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basehead617

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 5, 2017
176
181
I couldn't find a thread talking about this exact issue for this model.

Subject says it all - I have a max-spec mid-2014 MBP that had battery bulge and over time made the trackpad unclickable. I would've looked forward to trading this in for a new one but due to the warping, they don't accept them (it's otherwise in perfect condition).

I have seen some discussion about certain models and recall due to this issue, but not this one.

I guess this is a little bit of a vent thread, but I'm genuinely curious. How was this not a bigger black eye for apple? Supposedly this was due to 'overcharging' - are you telling me they couldn't make the charging mechanism stop charging when the battery was full capacity? It just seems absolutely absurd to me that this was an issue and apparently remained so across the next generations of the product (and might still be an issue?)

Finally, I'm curious about if there is even a way to repair it. If they replace the battery, the case is still warped and won't it still affect the trackpad? Has anyone had this model repaired? What sort of cost am I looking at?
 
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mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,586
328
Tatooine
I had this same issue with this model (twice!), and even though it seemed like there was warping of the case from the bulging battery, getting a new battery solved it entirely. The trackpad should go back to normal once the battery is out. The problem is that the batteries are glued in, so it’s not nearly as easy to replace them as on previous models.

The first time it happened a year or so ago, I went to a third party repair shop and paid around $200 to get a replacement because the video from iFixit convinced me it was a super difficult thing to do (they want you to basically disassemble the entire computer and use adhesive dissolver to get them out). But I later found out that you can actually work twine or yarn behind the cells to sort of saw through the adhesive, and that’s what I did the second time. A battery from Amazon is only about $50 or $60 if you are up to doing it yourself. (There are some videos on YouTube about this.)

I agree that should be a bigger problem for Apple since I feel like they have sort of cause it themselves by making the batteries so hard to replace. I will admit that I probably contributed to the swelling occurring in the first place because I used it almost exclusively at a desk.
 

Howard2k

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2016
5,286
5,123
It’s not an Apple specific issue, it’s chemistry. Other vendors have batteries that swell too. All of them in fact.
 

retta283

Suspended
Jun 8, 2018
3,180
3,480
If you are skilled enough to fix it, and the case can be reformed/swapped, you might get it back to normal. Hopefully none of the tech involved in the trackpad has been damaged due to swelling.

I am also surprised that this has never gained traction. I've seen a lot of people with 2013-15 MBPs that have had this same issue. On older units, if the battery started to swell you could easily pop it out and replace. Now it's not so easy, so many deal with it until it is unusable.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G5
Jul 30, 2003
13,484
4,413
Delaware
It's not really associated directly with "over-charging". The charging circuit, for one thing, does not allow over-charging. The charging circuit simply goes into a kind of idle, and stops charging when the battery is fully charged. Swelling is one result of battery age, and use (discharge/charge cycles). Not much you can do if the battery begins to swell, other than replace the battery.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,442
12,556
"Finally, I'm curious about if there is even a way to repair it. If they replace the battery, the case is still warped and won't it still affect the trackpad? Has anyone had this model repaired? What sort of cost am I looking at?"

Take it to a brick-n-mortar Apple Store genius bar RIGHT AWAY.
DO NOT TAKE IT TO A "3rd-PARTY" SHOP.

Don't dawdle on this.
I suggest you make the online appointment as soon as you finish reading this.

They -might- replace the battery for free. No promises.

I believe if you have to pay for it, it will be $199 (parts and labor).
But THAT'S WORTH THE MONEY, so pay it.

MAKE SURE MAKE SURE MAKE SURE
... that you have an understanding with the store manager (or his rep) that that is what you WILL NOT be over-charged for the replacement.

If the top case is damaged, they may replace that, too.
But take it in right away. Time is of the essence.
 

mightyjabba

macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2014
1,586
328
Tatooine
I would agree that going to an Apple Store to check isn’t a bad idea. I only did mine through a third party because the closest Apple Store is 3+ hours away and I knew it was long out of warranty.
 

rick3000

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
646
269
West Coast
Same thing happened to my MBP, battery bulge, however I took it in because the fan was noisy which was a symptom.

I can't remember how much it was but they let me pay the original quote for the fan repair instead of the actually repair cost (I think it was $230), but if you do repair it since the battery is glued in you get a new top case/keyboard. I was pretty upset, because my battery only had like 120 cycles on it and the computer is supposed to regulate itself when it's plugged in.
 
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podmonger

macrumors newbie
Apr 3, 2022
14
8
FYI, my older 15" MacBook Pro (2004?) had the same problem. The battery was removable, so I just took it out and bought a new one.

For giggles, I kept the old one in a Ziploc bag. It got bigger, and bigger ... then it split at a seam. No explosion, but ... I don't think I'll do that again. ;)

But same here, the 2014 model is bulging, and the trackpad won't click. I'll take it in tomorrow.
 
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Alpha Centauri

macrumors 65816
Oct 13, 2020
1,252
987
If you are skilled enough to fix it, and the case can be reformed/swapped, you might get it back to normal. Hopefully none of the tech involved in the trackpad has been damaged due to swelling.

I am also surprised that this has never gained traction. I've seen a lot of people with 2013-15 MBPs that have had this same issue. On older units, if the battery started to swell you could easily pop it out and replace. Now it's not so easy, so many deal with it until it is unusable.
Exactly this. I'm onto my 3rd (or 4th) battery since 2009, none ever swelled. In fact with the recent replacement, the repair shop initially said no as they struggled to source a good quality part they were comfortable to also offer warranty on.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
9,963
14,446
New Hampshire
This happened to my 2015 and I just replaced the battery at The Apple Store. They also replaced the top case. I also replaced the battery on my 2014 around the same time as the battery status indicated that service was required. The thing is to replace the battery once you notice the bulge. It is possible that they charging in the newer macOS versions may decrease the problem in the future.
 
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