MacBook Pro Retina - battery replacement?

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PVisitors

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2011
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Just want your thoughts regarding this.

My laptop has had over 1000 cycles and its battery health is at 35%. Is this abnormally low? I have read elsewhere that after 1000 cycles the battery should only be at 80% health, not as drastically low as 35%. It's got to the point where I cannot use my laptop to just type up word documents for less than an hour before the battery chokes out.

I explained this (twice) to Apple's online and chat tech support and I was told that I would be covered under my Applecare for this problem and that if I took it into my Apple Store I would be given a replacement under my cover. This was told to me quite clearly in my chat logs.

Under this advice I took it to my local store only to be told by the Genius that he will not replace the battery unless I pay £350 despite explaining the fact it is still under warranty (as I was told by the tech support line).

I appreciate batteries depreciate over time however, the fact it has depreciated to such an extent makes me wonder whether it is worth taking it higher/to a manager? Not to mention the fact I was told I would be able to get this replaced by two different people before going to the store. I showed the genius both case numbers and he still refused (I found this guy to be pretty passive aggressive and unhelpful compared to those I've had in the past but that's slightly OT).

What are your opinions guys? Do you think I should bother going back again or to another store and asking again. It's more the principle that I only went to the store after being told explicitly that I was covered for such a replacement and then having my time wasted.
 

dextr3k

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2012
357
1
So the warranty is pretty clear on this. It depends on the tech.

Apple warranty as follows:
WHAT IS NOT COVERED BY THIS WARRANTY?

This Warranty does not apply to any non-Apple branded hardware products or any software, even if packaged or sold with Apple hardware. Manufacturers, suppliers, or publishers, other than Apple, may provide their own warranties to you – please contact them for further information. Software distributed by Apple with or without the Apple brand (including, but not limited to system software) is not covered by this Warranty. Please refer to the licensing agreement accompanying the software for details of your rights with respect to its use. Apple does not warrant that the operation of the Apple Product will be uninterrupted or error-free. Apple is not responsible for damage arising from failure to follow instructions relating to the Apple Product’s use.

This Warranty does not apply: (a) to consumable parts, such as batteries, unless failure has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship; (b) to cosmetic damage, including but not limited to scratches, dents and broken plastic on ports; (c) to damage caused by use with another product; (d) to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, liquid contact, fire, earthquake or other external cause; (e) to damage caused by operating the Apple Product outside Apple’s published guidelines; (f) to damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (“AASP”); (g) to an Apple Product that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple; (h) to defects caused by normal wear and tear or otherwise due to the normal aging of the Apple Product, or (i) if any serial number has been removed or defaced from the Apple Product.
So you could argue that 35% is way too low, and I think it is too. But it is purely up to the techs discretion regarding replacing it under warranty. You could try calling up applecare and get them to try. Lots of users have expressed that calling applecare has better results because they are more lenient.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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How old is the laptop?

I have no idea how battery cycles translates into battery health, i.e., does 1,000 cycles equate to 35% of health?

1,000 does seem high and batteries are one of those things that is considered wear and tear - unless you can show that its current state is not inline with normal battery wear and tear.
 

SarcasticJoe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
599
207
Finland
The high cycle-count-to-age ratio also puzzles me quite a bit...

What are you doing with your machine to go trough cycles that fast? Because that kind of wear n' tear isn't normal and even less so if you've gotten all of this done under the standard one year warranty.
 

Rbk23

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2014
120
8
My 2011 Macbook Air has 489 cycles and the health is still at 87%.
Anything over 80% is considered a healthy battery. 30% seems low for 1000 cycles.
 

PVisitors

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2011
522
2
I think it has been counting cycles wrong. I am a pretty heavy user and it is within a 3 year warranty not the 1 year limited so the laptop is about 22 months old (Student 3 yr warranty) however when I was at Uni in late May it had about 650 cycles, which I would say is maybe about right as I do use it alot, however in these two months this has shot up to 1080 from May - July.

Another weird thing is how fast the battery depreciated. As I said, in May my battery health was hovering around 82% health, to which one night it plummeted down to 45% to give me the 'replace soon' message, then about 30 minutes later the health went down to 38% and changed to 'replace now'.

I'll take it back to a different Apple store. I've found on the whole that the Manchester Arndale are rude compared to the Trafford Centre store where I've had most of my repairs done. I'll explain that but of course it's easy for them to try and think I'm pulling the wool over their eyes because of their arbitrary cycle/health tests. I guess if they still say no, I'll just pay for the fee, which I actually found out the Genius at the other shop had lied to me. He said it was £350 exc VAT which made me nearly drop through the floor! Turns it's only £159 inc VAT which is much more reasonable..
 

jg321

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2012
292
6
UK
I'll take it back to a different Apple store. I've found on the whole that the Manchester Arndale are rude compared to the Trafford Centre store where I've had most of my repairs done.
I've had good and bad experiences in both tbh. Live around 10 mins away from the Arndale one too!
 

orestes1984

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2005
1,000
2
Australia
There's nothing arbitrary about it, they'll run the Apple diagnostics tools from your Mac and it'll come up whether it's just consumed or whether its actually a defect.

Given the high cycle count vs. age, I'm leaning towards saying its consumed and you don't have a leg to stand on. Unfortunately though, some people just don't want to own up.

Take this as a warning to use your battery properly and not to drain it so often, keep your charge above 50% or that carries for 2 cycles of the worst possible kind if you're charging from zero. Only use your battery when you absolutely cannot find a power point to plug in unless you want to be in this situation again and shutdown, rather than sleep when not in use.

Lesson learned.
 

PVisitors

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2011
522
2
So managed to get a free battery replacement from Applecare phone support because of a previous case ID where I was told/promised a new battery under warranty.

Though Manchester Arndale are refusing to honour the case ID claiming the battery is suddenly not consumed and has been fixed by clearing out dust. Not really washing with me but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt until I get to the store and check the status for myself.

Just going to take it out of its current repair and book it into the Trafford Centre and let them do the Apple Care phone case.

Absolutely ridiculous.

----------

There's nothing arbitrary about it, they'll run the Apple diagnostics tools from your Mac and it'll come up whether it's just consumed or whether its actually a defect.

Given the high cycle count vs. age, I'm leaning towards saying its consumed and you don't have a leg to stand on. Unfortunately though, some people just don't want to own up.

Take this as a warning to use your battery properly and not to drain it so often, keep your charge above 50% or that carries for 2 cycles of the worst possible kind if you're charging from zero. Only use your battery when you absolutely cannot find a power point to plug in unless you want to be in this situation again and shutdown, rather than sleep when not in use.

Lesson learned.

Apple explicitly tell you not to keep it plugged into mains all the time. You don't know my usage pattern of how I've used my battery so I'd appreciate you not lecturing me on it, especially when you're telling me to use mains wherever possible which is not the case.
 

x3n0n1c

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2014
170
2
My battery is currently 9 months old with 44 cycles on it. I keep it plugged in 99% of the time it is used and my health is actually above 100%. The design charge for my battery is 8440 mAh, yet when fully charged by battery still holds upwards of 8800 mAh.

It really is just a combination of usage habits and luck. There are no real set rules for the use of the battery as what makes one last 5 years will kill another in 6 months.
 

orestes1984

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2005
1,000
2
Australia
especially when you're telling me to use mains wherever possible which is not the case.
Can you highlight where I said "use mains power wherever possible?," or is that a translation in your head. Of course you have to use your battery, just not the way you think you do by draining it beyond half flat at least 500 times :rolleyes:

And If you're just going to come up with a random assesment of what I am saying so might I :rolleyes: You used your battery up and now you're crying poor. Suck it up princess....
 

PVisitors

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2011
522
2
Can you highlight where I said "use mains power wherever possible?," or is that a translation in your head. Of course you have to use your battery, just not the way you think you do by draining it beyond half flat at least 500 times :rolleyes:

And If you're just going to come up with a random assesment of what I am saying so might I :rolleyes: You used your battery up and now you're crying poor. Suck it up princess....
"Only use your battery when you absolutely cannot find a power point to plug in"

So if I'm near a mains I should always be using that right? What you said is different to the official guidance Apple issue which is 'do not keep your laptop on mains 24/7'. Either your comprehension isn't great or you don't understand how battery cycles work either.

Just collected it from the Arndale and took it to the trafford centre without an appointment, showed them my case number and voila free battery installation no questions asked.

Goodjob Apple aren't like you. :)

Thanks for the other constructive posts guys, particularly the one about calling up Applecare.
 

orestes1984

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2005
1,000
2
Australia
I read it as though you were suggesting to leave it plugged in all the time too.


Barney
No... That's not what I meant, what I meant was use your battery when there aren't other options. I also stated a few facts about charge cycles as well and that draining your battery below 50% isn't good for the long term health of lithium ion batteries.

and to the OP, I understand what a cycle is you need to go back to remedial reading classes.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,360
701
My laptop has had over 1000 cycles and its battery health is at 35%. Is this abnormally low? I have read elsewhere that after 1000 cycles the battery should only be at 80% health, not as drastically low as 35%.
Actually, the fact is that Apple says batteries are designed to retain up to 80% health up to 1000 cycles. If your battery drops below 80% health before 1000 cycles and it's still covered by warranty or AppleCare, Apple is likely to replace it free.
Take this as a warning to use your battery properly and not to drain it so often, keep your charge above 50% or that carries for 2 cycles of the worst possible kind if you're charging from zero. Only use your battery when you absolutely cannot find a power point to plug in unless you want to be in this situation again and shutdown, rather than sleep when not in use.
There is so much wrong with this bad advice.

You don't have to limit the amount of time you run on battery.
You don't have to keep the charge above 50%, but you should avoid completely draining it.
You don't have to run on battery only when you can't plug in.
You don't have to shut down vs sleep when not in use.

If you shut down vs sleep all the time, the OS X maintenance scripts will never run. There is no detriment to the battery in using sleep mode, either plugged in or unplugged.
How can you tell how many cycles your battery has been through?
If you're not already doing so, use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of battery health and cycles and computer uptime, among many other things. A forum member has posted a copy of iStat Pro that has been "tweaked" to enhance compatibility with Mountain Lion. You can download it here.
My battery is currently 9 months old with 44 cycles on it. I keep it plugged in 99% of the time it is used and my health is actually above 100%. The design charge for my battery is 8440 mAh, yet when fully charged by battery still holds upwards of 8800 mAh.
Your battery is fine. It is perfectly normal if your battery health (maximum capacity) is more or less than 100%, even when brand new, or if it fluctuates up or down over time. The gradual decline is not in a straight line downward, and it may decline more rapidly at some times and slower at others. For further details, read the CHECKING STATUS AND HEALTH section of the Battery FAQ below.
It really is just a combination of usage habits and luck. There are no real set rules for the use of the battery as what makes one last 5 years will kill another in 6 months.
There aren't rules, but there are sensible recommendations that work.

Run on battery whenever you need to and plug it in whenever you can. You can plug or unplug any time you need to, regardless of the charged percentage, and you never need to completely drain your battery. Just make sure you don't run on AC power exclusively, as your battery needs to be used regularly to stay healthy.
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.
 

PVisitors

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2011
522
2
No... That's not what I meant, what I meant was use your battery when there aren't other options. I also stated a few facts about charge cycles as well and that draining your battery below 50% isn't good for the long term health of lithium ion batteries.

and to the OP, I understand what a cycle is you need to go back to remedial reading classes.
Use your battery when there aren't other options still reads exactly like "keep your mac on mains wherever possible". Not just me who is reading it like this either.

But whatever, you wanted to run your mouth off to me about how I don't use my Mac correctly when that wasn't what this thread was about. My issue is solved now anyway so I have no intention to continue to be dragged into your mud-flinging contest.
 

orestes1984

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2005
1,000
2
Australia
Use your battery when there aren't other options still reads exactly like "keep your mac on mains wherever possible". Not just me who is reading it like this either.

But whatever, you wanted to run your mouth off to me about how I don't use my Mac correctly when that wasn't what this thread was about. My issue is solved now anyway so I have no intention to continue to be dragged into your mud-flinging contest.
You missed the point of what I was saying entirely.... the point is gone... I know not where, but it is gone, maybe if you run around in circles and quack like a duck.
 

PVisitors

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2011
522
2
You missed the point of what I was saying entirely.... the point is gone... I know not where, but it is gone, maybe if you run around in circles and quack like a duck.
Probably got swallowed when GGJ discredited you.
 

orestes1984

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2005
1,000
2
Australia
Actually, the fact is that Apple says batteries are designed to retain up to 80% health up to 1000 cycles. If your battery drops below 80% health before 1000 cycles and it's still covered by warranty or AppleCare, Apple is likely to replace it free.

There is so much wrong with this bad advice.

You don't have to limit the amount of time you run on battery.
You don't have to keep the charge above 50%, but you should avoid completely draining it.
You don't have to run on battery only when you can't plug in.
You don't have to shut down vs sleep when not in use.
I didn't say you had to shut down rather than sleep, I said you should as it will retain more battery life, although some battery drain is normal even when shut down. Keeping your battery above 50% avoids a complete drain and recharge which is actually one of the main culprits for killing your battery. Keeping your laptop plugged in unless you're in a situation where you can't actually plug in also prolongs your battery life and without changing what I was saying there will be plenty of times when you're not.

Shutting down your computer has a number of benefits including stopping your battery from overheating particularly when it is in your carry bag which is another culprit for killing batteries, the amount of times I've seen a sleeping laptop with the fans running at 100% causing permanent damage to your logic board and also your battery is just flat out ridiculous... so yes... shut down your Mac... and while you're at it keeping your laptop running in a hot car, and running your laptop whilst in bed is not best practice either.

There is nothing wrong with what I said at all... There is no merit in your corrections in fact many of them are largely inaccurate. With a modern MacBook with an SSD it's also just as easy to shut down and reboot as it is to send your computer to sleep, and with modern incineration of OS X it will remember what you were doing last anyway.

And a modern lithium ion battery is best stored at 51% charge in order to not caused damage to the battery when not in use, So lets actually get the facts straight mmmkay?

There will be plenty of times where none of the above can be achieved and that's fine your battery will get used, one way or another. There is just a really simple and easy way above to prolong the usage you get out of those cycles and it'd pay good dividends to yourself if you actually listened to what I was saying rather than reading between the lines and coming up with baloney.
 
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ValSalva

macrumors 68040
Jun 26, 2009
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Burpelson AFB
Just out of curiosity, how does Apple replace the battery on a Retina MacBook Pro? Do they have to replace more than just the battery or battery modules? It's all glued in and must be brutal to do.
 

maflynn

Moderator
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May 3, 2009
63,853
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Just out of curiosity, how does Apple replace the battery on a Retina MacBook Pro? Do they have to replace more than just the battery or battery modules? It's all glued in and must be brutal to do.
You bring it into apple and pay a lot of money for a new one (I think its in the neighborhood of 200)

Its glued in, so its more then just a simple swap.
 

x3n0n1c

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2014
170
2
Just out of curiosity, how does Apple replace the battery on a Retina MacBook Pro? Do they have to replace more than just the battery or battery modules? It's all glued in and must be brutal to do.
Apple has special tools to do these kind of services. I suspect it is quite easy for them to do.
 

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