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boomlapop

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 18, 2014
19
6
I bought 2015 MacBook Pro in 2017 (almost 3 years now), maxed it to 16GB RAM, threw in a 1TB SSD, and it has been an incredible machine thus far - used daily for music production, it's my bread + butter machine, it's been fast, snappy and best of all, pretty damn silent for all this time.

Until...

A couple of months ago, I started noticing the fan noise becoming increasingly audible, as the machine seemed to run slightly hotter.
As I recently bought more CPU intensive sample libraries and virtual instruments, I brushed it off as normal.
The fans will now work a little harder from time to time, and that is that.

However, the fans got increasingly louder over time, as did the temperature of the machine.
So hot that my workflow started getting impacted by the CPU struggling to keep up, and the noise became unbearable.

I wanted to close the lid the other night and noticed it wasn't closing all the way, leaving a little gap and no more subtle 'snap'.
Turned it over and noticed the bottom casing was bulging, and the laptop was a bit wobbly even on the flattest of surfaces.

Opened it up, and with each screw that came off, the pressure was pushing the casing outward even more.
As you see on the pics, it got really bad and happy to have noticed now rather than later.
I can't even close it back up now if I wanted to, the battery is 'that' swollen.

The weird thing is, the About This Mac/System Report on the battery shows the status as 'normal', with a cycle count of 323.
However, the pictures clearly show that this battery is beyond swollen and needs to get replaced ASAP.

Sadly, after entering my serial number, Apple tells me that my machine is not eligible for the free battery replacement they offer.
I'm sorry but that is beyond f***ed, imo. Really Apple? I spent roughly $2500 on this machine and while you offer the battery replacement on this very model, of this very year, somehow mine doesn't fall into the proper batch to qualify.

Regardless, off to an authorized Apple Repair shop tomorrow (Apple Store geniuses are busy for the next 4 days apparently, sigh) to get it done. I considered a cheaper knock-off from Amazon but I don't trust it for some reason, I'd rather pay the $200 and get it done right.

Anyway, I know this happens to a lot of MBP Retina owners, I'm just a bit amazed at how such glamorized and expensive machines become so unreliable and clunky after just a few years.
 

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magbarn

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2008
2,489
1,636
Wait for genius bar appointment. They're more able to "bend" the rules than an authorized repair center. You might be able to get a good will repair

I still don't understand why your machine was running hotter and hotter? dirty heatsink/fans or swollen battery blocking vents?

In the future, install an app like Al Dente and keep battery under 70% charge. high heat + 100% charge harms the batteries much faster.
 
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sixtydashone

macrumors regular
Apr 7, 2020
211
242
Out of curiosity, did they explain why your laptop was not eligible for the replacement?
 
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boomlapop

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 18, 2014
19
6
Wait for genius bar appointment. They're more able to "bend" the rules than an authorized repair center. You might be able to get a good will repair

I still don't understand why your machine was running hotter and hotter? dirty heatsink/fans or swollen battery blocking vents?

In the future, install an app like Al Dente and keep battery under 70% charge. high heat + 100% charge harms the batteries much faster.

Upon opening yeah there was a bit of dust near the fans and some specks atop the battery cells, but nothing excessive - heat sink and pretty much all components appear relatively clean. That battery however...I've seen a bunch of videos now relating to the issue and have yet to see a battery as swollen as this one. Good god it's about to explode! :D
[automerge]1594070487[/automerge]
Out of curiosity, did they explain why your laptop was not eligible for the replacement?
I entered my serial number in the appropriate field on the specific Apple battery recall page.
It simply said that my laptop's serial does not qualify for the free replacement.
Thanks Apple!
 
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justashooter

macrumors regular
Apr 8, 2020
228
117
That is pretty swollen. Here is the worst I've delt with. A friend had a 2011 Macbook Pro 13 that had not been used in about 3 years. I charged it up, booted it up to make sure it worked then put it on the shelf to work on later. Took it out 10 days later and it wobbled when put a table, I had to drill out one of the screws because there was so much pressure against the bottom case. Fixed it up with a new battery and an SSD and she is using it now.
 

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boomlapop

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 18, 2014
19
6
That is pretty swollen. Here is the worst I've delt with. A friend had a 2011 Macbook Pro 13 that had not been used in about 3 years. I charged it up, booted it up to make sure it worked then put it on the shelf to work on later. Took it out 10 days later and it wobbled when put a table, I had to drill out one of the screws because there was so much pressure against the bottom case. Fixed it up with a new battery and an SSD and she is using it now.

Holy crap that is seriously bloating, totally beats mine, lol!
Yeah now I can't even put the bottom case back on even if I wanted to.
As I was taking out one screw at a time, I could feel the pressure of the battery popping it outward.
Crazy stuff.
 
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herb2k

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2020
133
52
Genius bar is your best bet - I had this happen with my 2015 as well, and although the replacement was not free, they did go the extra mile.

2015 Retina battery replacements from Apple are attached to the "top case" (so Keyboard and Touchpad are replaced when the Genius Bar does it).

In my case, they ran into "other problems" and ended up also replacing the Screen with a new one, as well as the Logic board - so my machine is pretty much new now ;)

If you are concerned about it bursting before you can bring it in - try to use the battery until it has a low charge remaining, that will reduce the potential energy between the cells if one of them needs to vent (and likely prevent a small fire).
 
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e1me5

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2013
387
714
Cyprus
Same thing with my 2018 i9 MBP. I noticed one night that it wasnt lying flat on my desk and took me some time to see that the bottom pan was expanded. Battery condition was saying normal but health was at 80% with only 110 cycles. Guy at the store confirmed that it was the battery (as I didnt want to pry it open and mess with waranty) and said it was due to keeping it always on power and Apple recommends putting a cycle every day so the battery keeps healthy. Gonna get it back tomorrow but I dont know if it's repaired under warranty or not.
 
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boomlapop

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 18, 2014
19
6
Genius bar is your best bet - I had this happen with my 2015 as well, and although the replacement was not free, they did go the extra mile.

2015 Retina battery replacements from Apple are attached to the "top case" (so Keyboard and Touchpad are replaced when the Genius Bar does it).

In my case, they ran into "other problems" and ended up also replacing the Screen with a new one, as well as the Logic board - so my machine is pretty much new now ;)

If you are concerned about it bursting before you can bring it in - try to use the battery until it has a low charge remaining, that will reduce the potential energy between the cells if one of them needs to vent (and likely prevent a small fire).

Yeah I just might chance it and go the Apple Store first thing when they open, perhaps they can squeeze me in at some point. I just didn't want to wait 4 days as I need this machine for work and can't go too long without it, which is why I thought of going to the other 'authorized centre'.

The rest of the laptop is unaffected, although oddly enough, the trackpad and keyboard - which lay just above the battery are totally fine - the swelling only affected the back part of the bottom case (mostly between the two fans). The case on its own is totally fine too, I cleaned it and it now rests perfectly flat on a table, so thankfully it hasn't gotten warped permanently.
 
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Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,689
324
the $200 that you are paying is basically new keyboard, trackpad, top case and battery.

I had my top case replaced because of the swollen battery back in 2018 under applecare.

And I just replaced my swollen battery by myself for $49, just need a nylon string and the screwdriver to open it up.

For knockoffs, I'm fairly certain the one in ebay, etc is quite legit because Apple doesn't produce its own batteries and have vendors supplied to them and one of the suppliers is simplo which is what I have in the old and new battery that I just installed.
 

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TiggrToo

macrumors 68040
Aug 24, 2017
3,164
6,909
Out there...way out there
I bought 2015 MacBook Pro in 2017 (almost 3 years now), maxed it to 16GB RAM, threw in a 1TB SSD, and it has been an incredible machine thus far - used daily for music production, it's my bread + butter machine, it's been fast, snappy and best of all, pretty damn silent for all this time.

Until...

A couple of months ago, I started noticing the fan noise becoming increasingly audible, as the machine seemed to run slightly hotter.
As I recently bought more CPU intensive sample libraries and virtual instruments, I brushed it off as normal.
The fans will now work a little harder from time to time, and that is that.

However, the fans got increasingly louder over time, as did the temperature of the machine.
So hot that my workflow started getting impacted by the CPU struggling to keep up, and the noise became unbearable.

I wanted to close the lid the other night and noticed it wasn't closing all the way, leaving a little gap and no more subtle 'snap'.
Turned it over and noticed the bottom casing was bulging, and the laptop was a bit wobbly even on the flattest of surfaces.

Opened it up, and with each screw that came off, the pressure was pushing the casing outward even more.
As you see on the pics, it got really bad and happy to have noticed now rather than later.
I can't even close it back up now if I wanted to, the battery is 'that' swollen.

The weird thing is, the About This Mac/System Report on the battery shows the status as 'normal', with a cycle count of 323.
However, the pictures clearly show that this battery is beyond swollen and needs to get replaced ASAP.

Sadly, after entering my serial number, Apple tells me that my machine is not eligible for the free battery replacement they offer.
I'm sorry but that is beyond f***ed, imo. Really Apple? I spent roughly $2500 on this machine and while you offer the battery replacement on this very model, of this very year, somehow mine doesn't fall into the proper batch to qualify.

Regardless, off to an authorized Apple Repair shop tomorrow (Apple Store geniuses are busy for the next 4 days apparently, sigh) to get it done. I considered a cheaper knock-off from Amazon but I don't trust it for some reason, I'd rather pay the $200 and get it done right.

Anyway, I know this happens to a lot of MBP Retina owners, I'm just a bit amazed at how such glamorized and expensive machines become so unreliable and clunky after just a few years.

I'm in the exact same position. I'm simply seeing it as "chemicals happen" and just going to get it looked at.

These things do happen and it sucks. I'll plead for mercy with the tech but whatever happens happens.
 
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herb2k

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2020
133
52
Yeah I just might chance it and go the Apple Store first thing when they open, perhaps they can squeeze me in at some point. I just didn't want to wait 4 days as I need this machine for work and can't go too long without it, which is why I thought of going to the other 'authorized centre'.

The rest of the laptop is unaffected, although oddly enough, the trackpad and keyboard - which lay just above the battery are totally fine - the swelling only affected the back part of the bottom case (mostly between the two fans). The case on its own is totally fine too, I cleaned it and it now rests perfectly flat on a table, so thankfully it hasn't gotten warped permanently.

Apple usually reserves some time for walk-in repairs. If they have the top case in stock at the store for your model, usually done same day/next day.
 
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hollandog

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2014
224
81
Apple usually reserves some time for walk-in repairs. If they have the top case in stock at the store for your model, usually done same day/next day.
they won't deal with swollen batteries. they have to send it to the repair center. I just took mine to apple store and quoted $200 for my 2016 15".

and with the pandemic now they only take appointments. I was like 15 minutes last week to the appointment and they refused to let me in.
 
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herb2k

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2020
133
52
they won't deal with swollen batteries. they have to send it to the repair center. I just took mine to apple store and quoted $200 for my 2016 15".

and with the pandemic now they only take appointments. I was like 15 minutes last week to the appointment and they refused to let me in.

Interesting, I thought that would be the case but perhaps it is different in different locations. At my local store in BC they said the swaps are all done in the back (and didn't think the swollen battery was a serious issue...which seemed a bit strange).
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
21,681
7,893
OP:

A question, please answer:
Are you one of those "I leave it plugged into the charger all the time" folks...?
 
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