Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MBP 15'' mid-2012: batteries keep bulging

Did your battery bulge?

  • Yes, once within the same machine

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    7

vmz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
11
0
MacBook Pro 2.7GHz 15" Mid-2012 Unibody, A1286

I have a very strange problem with batteries. My initial Apple battery lived for 2 years and then got bulged. I usually use a laptop in “room conditions” but prior that day I traveled for 1-2 days in hot conditions (about 86 Fahrenheit) — if it matters (I think it doesn’t, see below). I then replaced my battery and did so multiple times after each subsequent battery eventually also got bulged. Here is the summary of batteries I installed in chronological order:

  1. Reportedly “original” battery with replaced power elements (cells), listed as “new” (not on eBay, it was supposedly “trusted” seller). The quality of these cells is unknown but they gave only 3 months warranty on these batteries. Battery lasted 1.5 years and got bulged.
  2. “NewerTech NuPower Battery” (https://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/BAP15MBU78W/). Battery lasted 10 months and got bulged.
  3. The same battery as in “1”: this time battery did not bulge, but it just stopped working after 6 months. It supposedly got blocked by internal battery controller, but the reason for this is currently unknown. The result was that laptop did not work off battery, and only worked stable off charger with the battery removed or with another battery installed.

So after 5.5 years, I have 4 broken batteries, 3 of which got bulged, 1 of which was original Apple battery. I mostly kept laptop plugged to the charger 24/7/365, and worked off battery quite rarely, but with 3th and 4th battery I discharged them regularly once a month

I was told that possible reasons might be:
  • crappy batteries
  • battery overheating
  • logic board issues

I am aware that in recent times even trusted manufacturers like NuPower is no longer as good as they used to be, and there are almost no truly “original” batteries being sold, so the odds to get a “crappy” battery are significant (https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...s-nupower-vs-ebay-amazon-experiences.1816882/). Also MacBooks, in general, may run quite hot, so overheating also may be a valid point.

But I can't see that this is a massive global problem. A huge amount of people buying all kinds of batteries and have no issues, while I have original Apple battery which got bulged after 2 years. Also their MacBooks are as hot as mine, but they do not get bulging batteries (I did not notice any heat-related issues with my laptop).

I got my logic board tested/checked multiple times by multiple service engineers and no issues were found. Currently, I am looking into installing the original battery with Apple repair service to check if the reason indeed is in logic board, and I have a strong feeling that I might get same problems with this battery in the future.

==========

What is your opinion on this? How probable is that all 4 batteries were faulty to break in such short time? Did you have any related experience?
 

Webster's Mac

macrumors 6502
Dec 18, 2016
277
204
MacBook Pro 2.7GHz 15" Mid-2012 Unibody, A1286

I have a very strange problem with batteries. My initial Apple battery lived for 2 years and then got bulged. I usually use a laptop in “room conditions” but prior that day I traveled for 1-2 days in hot conditions (about 86 Fahrenheit) — if it matters (I think it doesn’t, see below). I then replaced my battery and did so multiple times after each subsequent battery eventually also got bulged. Here is the summary of batteries I installed in chronological order:

  1. Reportedly “original” battery with replaced power elements (cells), listed as “new” (not on eBay, it was supposedly “trusted” seller). The quality of these cells is unknown but they gave only 3 months warranty on these batteries. Battery lasted 1.5 years and got bulged.
  2. “NewerTech NuPower Battery” (https://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/BAP15MBU78W/). Battery lasted 10 months and got bulged.
  3. The same battery as in “1”: this time battery did not bulge, but it just stopped working after 6 months. It supposedly got blocked by internal battery controller, but the reason for this is currently unknown. The result was that laptop did not work off battery, and only worked stable off charger with the battery removed or with another battery installed.

So after 5.5 years, I have 4 broken batteries, 3 of which got bulged, 1 of which was original Apple battery. I mostly kept laptop plugged to the charger 24/7/365, and worked off battery quite rarely, but with 3th and 4th battery I discharged them regularly once a month

I was told that possible reasons might be:
  • crappy batteries
  • battery overheating
  • logic board issues

I am aware that in recent times even trusted manufacturers like NuPower is no longer as good as they used to be, and there are almost no truly “original” batteries being sold, so the odds to get a “crappy” battery are significant (https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...s-nupower-vs-ebay-amazon-experiences.1816882/). Also MacBooks, in general, may run quite hot, so overheating also may be a valid point.

But I can't see that this is a massive global problem. A huge amount of people buying all kinds of batteries and have no issues, while I have original Apple battery which got bulged after 2 years. Also their MacBooks are as hot as mine, but they do not get bulging batteries (I did not notice any heat-related issues with my laptop).

I got my logic board tested/checked multiple times by multiple service engineers and no issues were found. Currently, I am looking into installing the original battery with Apple repair service to check if the reason indeed is in logic board, and I have a strong feeling that I might get same problems with this battery in the future.

==========

What is your opinion on this? How probable is that all 4 batteries were faulty to break in such short time? Did you have any related experience?

First, maybe consider getting batteries from a place like iFixit? I'm not familiar with Nupower, but I probably would not trust those batteries. You pay more for one at iFixit, but I think it's worth it considering the cost of damage if the battery bulges.

And i am surprised your Macbook Pro has survived TWO bulging batteries! Tough little machines these mid-2012 models are (I have the 13", and love it!)

I'd say, replace the battery with a higher quality aftermarket, be sure you are using a GENUINE Apple Magsafe charger, and see how far it goes. If another one bulges, you may very well have a logic board issue. But, most likely, it is the quality of the battery. Even the stock Apple batteries occasionally bulge. But it shouldn't happen very fast. It's only when they get really, really worn out and should have already been replaced/removed.

Hope I helped!
 
Comment

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,422
7,244
I agree with Webster above.
Try an ifixit battery.
If this one goes bad on you in short order, well... I'd start looking for another MacBook.
 
Comment

Miltz

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2013
657
311
New York
Keeping your laptop plugged in 24/7 isn't a good idea. Especially at night when you're sleeping unplug your laptop. Don't discharge below 20% when you do, as it put more stress on battery. I would get another battery from Apple if possible. I've found iFixit stuff to be poor quality. The iPhones LCD screens and batteries have been lesser quality than the originals on all the repairs I've done and pricey.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: vmz
Comment

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,422
7,244
Agree with Miltz above.
Don't leave it plugged into the wall all the time.

I'd suggest this routine:
- Charge to 100%
- Disconnect charger, run it until 50-40%
- Recharge
- Repeat.

That "exercises" the battery, without the ill-effects of leaving it plugged in continuously.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vmz and Miltz
Comment

vmz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
11
0
I must note that literally every service engineer I asked about this said this is not a logic board problem, but batteries problem. And also there is info everywhere how you can leave it plugged into the charger and it will not "overcharge" the battery. So this is not about overcharging, but instead about the battery not being *discharged* frequently enough? I knew that this is not a very common problem, to put it mildly (maybe I am the only one affected? :confused:), and the poll confirms this, but I also think that my use case of rarely discharging a battery should be quite common, far more common than constantly bulging batteries problem. So this is very strange to me...
[doublepost=1519069762][/doublepost]Oh, another thing: I also was told by a service engineer that all this is actually normal because average lifetime of a battery is 2 years (the time after my original Apple battery bulged). Even don't know what to say about it...
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.