MacBook Air 2011 'service battery'

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by mpg, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. mpg macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2012

    I have a 2011 MacBook Air 13" i5 model. It's suddenly started behaving strangely when running on the battery:

    – When the supposedly remaining charge reaches just under 50%, the machine turns itself of completely without warning
    – One or two apps windows (TextWrangler in particular, but also InDesign) go all grey with the little rotating waiting icon

    After it's shutdown if I turn it on again (not plugged in to the mains) it will begin starting up but turn itself off again almost immediately.

    Now when plugged in, I'm getting the "Service battery" message in the menu bar, and the battery charge (plugged in) is at no more than a few percent (before it starts charging up again). Surprised about this as the machine is not much more than a year old. Admittedly it's often had a lot of apps running when it's shutdown unexpectedly, but until now I've always had forewarning that the power is about to shut off, and then only when the battery is below 10%.

    I use the machine for work all day, and usually run it on battery only for an hour or two in the morning and then plug it in for the rest of the day.

    In the system profiler, the battery info says it has been through 144 cycles and that the "full charge capacity (mAh)" is 3005. From what I can gather, this seems quite low – am I correct?

    I will take it to the Genius Bar but just wanted to understand a bit more about it before I go to make sure I'm not fobbed off!

    thanks very much
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your battery, temps, fan speeds and much more.

    If your battery shows "Service Battery" it's likely that it needs exactly that. You should have Apple check out your battery to determine if it's defective. The "Service Battery" indicator can also appear once the battery health is below 75%.

    You could try resetting the SMC, but it's not likely to help. Your best bet is a trip to Apple.

    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.

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