"Service Battery"

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by playsontheleft, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. playsontheleft macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #1
    My mid 2009 13" MBP's been telling me occasionally recently to service my battery. This, as far as I know, only started happening after installing Mountain Lion. I'm not completely sure why it's doing this since, while its capacity has dropped from what it used to be, I can still get a fairly comfortable 4-5 hours from a single charge and it hasn't been discharging randomly or anything like that. I used a the Battery Health application to tell me how much charge my battery is giving me compared to when it was new, and it's reporting around 75% which seems about right and is probably enough for me as I take my charger with me most of the time. Is it likely that this is the only reason why I'm receiving the "Service Battery" notification or could there be another problem? Thanks.
     
  2. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #2
    Once it drops below 80% it's considered depleted/defective by Apple depending on the number of cycles.
     
  3. playsontheleft thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #3
    Ah, I thought it might be something like that. But as long as it's still sufficient for me there's no need to replace it because it won't act particularly oddly?
     
  4. prfrma macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    #4
    It will eventually. There will come a point where your laptop will auto shut down without a power connection.
     
  5. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #5
    Well, it will, you'll get significantly shorter times of running on battery power and the likelihood of your computer dying if not on a power cord rises. It's not as bad as my housemate who runs his 17" without a battery (don't even get me started), but spending $100 for anew battery for a $2000 device isn't that bad.
     
  6. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #6
    It won't hurt the computer to keep running off your current battery. If it's giving you enough time on battery power, you don't need to replace it right away. Keep an eye on its health, though. You don't want to get into a situation where you need more battery life than what you have left. Replace it when it doesn't meet your needs anymore.
     
  7. playsontheleft thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    #7
    Ok everyone, thank you for the advice! I'll keep running on this one for a little while but might replace it sooner rather than later. I'm actually getting an rMBP soon, but a friend is buying this off me, so I'll probably advise him about the battery and let him bring down the price a bit or just do it myself, whichever nets me more money haha. Thanks again.

    One more question though - right now, I'm running on 100% battery with 6:16 remaining at about 50% brightness and the laptop's saying that my battery's condition is fine. Why does it sometimes say that the battery is ok and other times doesn't?
     
  8. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #8
    It's completely normal for the battery health to fluctuate up and down a little. Mine goes from 94% to 91% and back pretty regularly. It's not an exact thing...nothing to worry about.
     
  9. liya1201 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    #9
    The same battery situation happened to my 2008 early MBP once. The "Service" sign showed up and went away repetitively about one or two weeks and eventually stayed there. I brought the MBP to Apple store and the Genius gave me a brand new battery for free just one month before my three-year Applecare expiration.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    The "Service Battery" usually shows once your battery health (capacity) drops to 75% or below. It doesn't mean your battery is bad, and you can still use it, as long as it still holds a charge. If it starts to swell, as some batteries have, get it replaced immediately to prevent damage to your MBP. If you have AppleCare, it's a good idea to have Apple check out your battery to determine if it's defective, so you can get it replaced free, rather than waiting until AppleCare expires, in which case you'll have to pay.

    The time remaining is an ever-changing estimate, based on the current workload on your system. It is never 100% accurate.

    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions:
     
  11. sshhoott macrumors 6502

    sshhoott

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    #11
    I'm getting the same warning on my mid 2009 Macbook Pro 13". I started getting the "Service Battery" warning on the day I upgraded to Mountain Lion. Battery health also suddenly dropped to 75% from 81%. I had also calibrated the battery fully just several hours ago (and yes, right after calibration the health was 81%). Looks like a software issue. The OS X 10.8.0 is calculating the Battery Capacity wrong and may be evening the Battery! Many others are reporting drastic issues with their battery life and capacity. Please let Apple know about this problem, this is the only way to fix the problem. :)

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/macosx.html
     
  12. mgartner0622 macrumors 65816

    mgartner0622

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #12

    If you fully read that battery FAQ that GGJstudios posted, you'll notice that it says the newer unibody macs (Mid 2009 and newer) don't need calibration. I've done it before to try and save a battery that said service battery, and it actually made it much worse.
     

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