Dodgy Charger or Another Reason to Replace Battery?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Theydonboi, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Theydonboi macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2011
    Hi all,

    I've got a 2012 Retina MacBook Pro bought new, 4-ish years ago. For about six months, it's been giving me a "Service Battery" message, but since I rely on it heavily and I very rarely unplug it, I've yet to do anything about it.

    About 3 months ago, the cable on my charger started to shred away and became potentially dangerous.
    I bought a replacement. It was advertised as a Genuine Apple product, but it wasn't from the Apple Store and was slightly cheaper than their prices. It came in plain cardboard packaging. It worked OK for a couple of months, then the charging light went...and then it started making crackly electrical noises around the MagSafe connection...just like the original (but considerably shorter into its lifespan).

    I've contacted the seller who I got the charger from and they have agreed to a return and a replacement (sadly, not a refund) but there is another issue, and I'm not sure if it's the battery or charger at fault:

    For the past week, the battery is no longer being charged. It's stuck on 90% and, while it's not consuming any further battery while it's plugged in, it's not reclaiming that other 10%. I've only been able to test this with my current faulty charger as I don't have another Mac charger available to me.

    Is the battery charging issue symptomatic of the dodgy charger...or the battery needing servicing?

    Obviously I need to sort out both, but it determines how I proceed from here.

    Anyone else seen this behaviour...was it the charger or the battery at fault?
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    It's the battery that's causing it not to charge beyond 90%, not the charger. :)
  3. Theydonboi thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2011
    Thanks - in that case, I think I'll use the fact I'll be without a charger for a few days to take it into the Apple Store and get the battery replaced.
  4. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2015
    Take a peek --
  5. Fishrrman macrumors Pentium


    Feb 20, 2009
    Try downloading the free "Coconut Battery" utility app.

    Run it.
    Take a screenshot and post it here.

    Coconut Battery reveals lots of useful info about your battery...
  6. Theydonboi thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2011
    Thanks - will give that shot later.
  7. Theydonboi thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2011
    Update to this.

    I tried the Coconut Battery app and it reproduced what I was seeing. "Service battery"

    I sent off the faulty charger and prepared for a trip to the Genius bar to replace the battery. For the first time in ages, I actually used the MacBook without it plugged in and noticed that the "Service Battery" was gone. I cancelled the Genius bar and put the MacBook to the side for a few days (I couldn't recharge it, so I daren't use it). Thinking hard, I was unable to work out whether the "Service Battery" message did really pre-date the charger.

    The replacement charger has just arrived, and I've plugged it in. It's charging, so the charger is fine. But the "Service Battery" message is also gone. My battery, therefore, seems fine. looks like the battery is unable to differentiate between a problem with the charger and a problem with the battery. In my case, it was just the former. The apps unfortunately simply reproduced the message as I ran them when I was plugged in.

    Worth bearing in mind, folks! If you see "Service Battery", don't discount the charger being the issue.

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