"Service Battery" warning

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Norcal., Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Norcal. macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2012
    So I just noticed that I get a "Service Battery" warning when I click on the battery icon. I read that the battery is supposed to last ~300 cycles before the performance starts to decline, and up to 1000 cycles before needing to be replaced. Yet I have only 195 cycles on the battery and it's almost always plugged in at home. I haven't noticed the battery draining particularly fast, or any other issue so I'm sort of surprised that this warning has showed up. What should I do? I'm not under apple warranty and don't have applecare. Is there a way to remove the message?

    And here are my specs:

    Model Name: MacBook Air
    Model Identifier: MacBookAir5,2
    Processor Name: Intel Core i7
    Processor Speed: 2 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 2
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 4 MB
    Memory: 8 GB

    Running Mavricks.
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    A new genuine Apple battery will cost you around. $100. It's obvious that yours has reached the end of its service life, although you do t say how old it is, or how many cycles it has done.

    If you want this information, download coconut battery for OSX free and monitors the battery.
  3. Norcal. thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2012
    My post says it has 195 cycles. Pretty sure that's not anywhere near the end of it's life, if it is that's a load of ********.

    And it's a mid 2012 MBA.
  4. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    It just depends on usage, but you are right, it's under the official cycle level. Book a genius appointment as I think Apple replace batteries that have not achieved the official cycle limit...Google should tell what this is,but even without warranty the battery should be replaced free.
  5. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    Leaving devices plugged in all the time always kills my batteries faster. I won't even leave them to charge over night any more.
  6. Norcal. thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2012
    So I downloaded one of those battery apps. Last night when it showed that "Service Battery" warning the app said that my battery could charge up to 74.6% of its original capacity. Now this morning the warning is gone, and it can apparently charge up to 81% of its original capacity. :confused:
  7. Long macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2006
    I've seen the Service Battery warning on and off for the past six months - late 2009 white Macbook (unibody, built-in battery) with 566 charge cycles. I have observed no noticeable change in battery life. So I consider myself warned, but since I'm out of warranty I see no reason to replace the battery until I experience actual symptoms.
  8. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Battery capacities fluctuate over time with use and non-use.

    If you have AppleCare, this is probably covered. If not, it's not covered.
  9. Jaaay macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2010
    My battery has been pretty dire as you can see below:


    I bought my air in September 2012, so it dropped to 80% after 14 months / 317 cycles and started saying Service battery.

    Is this grounds to get my battery replaced under Apple Care?
  10. Jimbo47 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
  11. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    For starters, don't do that.
  12. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    My battery had around 300 cycles when the warning showed up a few weeks ago. AppleCare ended in November.

    I went to the Apple Store and had it replaced. I showed the manager the website claiming 1000 cycles and he gave my 25% off. He agreed the battery should have lasted longer than 300 cycles.

    Yes, I could have waited, but my hunch is that if I waited, I wouldn't have received the discount.

    Only disappointment is the 7 hours battery life. When new, the mid 2010 MBP promised 10 hours.

    BTW I was still getting 4-5 hours on the old battery.
  13. rablat macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2007
    Classified NSA intel
    This is complete garbage.
  14. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Really? He said 'my' indicating personal experience. His experience is all he's mentioned.

    Garbage or not. Everything I've read recommends NOT leaving devices plugged in all the time.
  15. Anawrahta macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2005
    For older battery technologies this was the case. For Lithium ion and Lithium polymer batteries controlled by intelligent chargers in most modern electronics this is not the case.
  16. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Batteries are less than precise. I would do this:

    Run it on battery for a couple of cycles, let it exercise, drain the battery as it's intended. Be sure SMC updates from Apple is current.

    Hopefully after that no more messages, but anything less than 80% capacity I would bring is to Apple's attention.
  17. iMacC2D, Mar 1, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  18. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark
    Yeah, just don't worry

    My battery is more than 900 cycles old, and still sits at around 79% original capacity, and I've never seen the service message. Your battery is relatively low capacity % compared to the number of recharge cycles, but other than that there's nothing to worry about. Batteries do die relatively quickly if they aren't used though, so keeping it plugged all the time isn't necessarily good. Charge it fully, and run it (almost) all the way down.
  19. dixidoov macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2014
    Service Battery


    I own Macbook Air mid 2012. I was very satisfied with computer and battery at first, but after updating to Mac OS Maverick, I got a Service Battery sign.

    At first there was nothing different. But now i see the difference. Computer dies after 2 hours, not even that. After hour and a half dies. And doesn't matter if it says it has 50 %, 40 % or 25 % in battery status.

    This is not acceptable that after two years of using a computer battery dies. Air has 470 cycles. Aren't this batteries made for 1000 cycles? CoconutBattery says it only has 35 % of design capacity.

    Any suggestions what to do. Changing the battery would cost me around $ 260 in my country..
  20. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    If you got AppleCare, I'd take it to the nearest Apple Store. (They may _try_ to claim that the battery is a consumable. Which is correct; if you go through 1,000 charge cycles in six months they don't need to replace it. However, you haven't "consumed" it at 195 cycles, so there could be a fault in the battery. )


    If you are in the EU, you can try to contact the seller (which may or may not be Apple) to get it fixed, if you think it is due to a defect when the battery was made. Depends on when you bought it, usually after two years it will get quite difficult - since you said "mid 2012", if you bought the Mac on August 1st 2012 it's more difficult than October 2012.


    It's close. It's less than it should be, on the other hand it's still quite good, and since you are unlikely to get another replacement during AppleCare, I'd personally rather have it replaced a bit later, when the charge is unacceptable. I'd take it to a store and let them have a look when it's convenient.
  21. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    Call AppleCare instead of taking it into a store. I've had FAR better results when AppleCare recommends a replacement than a Genius Bar technician.
  22. BambiB macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2017
    I leave my Mac plugged in nearly 100% of the time. I really use it more like a desktop - external mouse and keyboard save wear/tear on the Mac. External monitor gives me more "real estate".

    Cocoanut Battery reports my battery was made in May 2014. My Mac has seen daily use (typically 4-10 hours a day) but the battery has only been through 24 cycles. It currently has a 71.2% capacity - which means I'm probably due for a new battery sometime in the next 6-12 months.

    The battery was made by an outfit called "Simplo". When it comes time for replacement, I won't buy an Apple battery at $129 a pop (their price for "battery service"). I'll buy another battery like this 3d-party replacement - which goes for about $13 on Ebay, including shipping.

    Put in those terms, my Mac battery costs me a little less than a penny a day, which I don't consider outrageous.
  23. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    Running with power supply always connected will certainly keep the charge cycles down but it also destroys the battery. These batteries like to be at 100% but they don’t like to get charged at 100%. Internally what is happening is that the various layers are starting to fuse. Eventually the battery may have greatly reduced capacity, will get warmer than usual, possibly refuse to charge, and may start to swell.
    You have time to replace it. It sounds like mobility is not essential so you could just keep using it. If you notice that the touchpad gets more difficult to click or other obvious signs of battery swelling, discharge the battery and remove it (yes, it is something anyone can do: literally 10 pentalobe screws on the backplate, 5 torx screws to remove battery... and just a plug connecting it to board).

    Or you can replace battery. Hardest part is finding a reliable seller.
  24. Rocko99991 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 25, 2017
    Battery life is not just dictated by the number of cycles. Age is a large factor. Your battery is 5 years old. I have seen other 5 year old batteries with 150 cycles that had 75% capacity left.

    If the lessened capacity bothers you, replace the battery at Apple. If you rarely use the laptop battery, just continue using it, plugged it. It won't hurt anything.

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23 February 20, 2014