Macbook Alu's swollen battery, still in Applecare, that Apple won't replace

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by zenitraM, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. zenitraM macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2010
    I've got a Macbook Unibody which is still covered under AppleCare, and I discovered that the battery has swollen and became slightly bigger, enough for the battery cover not to close properly. The battery has only 200 cycles and is still on 84% capacity, and I have AppleCare until November 2011, so I thought it was a battery defect and took it to my local Apple reseller. (no Apple stores here yet :( )

    So, after two days I was told that they had checked my Macbook and found the cause for the battery to swell up: there was a lot of dust on what seems the output of the processor disippator (a place I wouldn't be able to reach myself to clean, as I would have to disassemble it), and that dust caused the processor to become hotter (even though I hadn't noticed it) and that too much heat caused the battery to swell up.

    But the funny thing is: Apple won't authorize the battery replacement, because they say it is not a battery defect, as it was caused by the processor heating because of the dust that got there by "normal usage" and I couldn't clean by myself. They told me I should have got there by the time I noticed my laptop becoming hotter than before so they could have cleaned it, but now it was just too late.

    So I was left with the laptop and the swollen battery again, after I refused for them to charge me for the battery a little bit more than the price that I could get it from the online Apple Store.

    Does anyone have any experience with swollen after normal usage batteries? Will the battery swell up more if I keep using it? Do you have any idea on how to convince Apple to give me a new battery? (after all, batteries aren't supposed to swell up, aren't they?)

    I've posted some pictures here:
  2. blackburn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2010
    Where Judas lost it's boots.
    Clean it, and send it to another apple store. In my country is way worse to get an swollen battery replaced. I only have 6months of warranty on batteries. Had at least 4 swollen batteries and no brand as ever even bothered to try to see what happened. They just say "buy another battery".

    Since you have apple care, try another store and clean the dust before sending it.

    Edit: Batteries inside an car in a hot day can swell. My cousin wastes batteries because he leaves them on the car and sometimes charging! Overvoltage or overheating can make and lion battery swell up
  3. Xenophon macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2010
    New Delhi, India
    The explanation which they gave you is BS. Let me guess, you're living in Europe, right? First thing they do over there whenever you walk in with a problem is find a way to get you out of the door without getting service. That or they try to screw you out of your money. If you hear some of those idiots every type of damage will be the logical consequence of 'normal use' and hence, not be covered. Apple screws its customers bigtime over the pond.

    Try contacting Apple directly or bring it in to another store and try there. Only open it for cleaning if you're 100% sure you know what you're doing b/c thats the perfect excuse to void all warranties.
  4. blackburn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2010
    Where Judas lost it's boots.
    In Europe warranties suck. Yesterday I went to pick my mobile phone at warranty and guess what they say I damage it and voided my warranty. Guess what? the problem was the software NOT the hardware. The best thing to have in Europe is some kind of insurance. I have insurance on my netbook so if the starts to behave I will toss it in the water and get a new one (insurance covers water damage)
  5. ls1z28chris macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2010
    Marietta, GA
    This isn't an issue exclusive to Europe. My battery started swelling up as well. For months I had the same problem with the case being pried open slightly by the battery. Finally the swelling increased to the point that I was unable to use the trackpad.

    Today I went to a local Apple store to get it replaced. I have valid AppleCare until April of 2012 so I assumed I would be covered. They didn't have a battery in stock, so they ordered one. The guy I spoke to never mentioned anything about charging me for the replacement. He simply gave me a piece of paper, tell me it was my copy, had me verify the phone number, and said I'd get a call when it was ready to be picked up.

    An hour or so later I sit down in my school's library and actually take a look at the document he gave me. "Amount Due: $99.00." This a good deal cheaper than the $129.99 charged on the Apple Store website, but it is still ridiculous. The Apple Store employee never once mentioned having to remit payment of any sort.

    I don't see how this can be considered anything other than a hardware defect. If you look on Apple's own website, almost every review is from someone whose battery started failing at about two years into ownership. They also had similar experiences with swollen batteries not being replaced under AppleCare.

    I realize that this post is a few months old, but in case you haven't resolved the situation yet here is what you need to search for on the online Apple Store: "Rechargeable Battery - 15-inch MacBook Pro (aluminum)."

    Here is the link to the U.S. site:

    Good luck.
  6. DanMacApple macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2010
    The battery is covered, I agree with another poster to try another apple store.
  7. CodeBreaker macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sea of Tranquility
    I am in a similar situation: swollen battery and no Apple Stores, but my MacBook is out of warranty.

    So I went to a service provider, and he offered to replace it for almost the same cost Apple Store price. But the problem is that he's only offering 3 months warranty on it.

    So a few questions:

    1. If I buy the battery from a reseller, will it have 1 yr warranty?
    2. If the new battery swells, will it be replaced free of cost?
    3. Is this a manufacturing defect?
    4. If the battery is not available at the reseller I will have to buy it from somewhere else (please suggest places where I can buy). If the battery swells again, whom do I approach (Apple Inc., Apple service provider or the place where I bought it)?

    I have already tried contacting Apple, they can't do anything about it. I have already read this excellent FAQ. And according to it I am supposed to just buy a new one every time it swells :(
  8. M Quick macrumors 6502

    M Quick

    Nov 9, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    As it seems, batteries have a certain warranty, no matter what company you buy for example a laptop from, these issues are usually not covered in my experience.

    Am i the only one who believes what he was told at the apple reseller? In 90% of the cases heat is what will make a battery budge and expand, so it makes perfect sense.

    I have no idea if apples warranty is void if you remove the cover though, but i can't see how it would, you are allowed to upgrade ram and/or hard drive under the warranty period, aren't you? Just saying, that way you can get in there and clean off the dust that builds up, which is very common i'd say..

    Though it's always a sad experience when it doesn't go the way you want it too..
  9. theblake macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2011
    I use 13" white Macbooks in consoles (vending machines) and of the 20 i have in the field every single one of them has suffered from a swollen battery, and in some cases failure rate is re-occurring within 12 months.

    I have given up using genuine Apple batteries, the cost is too high, if they are going to fail might as well use cheap non-genuine ones for $40. It seems obvious Apple never solved the issue but rather just replaced batteries and trusting another couple of years will see out the life of the Macbook.

    We have measured the temps in our consoles, they are well within the recommended operating temperatures. My only conclusion is that because we run these macbooks 24/7 and with AC power always connected that accelerates the swelling of the batteries.

    Therefore I think this indicates that if normal macbook users are also suffering from the swollen Macbook problems, then it is because you leave yours turned on and connected to AC way too much. I could be wrong, but I think that our experience with over 20 macbooks in controlled environments is significant.

    Here is an image of a Battery that failed 2 weeks ago, after 4 years of dedicated service. It astounds me that it lasted this long, some have failed with only a mm or two of swelling.

  10. CodeBreaker macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sea of Tranquility
    Yes even I think heat is the main culprit here. The local temperatures here can go as high as 38 C in summers. But my friend has a same generation computer (MBP 5,1). But his battery seems to be working fine after 2+ years.

    I used to use it on charger at home and then use it on battery in school (it has around 250 cycles after 30 months). BTW how are your experiences with 3rd party batteries?

    That pic scares me :eek:
  11. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2006
    Washington State
    We (an AASP) have always been told any battery (regardless of the computer's Applecare status) is out of warranty. I would expect that is what you are encountering.

Share This Page