Service Battery warning on Mid 2010. How long until replacement needed?

jbachandouris

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 18, 2009
4,553
1,441
Upstate NY
My Mid 2010 MBP now says Service Battery. I have learned from this forum, that this happens when the battery dips under 80%. I've been getting around 4-5 hours battery life.

There's nothing else wrong with it. Of course Apple Care expired in November 2013. (I know, they only cover batteries if they are deemed defective)

So, realistically, how long do I have before I have to replace it? Where's the best place to buy a battery? Or should I bite the bullet and have Apple change it?

Coconut Battery Monitor says 517 cycles and 77%.

At this point, I've decided to go to the Apple Store. I will plead for mercy with the Genius Bar and see how that goes. Worst case scenario, I spend $129 I didn't want to spend. I can't really justify a replacement. Maybe I'll be lucky and the battery is deemed defective.
 
Last edited:

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,383
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I suppose a while unless you want a full charge again. My old 2010 started complaining half a year ago. It was also at down to 70%. (1000 cycles and 5 years my ass) The warning disappeared again and appeared again. It is a back and forth. The battery stayed above 70% and jumps a around.
I am guessing unless the 30% charge are really missed it may still last for quite a while. Since the new owners don't care too much about the battery life, they will probably wait it out until it hits 50% or so.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
So, realistically, how long do I have before I have to replace it? Where's the best place to buy a battery? Or should I bite the bullet and have Apple change it?
Replace it when it no longer holds sufficient charge to meet your needs.

I wouldn't trust or recommend any non-Apple battery or charger, due to the number of problems reported with "knockoffs". Also, there is no assurance that non-Apple components will have the same charging technology that Apple uses, involving the battery, the MagSafe adapter and the Mac's logic board. Apple has not licensed its MagSafe adapter technology to any 3rd party. It's not worth risking your Mac to save a small amount of money.
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.
 

jbachandouris

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 18, 2009
4,553
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Upstate NY
I went ahead and let Apple replace it. They gave me 25% off as it only lasted 500 cycles instead of 1000.

The FAQs are probably why my battery died so quickly. They recommend a full discharge once a month to calibrate and buried in the paragraph, they say my model doesn't need calibration.

Well? Which one is it? Calibrate or not?
 

TheDrift-

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
872
1,364
Just checked my 2010 mbp and its saying:

91% capacity
561 load cycles

I calibrate maybe once a year?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
I went ahead and let Apple replace it. They gave me 25% off as it only lasted 500 cycles instead of 1000.

The FAQs are probably why my battery died so quickly. They recommend a full discharge once a month to calibrate and buried in the paragraph, they say my model doesn't need calibration.

Well? Which one is it? Calibrate or not?
If you're referring to the Apple Notebook Battery FAQ I linked in my earlier post, it does not tell you to calibrate your model. The 4th section of that FAQ addresses CALIBRATION - NEWER UNIBODY MODELS and tells you that the built-in batteries in the newer Mac unibody notebooks come pre-calibrated and do not require regular calibration like the removable batteries in older Apple notebooks. Only in the 9th section is the calibration procedure described, and it starts by repeating that calibration is not required for newer unibody models.

You should not calibrate your battery and you should not fully drain it, unless you absolutely need to use it until it dies and no AC power is available. 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.
 

jbachandouris

macrumors 601
Original poster
Aug 18, 2009
4,553
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Upstate NY
I only noticed that section about mine not needing calibration yesterday. Perhaps that's why it died so soon.

To clarify: NO calibration is ever necessary, correct?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
I only noticed that section about mine not needing calibration yesterday. Perhaps that's why it died so soon.

To clarify: NO calibration is ever necessary, correct?
Correct. You never need to calibrate your battery, and doing so is not good for it because fully draining your battery is not good for it.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
Since this is a new battery, would you recommend I wait until 5% or doesn't it matter?
It doesn't matter. As I said earler, 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. You don't have to treat a new battery any differently than one you've been using for a while.
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
88
There is no specific percentage. I sometimes recharge when it reaches 50%, 70%, 30%, 80%, 5%, etc. As long as you don't fully drain it, you're fine.
If you fully drain it sometimes that's ok. Don't feel like you have to baby it.