2011 MBP Battery weirdness

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by patseguin, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. patseguin macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #1
    My MBP (2011) has been working perfectly the whole time I have had it. I use it for music and had to use it on battery a few times when I forgot the power cord on gigs. I've left it plugged in most of the time and just recently I had it unplugged and the battery indicator gave me the service battery message. I installed more RAM and a new hybrid SSD hard drive and did a clean install of Mavericks. Ever since, the service battery message is gone. Is it possible that there is nothing wrong with my battery? As I type this, it is unplugged and has almost 5 hours remaining according to the icon. I find it odd that before the upgrade I had the batter issue and now the message is not showing up. Is it possible that is was an OS glitch or even using it unplugged and plugging it back in ironed out the problem? I intend to make this my main Mac and sell my iMac so i want to make sure it is working correctly. It's really fast now with double the RAM and the 1TB SSD hybrid drive. Is there another way to test the battery rather than just look at the titlebar icon?
     
  2. T5BRICK macrumors 604

    T5BRICK

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    I'm guessing the "Service Battery" message will return eventually. With a new copy of OSX installed, it may have lost any history of battery issues that caused the error message to appear in the first place.
     
  3. thesimplelogic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    #3
    I'm probably wrong here, but my Macbook had the Service Battery message, and after a reinstall, still had the message. Maybe not, oh well :p
     
  4. TheIguana macrumors 6502a

    TheIguana

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Have you tried doing a full discharge and recharge cycle to calibrate your batteries readings in OS X?

    Another thing you can look at is using the tool Coconut Battery to see the status of your battery.

    From what I have seen, the service battery message tends to start going off when your battery has fallen below ~75% of its original capacity. From the sounds of it yours is probably just hitting that - although it tends to bounce around a bit before it does.
     
  5. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #5
    I did the full discharge and recharge about 2 weeks ago and I haven't seen the "battery needs service" message since. This was after a clean OS install when I installed the new SSD/HD drive and memory upgrade. Is it possible that the discharge and recharge re-calibrated the battery? I can't exactly take it to the Genius Bar if there is no battery warning displaying.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    The built-in batteries in the newer Mac unibody notebooks come pre-calibrated and do not require regular calibration like the removable batteries in older Apple notebooks.
    Yes, that's quite possible.

    If you're not already doing so, use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of battery health and cycles and computer uptime, among many other things. A forum member has posted a copy of iStat Pro that has been "tweaked" to enhance compatibility with Mountain Lion. You can download it here.

    Your battery is most likely fine. It is perfectly normal if your battery health (maximum capacity) is more or less than 100%, even when brand new, or if it fluctuates up or down over time. The gradual decline is not in a straight line downward, and it may decline more rapidly at some times and slower at others. Because of this fluctuation, the "Service Battery" may appear some times and not others, as it's designed to appear when the health drops below 75%, whether there is a problem with the battery or not. You can continue using a battery with health below 80%, 75% or 60%, as long as it still holds enough charge to meet your needs and doesn't display any other problematic symptoms, such as swelling.

    For further details, read the CHECKING STATUS AND HEALTH section of the following link.
    The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.
     
  7. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #7
    Thanks for your help. It's been a couple weeks since I upgraded the hardware and reinstalled and the battery message has not re occurred. I am now using the machine as my main Mac so I am leaving it plugged in most of the time. I'd unplug it for a music gig or to take in the basement to do some recording but for all intents and purposes it's my desktop machine now and it's plugged in like a normal computer. I don't think that can be harmful to the battery because I think I read that it has circuitry to protect it from overcharging. Plus, the display would dim and it would likely slow down to conserve battery I believe. Does that sound about right?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    It's not good for your battery to leave it plugged in all the time. No, it won't overcharge, as it stops charging once it's full, but the battery does need to be exercised in order to stay healthy.

    Run on battery whenever you need to and plug it in whenever you can. You can plug or unplug any time you need to, regardless of the charged percentage, and you never need to completely drain your battery. Just make sure you don't run on AC power exclusively, as your battery needs to be used regularly to stay healthy.
     

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