MacBook Pro 17" battery exploded

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by clcpic, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. clcpic macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    I got my MacBook Pro in 2008 and purchased the extended warranty. About 5 months ago, my battery swelled up and exploded. Before this happened, I kept noticing my fan would rev up high and the bottom would seem excessively hot. I called a Mac store and inquired about this and they said it was normal. Shortly after, my tracking pad stopped working and my keyboard was not consistent in responding. Then I noticed my laptop rocking on my counter...I lifted it up and then saw the very-bulging battery. I went back to the Mac store and they said they could not locate my Apple registration for the warranty, even though my friend remembers being with me when I registered it. They say nothing can be done until I find my receipts (been looking diligently!!). My Mac has not been acting right ever since this runs super slow and crashes/freezes a LOT. I had previously had 8G of RAM installed and now my computer specs shows that it only recognizes 4G. I think my motherboard was damaged from the heat of the battery exploding. I noticed there was once a battery recall for the exact same battery problem, but this seems to have only been for the 15 inch model. I need my MacBook replaced asap (I use it for my photography business). Has this happened to anyone else? Recommendation please? Thank you!
  2. bjorn989 macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2008
    This is quite normal and happens to all batteries of this type at a particular age. The battery is only covered by a one year warranty even if you buy applecare. This is because the battery is considered 'consumable' : a bit like ink in an inkjet printer.

    If the battery causes the Macbook pro to become unusable, however you should be able to get it repaired under warranty. As long as you applied the Applecare protection plan to the serial number of the laptop when you got the laptop, you should be fine. If you haven't, you should probably call Apple Technical Support.

    Once again, it is quote common. The recall was for the Powerbook, a laptop that you do not have. Batteries are consumable products and therefore should be replaced once every few years. Apple's batteries are expensive, however they are good.
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Correction: The battery is only covered by warranty for defects in manufacturing; nothing else. The AppleCare Protection Plan extends that coverage for defective batteries to 3 years. This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
  4. clcpic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    Thank you!

    Thank you for responding...much appreciated. I do think my battery was defective due to it resembling the same photos of the other recalled ones. I have many friends who own the MacBook 17 also... a bit longer than I have, and I inquired if any had this issue...which none had. I will find out if they replaced their batteries, although I think they would have mentioned that. This has been rather frustrating, since I did buy the Applecare plan...and register it (unless by some accident, a final OK button was not clicked?), but it's not currently showing in their system. I still have my Applecare box...I just can't locate the receipt. I definitely don't want to have to purchase a new battery since this 'exploding battery' seems to be a rare incident from what I have found.

    Thank you again!
  5. clcpic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    Just noticed...

    I just re-read your reply and you mentioned batteries exploding in laptops is normal. Does this mainly apply to Macs? I've had several other laptops and never had a battery explode. I 'have' had incidents where I've seen small batteries explode a couple times (double A's)...but never a laptop battery. Also, is it common for a Macbook fan to rev up so much that is sounds like it's about to take flight? Not was really spinning like crazy starting probably a few months before the battery did this (but was told it was normal and not to be concerned). Again, it's not what I am use to with past laptops. Since I now have to plug in my Macbook to use it until I get a fan no longer seems to turn on at all. Anyone know if this is common?

  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's absolutely NOT normal.
    Your fans will spin faster, as needed, to keep temperatures at a safe level. If temps get too hot (around 105C) for a sustained period, your Mac will shut down to prevent damage.
    That's not common, but neither is running without the battery. I understand your need to do so right now, but MBPs are designed to run with a battery installed. Read the FAQ I posted for details.
  7. clcpic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011

    Sorry...I'm new here and didn't realize I had posts from two different people when I responded. Thank you for clarifying! (And hoping I do this quoting thing right, since when I click PREVIEW POST, I don't seem to get a preview).

    Thank you for directing me to the FAQ page. There is a lot of helpful info there! The article did say to remove/replace the battery if you notice it bulging...although mine did not give me any warning of bulging before it actually exploded.

    I am trying to find where it describes it is not good to run the MacBook on AC power without a battery. I've been doing this everyday since late last fall due to still not finding my receipt to get the battery replaced under warranty (I never toss I'm hoping it will show up.) Since I have yet to find the answer...would you know specifically what harm it might do to a MacBook to be plugged in each time I turn it on (with no battery installed)?

    Thank you!
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's in the AC Power section at the bottom.
    It doesn't damage your computer.... it can make it run slower.
  9. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    It will underclock the processor to make it require less power. The battery is there so that if the computer requires more power than is available from AC, it can get it from somewhere.
  10. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    Sorry if my post says something that was already touched on but it was a little long and jumbled. This happened to my 2008 macbook pro 17. My battery didn't explode as quickly as it sounds like yours did but it did make my trackpad stop working and I had to use my computer without a battery for a week or so until I got a new one. I tried to fight apple to get a new but they wouldn't budge. They state that the battery bulges and expands to alert you that its past the useful life. If you haven't disposed of it yet do so but make sure you take it to a place that care properly recycle li-ion batteries so it doesn't pollute a landfill.
  11. Aniday macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2009
    A Battery being bloated and exploding is not normal and it's not supposed to happen.

    My early 2008 MBP's battery became bloated late last year and after a while of being really concerned I finally called Apple to see if I could get a new one for free under Apple Care. I did. The rep said it was covered and they sent me to the nearest Apple Store to get a new battery totally free.

    Even after all that time and so many power cycles they saw it as a defect and replaced it. I was pretty happy.

    OP should definitely call Apple and get whatever needs replacing replaced.
  12. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    As it has been said at least twice, I feel the need to reiterate this:

    Exploding/swelling batteries are defective and NOT normal in any form of electronic device. I don't care if we're talking AA lithiums or a Prius car battery, they aren't supposed to swell up or explode.

    It's true that the battery is only covered by a 1 year warranty, but computer manufacturers are usually very liberal in replacing and/or fixing the damage because explosive battery failures make for great lawsuits and nasty press stories.
  13. clcpic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    It is good to know that maybe my MBP will speed back up when a battery is in. Although I am still concerned that after the battery exploded, my system now fails to recognize 4G of my RA..and has increased in freezing up & crashing.

    I have saved the battery for evidence if needed and have not yet disposed of it (thanks for the reminder to you who said to make sure to do that properly.)

    I do find it odd my fan does not turn on anymore...maybe the heat of the battery issue wore the fan out, since it seemed to rev up so high so often?? This is the only computer I have to do all my photo editing on each day, so hopefully it won't need to be sent in for repair.

    If anyone else has experienced this, I'd love to hear about it and what the result was...and if their computer was damaged in any way. Thanks again for all the input!
  14. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    There were a bunch of problem LiON cells back then, all of the major notebook manufacturers had issues and issued recall notices.

    Call AppleCare. They replaced my MacBook battery when it started bulging- my Macbook Pro is of the same vintage. Let us know how the call goes.

  15. clcpic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011

    Thanks Paul! The more info I can give Apple when I talk to them, such as knowing my incident is not isolated, the better. I hope they'll still help me even though my AppleCare is not showing up as registered, even though I purchased it and still have the box (it would still be effective at this time). I'll post here when I have any news...and hoping it is good!
  16. tconroy28 macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2011
    Newer batteries swelling

    I had a battery that was extremely distorted and was causing all sort of problems. I contacted Apple and they reluctantly sent me another one (I used legal advice). Now, my newer battery, starting with serial #6N9180, is now bulging and I'm afraid that something drastic is going to happen.

    Does anyone out there have the same problem?

    TC :(


    17" Macbook Pro
  17. Ommid macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2008
    Its a health and safety risk, you should all complain and they may even realise that they need to recall

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