Pre-Emptive Use of AppleCare?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by obafgkm, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. obafgkm macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2006
    I have a mid-2011 MacBook Air that has given me almost no problems since I got it in January 2012. I purchased AppleCare with it, due to past bad experiences with an iBook and a MacBook, and that will expire in January 2015.

    I have only used the AppleCare to get a new power cord after the original developed a short in it.

    At this time I have no problems with the MacBook Air. Is there any way to have it checked out before my AppleCare runs out, with no apparent reason?

    I'd hate to not send it in, and then in February the thing dies. I know that it could die in February even if I did have Apple check it out, but I figure I've paid for AppleCare -- I might as well use it.
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Hardware failures are almost always sudden and unpredictable. If your computer is working well right now then it will almost certainly pass any test they might do on it. It's not like a car where your brake pads might be 40% low and your transmission fluid is a little cloudy, or whatever. It either basically works or it doesn't.

    The one exception is the battery.

    You should download a battery diagnostic tool like "Battery Health" and that will tell you the state of your battery.

    Apple says their batteries should retain 80% of their original charge capacity after 1000 charge cycles, so you can check to see how this compares with your battery. If you have less than 1000 charge cycles and less than 80% original capacity, then I think you can take it in and have Apple replace the battery for you under AppleCare free of charge.
  3. scatter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2014
    what is the difference between apple care and no apple care? you still have to pay a smaller amount to fix your computer if it breaks right? but without you just have to pay the heftier price. somebody explain...
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, if it's a manufacturing defect, AppleCare covers the total cost of repair, just like the original one year warranty, except you're covered for 3 years from the date you bought your Mac. If you have no AppleCare and your 1 year warranty has expired, all repairs are at the owner's expense.
  5. brentmore macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2002
    There's no deductible.

    "Apple hardware coverage
    The AppleCare Protection Plan provides global repair coverage, both parts and labor, from Apple-authorized technicians around the world."
  6. scatter macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2014
    thank you.
  7. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You could run the built in Apple Hardware Test and see if that turns up anything.
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, AppleCare is a warranty, and you usually can't make use of a warranty without a warranty case. They will certainly refuse it if you ask them for a check like that. Of course, you can always lie and say that you experience some random crashes or whatever, but doing something like that would be a bit sad.

    AHT, as mentioned above, is probably the way to go.
  9. obafgkm thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2006

    Thanks -- I'll run that and see what shows up.

    Thanks for everybody's replies!
  10. rigormortis, Dec 5, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    a couple of points.

    if you run apple hardware test in extended mode and there are no problems reported, any diagnostics at the apple store will not show anything more. i was kind of disappointed they told me they did not have anything more powerful. they told me their diagnostic app had no other functionality then a.h.t. . always choose extended because it does a more exhaustive ram test

    i heard somewhere that you might get a meaningless error on the screen if the computer is on batteries.
    so plug it in

    if you run repair disk in recovery boot, i believe it will say what your smart status is. as long as that is verified, your hard disk thinks it is okay.

    if smart status is anything but verified, replace your hard drive. do not buy any more utilities, your drive is hosed.

    a.h.t won't test the operation of any disk drives, it just looks to see if its connected.

    you don't need to download battery health programs , i just want to say that because SOME programs might be charging money , when you can do it for free.. they are just taking information out of system report and charging you for nice shiny graphics

    how to check the battery

    hold down option and click on battery , it will say current status, if its normal it will say normal.

    however, what you do now is:

    charge battery to 100 %, and then some. let it charge for 4 hours plus 100 % what the hell. that should do it

    click on apple logo
    click on about this mac
    click on system report
    click on power

    you will see the following info

    Charge Information:
    Charge Remaining (mAh): 5073
    Fully Charged: No
    Charging: No
    Full Charge Capacity (mAh): 6163
    Health Information:
    Cycle Count: 187
    Condition: Normal

    fully charged should be YES

    charge remaining is how much power is left
    full charge capacity is how much power the battery held when it was new

    charge remaining / full charge * 100
    5073 / 6163 * 100 = 82 %

    that means over 187 cycles your battery stores only 82 % , when the mac says 100%

    apple says over 500 cycles your battery should be at 80 % . if its anything less then your warranty or your applecare will cover the cost of the battery

    my computer claimed the battery at 100 % on the top bar and fully charged said no. so i don't think what i pasted was a fair test. ill do it again and double check it

    for those who run windows. , shrug, sigh. you can do the same thing by typing
    powercfg -energy at the command prompt, and looking at the html file for the same information. however
    on my windows machine it does not log cycle counts
  11. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Jun 9, 2005
    I live in Chicago, so there are a lot of Apple Stores around so it's easy to just drop by.

    I get AppleCare on everything and before it expires, I bring it in and ask to look at the battery and check the power connectors. In every case, the battery doesn't hold a charge as well as it used to and the power connectors are getting worn and sometimes there are other minor issues. They usually, but not always, have replaced the battery and power adapter, and sometimes a new keyboard or trackpad when there have been small issues with them.
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There are free apps that show battery health and much more. There are also some that have a price, but they do much more than show battery health. You don't need any of your procedure to check health. Just compare your current battery maximum capacity to the maximum capacity when the battery was new. Those apps make it easier, because many don't remember what the maximum capacity was when new.
    There is no need to do this. When your battery is fully charged, it stops charging and runs on AC power for as long as you have it plugged in. It cannot overcharge. This is also useless in checking battery health, because health has nothing to do with the current charge level.
    This is not true. You don't compare the current charge to the capacity. You compare the current capacity to the original capacity when the battery was new.

    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 and later. You can download it here.

    This is also not true. The battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity (health) for 1000 cycles, not 500.

    Mac notebooks: Determining battery cycle count

    The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions, including tips for maximizing battery performance. If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.
  13. rigormortis, Dec 5, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    i said 4 hours because :

    My battery will not charge to 100%
    Occasionally, the battery may not show a full charge (100%) in OS X, even after the power adapter has been connected for an extended period of time. The battery may appear to stop charging between 93 percent and 99 percent. This behavior is normal and will help to prolong the overall life of the battery. shows cycle counts for all mac books each macbook series has its own cycle count

    what is said about
    battery charge / battery capacity * 100 is also true. try it on a battery you know is bad.

    if the mac says it is 100 % ( which sometimes is 5% wrong )
    then when you go to system report you should also do simple math and find that system report should more or less what the mac says. full charge capacity never changes. at least i haven't seen it

    you will notice if you do simple math that system report says your battery is not at the same 100% as your mac says. this is because the lithium ion battery has lost capacity.

    you do the same thing on a windows pc that needs a battery and you will get a figure like 80% , 60% or worse 39 %.

    current charge / full charge * 100 tells you the current state of the battery, i apologize if i offended your battery apps. but it is true

    shows 2 screens of system report vs an app. notice how full charge on the coconut app is almost the same value as what is in system profiler

    if "full capacity" is not the original capacity that the computer had when it was shipped then its still not a good reason to download some stupid program, because like i said was true all its doing it puling numbers out of system report and then giving you nice shiny colors
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Leaving it plugged in longer will not cause it to start charging between 93-99%. It will only start charging again when the charge level drops below 93%. Leaving it on the charger after it is charged will not charge it more.
    Yes, I'm well aware of that information. If you take the time to read it, you will see that the OP's MBA is shown for 1000 cycles, not 500.
    No, that is false. Your battery full charge capacity doesn't change as your battery charge drops. If that were true, your battery health would be all over the map, with very wild fluctuations. Battery health is determined by comparing the current maximum capacity to the maximum capacity when the battery was new, regardless of the charge level. Please get some facts before you post things that are misleading to others.
    Just because you haven't seen it means nothing. Maximum capacity does in fact change over time. This is well documented on Apple's site and in countless other reliable sources. You are misinformed.
    No, the current charge has nothing to do with battery health. You're displaying your lack of understanding by saying it does.
    In the example on that page, the 99% health is determined by dividing the current capacity (4639) by the design capacity (4680). System Profiler shows the current full charge capacity (4636) but does not show the design capacity (capacity when new). The current charge level (3388) is meaningless in determining battery health. That value, when compared to the current full charge capacity (4636) only shows that the battery is currently 73% charged.
  15. rigormortis, Dec 5, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    rigor's more accurate battery post mark 2.0

    another way to find out the health of the battery without having to buy or download stupid programs that pulls stupid stats from your macbook against someones third grade art project in windows paint is to run this command in terminal

    ioreg -l | grep Capacity

    rigors-MacBook-Pro:~ rigor$ ioreg -l | grep Capacity
    | | "MaxCapacity" = 6235
    | | "CurrentCapacity" = 5347
    | | "LegacyBatteryInfo" = {"Amperage"=18446744073709551013,"Flags"=4,"Capacity"=6235,"Current"=5347,"Voltage"=12217,"Cycle Count"=188}
    | | "DesignCapacity" = 6330

    "CurrentCapacity" = 5347 / DesignCapacity" = 6330 * 100 = 84 %

    every single mac book series has a different warantied cycle count.

    notice : my compter is not at 100 % fully charged. so this is just an example
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    The current charge level is irrelevant. Only the current capacity vs the design capacity is relevant. The same health percentage is true, whether the battery is 100% or 70% or 22% charged. If you don't want to use another app to check health, that's your choice, but such apps are not "stupid" and they serve very useful purposes for those who use them.
  17. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    your going to find out sooner or later that most commercial utilities are garbage

    if you want we can start arguing about utilities that promise to give you a "diagnostic report" of a blown smart sensor.

    current charge is relevant only if your mac reports your computer is 100 % charged.

    the only battery monitors that are probably worth money are iOS apps, because you can't pull those #s from an phone without one, as far as i know.

    if someone knows how to pull capacity #s from an phone please let me know


    i originally stole this mac tip from a windows energy report. so that one minor reason i am probably using current charge / full charge or current charge / design capacity, because those some of those #s aren't in a windows energy report. they scored me a refund on counterfeit dell studio xps 1340 batteries though
  18. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012

    My car is running low on gas.

    I guess that means the gas tank is almost broken.


    Please tell me English is a 2nd language for you, rigormortis.
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    That's your uninformed opinion, not based on fact. I've used iStat Pro/iStat Menus on countless Macs for over 6 years, as have a host of others, and their battery stat reporting has always been dead accurate. Again, if you choose not to use such apps, that's your call, but your opinion doesn't change the fact that such apps are useful and accurate tools.
    It's still useless as the current capacity shows the same value if the battery is fully charged. The difference is, the current capacity shows the same number, even as the current charge level changes.
    That explains a lot.
    .... Or, "let me fill up this 1 gallon container, so I can determine what its capacity is." :D
  20. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    your battery utilities are only doing a ioreg -l | grep Capacity , and nothing more

    current charge should be more or less 95 % of full capactiy as long as the mac says you are at 100 %

    my original post i believe said that "fully charged" must be 100 % or its wrong

    i hate macrumors.

    here i am volunteering my free time and if i say one thing that might be wrong i get attacked.. or i have to provide screen captures to back up what i say, like the other day i reminded people that iPads require 5 V @ 2100 ma to charge, and i got personally attacked by the jail break community

    today there was a post by danwess and he said they had itunes match, and their iPhone reported 52 gigs of other. and he couldn't figure out what was going on.

    the post got some serious wrong answers by the following people

    macrumors 68000

    macrumors 6502

    macrumors 68030

    i was the only one that actually provided the correct answer. you don't see me sending personal replies to those people telling them they were dead wrong, making fun of them or calling them children

    i did not even bother to reply to them, i simply posted the correct answer and moved on. if i get something wrong then please don't quote me

    hey i am trying to volunteer my free time to help people here. so what if i get one little thing wrong , or one little typo. you don't have to get personal about it

    this is what you get for asking questions in mac rumors. it is a free community drivin support. if i have provided some bit of advice that was wrong. that is why you should of asked apple in the first place. that is why
    you should pay for apple care and stop posting stuff here looking for free advice. you get what you pay for
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You're not being attacked. You posted misinformation. A correction was posted, so other readers won't be misled. It's not personal and no one is attacking anyone. Your contributions are welcome, so don't take it so hard if you post something inaccurate and someone corrects it. A better approach is to just learn from it, so the next time your post is accurate.
    No one did that in this thread, either. If you post accurate information, great! If you post inaccurate information, expect someone to post a correction. That way, readers who might not know better won't be misled by uncorrected misinformation.
    Your posts were quoted so readers know what posts are being responded to. It adds clarity when many are posting in a thread if you quote the post you're responding to. Also, some have been known to change their original posts after the fact, which would render responding posts confusing, unless the original post is quoted.
    As I said, it's not personal. Most of us don't know each other, so the only basis we have is what is being posted. You don't have to take it personally if someone offers a different opinion or if they correct misinformation in a post. It's all about getting accurate information to those who come to this forum looking for help.
  22. rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    .... Or, "let me fill up this 1 gallon container, so I can determine what its capacity is." :D[/QUOTE]

    a can of gasoline has a up to a 10% reserve for the expansion of gasses due to temperature.

    the state of California has undercover cars that work for weights and measures to make sure the gasoline dispensed from a pump is what it claims to be

    the prius is the worse offender. inside the gas tank is a rubber bag and it can change plus or minus vs the fuel capacity, what it calls a full tank depending on how warm it is.

    some prius people make their hybrids burp because they want that 10.5 - 11 gallon capacity

    sorry i just had to comment
  23. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    To be fair, this battery charge capacity thing is hardly "one little typo." You've been going back and forth with people about it for several posts.
  24. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Am in the school of, if electronics don't die on you on the first 90 days it would most likely go all the way until old age, except spinning hard drivers which modern Air don't use.

    So check out the battery as mentioned, and if your fan is making more noise than usual, complaint loudly and maybe they will replace it with a new one.
  25. obafgkm thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2006
    An update:
    I ran Apple Hardware Test, and got a cryptic error code with the letter "SATA", which after searching online seemed to indicate the solid-state drive. My "Battery Health" program indicated a problem with the battery (less than 80% capacity with fewer than 900 cycles) -- but that I already knew.

    Anyway, I called AppleCare and I sent the MacBook Air in. A couple of days later, I got it back, with a new drive and a new battery. After I reloaded from Time Machine, I'm back in business.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I was not aware of Apple Hardware Test, and it made me feel as if I knew something of what I was talking about on the phone with Apple.

Share This Page

24 December 3, 2014