Should I replace my MacBook Pro battery?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Narseh, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. Narseh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2017
    #1
    I bought a refurbished MacBook Pro (15" retina, late 2013) from Apple. Right from the get go, the trackpad erratically wouldn't register clicks. So, I had to switch to taps. Had a trip to the Apple Store but they didn't find anything wrong. I later switched back to click and it seemed just fine.

    Fast forward three years later, I recently had a repair shop clean the cooling fans and blow out the dust built up inside my laptop. They showed me the swollen batteries and suggested a battery replacement. I honestly didn't take them seriously because the system report says the battery is in good shape (details below). Then, I took the laptop home, took it out of its Tech21 tight-fitting case and put it on a flat surface. I realized that the four rubber pads on the bottom don't sit flush on the surface and there is a noticeable bulge in the middle. It can wobble if pressed down on the sides.

    Is there a danger that the batteries could leak or explode if I don't take action immediately? Is the replacement costs worth it, given the good system report below?


    Battery Information:

    Model Information:

    Serial Number: C01416409N1F9CRA3
    Manufacturer: DP
    Device Name: bq20z451
    Pack Lot Code: 0
    PCB Lot Code: 0
    Firmware Version: 702
    Hardware Revision: 1
    Cell Revision: 1206

    Charge Information:

    Charge Remaining (mAh): 6746
    Fully Charged: Yes
    Charging: No
    Full Charge Capacity (mAh): 6746

    Health Information:

    Cycle Count: 115
    Condition: Normal
    Battery Installed: Yes
    Amperage (mA): 0
    Voltage (mV): 12742
     
  2. Miltz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    115 cycles is very low, perhaps the battery was lower grade to begin with or the laptop was exposed to lots of heat, like running at full load often. I would definitely change the battery if it's swollen. I recently replaced two 7 year old batteries from two different MacBook pros and none of them were even a little swollen. Both had over 550 cycles.
     
  3. ZapNZs, Jul 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017

    ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #3
    I'm no expert on lithium cells, but IMO there should be absolutely no debate once the physical characteristics of a lithium battery change...

    You need to replace the battery ASAP for both the safety aspect (as it could "explode" if you continue to use it) and for the longevity of the computer (as a swelling battery can put considerable pressure on the delicate internals and has, in extreme cases, broken internal components). Something was wrong with the battery when manufactured (or the charging mechanism itself did not terminate at the cutoff voltage, or the battery was exposed to excessive heat) and the reason this pillowing has occurred is because the polymer layer is containing (likely flammable) gas, acting as a safety mechanism to prevent a possible catastrophic failure, such as a failure of the temp sensors to prevent a thermal runaway event (something that is quite nasty, almost always completely destroys the device, and can in some cases cause fire.) Apple might replace it free of charge even though it is out of warranty as they have a history of sometimes doing this in the case of batteries that swell with lower cycle counts.

    The actual battery statistics here are meaningless in regards to whether or not the system needs service. Changes in the physical characteristics of a battery should always be given priority over such stats. At least one of the primary safety mechanisms designed to avoid this event outright have failed - but thanks to multiple safety mechanisms providing redundancy, it hasn't resulted in a really bad outcome (continuing to use it could change that, because those containment layers can also fail, and the worse the pillowing the weaker the battery's overall structure may become.) But, no different than in a event like should a heating system turn itself off because its sensors detected an elevated level of carbon monoxide but only at a very, very slight elevation, I would argue that any failure in any of the safety mechanisms warrants prompt service and that continuing to use the system without service is an unnecessary risk. YMMV.

    (If tldr, then, if no want boom-boom get new battery.)
     

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