeing an expensive piece of equipment like this die a little under 4 years after purchase, and (less than) 1 year out of AppleCare. I cannot afford a $1500 bill at a time that is already rough for me as it is. Apple is reluctant to honor any repair/replacement/pickup on part of the tab or even admit wrong for something that is wholly their mistake. After I explained the computer is for photoshop photo editing and a web server to a customer service rep., she scoffed that the G5 wasn't worth it for these tasks and I should sell it and bankrupt myself for a shiny new Mac Pro instead, and that's all they could/would do. What the Hell is that? Customer service is for aiding in the repair of my current product, not force feeding me more products.
This ordeal has left a very bad taste in my mouth and after repeated calling and being turned down (especially after reading reports of (some) people receiving brand new Mac Pro's, I'm just looking for a discounted repair), I doubt I will ever be able to get it repaired and I need it now. After my iBook has run its course, I doubt I may buy another computer from Apple (can't live without the iPod in any case though). Apple used to be centralistic about the customer and quality first, now it seems that they have become just another company, revolving around money and stupefying ignorance. Sorry for the rant, but I wish luck to anyone else who may be in the same position.
I wrote Nathan to ask if he's anywhere near me, as I have an air-cooled G5 (dual 2GHz) that's not being used much that I could loan him (no charge) if he's in a bind.
(added 7/3/2008, from 6/27 mail)
"First of all, my coolant didn't actually (visibly) leak. However, the machine is nevertheless still dead. It's a dual-2.5GHz G5 that was bought in July 2004, just it's just a fraction under four years old. It's been on pretty much all day, every day since I bought it, though I put it to sleep at night.
A couple of months ago I became aware that it was making some very obvious gurgling and sloshing sounds that were definitely new. I've always been able to hear small noises for the liquid cooling system, but these were definitely new and loud. They'd become more obvious whenever the fans ramped up, and particularly when the machine was
initially awoken from sleep (when the fans traditionally have a bit of a howl). It was a pretty disturbing noise that certainly made me feel that bad things were soon to happen.
Anyway, the machine worked normally for over a month with all the noisy sloshing going on. Then, the fan started going much louder much more regularly; although not on at full strength, they were on pretty noisily for pretty much all the time, and I couldn't really hear the sloshing because of them; so I concluded that my LQS was no longer cooling the processors effectively. At this point I decided to keep the freeware Temperature Monitor utility running, to see what was going on. My processors (which Temperature Monitor says shouldn't exceed 88 (C) degrees) generally had temperatures in the 80s to low 90s.
The high fan activity went on for one to two weeks, and during this week I became aware of a funny smell from the G5; hard to describe, but rather 'hot and burny'. (Pump failure/burnout (one report on that previously here) or coolant leak that could have been contained on the absorber mat?-Mike) On the next day after the smell, I went for lunch, came back half an hour later, and found that the machine had put itself to sleep. I woke it up and it was OK, but the logs told me that the processor temperature had reached 116 (C) degrees, so I decided to put it to sleep permanently and use my laptop for the time being while I ordered a new Mac Pro.
The new Mac Pro came in good time, and my intention was to get the data off my G5 by connecting it to the Mac Pro via FireWire and using it in Target disk mode. But I had to use it for a while to deactivate or transfer certain applications (CS3, Sibelius etc.), and I found now that it would only work for a few minutes before putting itself to sleep in the middle of what I was doing. I'd wake it up and then have to fight to complete what I was trying to do before it went to sleep again.
I did try to use it in Target disk mode, but that was a non-starter. After turning it on and mounting its discs, suddenly it would go into a thermal panic with fans at full tilt, and then turn itself right off, making its drives inaccessible. So my only option was to take its drives out, install them in my Mac Pro, and copy the data off them that way.
So although the G5 never actually died as such, it's still dead. It got to the stage where it simply wasn't usable for more than a handful of minutes at a stretch.
I'm unhappy to have got only four years' life out of it, but given the problems I've read about in getting any cooperation from Apple, and considering the way things are going (i.e. Snow Leopard being Intel-only etc., and the fact that Classic was disabled under Leopard in any case), I decided that I'd just have to cut my losses and buy a new machine; so that's what I did. I never even took out the AppleCare plan for the G5 in any case, so it was three years out of warranty.
So perhaps mine is an odd case. I'm certain that the cooling system in my G5 failed, and the fans were working fine, so it must have been the LQS that ceased to work; but it never actually leaked. (Or if it did, it didn't spill anywhere visible; I haven't taken the machine to bits beyond taking its drives and PCI cards out, but there wasn't a puddle on my carpet or any other visible traces of liquid.)
I hope the above is of some interest.
There's an absorber mat/pad in the LCS G5 towers (but with some leaks it's not a real help) - I'd be curious if you ever check that to see if it showed any evidence of a leak. Was the smell you noted that of burned electronics or do you think it was a coolant smell? (there was a previous report here on a coolant pump that failed/burned out.)
"I powered up our studios' dual 2.5GHz G5 and it smoked - some liquid came out. Took it to Apple and they wanted $1200 for a new power supply, logic board and processors. My apple care ran out 6 months ago. Bummed. Have to find replacement on craigslist asap
If I was going to replace it with another G5 tower I'd want an Air-Cooled model... (I'd also suggest checking prices for a used Mac Pro instead.) Not everyone was so lucky, but some pressed for (and got) leak repairs covered out of warranty. (I wish they'd issue some official policy on this though...)
(added 6/24/2008 - updated 8/27/2008)
"Bought a Dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5 Tower on 8/31/04 with 3 year AppleCare.
The fans started running at 3000 rpm (iStat Pro) around 6/13/08.
Brought it Chestnut Hill Apple store 6/22/08; checked in for diagnostics.
Store called this morning; it had passed all diagnostics, but they were going to try a memory swap just in case.
Store called early afternoon; they noticed coolant had leaked over one CPU during the memory swap and I'm looking at a ~$2000 repair
I explained I've been well aware of G5 coolant leaks and Apple's handling (didn't mention xlr8yourmac.com yet) and asked to speak to Mgr.
Mgr. took my info and said she'd have head Genius (Michael) call me 6/25 (not in today); said he would know best how to handle this.
I'll keep you posted...
(Update on 8/27/2008)
It's been up and down since my last report (6/24/08).
After many conversations with Apple Customer Relations, they agreed to repair my unit at no cost. New logic board, CPU module, power supply, tower case etc...
It took about 3 weeks for parts to come in and the repairs to be done and follow up diagnostics. Got it home and it promptly kernel panicked and had fan noise like a bird was trapped inside.
Back to Chestnut Hill where they once again replaced the logic board, CPUs, power supply etc... Another 2-3 weeks. Got it home and it was the same. Brought it back and this time they replaced some of the fans.
Another 2 weeks. Got it home and, you guessed it, no change, except it kernel panicked every couple of minutes.
Spent 3-4 hours on the line with AppleCare and Customer Relations. I pressed for a replacement at this point; they offered $100 off a new system. Then they called back an hour later and offered to send me a new 2.8GHz Mac Pro. The bummer is that will take another 2 weeks.
Given the amount of time I had to spend to resolve this, I feel a bit like I worked a minimum wage job to earn the replacement.
Thanks for the follow-up. Glad to worked out in the end and congrats on the new system.
(added 6/13/2008 - updated 6/23/2008)
"I have a PowerMac Dual 2.7Ghz machine that froze one day and never ever booted again. I never noticed the rusty, milky colored liquid coming from the rear of machine until I grabbed the bottom handle of the machine when I notice it was wet.
I was out of warranty, but after as desperate call to AppleCare they agreed to have it repaired, but first I should have it inspected at the Apple store so they can evaluate the situation. It seemed the Apple Store I went to did not know that some of the G5s were leaking. The tech actually thought a capacitor might have ruptured, but I told him that it was the cooling system that might be leaking. He called AppleCare and found out they approved the out-of-warranty repair and that they had all the parts in stock.
I wonder if they did not have the parts, would they offer me a newer (aka Mac Pro) machine? I guess I'm lucky that Apple offered to repair the machine at no charge, but I was hoping for a Quad Mac Pro. I am utterly surprised to learn that no one at the Apple store heard of this problem... (at the new Apple Store on 14th Street in NYC). (Some have but I guess not everyone. And some readers have noted getting new Mac Pro systems as a replacement in the past, but maybe they've ordered more spare parts now to do repairs instead.-Mike)
I am still waiting for a status repair of this machine, but after a week -- they should let me know what's going on.
(Update: he later wrote:)
I picked up the machine and everything is as good as new... except it's not new). No Mac Pro, but they said if I had AppleCare, it might have been faster? I dunno... It took them about a week to get it up and running. The HD was left untouched and the outside of the case still had residue from the leak on the bottom handle, but the inside of the case was super clean. Two New Procs, New Liquid Cooling System, New Motherboard and New Power supply. Oh and new Power Supply cover. Darn, didn't get a Mac Pro! Oh Well... glad they fixed it for free.
"Just thought I'd share with you my recent experience with a leaky liquid-cooled G5. I bought a dual 2.5GHz G5 in 2005, and it died at the beginning of May (2008), having succumbed to the infamous G5 coolant leak. Nothing dramatic -- it just shut itself off one afternoon, and that was it. We never got it to power on again. I'm afraid I can't tell you who manufactured the LCS, as I never did get in there to take a look.
AppleCare had expired, so the machine was well out of warranty, but I brought it in to the Apple Store here in Toronto to see how they'd handle it. I told them I suspected the problem was that the LCU had leaked coolant, and the Genius Admin working that day barely had to glance at the residue in the bottom of the case before giving a small nod of agreement and telling me they'd have to get in touch with Apple Engineering to see how this would be handled. He never went so far as to openly acknowledge the issue, but his reaction was more than enough to let me know that he was aware of it.
I was told that since the machine was out of warranty, he couldn't guarantee anything, but he'd let me know as soon as he had an answer.
The following business day, I got a call and was told that parts had been ordered, and that Apple would repair the unit free of charge. I was given a repair number for the first time, and told that these things usually take 3-5 days to arrive, at which point they'd call and arrange to have me bring the machine in for service.
Long story short, after three weeks (to the day) of waiting with no apparent end in sight, I got a call from the store asking me if I'd accept a new machine in lieu of repairing the old one.
The machine they gave me is the (base) 8-core 2.8GHz MacPro model (2GB RAM/320GB HD/256MB Radeon HD 2600XT). It took two days after that phone call for it to arrive (apparently they can't just give you one off the shelf), and comes with the full 1-year warranty, since it is considered a new purchase. I didn't get to keep the box, but they did let me have the funky new aluminum keyboard and mighty mouse (std equipment), as well as all the software and cables.
Anyway, I wanted to add my experience to the other reports and thank you (once again) for your efforts -- if it hadn't been for xlr8yourmac.com, I'd never have known about the problem in the first place, and would probably still be rifling around in the sofa-cushions looking for a way to afford a new machine!
Warm regards, Gabriel"
"I have a lab with 11 machines and this has happened to 3 of my machines so far. I have only had them 2 years, but they are all out of warranty and they are written off. Any ideas what I can do.
thanks, Mark W.
I asked if he had tried to contact Apple about the leaks (since as noted here many times since the page was posted last year, some have gotten repairs covered even out of warranty - although not all have been so lucky it can't hurt to try...)
(added 6/9/2008 - updated comments 6/16/2008)
"Ok it's my turn. My leak started today June 7th, 2008
G5 Dual 2.5GHz Model A1047, Ser# G84342ULQPS
I leave my G5 running all the time and it runs my security, lighting & fax software trouble free.
Lately I have noticed it going to sleep for no good reason BUT today after being away for 4 days the fans were racing and the monitor was dark.
Tried all the normal options and reset the SMU. When I pulled the unit out from under the desk I noticed a little water on the floor. Not realizing the computer had liquid coolant I shrugged it off. Tried unsuccessfully to restart the unit. I noticed the power light would com on then go out, no chime but slowly the fans would rev up to medium speed.
I stopped everything and searched the internet for help, found this thread and thank you for the information. I am not sure what to do next. ugh
(The next day (June 8th) he wrote)
I went to the Genius bar @ the Apple store in Rockaway NJ. Tech didn't even try to turn it on once he heard it had a leak. He advise me since it was out of warrantee I was responsible for all charges. After discussing with him my understanding of the problem and that Apple should bear some of the cost he agreed and didn't charge me for the logic board (661-3164 $0). My total now is $760.00 Which includes Multiprocessor, Dual 2.5 GHz w/LCS (661-3165 $625.00) and Hardware repair level 2 (S1491LL/A $135.00). He said expect 1 week for repairs to be completed. We'll see.
(And another mail on June 9th)
But wait there's more, When I returned home from the Apple store I called Apple Care again and this time I was told there will be no charges for the repair.
I will wait until I get the call to come and pick up the unit to see how much it will really cost me and I'll send you the results
(Update - On June 15th he wrote)
Follow up...G5 leak
OK went to the Roxbury store today (1 week in service dept.) and was told the original estimate still stands. $760.00 + tax. When I questioned them about the call I made to Apple CAre they searched and came up with what they site as the phone call with no mention of the no charge discussion nor that he gave me the case number. I took that to mean they were backing away from covering all the charges since I had already signed for the original estimate. and were claiming no knowledge of the G5 leak being a big problem. I paid the original estimate and left with my G5. Upon arriving home I called Apple CAre again to inquire what happened. The first person I spoke to put me on hold after hearing my complaint. She came back on the line and explained that I had to be transfered to Customer Relations concerning this problem. Now back on hold when I am finally connected to a prerecorded announcement advising me Customer Relations is closed so please call back during normal business hours. WOW you talk about passing the buck now that's Great Customer Relations. I guess I'll call Monday.
"I have a PowerMac G5 2.5 ghz. Just started leaking. I took it to the Apple Store. It is out of Warranty by 9 months. I had extended warranty. Repair costs are $625 for the part plus labor. I have had it running 24/7 for 3 1/2 years. Fan started to sound funny.
(added 6/9/2008 - from 6/2 mail)
"Well I just brought my Dual G5 in to the Apple store in Natick, MA. I was working with Photoshop on some large panoramas when the system just started to go to sleep randomly. Did a hard shutdown after about the 10th sleep cycle and let it sit a little bit. I then went to start it up and I got the chime and fans but a black screen. I have gotten that before so I was unsure what to think of it. In the end I got it booted and did a tech tool pro diagnostic test on it as for some reason I couldn't boot from the CD. Went through everything with no problems. Did the software update as I figured it would be a good thing and a restart, it went to boot, no chime and no video just fans. Couldn't get it to do anything after that. Didn't see any coolant anywhere but was getting a faint smell from the rear fan area. (Did you open up the case and look for evidence of a leak?)
Dropped it off at the Apple store they are now looking at it and will be getting back to me in the next few days. Hope to hear its a coolant issue and they will cover it.
I was able to keep my hard drives as I have a lot of work and info on them, and after looking at the system.log file there was a Thermal Runaway Detected: System Will Sleep as the first sign of an issue.
Powermac G5 Dual 2.5GHz
According to my apple sheet, bought 8/2004
I know I placed the order about a week after launch, but also added a few extras to the order after placing the initial order.
(On June 12th he sent an update)
I did open it up to see if there was any leaking. I have been back and forth with AppleCare and the Natick Apple Store trying to get it resolved. Store told me bad logic board and I authorized the repair. Called me back yesterday and said the processors wouldn't calibrate. Another 700 added on to the bill if I approve. Called applecare explained the situation as well as what the system log has said CPU A ACS... TGT:1425 CUR:0 and he said it sounds like a coolant leak. But I need to talk with the tech to see if there is any visible liquid or residue. Anyway waiting to talk to the tech. Will send more info when notified.
There should be an "absorber mat" inside (to catch some fluid if not left leaking for too long) but in some of the bad cases, the leak was undetected until a lot of damage was done (some photos are real horror stories...). With the G5 towers, if a CPU is swapped they are supposed to do a thermal recal (it's in the rom IIRC) - I had a service manual (PDF) years ago on mine on one drive here somewhere...
"I have my computer in the shop (G5 Dual 2.5Ghz) for a coolant leak. They replaced the multi-processor coolant system, power supply, case, and a few other items. It still is not working, they have informed me that they have ordered "the rest" of the parts. It sounds like they are completely rebuilding it the unit. Why, I am not sure? So far, the damages are right at the cost of the MacPro.
My unit is 7 months out of warranty so they have not given me a replacement option. (although -some- have still gotten replacement systems (mac pros)) The age of the system would be 3 years and 7 months. The manager of the local apple store has allowed me to buy a MacPro and return it with no restocking fee when my system is ready. I hope this works out, they have had my machine for 2 weeks already...
(added 5/28/2008 - from 5/21 email)
"Apple PowerMac Dual G5 Liquid Coolant Fiasco
About three weeks ago, my machine started randomly putting itself to sleep ( I called these blackouts, since at that time it was not shutting down). It started to happen during launches of programs, or sometimes I would be working in Adobe CS and the screen would go black. I could wake up the machine but was losing productivity fast, and the symptoms starting happening more frequently. When I was able to run diagnostic utilities on the machine, the program showed no faults. Then the machine fans started to rev to 3000 RPMs (thanks iStatPro), and I lost the ability to recover from the random blackouts. At this point there was no leakage happening.
(I asked for missing requested info like G5 tower model/series and date it was bought originally)
Here is the info from Hardware overview (I have three of these dual G5 towers, so pulling this info from another machine since they are identical for production purposes): (when were they bought?? (as a FYI on age)-Mike) I came on board after the fact, but I believe it was August 2004.
Machine Name: Power Mac G5
Machine Model: PowerMac7,3
CPU Type: PowerPC G5 (3.0)
Number Of CPUs: 2
CPU Speed:2.5 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Bus Speed: 1.25 GHz
Boot ROM Version: 5.1.8f7
05/14/08 4 p.m.: I decided to take the machine to an Apple Store (Burlingame) for repair once I could not boot the system to diagnose it myself. While I was sitting at the Genius Bar 45 MINUTES past my scheduled appointment, an Apple employee who had just started to write up the paper work noticed liquid on the counter. I did not think anything of this at the time, because I did not know the machines that I inherited when I joined my company were liquid cooled. Being a serious production machine, I requested that Apple diagnose and repair as soon as possible. The Genius mentioned that the machine was an Out of Warranty repair, and that he would send me an estimate within 48 hours.
05/16/08 11 a.m.: A day later I was told by Apple that I needed a logic board, and that the repair would cost $1008.44. I agreed to the cost, but Apple was very vague about when they could have the machine ready, stating that there were three repairs ahead of me. I called twice to ask about my machine status, but was rebuffed by Apple Store employees who told me to call back in 45 minutes (apparently no one in genius bar at that time?), instead of offering to take a message. The second time I was told to call back next week.
05/21/08 10:00 a.m.: At this point, it had been a week and the repair was not started. I decided to check the repair status of the machine online at Apple's site. When I entered the repair and serial numbers, Apple's site said the repair was CANCELLED. I immediately called the Apple Store.
The Genius told me that the parts were ordered and should be arriving soon. I explained to him that was strange, since I had been told previously that the logic board was already at the store, and my machine was third in line for repair. He said that they also had to order a power supply, since the machine was leaking liquid coolant, and the power supply was damaged.
I stated that I was given an estimate of $1008.44 for the repair already, and then asked if that was now changing since it needed additional parts and labor? He told me the repair has been changed from an Out of Warranty repair to a Warranty repair, and that is why the repair number was cancelled. Apple would cover the cost of the repair, if that was okay with me. I said yes, and asked for a new repair number. Once I was off the phone, I checked the repair number online. At this time, there is no repair number matching the one I received from the Apple Store. (he sent a screenshot showing this)
So I am hoping that the repair gets done in the next couple of days, if not I will be adding to my story here. The worst part is knowing that I have two other PowerMac Dual G5s in production with the same specifications and same purchase date, and one is used daily by my COO.
Good times, good times...
(I wrote him on 5/27 to ask if there was any status change.-Mike)
Thanks for checking in. You can post my comments.
Nothing has changed. They still have the machine, and I will be calling this morning to check on repair status since the web site STILL does not recognize the new repair number I was given...
Sincerely, Ron L.
Premedia and IT Manager"
My G5 also suffered from the infamous G5 coolant leak. My case is not as castastrophic as some of the others posted here, but still, it isn't pretty. I have a dual G5 2.7 GHz machine, purchased in May, 2005. It was my "switcher" machine, as I came from the Windows side. It has been my daily machine for personal and side work in web development and audio production. And up until recently, it was rock solid reliable, never so much as a hiccup.
A few months ago, it started the habit of not wanting to restart, such as after a software update. The symptom was the normal chime followed by a black screen (not even a gray or blue screen), no HD activity, nothing. If I let it sit like this for a while, eventually all of the fans would start blowing like a jet engine - loud. If I forced a restart a few times, I could usually get it to start up. I've run every hardware test, every diagnostic I've been able to find, and everything checks out fine.
So last night, after doing my triple backup routine (I'm paranoid), and then some updates, I started into my reboot sequence, just expecting to have to go through the usually 3 or 4 restarts to get it to boot up. After about the 20th try, it was becoming apparent that something was really wrong. About this time I noticed a few seconds after the boot up chime, a red LED was illuminated inside the case. I could only see it by looking through the cheese grater front of the case. It appeared to be on the main logic/mother board, about in the middle of it. The LED is not visible directly from the side if the case is opened up because it sits behind the upper left corner of the multiprocessor enclosure.
I began searching for diagnostics codes for this LED, and ran across your list of other G5 coolant leak suffers, along with a slew of other hits reporting the same. So I went back and looked inside my case, and could what looks like a small spot of dried milk in the bottom of the case in the lower right corner of the G5 cpu enclosure. It looked much like the first picture at http://www.fusina.net/G5_coolant_leaks/gallery.php While it didn't look like much, it was indicative that something had indeed leaked inside, nonetheless.
I contacted Apple Care, ready to state my case, thinking that my Apple Care had already expired (I thought early April), and here it is, May 1. Fortunately for me, I have 5 days left of Apple Care. Talk about timing being everything! Usually I'm five days on the other side of the expiration date. I described the problem and they logged a case number, and asked that I take it an authorized repair center or Apple Store, I chose the latter. They looked at it and pretty much confirmed everything I suspected. Upon a closer inspection, it is obvious that the leak has been going on for quite some time. It has corroded large areas under the processor enclosure as well as most of the top of the power supply, and the logic board is damaged as well. Estimated repair costs are around $2000, but in my case, being covered by Apple Care, no costs to me. The tech said that this was the third one he had in this week, although he had only ever seen a few prior to that.
They have the unit now and they think they can fix it. He said that he thought they'd be able to get the necessary repair parts (logic board, multiprocessor unit, power supply, and case might need to be replaced depending the extent of the corrosion damage. However, if other reports hold true, that might have been optimistic musings on the technician's part. Estimated repair time is 3 - 5 days, but they won't have full handle on the extent of the damage until some time tomorrow.
Thanks for keeping up with this issue. I'll update you on how this one turns out. Personally, I'm hoping for replacement with a Mac Pro, because now I'll never trust a liquid cooled G5 system ever again.
I have one of the first (2003/Air Cooled) Dual 2GHz G5 Towers. It's not been used that much over the years (daily work systems have been PB G4 and a 2007 refurb AL iMac 24in) but my G5 has been rock solid (no issues, no random shutdowns, etc.). I'm thinking of selling it now and getting a (refurb) 2008 Mac Pro. I don't have an ebay acct but if any readers (in the USA) are interested in a Dual 2GHz G5 tower w/3.5GB RAM, two HDs, DVR-109 and (original build) ATI X800 (also have a spare Apple Nvidia 6800Ultra card) make me an offer.
Pump related Fire? (per the comments not a leak per-se but posting here as a FYI)
"Hi Mike, Spotted a few more stories on PMG5 cooling system failures so I thought I would share the results of an experiment with you.
An existing customer of mine called in a panic to say that his Dual 2.7Ghz G5 was on fire. Yes.... on fire. The Mac was delivered to me the following day and it had clearly been burning. The PSU was my first port of call but I was amazed to hear all the right noises when I plugged it in and pressed the power button. Even got a boot chime! So, I put on my Sherlock Holmes outfit and, comedy sized magnifying glass in hand, set out to solve the mystery. I stripped the G5 down to a bare configuration and noticed that 3-6 seconds after pressing the power button, 2 red LED's came on behind the processor module. One on each processor card. These LED's are the overheat warnings. This pointed to a problem with the cooling system. But, I could not figure out why the Mac gave a boot chime each time it was powered up. Surely the processors had to be frazzled. The smoke damage inside the unit made this pretty much guaranteed.
With the processor module extracted, the cause of the fire was clear. The cooling pump had burnt itself out. And I mean BURNT OUT!! A hole around 15mm, with melted edges, gave a clear view of the charred mess inside. The smell from it was choking. I knew that the proc module is sold as a complete unit and is prohibitively expensive to replace. However, I didn't give up. The boot chime made me think that the processor cards were actually ok. I spoke to the customer to get permission to experiment with replacing the pump. He agreed. A bit of research on the net brought up a page with the info I needed. Although the pump in the G5 is a unique model, unavailable to Joe Public, it is based on a freely available pump. The Laing DDC-1T. The model in the G5 is a DDC-1V. I ordered up a pump (£45 compared to £650+ for a complete proc module from Apple). (If a G5 CPU module is swapped they also do a thermal recal.-Mike) When it arrived I screwed the new base section onto the top part of the case (the part connected to the rubber hoses, which I left connected as it was impossible to remove it without bursting the hoses) and hooked it up to a separate 12v power supply. The pump spluttered into life and I let it run for a few minutes until the trapped air made it back in to the radiator. Careful handling of the processor module with the old pump removed resulted in very little fluid loss from the sealed system. Moment of truth time had arrived!
Boot chime.... hard drive activity.... boot screen.... desktop!
Hardware Monitor showed that the proc temps were high. I put this down to the thermal paste being almost boiled off of the heatsink prior to the thermal management shutting the system down when the pump failed. I stripped the module completely, replaced the paste and soldered on the Macs own pump supply cable. This would be the final hurdle as the pump failure may have damaged the logicboard. It didn't. The G5 booted up fine with the pump doing it's job. Hardware Monitor showed a 15 degree drop in idle temps. Stressing the Mac didn't cause any concern. I cycled the system from cold to maximum stress to settle the paste. This resulted in a drop of another 3 or 4 degree at idle. Even removing the front pair of fans didn't cause a thermal shutdown.
I topped up the coolant with some distilled water. (FYI - An earlier report below also comments on Leak repairs/O-rings and includes a link to the MSDS on the OEM Delphi 151 Coolant fluid (powermacg5_msds-082004.pdf at apple no longer online), which is distilled water + a small amount of Propylene Glycol and therefore will have a higher boiling point than pure water. (As well as lower freezing point, but freezing should not be an issue in typical use environments.)-Mike) It took around 45ml. (That's appx 1.52 oz. The Delphi MSDS notes a -max- of 6 oz., but that doc may not be specific to the G5's LCS, and you mentioned a top-off so I assume most of the OEM fluid was still intact. I'd check for any air in the system also.-Mike) The G5 then went back to the customer for real world testing. He uses the Mac with Final Cut Pro so I did worry a little that this may cause it to overheat. That was 2 weeks ago. Just got a mail in from my customer reporting no problems at all. The G5 is acting exactly as it did prior to the pump fire. One happy customer!
(Never heard of a fire related to a pump failure before (I asked if he took any photos). (Some rear horror story pictures linked in some previous posts - rust, damaged PS, motherboards, etc. from those that had a leak over a long period of time undetected.) So there was no actual leaking of fluid inside the case?-Mike)
I did have a couple of pictures on my iPhone. They are no longer there and they are not in iPhoto. I also don't seem to have emailed them anywhere. I though maybe a leak into the workings of the pump could have cause the fire but when I fully dismantled the pump it was clear that there was no breach between the casing parts. The circuit board was completely gone in one corner and the copper track had lifted off over the whole board. It really was something I should have photographed and documented. However, I get so busy here that taking pics is the last thing on my mind.
(I asked to confirm no coolant had leaked inside the case)
There were no signs of leakage anywhere at all. That amazed me. When I removed the pump only the contents of the pump enclosure leaked out. I purposely did not remove the filler plug in order to maintain the slight vacuum that would have been created by the fluid trying to leak out. When I was ready to run the pump I removed the plug to allow the air to migrate through the tubing into the radiator. I then gradually added the water over a period of time until it would take no more. As the pump circulated, the air made its way to the top of the radiator.
However, the impeller of the pump is magnetically rotated with the circuit board sitting some distance away from the enclosing section. The following link shows the inside of the model of pump I used. The first pic shows the casing with mounting wings. The G5 pump didn't have these so I removed them with a utility knife to allow the unit to fit in place. The G5 pump also had a further base extension part that was, to put it simply, weird! (link he sent originally to a blog had changed and was removed)
The additional base section housed 4 springs that pressed against a curved piece of plastic that covered the green circled area on pic 2. The screws you can see on that same pic were disposed off and the longer original screws were reused to pull the whole thing together. I can only guess that this spring section aids acoustics.
Look at pic 3. Imagine a straight line from the point where the black wire is soldered on running diagonally upwards past the circular black plastic bit. That whole section was dust. Gone completely.
The G5 pump is also connected differently. The terminals are a mirror image of what you can see on the pump at the link above.
I have looked at the syringe I used to refill the system. The measurement is in CC and I refilled the syringe 4 or 5 times to completely fill the system again in 2 stages. The syringe takes 4 CC's when full.
I used gravity to get rid of trapped air and ran the pump connected to an external power supply for a while until it ran quiet. Initially, I could hear when it was trying to pump air. I already knew the make up of the fluid and knew that distilled water would be fine. (If only a small amount of top-up was needed it should be fine)
"We have two Power Mac G5 (Early 2005) 2.7GHz DP water buffaloes. Purchased 05/13/05 without Applecare.
Water buffalo-1 has had a slow leak for 6 months, nothing has burned up yet but we have had some heat related shutdowns aka "Thermal Events".
Water buffalo-2 is just now showing signs of a slow leak, corrosion and discoloration in the rear on top of the power supply.
I had both units evaluation by an Apple Certifed Tech (my son) and he told me that Unit-1 need a new power supply, logic board, and MultiProcessor with LCS about $1800 in parts plus labor. Unit-2 should just have the MultiProcessor with LCS replaced, about $700 plus labor.
I was not happy, but I had to take unit-1 out of service because it was blowing large amounts of very hot air. We feared it might go up in smoke. I called Apple support and after I explained the problem I was passed on to a G5 specialist who proceeded to interview me with questions like:
- Were your or anyone else injured by the machine?
- Was there any smoke?
- Was there a fire?
- Was any other equipment around the machine damaged?
- Was there any odor?
After answering all of the questions I was told that I was responsible for all the repair costs.
I replied the since I did not have AppleCare on the machine that I might be responsible for the cost to repair the coolant leak but I should not be held responsible for the subsequent and consequential damages caused by the bad design of the machine, the power supply is under the cooling system, the CPUs are part of the liquid cooling system, the logic board is damaged due to overheating due to lack of coolant in the system. I explained that the leak was due to a faulty $3.00 o-ring and that I would be fine paying the $3.00, but Apple is resposible for the other damages.
The specialist had no choice but to agree with me and he went to the "G5 Champion" and presented my case.
Apple has agreed to grant me a one time exception and pick up the cost of the repairs to Buffalo-1. But they have asked that I pick up the cost of fixing the leak on Buffalo-2.
Apple has sent most of the parts to the service tech except for the two MultiProcessor with LCS, one I am buying the other Apple is buying. It is projected to take two weeks to get these parts. The tech (my son) thinks they may not have any 2.7GHZ MultiProcessor with LCS units. He has been able to get 2.5GHZ units for other customers.
I have thanks and praise for the specialist Eric H. who went to bat for my case with the higher ups at Apple, that we never get to talk to. I still believe that Apple should institute are recall/upgrade program for all liquid cooled machines that show any signs of leakage. And if you cant get the parts ask for a credit toward a new machine.
TheTroupe Modern Media Design & Production"
(Added the report below here and on the older page on G5 Tower Random Shutdowns - from the list of replacement parts it sounds like there was a leak, although the absorber mat may have masked that from his initial inspection.)
"I purchased a Power Mac G5 Quad (2.5 Ghz with the Delphi LCS) back in December of 2005 along with an AppleCare warranty. (So it's still under warranty then?-Mike) Not sure if I had a leak, but CPU Temps on Processor B were consistently a lot higher than processor A by on average 50celsius (this started around November 2007). I usually use this machine for Aperture, Adobe PS, and also as my World of Warcraft machine. About a month later (December 2007) I started experiencing random forced sleeps (sleep or shutdown?) along with a red LED visible from the front whenever playing WoW or using Photoshop. I opened the box up and checked for leakage or signs thereof and wasn't able to find anything.
I brought my Power Mac into the Apple Store after making an appointment in early January and after a preliminary check (and my showing them excerpts from my system log showing thermal runaway and stats) (system log entries on "PMU forced shutdown, cause = -122" and/or "thermal runaway" messages were also noted by others here on the page on G5 Tower Random Shutdowns.-Mike) was told that a new Logic board, power supply, cooling unit, and processors needed to be ordered. (sounds like there was a leak if all those components needed replacing) The store quoted me a turnaround time a 7-10 business days to allow shipping time for the parts and to test the system. A month went by and I hadn't heard from the store (Thank GOD for my MacBook Pro), so I contacted AppleCare to get a status check on my repairs and was told that the part that they were waiting on needed to shipped from Washington and was being overnighted to the store that afternoon. The store contacted me the next day and left a voicemail on my phone requesting that I call them back. Long story short, they replaced my G5 Quad with a brand spanking new (Mac Pro) 3.2GHz Octo 8800 GT. :-) that put a HUGE smile on my face, needless to say!
Yeeehaw for Apple. Now I know why I have been and always will be a Loyal, Apple Fan!
I'm impressed that they've replaced some out-of-warranty systems like this (and giving higher optioned Mac Pros than base for those that had higher end G5 towers apparently), although some didn't get a no-cost system swap, more than a few have especially over the last 6 months. (One recent report noted he had to pay the est. repair costs to get the new system, but some were offered new systems at no cost.) In some cases in the past, not giving up on the first response (pressing for a replacement/repair at no cost) resulted in getting a new system replacement.
(added 4/4/2008 from 4/3 mail - updated 1PM ET 4/4)
"Just had a leak this morning.
Dual G5 2.5 purchased mid 2005 with the Delphi LCS.
Machine wouldn't boot this morning. Opened it up expecting to switch RAM around and noticed liquid coming from the bottom of the machine.
I called Apple Care. They first tried to say that it was out of warranty to which I said that it was obviously a known issue with the cooling system. After a short check with a supervisor the rep set an appointment for me at the Apple Store.
I will write more about that experience tomorrow.
Thanks for keeping this log. I have printed it out and am going to take it in to the apple store with me.
(he later wrote)
Hi Mike, here is a quick update. Dropped the machine off last night. I was told that it would be repaired or replaced free of charge (UTC Apple Store in La Jolla, CA ) The repair ticket they gave me shows $0 so I am optimistic. 5-7 days till I find out but I will keep you posted.
Producer, TD Media"
(added 3/31/2008 from 3/29 & 3/30 mails)
"I just took mine to the apple store. The estimate is almost a Thousand dollars. I am going to contact apple on Monday and see if they will do something as the store told me there is no recall and the can't give any credit unless apple ok's it.
It was purchased nov 2004. I used this machine 6-7 months a year as it is in my other home in AZ. Its a G5 2.5. I had applecare for three years. So the machine has only an actual use of less than two years.
(the next day he wrote)
"I just talked to applecare today and they are replacing my g5 with a Mac pro 2.8GHz. They are matching all my upgrades that I had on my g5 that I bought from them. I can't commend them enough, what a great company to deal with. They recognize they had a problem and doing their customers right.
"I wrote in earlier (2/14/2008) about my G5 2.5GHz leaking coolant. Apple store said they could not get the parts needed to fix it, and would replace the whole computer for the price of the part required. So I'm getting a new Power Mac (A Mac Pro I assume (like some other readers have - for free even). The cost to repair some leaking G5s has been quoted at over $2000 at times (when leaks
caused damage to CPUs, Logic board and PS for instance - if not caught early.)-Mike) for $830 which is pretty cool considering I am 3 years out of warranty. Some of my faith in Apple is restored! (Now if only they wouldn't habitually rape us on RAM prices.)
(he later wrote)
I forgot to thank you for keeping track of all these Coolant leaks. It really helped me get my arguments to apple ready even though I didnt need to use them in the end. As it turned out they graciously, maybe even cheerfully, gave me a new 8 Core Mac pro 2.8GHz with 320g Drive for $800. Comes with warranty, keyboard etc too.
I was surprised that they quoted the cost of repairs at only $830 after reading your reports. Maybe my motherboard was salvageable, or maybe they just picked the number at random so they wouldn't have to give it free.
Interesting tidbit; I brought the G5 to them with no Drives in it. They need me to bring a drive in to send back with my Dead computer... Any drive will do she said - So I'll give them an old 10gig drive I have lying around. I'm typing this from my new computer. She asked that I bring my drive in whenever convenient. They were very nice and seemed a bit pleased that I was catching such a break.
Some (not all) readers here have noted getting (totally free) Mac Pro replacments but that was before the 2008 Mac Pro model was intro'd - and sometimes it took more than one call (i.e. not giving up on the first try/response.)
"Hi Mike, Just another report here of a leaking G5. One of our six 2.5GHz G5s went south about two weeks ago, and aside from a dead power supply, the Delphi pump leaked all over the place. After a call to Apple and Small Dog both, I got the machine into the system for warranty exception replacement, but the CPU unit is out of stock until 03/01. The other units haven't exhibited any issues thus far, knock on wood.
In any case, the Apple rep/tech was incredibly helpful and went the extra mile to contact me directly twice.
(later today he wrote)
Quick update to that previous note. Small Dog called me yesterday, and Apple had fast-tracked the part, and SDE had done the repairs already. Just have to pick it up!
"Add me to the list of Coolant leaks.
I have (had) a Dual 2.5Ghz g5 which died on me today. I didn't know it was a coolant leak until I lifted it to bring to the service centre. A green liquid dribbled out the back of it. it's 4 years old and out of warranty. The Apple Repair guy said he'd never heard of Coolant leaks, but he seemed unfamiliar with liquid cooling so he may have been new.
Bought the mac in 2004 I believe, when they were just coming out and in limited supply.
Waiting for a quote to see how much it'll cost to fix.
Some lucky owners (that often pressed after being turned down) last year noted getting a Mac Pro 2.66GHz system replacement. (Often repair parts could not be procured, at least in a reasonable time.) Depending on what's damaged, costs (apple parts prices) can be very very high (making repairs impractical unfortunately).
"Power Mac G5 DP 2.5Ghz, 2.5GB RAM, Dual 160GB HDD's
Purchase Date: Mid Jan 2005
Green Sludge and Black Smoke Date: Mid Jan 2008
Am self employed and have used this liquid cooled Power Mac as my main machine until yesterday. It has been unfaltering except for the big-blow that has happened (in pocket and the spirited affair of purchasing Apple!) If I'd purchased a Apple Care warranty at date of purchase, it would have been covered just by four days!
Sounding like something was shorting out, I tried to remove power cable within a few seconds. The machine shut down with smoke, then yellow-green coolant flowed. I am expecting the HDD's and RAM and MOBO to be OK.
The machine's performance has been stunning, good quality and have had experienced exceptional performance. However was wanting to hang onto this machine being PPC, than upgrading to Intel as Adobe Creative Suite (CS2) and other related web design apps seem to outperform the memory hungry CS3 on Intel, and would have upgraded to an 8 Core in at least another year or at a point when Leopard had 4-5 software updates!
Apparently Apple are leaders in design, but who would make a condensing radiator and place this ABOVE a power hungry PSU... It is pretty obvious about water and gravity,,, and power and combining these will lead to trouble...! What angers me more is to fix, Apples motherboard is NZD $2000, a PSU is NZD$400 and labour etc more than three quarters of the prices of a new machine. And rather than having an under side access port to remove the PSU, you have to remove every component in the box to get to it.
From a business decision, I guess Apple have just increased their annual turnover by 50% ! But it sucks that they market their products as superior, but my crappy old Compaq for NZD $1000 has out last this Powermac by 4years with no user intervention.
"We have about 40 dual G5's in my group at work, primarily dual 2.5's. Probably less than ten are 2.7's or dual core. There have been only three leak related machine fatalities so far, so I've had a bit of trouble getting people interested in looking for leaks. I believe most of the 40 are about out of Apple Care. We had one of the leaking 2.5's replaced with a stock Mac Pro Quad 2.66. The other two were out of warranty and probably no one pursued it.
I recently located one of the two machines that had extensive out of warranty damage, but didn't have time before Christmas break to look at it to see which cooling system it has. All three remaining G5's under my control are using the Delphi made in China version and I saw no leaks.
I'll probably keep one of my G5's for use as an admin machine. The other two are being replaced with Mac Pro's in our normal progression of testing our software primarily with the latest hardware. I'm somewhat concerned about using a liquid cooled G5 for my admin machine because I really don't want the added risk of a catastrophic interruption.
If I keep one, I'm thinking of laying it on the removable cover side and running it that way. Is there some reason no one has suggested that? I think that would prevent the liquid from running onto the mother board or power supply. Hopefully if the severe leak were to occur I'd just be alerted by the racing fans and would have enough warning. Any thoughts? Thanks for your work
One thing that comes to mind is possible problems with CD/DVD discs (does drive have retention of discs in that orientation). Some drives do.
Another reader's notes on Leak Repairs: Although many didn't realize they had a leak until extensive damage was already done (Pwr Supply, Logic board, etc.), for those that spot a leak early here's another reader's info on the o-ring repair. (FYI - An earlier report below also comments on Leak repairs/O-rings and includes a link to the MSDS on the OEM Coolant fluid.)
"We have several G5s with leaks. All are easily repaired by replacing the O ring behind the waterblock cover. You can get the O ring from "Grainger" It takes me about 1 hour to change it out.
If you can't see the leak, remove the G5 aluminum cover by using an exacto blade to cut away the outer rim of the gray plastic rivet (flush) on the top of the cover and push it thru then slide the cover to the left. Just feel the black pad for leakage. (this is how we found it, by touch).
There are 8 - 2.5mm hex bolts along the outer perimeter of the waterblock assembly to loosen and then gently rock it back and forth to free it. turn it over and remove 6 of the eight phillips head screws (2 only hold a stand off post which doesn't need to be removed). Then remove the 4 hex bolts at the center. It is easier to remove both CPUs at the same time. Now just loosten the four screws holding the waterblock
cover (these are very tightly secured so get a very good screwdriver so you don't strip them).
Apple only sells the complete unit at a cost of $550 with exchange and the O rings set us back about $12.
(I asked for more info such as the O-Ring part number, "Grainger" contact info and if the o-ring was for the Delphi or Panasonic LCS - I suspect Delphi as they seem the most leak prone, although any LCS can leak over time.-Mike)
The (O-Ring) part number is AS568A-026 ($6.00 each) (See later comments below for other O-Ring info.-Mike)
He didn't reply with company info but I think the source is www.grainger.com - searching there for P/N AS568A-026 today shows a hit - $6.59 ea. currently. I asked again if his system had a Delphi LCS or Panasonic (Delphi I suspect) - I sent him links to an earlier post below with pictures of the Panasonic LCS and links to Delphi LCS pix.
He later replied:
My one of my helpers here pointed something out that I did not mention before. We have 31 G5s - all but one are 2.7GHz, the other a 2.5GHz - both types have Delphi cooling. But we used a different O-ring's for the 2.5GHz (A Quad (2 Dual-Core 2.5GHz CPUs)? Dual Pumps?-Mike) (he later replied "One Pump" - so I'm assuming that's NOT a Quad.-Mike) It is part #AS568A-123. It uses a thicker O ring. sorry for the mixup. It might be wise to open the waterblock first to verify the thickness of the O ring needed before ordering. #026 is 0.070 and #123 is 0.103. And yes I purchased them thru www.Grainger.com.
LOL - This so typical of my day... (despite requests on the web page email link, hours every day are spent repeatedly getting missing info one bit at a time, repeated mails over and over asking for missing details/requested info, etc...) A big Thanks to those that do take the time to send -complete- info from the start.
"Apple Replaced my (leaking) G5 Quad with Mac Pro
(several other readers previously reported getting a Mac Pro replacement also, but not all were so lucky and I don't recall anyone
else getting an 8-core model-Mike)
I had a G5 Quad that started acting funny in July, and after extensive troubleshooting, I finally concluded it had nothing to do with anything I did (factory config: G5 Quad/1GB/7800GT/250SD/AP/BT). I took it into the Apple Store at the end of August. I heard nothing from them for over 3 weeks and called for status. They claimed that they couldn't locate a new CPU cluster. They wondered why I wanted to stay on a PPC and they offered me a 3 GHz Mac Pro (they felt bad about it taking so long, and that I was "losing" money from delayed wedding work, etc). After some discussion, I decided it was for the best to migrate to the Intel platform and I offered to pay for some extras. They ordered a Mac Pro 3GHz 4xC/4x1/X1900XT/500SD/AP/BT.
To our surprise, the factory shipped a MacPro 3GHz 8xCore/4x1/7300GT/500SD/AP/BT directly to me. I called the Apple Store and I wanted to know if I had to return that computer (8-core). They talked it over and decided that they wanted me to keep the computer and they ordered me the ATi X1900 XT. We have no idea what happened. The serial number was registered under my name and on the current Apple Care warranty (I still purchased a new one to get the full 3 years). Some how the factory got something mixed up (Monday morning computer?).
While they were swapping the graphics cards, I chatted with one of the Geniuses and got an admission that there is an issue with liquid cooled models (not just Apple) and they were (quietly) offering to exchange failing units still under warranty with Mac Pros. From Apple's stand point, the cost or replacing the G5's with MacPros has to be a little cheaper, but more importantly, a brilliant PR move where they don't really admit they have a big problem, just quietly make it right for the customer and avoid any real media disasters). From the stories I'm reading here, the experiences are widely varied.
As you can see from earlier reports below - some were offered a new Mac Pro instead of a repair (repair parts sometimes cited as an issue also) - in some cases even out of warranty leaks were covered, while others had no luck. But in several cases after suggesting they not give up on the first refusal, sometimes later follow-up reports said they had better luck after pressing the issue. (As always YMMV - especially on out-of-warranty leaks. I really wish Apple would post something official on this.. preferably a warranty extension program as has been done on some other products.)
(added 11/21/2007 from 11/17 mail)
"I've got an Early-2005 Dual 2.7 G5 that worked well for about 1.5 years, until it started exhibiting problems during reboot. The screen(s) would go blank and stay that way, and then the fans would be off to the races. I'd have to power off and wait. Cold starts sometimes took hours and many attempts. I started monitoring the temps and could see it was excessive now and then.
The other day it fried. Poof! Smoke and stink. My Applecare had run out just months before. I noticed the liquid leaking as I carried it into the Apple Store. The genuis-bar dude quoted me about $800 for the CPUs and power supply. Being a techie, I knew it would be more. I chose to bite the bullet and buy a new $6000 unit, but under protest! I know I've probably lost any leverage I had, but I'd love to find a way to get some kind of credit...
I'd have pushed the issue originally, but it may be too late now. (Can't hurt to try though.)
A follow-up from a reader that had reported an out-of-warranty leak here back in Oct. 10th:
(added 11/21/2007 - from 11/16 mail)
"Mike, Well, it took a while (Sep 28 to Nov 15), but we are back in business.
We got our dual G5 back yesterday and it is running well. Apple issued an exception code so the repair cost was covered as if it were warranty
service. More on my weblog: http://wrecking.org/cbd/2007/11/16/mac-back/
best, Bradley D.
(added 11/21/2007 - from 11/16 mail)
"bought my G5 Dual core 2.3ghz with 4GB of RAM powermac Nov 2005 (He originally said Nov. 2004, but the dual-core 2.3GHz was a "late 2005" series) and on the 18th of august 2007 it shut off and stated ticking... I tried to restart which didn't work. So I called mac support. I opened the side panel and noticed liquid on the rear bottom "foot" I originally thought someone spilled a sugary drink... but it didn't seem right. Anyway the Apple tech couldn't help me and when I mentioned liquid he started asking a range of dumb questions - telling him I had a G5 quad core sitting next to the duo core he stopped asking and told me to go to the mac store to hand in my G5.
I did and it took the about 10 days to repair - under warranty.
Items replaced: logic board, multi processor dual 2.5ghz (instead of 2.3!), power supply, rear exhaust fan, power supply cover, hardware repair level 2.
BTW - I've had other ('late 2005') Dual-Core 2.3GHz owners say (despite the pwr supply housing having the LC warning) they were air cooled, not LCS.
(added 11/21/2007 - from 11/3 mail)
"Just had the same problem here. I have a G5 Dual 2.7Ghz. Was used for less than 100 hours before the problem occurred, not impressed. The repair centre have looked at it but quoted very high to repair, as out of warranty.
I'm going to contact Apple direct and see if we can get anything sort.
Glad to see its not just mine though.
(added 11/21/2007 - from 10/23 mail)
"Saw your article and just wanted to contribute. I sadly also have 2.7GHz G5 with the coolant leak - suddenly the system froze and I restarted ... nothing happened except for the coolers spinning faster and faster, until I unplugged the thing - then the computer rested for a few days, and then worked, for a few minutes and then it froze again. Tomorrow I am calling apple Denmark, but they will probably not do anything about it. I have read their disclaimers and it surely doesn't look too good...
I wrote Johan to ask if there's any resolution on this.
"Just another report of a dual 2.5 G5 coolant leak for a client of mine. Spent 20 minutes on the phone with Apple customer service... no warranty exception for them. Out of luck....
"Dual 2.7, bought July 2005.
Sent for repair/diagnostic for not booting in June 2007.
AASP called reporting coolant leak had damaged system PSU, and probably MLB and Processors. No Applecare, ouch, and to costly to repair.
I called Apple Support, and got the "I'm sorry for your loss" line and "there's nothing we can do". I asked to speak to Customer Relations and told them I thought a $3k computer should last longer than 2 years, regardless of Applecare, and that there were several Internet articles about coolant leaks and the systems having a "design flaw" in the LCS. I was transferred to an engineer that requested pics of the damage and they would consider a repair. I sent in the pics (see attached) and they authorized a repair. I talked to my AASP , they had me bring in the system and generated a parts list, then called Apple and told them it'd be cheaper to replace the unit. Apple called me back and asked where I'd like a 2.66 Mac Pro shipped to. A few days of legal paperwork and having my AASP send them shipping confirmation for returning the old system and they shipped the Mac Pro.
Some other readers also noted they were getting a new Mac Pro system (due to repair parts issues usually). I just wish everyone
that had a leak was so lucky. (Although several readers with out-of-warranty leaks initially were told leaks were not covered, sometimes repeated contacts/requests paid off.)
My G5 dual 2.5GHz started leaking after 2.5 years and quit working. It's under warranty, 46 days left (close call).
Ideas for a Leak Warning Alarm:
"Excellent website! I too have a Dual 2.7, but so far (knock on wood) no coolant issues.
I do have the revving fans (10-20° hotter CPU B) which only go away when I put the processor performance setting to reduced.
Anyway, I was giving this issue some thought as to how to protect against potential future coolant leaks. Though not fool proof, I think one could use one of those cheap $20 water alarms available at Home Depot. (Due to our house having PB plastic pipe (infamous for leaks, especially at crimp joints) I bought several of these at Lowes (Glentronics Watchdog Water Alarm model BWD-HWA (www.glentronics.com/water_alarm.htm) for just over $12 each - cigarette pack size device w/9V battery and two metal contacts on the bottom). Here's a different model with multiple remote sensors-Mike)
By simply soldering wires leads to the metal sensor contacts and taping/gluing the other ends (close but not touching) to a small strip of thin (and absorbent) paper inside the case, this might work as some sort of early warning system.
I'm thinking it would take a very small amount of coolant to soak the paper and complete the circuit.
I have yet to try it myself, but I thought I'd pass it on.
Regards, Mike S.
An early warning of a leak could help prevent damage to the Power Supply and logic board. (One reader's photos of his extensive damage showed an incredible amount of rust on the Power Supply (indicating the leak must have been present for a long time), as well as damage to the logic board.) Placement would be key, as he mentioned there was an absorbant mat but not in the area where the coolant leaked from the pump (gasket failure).
"Hi and greetings from the UK.... I have custody of a friends Quad G5 which has overheated and at least one of the CPU cores is dead.
Apparently the Quad had been 'really noisy' for some time - he presumed it was normal. He called me to ask if the constant crashes were normal (I could hear the fans down the phone, which is what prompted the current investigation.) My friend is a record producer not a computer tech and he just wants to get on with his music, so he bought a Mac Pro and I spent the weekend transferring, UB-upgrading and authorizing his app's. Interestingly, though probably unrelated, his 2nd internal drive - where all his audio files were - was showing SMART status 'failing'. Managed to transfer everything with just one damaged file, luckily - extremely luckily - not an irreplaceable file. (Yes, we have no back-up!)
The Apple-authorized Service Centre diagnosed the fault as a motherboard and/or cooling system fault.
All in all the Quad has been a catalogue of disasters!
The Quad's out of warranty and the repair bill is £799 ($1600) for a
complete CPU and cooling assembly, which is obviously out of the question.
I really think Apple should fix this for free, and that is what I'm currently pursuing on his behalf.
Best regards, Andrew R.
"Saw your post after being outraged by this LEAK! Happened to me last friday- computer froze up and went down. Just returned from the "genius" bar only for them to tell me the sad news that my cooling system BURST! Destroying my processor, motherboard and power supply!
In other words "Use it as a table".
(for posts can you please include details requested?
* what model of tower (there were several series - what was the clock speed? AGP slot graphics/PCI-X slots or
the later PCI-e slot model?)
* when was it bought?
* how long was it used before the leak was noticed?
I am in shock that Apple is not standing behind these machines in ANY way. I have been a Mac user since 1984 and ALL my other units are still alive and kicking butt!!!!!
How far have you gotten with anyone being heard from Apple.. or getting any help or support?
(Did you read all the reports on the page here? Some (but not all) had their systems repaired but often it seems parts for the delphi LCS may be hard to get (the later models had Panasonic LCS - see past posts/pix here) - and some (a few) noted they got replacement mac pro systems due to the repair parts not being available.-Mike)
Ok... Lemme try and answer some of your questions here-
G5 dual 2.5GHz, bought in July of 2004.
I used it everyday since I turned it on. I am a graphic artist and photographer so I am usually in Photoshop everyday...working at hi
speed hi volume. So it was used for 3 years - funny my old G4 is STILL kicking!!!!!
Yes I read through ALL the reports and am not done with this issue yet. I plan on working my way to the top before I give up. I can't afford a new machine at this time and this is my ONLY source of income!!! A bit scary.
(added 10/10/2007 - Also see his later follow-up)
"We've got a dual G5 purchased on August 4, 2004. It's been a problem. We've had it repaired twice under AppleCare (logic board, then logic board plus CPU). Now we have a coolant leak; the machine is dead, with a bad power supply and CPU module. My Apple repair folks suspect the leaking coolant shorted out the power supply...
Not sure what's going to come of this, but boy would I love a discounted MacPro...
(I asked if his system had the Delphi LCS or Panasonic LCS (the latter used in some later models - see photos below)-Mike)
I'm not sure. My guess is the Delphi since I got a very early one off the line. Its last repair was May 2005, and I didn't have time to take it apart before I gave it to my AASP. I'm calling Apple today; if they don't play I'll find out Delphi or Panasonic and go from there.
(he later wrote)
On the hold with Apple now.... wish me luck!
A luckly few here noted they got a (no charge) replacement Mac Pro system (due to delays/problems getting repair parts for the LCS (Delphi LCS I suspect, not the Panasonic LCS). I had another mail today on a leak but the owner sent no info on the model so I wrote to ask for that. (Please include info on the G5 tower model, when it was bought/how long it was used before the leak developed. Thanks.)
"Add 2 more G5 2.5GHz towers with coolant leaks. 100% failure rate for me.
Apple still not taking responsibility or offering help.
(Just for the record I asked him for more details on the systems (when bought, how long before leak appeared, etc. - and I assume they had Delphi LCS - see below for info/pix on Panasonic (used in later models) vs Delphi LCS).-Mike)
Both were bought in the second half of 2005. I dont immediately find
the exact dates.
I'm not sure when they first started to leak. Certainly it was long before now, you can see the evidence at rknochenmuss.ch/G5leak/G5.html
(Includes photos down the page of severe corrosion (check out that rusty Pwr Supply case), pump leaks (gasket failure), notes the absorber mat wasn't where it would catch leaks, etc. From the looks of that PS, the leak must have been present for many months.-Mike)
I also heard that some people are getting replacement systems here in Switzerland. Im planning on trying again with Apple tomorrow.
I wish I knew why some owners have gotten repairs covered (out of warranty) or a new Mac Pro system (due to repair parts not available usually) and others not. I'd try again as some have initially had no luck.
(added 10/2/2007 - updated again)
"I have a dual 2.5 purchased probably early 2005 (the "quad 2.5Ghz" (aka two dual-core 2.5GHz CPUs) I assume.-Mike), and it's finally sprung a slow leak. At first I thought a fan was faulty or something as overheating caused the G5 to put itself to sleep, but monitoring programs didn't show any of them running significantly underspeed, so I took it to the apple store where one of the guys found rust on the power supply (only visible through the rear grill).
I've unplugged the computer before it destroys itself completely and am trying to decide whether it's worth tying my primary computer up with a possibly lengthy repair (I keep hearing about a lack of replacement parts) or replacing the thing completely.
This is the second time the computer's had major problems. The first was when the software RAID failed and I lost all of the data on my drives. And now it's finally gone and self-destructed, apparently for good.
I'll be spending today hounding applecare to try to salvage what I can. But luckily none of the important things like the hard drives
appear to be affected, so it's just a matter of getting those into external cases and living off my laptop until repairs or a
replacement can be secured.
(He later wrote that like some others reported here, he's getting a new replacement system (Mac Pro))
Okay, just an update, after a talk with Apple's Customer Support, they told me that apple would be sending a replacement for free + the
price of any upgrades to the model that they provide.
Basically I explained that after getting the diagnosis done at the apple store, I did some research into the liquid cooling system and found that the problem is becoming more and more common. The girl said she'd see what options would be available, and the next thing she said when she came back was that I would get a replacement unit.
So my 2.5GHz dual will be replaced by the 2.66 quad core Mac Pro with the same quantity RAM and HD space that was originally installed.
Although I then had them upgrade some stuff, so that'll cost me some money, but $600 is much better than the $2200 estimate, and definitely better than the full $3576 for the machine I will be getting.
"I also had a leak. Bought my Powermac G5 dual 2.5ghz in November 2004 in Greece. Leaked 15 months later. No luck with Apple fixing it since it was past the warranty when it happened.
Cost to fix 1100 euros for a fifteen month old professional machine of more than 3500 euros!
Serial number: CK443H6158K
Has there been any success in getting Apple to fix or replace faulty
"Hi Mike! Don't see my G5 leak report on your webpage! You and I went back and forth with this issue months back (April 2007 I think). (I remember several leak reports at times over the years, but lately there's been a LOT of them. I didn't even have this page posted until August 2007. Before then leak report mails were rare - not so any more!-Mike)
There are more and more of this machines leaking and it is design flow (you mean flaw?) regarding of someone's intent to downplay it as such. There is website collecting data on all of the machines with this issue... I think you should inform your loyal readers about it:
Original PowerMac G5 Coolant Leaks World database (2007)
"I work at a Mac shop. We had a guy bring in a G5 with a coolant leak about a month ago. We ordered the part, but waited...and waited...and waited. Apparently, it was backordered all the way to hell. Apple told us on at least one occasion that it would ship on a certain date, but never did. This G5 is out of warranty, yet today we learned that Apple will be flat-out replacing this G5 with a new Mac Pro, no charge! Something tells me that Apple can't get the parts they need anymore and is trying to get failing G5 coolers/CPUs out of the channel while keeping customers happy.
Some other readers also noted long delays in getting repair parts, with some getting a Mac Pro replacement system vs repairing the G5 tower. (FYI - I've updated an earlier report from Havard to note they now have a 4th leaking system (out of 8 total).
Hi Mike, I thought I'd note on the recent discussion about the LCS in some PowerMac G5s. So far and from what I've seen (Technician at an Apple Retailer), it looks as if the Panasonic-based cooling systems aren't leaking. (at least not yet...) All PowerMacs we had to throw away have had Delphi-based cooling systems. (Delphi does seem a common factor, but that's the earliest LCS (longest in use - not sure how many Pana vs Delphi systems were shipped - over time any LCS may leak (o-rings and/or pumps eventually fail). As mentioned before there were 2 sources for the LCS and IIRC some had dual pumps, others single. See below for pix of the different LCS systems.-Mike) Most often, the power supply was destroyed by leaking coolant. Replacing this is not really helping in many ways - with two machines, the logicboard was dead too. Besides, the question is to what amount the coolant would continue to leak. (Of course with any leak, the #1 priority is to fix the source of the leak, not just other components damaged by leaking coolant.)
Although the main leak seems to be coming from the pump, the delphi-based systems (all that I have seen so far, even if not yet dead)
also leak at the junction to the copper/metal plate that touches the processors die. The panasonic systems I have seen have always been
100% clean from any coolant, but there are far more delphi systems out there...
PowerMac G5 with cooling leaks started to come in only a few months ago, before we could not see this failure besides some rare cases.
Pix of Panasonic and Delphi LCS Systems:
I'd forgotten about this past posting but James sent a reminder the April 15th, 2005 news page here had photos of his G5's Panasonic LCS system (he had just bought a Dual 2.5GHz model). He sent 2 photos (click for larger versions) that look different than the (Delphi) LCS in the first (June 2004) LCS dual 2.5GHz. (Photos of the original (june 2004) LCS were at www.neoview.com/g5/.)
There were also some internal/more detailed pix from a 2004 Dual 2.5GHz (Delphi I think) LCS at homepage.mac.com/thunderaudio/PhotoAlbum1.html photo gallery (no longer online), originally posted in the August 26th, 2004 news. (He later posted some pix of his "Late 2005" Quad 2.5GHz G5 LCS made by Delphi at http://homepage.mac.com/thunderaudio/PhotoAlbum11.html, but it's no longer online.)
(FYI: Apple says .Mac gallery/photos, homepages, etc will end on June 30, 2012)
FYI: I've updated Adream's earlier report with his latest email noting that Apple UK covered the
repair (out of warranty) and he has the G5 tower back now.
(added 9/20/2007 - updated 9/24/2007)
"Hello Mike... We have 8 liquid cooled G5s.
So far 3 have had coolant leaks: (now 4 - see below)
1) G5 Dual 2.5GHz:
Production year: 2005
Production week: 06 (February)
Died May 2007. Heavy black smoke triggered in the middle of the night. Bad smell in entire office. Repaired outside warranty by apple. Took 5 weeks for replacement parts, CPU, PSU, Motherboard. Has been OK since repair.
2) G5 Dual 2.5GHz:
Production year: 2005
Production week: 08 (February)
Died June 2007. Leak and black smoke. It was in use, so we could unplug it immediately. Repaired by Apple, but just died within days after returning to us. Sent back to Apple for new repair. There is an expected 1-2 months delivery time for parts. Still waiting
3) G5 Dual 2.5GHz:
Production year: 2004
Production week: 51 (December)
Died June 2007. Just leak. No smoke. Was repaired free of charge. Had several kernel panics when it returned. Didn't bother to check much about why, just sent back for new repair. There is an expected 1-2 months delivery time for parts. Still waiting.
(Update - On Sept. 24th he wrote)
I mistakently counted our (air-cooled) 2.3GHz models in the total, so luckily we have only 8 liquid-cooled macs, not "around 20". (Number corrected above)
However I found another one leaking, so we now have a 50% failure rate, 4 leaking out of 8.
4) G5 dual 2.7GHz
Production year: 2005
Production week: 19 (May)
This has probably been leaking slowly for some time. There are dry dark muddy crystals on the metal plate in the bottom, coming from under the CPU. The mac is still working without any noticable problems. Since it will take forever to get replacement parts I am probably using it until it melts...
Production year and date is based on serialnumber +
Thanks for the detailed info.
"Hi all, My 19 month old G5 Dual 2.7GHz has now blown itself to bits with the coolant leak. The cost of the system new was R24,000 and the repair cost is R18,000. The response from Apple is ZERO. As we cannot get extended AppleCare in SA apparently we must not expect our "Quality" Apple products to last any longer than the warrenty. Let the buyer beware.
I'd try another Apple contact - some (but not all) have reported they've gotten leaks repaired out of warranty.
"Just to add to your list of coolant leak reports..
2.7 GHz Dual Power Mac G5. Used for 2 years, 4 months (28 months) before leak was first spotted during routine check-up. Under Applecare warranty (whew!) Apple replaced the machine with a stock Mac Pro (2.66 GHz Intel) after 19 days in the shop - couldn't secure all the repair parts after 19 days, thus the replacement offer from the Apple Store manager. I got a new machine, so I'm happy with Apple's response.
I spotted the leak BEFORE the Mac started acting funny, so I strongly recommend a monthly check of the Mac's interior (focus on the back-bottom end near the power plug connection) even if your Mac seems to be running OK.
"Howdy Mike, Naturally I became concerned after having read all the reports (on the Xlr8yourmac.com front page of course!) of coolant leaks on the final revision dual G5 Powermacs, so I proceeded to open mine up for an inspection--I actually had been meaning to blow out all the built-
up dust with compressed air anyhow. Sure, mine is the dual 2.3GHz G5 (PCI-e model "late 2005" series), and not one of the dual 2.5GHz or dual 2.7GHz versions, but upon opening up the side panel, I noticed silkscreened onto the powersupply cover was something along the lines of "check for leaking coolant blah blah etc.". "WTF?!?!", I spoke aloud to myself, as I was under the impression that mine was in fact air cooled and NOT liquid cooled.
So, off with the other shrouding bits and pieces, and lo and behold, there stood a traditional heatpiped air cooled heatsink
setup... so why the warning on the powersupply? Oh yeah, mine was a refurbed unit, so the whole parts-is-pieces mix-and-match idea came
So, I believe it is safe to assume that the dual 2.3GHz units do NOT have liquid cooling in them despite the fact that they apparently have the same warning silkscreened onto the top of the powersupply.
Once again, to reiterate, this is from a refurbished late-2005 spec (although I purchased it about a year ago from the Apple Store with a
3-year Applecare extension like a smart person would do) dual 2.3GHz G5 Powermac, PCI-Express, and for sure the heatsink is an air cooled
unit (copper heatpipes with aluminum fins) without a hint anywhere of any fluid pumps. So basically, if I see liquid, then one of the kids
has some serious explaining to do!
I had one Dual-core (late 2005) 2.3GHz owner report a leak, but I've also had someone else say their DC 2.3GHz wasn't LCS. Here's some links from the FAQ's Apple G5 section (which has links to all the Apple specs pages for the 5 series of G5 Towers from 2003 to 2005) - the PowerMac G5 (Late 2005) (Dual Core/PCI-Express slots) doesn't mention which have LCS (Liquid Cooling System), although I assumed all the dual-core models did. I checked the late 2005 G5 Developer Docs (target doc moved/removed by apple now) but they don't mention LCS either. The Apple specs doc on the "Early 2005" series (last of the AGP slot/PCI-X slot G5 towers) lists "LCS Heatsink" only on the dual 2.7GHz model. And based on reports (as well as actual photos of the LCS) here, the Dual 2.5GHz model from the "Late 2004" and "June 2004" series also had LCS.
"Yes, I have had a coolant leak. I think it was the end of July/early september. (2007?) I have a G5 2.5 DP with 1.5 gig of ram, os 10.4 with X800 G5 video card. One day, the machine wouldn't turn on. Fans may have run a little wildy, but gave no indication of trouble until then. Took the machine to my local Apple place. They told me it was the power supply and would be fixed in a week. Then at the end of the week, they told me that the cooling system had sprung a leak and they wouldn't know how long it would take to fix (the words "nearly forever to get parts" were spoken). I hit the floor. I called appleCare and told them of my situation, how I had to use my mom's old G3 Pismo for Internet use, etc, etc. They connected me with a Product Specialist. My machine was fixed the week after that.
What got fixed:logic board, CPU's, Power supply, etc. Total cost to Apple Canada - $2,025. Cost to Me: $0.
This is the second huge failure this machine has had. The first one: logic board went down, taking the video card and hard drive with it. The stuff I had on the hard drive was recovered. Cost to me $80. Cost to Apple - about $1500 plus a technician came to my house to install the video card. Apple's stuff may be generally reliable, but the days of an unbreakable Mac may soon be over.
Moral of the story: Get AppleCare, folks
"My dual G5 2.7GHz sprung a leak after nearly two years of service. I took it to the Apple Store where they told me they've seen the problem before. With no AppleCare (never needed it in 20 years), I was out of luck. The cost of repairs was within $500 of the price of a new MacPro. After writing a letter to Apple suggesting a "Repair Extension Program," a "representative" of Steve Jobs called to say that while the coolant leaks are a reality, the failure rate is not high enough to warrant a recall.
(Updated 9/11/2007 - Updated 9/21 - see added comments)
my dual 2.7 G5 has just sprung a leak too, luckily I have retired it before it goes bang, but it's out of warranty. It cost £2400 when I
bought it 24 months ago and now it's sitting doing nothing. Lets hope there is eventually an extended repair program for these liquid cooled G5s with delphi pumps in them as I am certainly not the only customer that can hardly afford to spend another £2400 so soon after buying this. (It's worth calling Apple about this, as some here have reported they were able to get a repair covered out of warranty, although again YMMV.) All my previous macs have been very reliable, and its heartening to see apple have repair programs for other manufacturing defects (delphi's defect in this case I'd like to add). So add me to the rapidly extending list of G5 cooling leaks/failures. So far I havent heard back from apple but as its out of warranty I'm not expecting too much :-(
I also have of a friend in my town who has also had a coolant failure in his dual 2.5 G5.
(Update: - he later wrote that the repair is getting covered)
update on my leaky dual 2.7 G5
I spoke to applecare UK today who passed me onto an engineer, who agreed to sort it out for me giving me an exception code (as the
machine is out of warranty)
so I took it to our local apple repair centre and they said it would be fixed free of charge!
I'll keep you all posted as to the progress but so far so good.
(On Sept. 20th he wrote it's been repaired)
Hi Mike yet another update the G5 came back after 4 days with a new processor and cooling system installed and appears to work fine. All
work was done free of charge even with the machine over a year out of warranty. Apple UK have really come through for me in this case
thanks again for your continued work helping to make the mac community a community!
My Dual 2.5 G5 leaked coolant within the first year. I did have AppleCare. Apple sent a technician to my house, he confirmed the leak
and ordered a bunch of parts. He came back a week later with the parts, and upon further disassembly realized that the coolant had
caused considerable corrosion in the case under the power supply. He called Apple and got authorization for a new Mac. I picked up a brand
new Dual 2.7 G5 that weekend at the Apple Store--they even swapped over my SATA PCI-X card, Gigabit Ethernet PCI-X card, memory, and hard
drives. Bottom line: things break sometimes. I suspect a faulty design in the Delphi cooling system. Apple did the right thing immediately with no argument (they did ask if I was sure I hadn't spilled anything on it!). Happy customer. Only thing Apple could have
done better is a little quicker turnaround.
Reader Repairs a Leaking Pump:
"Mike; For what it's worth on this g5 leaking coolant business....here's my experience.
I picked up a used G5 2.7 very cheap a month ago. It had leaked coolant and fried the power supply. There was corrosion all around
the power supply and no sign of life of course, but the logic board actually still looked ok to me, so I thought what the hell. There
was also a fair bit of sooty crap on the case, on the MB near the CPU's due to the power supply frying but nothing that looked like
the board had actually been damaged. So I thought I'd just pull things apart to see exactly where the leak had occurred.... Figured I
hadn't spent much, didn't have much to lose. NOTE: to remove the CPU's, you will need the usual collection of Torx screwdrivers, but
you also need a LONG extension driver, maybe 5 inches extra length, to get at some torx screws which attach the heatsink/CPU assembly to
After removing the large CPU/LC assembly from the motherboard, I could see there was no leak from the cooling hoses themselves, they
were just fine, ( they are made of VERY tough braided material.) But a leak had obviously occurred somewhere, and there were crystals
around the junction of the hoses with the actual CPU blocks, as others have noted. Plus there a little coolant residue right
behind the coolant pump itself, right where it was mounted to the CPU aluminum block. This looked like the most likely site of
failure. However, I discovered that simply removing the pump from the hoses was pretty well impossible...they are so tough and
rigid, I figured I'd just wreck something trying to yank them off.
So I figured I'd just leave the whole CPU/ Heatsink assembly intact, and try to unscrew the pump from the rear. I had to remove
some screws from the big mounting plate, but this was not difficult...just be relaxed and methodical if you decide to try
this. I had to cut one of the coolant hoses off the pump too, so I could rotate the pump and get a decent look at how it was
constructed. (Any decent PC supply store has replacement hoses, coolant, clamps etc...I used vinyl tubing and tiny ring clamps from
my local automotive store. ) As soon as I cut the hose a bit of coolant leaked out of course, but a small rag quickly mopped this up.
Once I saw how the pump was constructed, I realized why it had probably leaked. It consists of three simple moulded plastic "layers", (A front, middle and back) simply screwed together as a sandwich, with 2 simple rubber O-rings forming a seal between the layers. There's no gasket material or other sealant, just these 2 soft rubber O-rings. In the front, where the inlet & outlets are located, there's a tiny inset wheel with little scooped impellers. This wheel does all the work. (Electricity drives the wheel, which simply moves coolant like a tiny old-fashioned water wheel, through the hoses, over the CPU's, past the the radiator etc., round and round. It's really pretty basic!) This little wheel looked just fine, turned freely etc. I wondered what the back & middle sections were for. The back section had a round rubber
diaphragm thing, mounted on 4 small springs...it took me a few minutes to realize it had to be some sort of basic expansion device, to account for the changes in coolant volume as the computer was being used, got hot, cooled down etc. Sure enough, there was a tiny hole in the middle piece of plastic, to allow coolant to enter this tiny expansion chamber. However, it was also pretty clear the O ring had not been sufficient, and coolant had simply forced its way past it, and oozed between the plastic layers, onto the cover of the power supply, then down into the
So I then cut the other hose off the pump (there's only 2 attached to the pump, in and out), which separated the pump from the rest of the cooling assembly. I disassembled the pump and put it out in the sun to completely dry. There's only 7 or 8 components to it, it's really basic, as I said before. I then got some high heat silicone sealant ( local hardware/ automotive store ) smeared it on the mating faces of the pump, re-installed the O-rings and put everything back together. I then actually had to cut the Delphi hoses right off the aluminum pipes with an Olfa knife ....as I said there are very tough, and were impossible to pull off, even after heating with a hairdryer) Some short sections of clear vinyl tubing completed the repair. (it's FAR more flexible, and it needs to be, because the DELPHI hoses are really overkill, and there's very little room for movement all around. The ends of the aluminum pipes of the cooling system are also very close to each other, so it's tricky to get enough room to slide the hoses over these aluminum ends. I then let everything sit for 2 full days, to allow the
silicone to cure and bond properly.
Of course what we're talking about here is a "closed loop" cooling system, so there should be no air in the hoses, coolant only. As I mentioned , the little expansion chamber works in lieu of a regular expansion tank, such as you'd find on a car. But still, there must be room for expansion, or something will blow. So after the silicone had cured 2 days, I had to somehow get the hoses - and more importantly the pump - full of coolant again, prior to giving the thing a test run. An inkjet syringe did this job nicely, slowly filling the system via an unconnected hose till it was full. I got the coolant from a local PC supply store...any store catering to overclockers will have loads of it. I kind of forced the coolant through with the syringe, to make sure there were no pockets of air hiding in nooks and crannies. I noticed a few tiny globs of residue come out at one point, which made me wonder if an annual backflush of a system such as this might be good policy, and if
some precipitate had formed somewhere and perhaps blocked the pump, or some such thing, which then resulted in excess pressure blowing coolant right past the o-rings etc. Personally, I still think the O-rings, standing alone without any other gasket/sealant material, are the weak link in this system, and were the reason this particular G5 became a casualty.
But to continue my little saga... At this point I still didn't have a working computer to give the cooling system a trial run on, so I gambled and ordered a new power supply. I figured i'd just re-sell the P.S. if things didn't work, but by this point I was really curious to see if the pump would actually work after my surgery, if the CPU's were still good, the logic board ok etc., just what the machine might be worth, even if it was just for parts. Anyways, long story short, I installed the power supply, attached a monitor, plugged it in, crossed my fingers, pushed the power button. Apple chime. The damn thing worked! Been running 24/7 for 3 weeks now , runs like a train.
So other readers might be interested in this info...I'm betting a great many of these G5 failures are due to coolant getting past
these damn O-rings on the little delhi pump. The rest of the liguid cooling system looked pretty bullet-proof to me. It's very solidly
made. My advice? Every couple of years, G5 Liguid Cooled owners should think about putting put some rainy afternoon aside for preventive maintenance. Get organized.. get a short length of vinyl tubing and a couple of tiny ring clamps. Carefully cut one of the lower hoses right off and flush the coolant out. Dispose of the old coolant responsibly, somewhere a kid or animal can't get at
it...it's lethal when ingested, pretty harmless otherwise. (FYI - See Material Safety Data Sheet (linked PDF no longer at apple) on Coolant.-Mike.) There's a screw cap on top of radiator itself, where you can refill, add coolant etc. Replace the hose you cut off off with the vinyl hose/ ring clamps, and use the inkjet syringe method to refill the system. An ounce of prevention, as they say! And if you've got a G5 that has just started leaking, I would definitely get some silicone sealant and and try to repair the pump, right off the bat. Repair shops probably tend to err on the side of caution when they see these G5 casualties roll in...they look pretty corroded and burnt up, and the tendency is probably to write the whole machine off. But as in my case, they MIGHT not be so bad
after all. A couple of hours with some screwdrivers, vinyl hose and clamps, and you just might be up and running again!
Hope this helps someone out there.
"I've just got my Powermac back from the service centre, it's a dual 2.7ghz model which I got in June 2005. Luckily it was my first
machine with AppleCare. I leave my computer on all the time because one of it's uses is as a PVR. I had no prior warning before it gave
out, and having a cursory look inside thought it was a blown power supply. Like your other readers, I was informed by the service centre
it was the coolant and after not hearing for them for 10 days, they told me they had to replace 6 parts and were waiting on some parts.
They asked Apple to replace the whole unit, but they refused - They even had to replace the case!
It ended up taking a month for them to fix it.
regards, Michael F.
"Earlier this month a coolant leak caused my Dual 2.5GHz G5 to die.
To recap: the computer became wonky, wildly spinning up fans at the slightest provocation for a couple of days, passed hardware test suite, then became unbootable; upon moving the box for a look see, clear coolant ran out of the case. I called AppleCare, explained all the details, and luckily got the right person, because he authorized a repair right off the bat (the system was way out of warranty, being nearly 3 years old, but I didn't have to make a peep).
He made an appointment for me at my local Apple store for later the same day, and I dropped the box off. Whatever came up on the screen at the Genius counter when they pulled up my AppleCare ticket definitely raised some eyebrows (the Genii all clustered around the screen to get a peek)...
Now three weeks later, I just got my system back and it seems to be working fine. Apple replaced the logic board (twice!), the dual CPU board, the power supply, and the entire external case (it came back covered in plastic!). My bill: $0.
So, there _is_ hope for those with this problem...
(he later wrote)
As further follow up, the system seems to be running normally, although the fan behavior is not quite the same as it used to be (spinups seem more frequent -- I wonder if the new mobo has different firmware?). I plan to rebuild my system disk anew, from scratch, and then do a little
temperature monitoring (I've never bothered before, since the system is stock, with exception of some extra RAM, and I seldom push it hard). I need to work it to see if anything shows up before my 90 day warranty expires.
"I have a G5 powermac SN#(omitted here) that has leaked coolant and wanted to let you know about it. I am an IT tech at a school district and thought at first it was the power supply as I have it on 24/7 and have had it a few years. So I took it apart and removed the power supply and brought it to an apple service provider where an old co-worker of mine now currently works so I could get a hookup on the part from GSX since I can't order it here at the school myself legally. Anyway, he informed me that the water like material on the bottom of the power supply I thought might have came from (blown) capacitors was likely from liquid damage. I went home and checked the processor heatsink and sure enough it had leaked. I was pissed.
I called apple the next day and after an hour on the phone with them and raising it 3 tiers I was told that the repair would be covered despite my lack of getting applecare. So I brought in all the parts to PowerMacPac here and am having them replace the logic board, processors, case, heatsink, and power supply. I might even get a new Mac Pro which I have argued with them several times as I need to get my machine up and running and my hookup at PowerMacPac said it was going to be until October until the case came in.
The Apple rep had to put in a request to get the case in from a local service provider quickly. The case came in and now I'm just waiting for the processors.... I've expressed my worry of this happening again in the future multiple times with the apple rep helping me. He says that usually after this is fixed the problem doesn't occur again. I have read several articles that say the Delphi radiators they used are prone
to this problem. Maybe I'll still get a new mac. I'll know soon enough and have certainly been trying and arguing to get one.
Either way even though this is a total pain I am still impressed with apple's custom service and willingness to help me get this taken care of. The rep gave me a direct line to contact him and his email so I don't have to jump through a bunch of hoops and wait on hold everytime I want to contact him.
I am looking at a coolant leak. First the power supply was sparking, so I got a power supply to replace it. The service center took it apart
and then they told me that it was heatsink and coolant leak that needed replacing. (When was it repaired? How long since the repair did it leak again? (wondering if there's some sort of warranty period on repairs)-Mike) It is a dual 2.5Ghz. Been in use since 2004. The apple care just expired on it, 2 months ago, so it can't be fixed by apple care. (a few readers with leaks outside the warranty somehow got the leaks repaired at no cost (see below), although that is not the norm I suspect. One of the reports below includes info on a company that did the repairs at a discount (compared to apple estimate/cost) also.)
This is a school computer and the unfortunate thing is that we are in Kenya. So it's very very hard to get parts. For them to get one, it
has to be ordered from Europe and could take about 8 weeks. I don't know what to do. I was away on vacation. When I got back in early August, I plugged it in to get it ready for school, but it started sparking.
So that's where we stand right now...
It can't hurt to contact apple and see if they would cover it - especially since it was previously repaired for the same problem (and used in a school). Worth a try.
(updated with a follow-up)
I am glad you are collecting data on the G5 Liquid Coolant failures. Even though the supplier of the Coolant Part has since gone bankrupt
Apple has the responsibility to their customers. (I think he's talking about Delphi, but IIRC there's more than one source and some models had single pumps, others dual pumps.-Mike) Apple should have issued a recall of the product when they became aware how widespread the failures were. Is APPLE turning into THE BAD APPLE?
Purchased when it first came on the market my G5 2.5 Ghz dual processor leaked the coolant out the bottom of the unit on July 17, 2007. Since that date it has been held up in Apple Service awaiting replacement of the processor. After it finally did arrive on August 8, the service informed me that even after replacing the Processor, Logic Board and the Power Supply the unit still failed to work.
The first failure had occurred back on April 17, 2007 with a catastrophic unexplainable Hard Drive failure, which wiped out two years of my life as a Graphic Designer and Artist. (ALWAYS have a backup of your important files (with any system). The cost of a firewire drive for backup is relatively small and is priceless when a problem like that happens. (The internal DVD burner can be used for backups also of course, although tedious if you have a huge amount of data to backup.) Sooner or later, anything will fail (and drives can also get corrupted from other causes). Especially when you have important/valuable files for a business, the first purchase you should make is a backup drive if you don't already have one. I'd highly recommend one even for home users to backup user files that can't be replaced by reinstalling an OS, etc. A clone of a boot drive (completely) is also very handy to have in case of OS X or other Update problems.-Mike)
Essentially both my business and show schedule had to be put on hold.
I have spent countless hours trying to get action from Apple, the last lead looked promising, but again led nowhere so far. I am entitled for a replacement under Apple Care Warranty.
I have suffered enough damage and will do whatever it takes to hold APPLE accountable.
(later in the day he wrote)
I just got my faith in Apple restored... The last woman I had been talking to at customer relations did follow through and I will be issued a replacement. I will let you know when it does happen. I am very relieved, I have been an Apple customer since the very first Mac came out, going through all the upgrades and as you know, we do love the machines.
Best regards, Jutta S.
I bought one of the first Macintosh 128K's in 1984 (doesn't seem like it was that long ago) and dozens of Macs since then including a few PowerComputing models, a Umax S900, built a couple Genesis machines from parts.
I purchased a PowerMac G5 Dual 2.5GHZ around August 2004, the service contract expired
on 8/17/2007- I am now sitting on pins and needles.
Had a coolant leak 8/12/06. According to the Apple Care Report, Apple replaced the:
- Logic board
- Multiprocessor, Dual 2.5 GHZ, w/LCS
- Power Supply, 600W, Grommet
- Hardware Repair-Level, 2
Took 3 weeks to get it all done - they would only do one thing at a time.
I've been checking the inside for leaks once a month ever since this happened - very nervous!
I was surprised to see that several readers have mentioned they were able to get repairs done in some cases out of warranty, although YMMV and I'd not consider it a sure thing.
I had a G5 Dual 2.5 that leaked coolant that was less than a year old (still under warranty) and had a independent Apple dealer look at it.
I used it for home office and it was on about 14-16 hours a day. Took to long to get parts, so I complained to Apple. They replaced it with
a new Quad G5 2.5. Had to eat the ram, but it was worth it. Purchased Apple care with new unit. Definitely a common problem with liquid-cooled Duals. Get (Applecare) warranty!
I have had two machines of five that have started to leak. We didn't see that the machines were leaking before it was to late. I don't
know how old they were, but the warranty time had expired. It was two weeks between the machines crashed and I reported the machines to Apple one at a time. One of the machines Apple replaced with a new Intel machine and the other one they repaired for free. They replaced a lot of parts in the machine that were repaired.
Dual 2.5 G5, purchased Nov 2004, fried power supply, motherboard, both processors in March 2006 (16 months).
I got the green dripping liquid, sparking, smoke and then all was dead.
Apple store cut $1000 off of the repair due to the fact that it wasn't long after the standard 1 year warranty had expired (and I buy a lot of Macs).
This was the first Mac I seriously considered buying the Extended Care for (due to a radiator being in my computer!), but didn't. It would have saved me serious cash.
At this rate, I expect the current computer to go bad this fall, just before I get the cash to buy a Mac Pro.
Dual G5 2.5
Dual G5 2.0
Powerbook G4 1.5
Powerbook G3 400
Mac Mini 1.68GHz
My (air cooled) 2003 Dual 2GHz G5 (first shipment) is still running knock on wood. (Replaced the Pwr Supply early on for a noisy fan, but otherwise no problems yet.)
"I had a G5 dual 2.5GHz (bought 22 Oct. 2004) continuously running for about 2 years. In
October 2006, suddenly it died.
I had it repaired on my own costs (logic board, CPU, powersupply - A lot of corrosion on the Power Supply).
After the repair I sold it and switched to a Xserve Intel.
G5 dual 2.5GHz, 2 yrs old - out of warranty. Had a problem with fan noise, Apple said caused by coolant leak. Apple refused to repair - gave repair estimate of $1700.00!!! Got it repaired by indep. repair store for $750.00. Took a month to get the parts - probably because so many G5's are leaking, parts hard to come by. Where's the class action?
(I asked what company did the repairs)
2091 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91107
Di-No is an old Apple dealer located near Cal Tech in Pasadena. With the Apple Stores in Pasadena & Glendale, they don't really sell Apple
hardware anymore -- they mostly do repairs.
Repaired G5 seems to be working fine, but I'm trying to add the G5 to the Apple extended care package I have on my iMac & laptop.
I think anyone with a PowerMac G5 should pick up an extended warranty ASAP. The standard Apple repair lines seems to be:
1. If unit still under warranty: The coolant is leaking so the warranty is voided (!?) (which is what they told me when they
thought my extended warranty convered the G5; (FYI - others with leaks under warranty said Apple covered it.-Mike) or
2. If the unit is out of warranty: Sorry, no warranty, and coolant leaks are not a typical problem with the G5, so Apple doesn't "help"
with the repairs.
At least if you have a warranty, you can go up the customer service chain and find someone to repair or replace the unit.
"I have a Dual 2.5 GHz PowerMac, which is 2 Years and 11 Months old. Two weeks ago the mac started acting abnormal (high volume spinning fans and having lookdowns/crashes through out the day). One morning the machine did not start up any more. Switching on brought for half a second the light on (on the front of the G5) and nothing.
My apple certified tech opened it up and discovered green liquid (coolant) and traces of fluid everywhere around the cpus, the cooling system and down to the powersupply which died first from the liquid. I talked to Apple the next day, and had a very inexperienced rep on the line. He did not even know (even given the serial number of the dead machine) that this was liquid cooled machine. He asked if I had put any liquid above or on the computer, because inside the Mac there is no liquid (LOL).
Since I am working as an instructor on film classes I told the rep (who was definitely unwilling to repair it at apple's cost as the machine was far out of warranty) I dropped a hardball and said: "If Apple does not fix this, because this is definitely their fault, I will make a video and put it on youtube..."
Anyway, he said I should take it to an authorized AppleCenter and I did that, the tech called me a day later and said everything is fine. This serial number was already under cleared for repair.
Now I have the machine back and working: They changed 2 CPUs, cooling unit and power supply. The inner case is in some parts now heavy corroded. I will not even imagine the cost to have paid for the repair myself. One last thing: The Apple Rep said next time I should consider getting the extended AppleCare Warranty...
(Since this is a hot thing and I had to do a lot of talking (with Apple reps) I would like to keep my name under wraps, but can only recommend those affected to stay "hard and focused" when talking with Apple Reps on this particular issue :-)
regards and greetings from europe.
(name withheld by request)"
Most companies will not pay for any repairs after the warranty period, unless it's due to a known/common defective component, etc. - although several readers have said they convinced them to repair leak damage after the 1yr warranty had expired. (Apple has posted several Exchange and Repair Extension Programs in the past however, including a Power Mac G5 Repair Extension Program for Power Supply Issues.)
"We had a G5 leak coolant over the summer. It's 2 year old, so that would make it one of the same generations as Zach's. This is the only instance of this type of failure i've seen, and I run 4 labs totaling over 80 computers.
When it began to leak coolant, it apparently got into the power supply, shorted it out, and make a good bit of smoke and noise. I
called Apple (we have Applecare), and the specialist asked me health and safety questions from a script about skin contact and the like. [See Material Safety Data Sheet (Update: Link toPDF doc at Apple no longer works)]
Apple repaired the G5 without hesitating, having to replace everything short of the RAM, HD, optical drive and video card. They
even had to replace the front switch where you turn it on.
At least for me, this is (so far) an isolated incident.
Multimedia Lab Coordinator
University of Tampa
I'd had some previous reports of leaks (in the news at times and on the G5 random shutdowns page), but his comment on a large number at once made me wonder if others with similar age may start showing the problem also. (Worth checking periodically at least.) Let me know if you spot any others leaking in the future.
"I have 2 of the first generation dual 2.5 GHz G5s. One made an audible bang and smoke came from the case. Unfortunately, this was
after the warranty period (no Applecare) and it was too expensive to repair (>$2000). The other has shown no signs of leaks. It's easy to
see if you have a leak, just open the case and look for liquid or salt deposits. (leaking coolant forms crystals such as shown on this page - worse is the horrible rust seen on some other surfaces with bad leaks when systems ran for months like that.-Mike)
It looks to me like when the coolant dries it leaves salt deposits.
"Around the beginning of June this year, the unthinkable happened. My beloved 2.5 GHz G5 started making sizzling and popping noises and then it just died. Unplugging it and removing the outer cover revealed that the worst that could happen had happened. I'd been bitten by the dreaded G5 coolant leak. Still, I'd paid for the full Applecare cover and there was still a couple of months remaining so I was sure that Apple would see that the problem was resolved satisfactorily.
My first step was to drop into the retail branch of my local AASP and have a chat with a manager there. He advised me take the incontinent
beast to their service centre and the problem would be dealt with. Once I got there (by expensive taxi, incidentally) it was a different
story. The tech confirmed the leak and the fact that the machine would not start. He then explained that, as it was very likely that
multiple parts would have failed, Apple don't allow them the discretion they would require to replace more than one part and I
would have to work through Applecare directly. I phoned Applecare from my mobile, hoping for them to give their OK for the repair to be
conducted locally but they were unwilling to deviate from their "1 component' guideline, although they arranged for a tech to phone me
within 48 hours. Another expensive taxi later and I was back in my flat and starting to get frustrated.
The tech from the contractor Apple uses actually phoned that afternoon and arranged a pick-up for the next day, which also went as
planned. He phoned back a couple of days later to explain that there was a long wait for the processor block, which was on backorder and
that he'd also ordered a power supply. It looked like they'd be waiting a minimum of 3 weeks before getting the block and even then,
there was no guarantee that there wouldn't be more damage. Now, a week or so to fulfil the terms of an extended (and paid for) warranty
is reasonable but I didn't feel that being deprived of my Mac for at least a month was acceptable and I told him so (politely). He
suggested I talk to Apple and I said I'd do that.
Before talking to Apple, though, I did a little research on the internet and found that I was by no means alone. Cooling system failures on this model aren't as rare as they could be, especially around the 18 - 24 month mark. Some labs running multiple G5s are reporting 15% - 20% failure rates. I rang Apple and asked for customer relations. I asked about the availability of the processor and was told that they'd expedite delivery to their contractors and that it'd get there within 48 hours. I also asked about the failure rate; what would happen if the new processor failed after 18 months; and whether they'd extend the warranty to a reasonable level. A resounding "NO" was the reply. A standard 90 days from the date of the repair was all they were prepared to offer. Still, at least the
part was on it's way and I'd get my machine back soon, eh?
A couple more days down the line and I returned a missed call from
customer relations. The original estimate for the processor's availability was correct. Well, I say it was correct. I was told it may well take even longer. However, the rep was much more sympathetic than the previous one and I had the impression that she had a bit more influence. She said she'd see if there were any more options and phone after the weekend. I was thinking of asking for a replacement machine by then. Even an older G5 would have done, as long as it was air-cooled! On the Monday, just before the WWDC keynote, I had another phone call. The delivery date for the processor had been pushed back another week, so she suggested replacing my G5 with a Mac Pro instead of repairing it. I didn't even have to ask. There was a delay as my G5 was at the contractors and my hard drive was with me. Her supervisor had left for the day, but the next day, he said it'd be OK for me to return the hard drive later.
On the 15th June, around 3 weeks "apres le deluge", a brand new 2.66 GHz Mac Pro was delivered. I had some third party RAM and a NVidia
6800GT in my G5, which I kept and sold in order to fund some RAM. The lesson here is to always be courteous and polite. At no stage did I
raise my voice, although there were times where I felt I ought! I do wonder, however, how many others are having the same issues and
whether Apple is doing anything outside of Applecare, as I believe this to be a design or manufacturing fault.
(from 8/27/2007 mail)
I had a G5 Quad 2.5 GHZ that I bought approximately in June of '06 in Sept '06 it sprung a coolant leak and the local Apple store quickly
replaced it with a new unit...
"We actually had two G5s, bought the same day, die the same week because of a coolant leak. They were out of warranty about a month or two and the guys here at work were just going to drop the issue and buy new machines. I suggested we get some satisfaction from Apple on this issue as it was clearly a manufacturing problem. After we spent some time on the phone Apple came through and are repairing both of
them. They should both be fixed this week. I hope Apple comes through for others with the same problem.
"Lots of them can be found on the net - Apple should start an extended warranty program for the liquid cooled machines:
Apple forums thread on G5 Coolant Leaks (no longer online)
I'm checking my own G5 2.5 almost everyday for liquid inside for the past year. It's a shame, a $1 plastic tub could save all these machines from dying. But you can't look behind the processor cover. It is sealed (later models) and can't be opened without breaking this little plastic seal. So the user gets no chance to see that the machine starts leaking before it's really bad.
When my Apple Care Warranty is over I will break the seal, remove the cover and put a plastic tub below the processors.
(He later wrote)
Mine is november 2004 - 6 months before the 2.7 came out. Mine is running 18 hours a day which is possibly worse because the material the cooling system is made of is getting more stressed by very different temperatures inside the case.
Again I'd had several reports on coolant leaks in the past but after Zach's comments on a large batch leaking I thought posting this would be good to see if others may be developing the problem (not just those that had leaks earlier).
Apple PowerMac G5 series Specs Pages:
(FYI - Apple links below changed in Oct. 2008 - they redid their support/specs pages (again) and didn't auto-redirect from earlier page URLs.)
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