[Not again :(] Has anyone had any luck with 3rd party MacBook batteries?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CodeBreaker, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. CodeBreaker, Nov 14, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012

    CodeBreaker macrumors 6502

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    #1
    My computer's (Aluminum MacBook) battery is swelling and Apple can't replace it for free. So I was about to buy a new one from Apple, but the reseller said that there is no warranty on swelling batteries. So I am looking for 3rd party options. Has anyone had a good experience with these?

    What do you think about this one?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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  3. CodeBreaker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    But if the new one also starts expanding, they are not going to replace it. And they cost 3 times more. So what's the point in buying a new battery every 6 months?
     
  4. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #4
    Replace the battery every 6 months? I had a MBP for 6 years and only replaced the battery once. I used the Apple branded one and it's still going strong.
     
  5. CodeBreaker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I admit that was an over-exaggeration. But still, if I buy a battery from Apple and it swells the next day for some reason, then I will have no choice but buy another one. It doesn't just make sense to me. In other words if there is no warranty for swelling, then it means the battery is prone to swelling regardless of it's age.

    My current battery is around 30 months old (240 cycles, 70% health), and so far it has been great for me. I too don't like the idea of putting a Chinese rip-off in a $1500 computer. I know that the probability of a new battery swelling is quite less, but if does, then there's nothing that can be done about it.
     
  6. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #6
    If the battery swells the "next day," I'm confident that Apple will replace it for you. But if you don't trust any battery, by any maker, then perhaps a laptop isn't right for you; try getting a desktop computer instead.
     
  7. CodeBreaker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    How do you buy something that doesn't have a warranty? (unless it is dirt cheap).

    And looking at the ratings this battery has got in the Apple store page, only 50% buyers are satisfied with it, with many reporting same swelling problems.

    I didn't create this thread to bash Apple. I just want to know about other's experiences with non Apple batteries.
     
  8. mijail macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Why exactly? Did you talk to them? Did they say anything concrete about why won't they replace it?

    In mid-2010 had a swelling battery on a 2007 Macbook. The battery was working still acceptably (>2 hr IIRC), but it was bending the whole body of the computer. I called Apple Support and told me they couldn't service batteries with more than 300 cycles. Mine had about 310.
    I've read of people here getting swaps, so I'm curious about your case.

    What does that mean? If a battery starts swelling any time soon after being sold, why would that not be covered by the standard guarantee against manufacturing defects?

    FWIW, I recently bought a battery from pbparts. And I found some lists of "recommended" vendors:
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2761095?start=0&tstart=0
    http://www.applemacparts.co.uk/stor...847_7852_8168_8174.html?filter_id=352&sort=1a
    http://forums.macnn.com/69/mac-notebooks/62704/other-salers-like-pbparts-com/

    I considered and discarded a number of online shops which seemed too good (and shadowy) to be true (same shop under different names, people complaining around the net about nonworking or used batteries sold as new): http://www.mini-laptop-accessories.com/ was one of them.

    I'd note that the price you mention in eBay is even lower than the ones I rejected as "too good to be true".

    ----------

    The normal guarantee against manufacturing deffects is 2 years (I think). But I would try calling a couple of times more, or in different channels (shop, telephone, whatever), and maybe you'll find someone more open to the idea of changing it. Stress the fact that a swelling battery probably is a manufacturing deffect, not your fault, and a fire hazard at that.

    However, as already said, at the end I had no option but to buy a new one.
     
  9. CodeBreaker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Same problem here, but with 240 cycles (it's out of warranty). Apple says that even if my MacBook was under warranty, they wouldn't had replaced the battery, because battery swelling is "normal" and is not a defect. Furthermore, batteries are treated as "consumables" and hence cannot be replaced.


    Yes. If the battery dies prematurely (fails to charge/capacity goes below 80%), then it is a manufacturing defect and may be replaced. But a swelling battery is not a manufacturing defect according to them.


    Thanks for the links, I'll go through them :)

    But he has sold 30 so far and has a quite decent rating. He's also offering a 3-yr warranty. I have emailed him to check if it applies to swelling batteries as well.
     
  10. CodeBreaker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
  11. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Give them a phone call or try their 24/7 Chat - it can't hurt to ask.
    http://eshop.macsales.com/Service/contact/
     
  12. gnasher729, Nov 14, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011

    gnasher729 macrumors P6

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    #13
    Everything has a warranty on it. You should have posted where you lived, obviously, but for example in the UK anything you buy, including an Apple battery, must be free of defects and fit for purpose. And batteries are _never_ supposed to swell. They are supposed to lose capacity and stop working when they get old, but not to swell. Of course an old battery will eventually be out of warranty, and there is wear and tear (if you have one year warranty, but the battery is rated for 300 charges and you use them in four months, it won't get replaced), but saying that there is "no warranty on swelling" is nonsense.

    I bought a cheap replacement battery for my old MacBook, which looked identical to the Apple one that it replaced, including all the tiny writing on the battery, but I had the impression that it didn't last as long.


    Battery swelling is decidedly _not_ normal. It may not be covered because it is out of warranty, but it is _not_ normal.
     
  13. CodeBreaker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I contacted my local Apple hotline who forwarded my call to the US. I spoke to the senior support guy for about 12 min and the bottom-line was:

    1. If the MacBook is out of warranty, buy a new one (which I agree to)
    2. No free replacement even if the MacBook is under warranty, because batteries are "consumables" :rolleyes:
    3. If I buy a new battery, the one year warranty only applies to premature dying. Swelling is not covered. (which pisses me off :mad:)
    4. If I buy a new battery from a re-seller, I get one year warranty, but if I replace it in an Apple authorised service centre I get 3 months warranty (I really don't understand this :confused:)
     
  14. datasurfer macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I have an old White Macbook. the battery died about a year ago. I did not want to purchase a battery from apple that cost a third of the worth of the computer. I bought a battery on eBay from a company in CA. They appeared to be the distributer for a Chinese manufacturer (no big surprise).

    Bottom line, the battery has worked fine for over a year. I don't think it holds a charge for quite as long as the Apple branded battery, but it only cost me 1/3 of the price. All in all, not a bad deal.
     
  15. roco074 macrumors newbie

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    #16
    My advice - as I have learned the hard way is to stick with Apple batteries. Apple has better quality control over the bus chips and so on, although swelling batteries are not shedding light in a positive direction.
    The earlier posts about the really inexpensive batteries being too good to be true is dead on. Ebay sellers in particular that offer 3 year warranties.....that is bunk. Some I am sure are being honest - but most are doing 2 things to get you that cheap battery: 1 salvaging the lithium battery packs from other packs and putting them together, or getting them from china knock off sellers who do not put the 3 required "safety" bus chips in the battery - both of which are very dangerous. LI-Poli or Li-Ion packs cost a lot because of the safety technology they put in each pack to ensure the lithium doesn't "vent with flame" in your lap. I bought a battery from Batteries Plus that came with a one year warranty, but in less than a year I have burned up both and they would cause my mac to behave very weird. My newest battery from them is 4 months old, 84 cycles and 27% health. Not Good. Lithium swells in your pack from overcharging- or never being allowed to have a cooling off period. The gasses build up and expand and lose ability to produce power - but bottom line if the battery is under 80$ - i would stay the hell away from it. No bueno.
     
  16. kenpodon macrumors newbie

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    #17
    3rd party A1185 battery

    I bought a 3rd party A1185 "Techno Earth" battery off Amazon from GW Enterprises for 32 bucks plus 9 for shipping. Reviews were good. I'm very happy with it, fit correctly and works fine.
    NOTE: I have found out that if you use your Mac laptop mainly as a desktop (as I do) you should take the battery out and only put it in to charge before taking it on a trip. If you leave it in for extended periods as a desktop the heat will cause it to swell. So now I keep it out and run off AC unless I'm going to charge it for traveling.
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

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    #18
    Bad advice. It is not recommended to run your Mac on the AC adaptor with the battery out.

    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:

    Also, based on the numerous problems that have been reported, both in this thread and in others, I would never trust or recommend a battery that didn't come from Apple. While some have had good luck with 3rd party batteries, the chances of having problems with them are fairly high.
     
  18. kenpodon macrumors newbie

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    #19
    3rd party A1185 battery

    Thanks for the reply GGJ, I'll keep that in mind. However I have been running my laptop with no battery for over a year with zero problems. That advice was given to me by an Apple Store employee so I took the chance.
    Also, I can't even trust the batteries that come from Apple!
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

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    #20
    You've been running for a year with decreased performance.
     
  20. kenpodon macrumors newbie

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    #21
    3rd party A1185 battery

    Yes, I realize it's decreased a bit but not so much that it bothers me. The main thing is that I don't have to worry about the dang stooopid battery anymore! :)
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #22
    If you read the Battery FAQ I posted on how to properly care for a battery, you could use it properly, the way they were designed to be used, without having to worry about it.
     
  22. CodeBreaker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I can't use it on AC only because there are frequent power cuts here, let alone that it will cripple my system. I may end up with a broken HDD as well :eek:

    Anyways, all the eBay sellers I contacted said it will take around 20 days till it arrives here and the SH charges from Amazon are comparable to the cost of the battery itself.

    So the only option I have is buying from Apple. I'll make sure I calibrate it every 5 weeks and always keep it 65 - 80 % charged. The heat is still an issue, but if this one also swells I'll just sell my MacBook and buy a cheap OS X compatible PC notebook.
     
  23. mijail macrumors 6502

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    #24
    The heat issue is, from what I have experienced in my macs, nonsense. Install any of the temperature measuring programs (XRG is free) and check the temperature on the battery even when the computer is 100% busy (GPU included); you'll see it never gets to even 35 C.

    And if you had read the FAQ, which you haven't, you'll see it is NOT recommended to disconnect the battery. You'll have to be quite careful to not end up doing things worse than simply leaving the battery in its place.
     
  24. CodeBreaker thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Didn't get this :confused:
    What I meant was I will charge the battery till it's 85% full; then disconnect the charger and use till it's 65% and then again charge it.
     

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