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TouchID sensor failure and way to fix?

I was recently given a Mac Air 2018 which was dead with moisture damage.

I managed to get it going but ran into security issues. The previous owner and I went to the Genius Bar - so no ID issues, and they reverted it to factory settings and reinstalled Big Sur, but the fingerprint key does not work. Can anything be done?

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When you say you got it going, what sorts of things did you do? Where did the liquid in the machine go/what components did it affect?

The only components that were damaged were the audio socket, the ribbon to it and the battery. Replacement fixed the laptop. So I think only the top right hand corner of the machine got damp. and not badly, but there was corrosion.

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Sadly, the TouchID and logic board are married there is no means to swap out a damaged TouchID without also swapping out the logic board.

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But why did it go wrong in the first place?

@uberdirektor - Likely damaged from the moisture.

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If there is water damage without destroying the sensor chip and the security chip, it is very possible to repair.

Just clean the board, find and replace whatever components shorted and corroded.

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If the damage was to the Audio board area, then you would need to retain the original Power button/Touch ID board to be able to get finger print to work. If you're still using that button, then it's possible the circuitry inside the Touch ID module was damaged by the liquid.

I believe on these models (T2 models), the Touch ID module CAN be replaced by Apple, independent of the logic board, (just not vice versa and on older models they need to be replaced together regardless). But in order for Touch ID to function, Apple needs to perform the Touch ID replacement so it can be paired with the logic board as part of the repair.

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Sadly this is a catch22 issue as the liquid markers have likely flipped so Apple won't do the repair (replacing it)

@danj True. I could write a tell all having worked for 2 separate AASPs about the absurd practices within that program. And the differences between what is in the written documentation from Apple and what is current practice. Believe it or not, a triggered sticker according to Apple is not automatic cause for warranty void, even though that's almost always what happens.

Liquid damage machines were ones I always ripped down as far as I could to check for where exactly liquid went and what got touched. A good AASP would just change out touch ID with some possible caveats about liquid damage that may have been been unnoticed. But so often that's not what happens.

@flannelist - Yep, I've seen that as well.

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