Is something wrong with my battery?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by jsl20, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. jsl20 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #1
    I've got a late 2007 macbook (santa rosa), which I've managed to get through 697 charge cycles. It still manages to get a few hours off the mains electricity, however recently the battery-related processes seem to have gone awry.

    Firstly, I no longer get "plug me in" warnings when there's 5% of charge left. Instead the macbook just shuts itself off, which can be annoying! Secondly, the light on the magsafe doesn't always work. It will be orange whilst charging, as usual, but then after a while will simply go out. The machine is still charging when the light is out. I've checked system profiler, apparently the health of the battery is still "normal," but the problems seem to suggest otherwise!

    Anyone had this before? Can I get away with resetting something like the SMC or is it new battery time?

    Thanks!
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Batteries have a certain number of cycles in them, do you know what cycle you're on? 2007 is a long time ago. I would certainly check the cycles and perhaps look into buying another battery.
     
  3. jsl20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #3
    697.
     
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #4
    Unless I'm reading this wrong, it's possible you're at the max cycle count.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1519

    Is it a MacBook or MacBook Pro?
     
  5. jsl20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #5
    standard white macbook, 2.2GHz.

    I'm sure apple's suggested max cycle limit is somewhat conservative! Looks like mine has over doubled their recommendations before any problems have started.

    Wouldn't the health flag up in the condition part of system profiler though? Mine still says "normal."
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #6
    You would think it would but more than twice the cycles suggests the battery may be shot. I needed a new PB battery after about 700 cycles. I understand their numbers are less (Apple's) but conservative or not, that would be my first guess at what the problem may be. It is worth a shot and hopefully you can find a fairly inexpensive battery on eBay.
     
  7. jsl20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #7
    they're relatively cheap on eBay, might be the best way forward.
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    I wouldn't trust or recommend any non-Apple battery, due to the number of problems reported with "knockoff" batteries. Also, there is no assurance that knockoff batteries have the same charging technology that Apple uses, involving the battery, the MagSafe adapter and the Mac's logic board.

    Battery Replacement

    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.

    Also, you could try resetting the SMC and calibrating your battery to see if it helps (steps for calibration are in the FAQ). Use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your battery health and much more.
     
  9. jsl20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #9
    I'm aware of things like iStat pro, according to which I have 87% health in my battery. I might just live with it for a few more months then buy a new MBP/MBA, rather than spending £90 on a battery for a 5 year old machine!
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    Try calibrating your battery and see what your health shows afterward. If you haven't properly calibrated recently, that 87% could be very inaccurate.
     
  11. jsl20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #11
    does it matter that my macbook doesn't go to sleep when its running low on charge? it just switches itself off completely. according to the apple support page you have to let it get low enough to force the computer to go to sleep during the calibration process. I've not done this in the 5 years I've had the macbook to be honest! I let it run down every month, and use it off the mains as suggested but I've never calibrated the battery.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    No, it doesn't matter. Just drain the battery until it either sleeps or shuts down on its own, then leave it that way, unplugged, for 5 hours or longer. The steps in the CALIBRATION section of the FAQ are pretty clear.
     
  13. jsl20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #13
    cheers. the FAQ does say to wait until it sleeps-which my macbook can't do so I wanted to check.
     
  14. jsl20 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    #14
    calibration done. istat says my battery is now at 86% at 698 charge cycles. the light on the magsafe is still intermittent. looks like its just getting old!
     

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