Battery issue: Is this normal?

wiggsfly

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 10, 2008
2
0
Carbondale, IL
So I've had my MBP just over a year. Throughout that time the computer has almost been exclusively on AC power (although I turn off the outlet at night). Never calibrated my battery or anything as I didn't realize these batteries had such crazy maintenance requirements.

Anyway, last night I decided I'll calibrate after reading a lot online. I pulled the AC and left it on. Somewhere around 80% charge it suddenly dropped to about a 30% charge. Everything else is normal.

When I finished charging it back up it charged, but now says "Service Battery." In addition, in system profiler Full charge capacity (mAh) = 3316 and Cycle count = 54. I've tried calibrating again, I've reseated the battery twice and I've reset the SMC a couple of times. No change.

This computer is literally 2 weeks out of warranty. Is it normal for the batteries to go bad like this? Should I just bite it an buy a new one?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
762
It sounds like you've hosed your battery. What's not normal is the way you've treated your battery. They're not intended to be on AC power constantly. It doesn't matter that it's 2 weeks out of warranty, since the warranty and AppleCare don't cover batteries, except in the case of defect.

http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,299
8,157
Here(-ish)
Call Apple or go to a retail store & explain. They'll replace your battery. They have certain stipulations for a battery being "good" "consumed" or "defective" It has to do with how many cycles you've run and its current capacity. Your warranty shouldn't matter.

Besides, it never hurts to ask. The worst thing they can say is 'no'.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
762
Call Apple or go to a retail store & explain. They'll replace your battery. They have certain stipulations for a battery being "good" "consumed" or "defective" It has to do with how many cycles you've run and its current capacity. Your warranty shouldn't matter.

Besides, it never hurts to ask. The worst thing they can say is 'no'.
As the OP said, they've been running on AC for over a year. Apple won't replace a battery that isn't defective and was not maintained in the way they recommend.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,299
8,157
Here(-ish)
As the OP said, they've been running on AC for over a year. Apple won't replace a battery that isn't defective and was not maintained in the way they recommend.
But when you take it in or call, the main issue are the cycles and capacity. That's the criteria for Apple deeming the battery as "consumed" or "defective." Just 2 weeks ago I get my wife's MBP battery replaced and it's 2.5 years old.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
762
....the main issue are the cycles and capacity...
Exactly. And according to the OP's post, they have zero cycles, which is abuse, given it's over a year old. Apple won't cover that.
Just 2 weeks ago I get my wife's MBP battery replaced and it's 2.5 years old.
And what was the condition? How many cycles?

Batteries are not covered by warranty, except in the case of manufacturing defects.

Apple Limited Warranty:
This warranty does not apply:
(f) to consumable parts, such as batteries, unless damage has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship;

AppleCare Protection Plan:
b. Limitations. The Plan does not cover:
(ix) Consumable parts, such as batteries, except in respect of battery coverage under APP for iPod or unless failure has occurred due to a defect in materials and workmanship;
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,299
8,157
Here(-ish)
Exactly. And according to the OP's post, they have zero cycles, which is abuse, given it's over a year old. Apple won't cover that.

And what was the condition? How many cycles?

Batteries are not covered by warranty, except in the case of manufacturing defects.

Apple Limited Warranty:
This warranty does not apply:
(f) to consumable parts, such as batteries, unless damage has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship;

AppleCare Protection Plan:
b. Limitations. The Plan does not cover:
(ix) Consumable parts, such as batteries, except in respect of battery coverage under APP for iPod or unless failure has occurred due to a defect in materials and workmanship;
Well, you can quote and argue all day long my Texan friend, but here are the facts:

- My wife has a MBP that will be 3 yrs. old in January.
- The battery was retaining only 75% charge.
- The battery had 305 cycles.
- I talked to 2 apple phone reps and 1 retail store rep.
- The battery was not declared "defective," but rather "consumed."
- I was shipped a FREE replacement battery overnight.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
762
...- The battery had 305 cycles....
That proves my point. 305 cycles represents normal use. 0 cycles on a year-old battery does NOT represent normal use. The OP did not use the battery as recommended, so Apple will NOT replace it.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,299
8,157
Here(-ish)
That proves my point. 305 cycles represents normal use. 0 cycles on a year-old battery does NOT represent normal use. The OP did not use the battery as recommended, so Apple will NOT replace it.
Meh, perhaps, but as I said earlier. It never hurts to ask and the worst thing they can do is refuse.
 

prodigee

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2009
621
10
Brooklyn, NY
His post does say that he has 54 cycles... So that is roughly a cycle per week, which is debatable if you could call it abuse, because Apple says 1 cycle every 2 days, or something like that.

If I were you OP I would take it to the Apple store, not expecting to get a free battery, but definitely present your side of the story without getting upset and pissed off, because if you have that attitude there is no way in hell that they are going to replace the battery for you.
 

InvalidUserID

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2008
563
0
Palo Alto, CA
My early '08 MBP's battery was giving me random "SERVICE BATTERY" notices a few months ago. Like the OP, I had it almost exclusively on AC power.

The first time I took it in, the genius plugged it in and it showed green on their screen so he said it was fine although the capacity was down. SERVICE BATTERY notice went away.

About two months later, the SERVICE BATTERY notice came on again and stayed on. Took it in and this time it was determined to be bad and since I was still under Apple Care, they simply replaced my battery in-store.

Now, I usually let it charge up to 100% and then run off the battery every few days.
 

Egon 247

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2009
3
0
Possibly not related to the OP's first post, but i've just had the "service battery" appear on my MBP. It had a new battery less than 4 months ago and that irritated me. It happened after i took out my battery, too.

I'm a maintenance engineer by trade, so applied a bit of know how and with the aid of a piece of folded 2000 grit (yes, two THOUSAND grit) i cleaned the terminals on the battery and the mac book. The warning has gone away.
Not sure if its oxidisation on the terminals but i'll monitor and let you know. Thought it might help someone. :)
Ian.
 

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