Should I replace my MacBook Pro battery?

Narseh

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 26, 2017
1
0
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
 

Miltz

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2013
657
309
New York
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.
 
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ZapNZs

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2017
2,310
1,155
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.)
 
Last edited:

kevk74

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2010
16
5
New Hampshire
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
[doublepost=1548715104][/doublepost]Did you have your laptop plugged in most of the time? Those Cycle Counts don’t really my crap if you have. Even then “age” alone is an issue even when cycle counts are low. Low cycle counts on older machines “suggest” being plugged in too often and not cycled enough (at least monthly, but I think it’s 3X that) which can cause battery to discharge more quickly or not provide same voltage and cause the machine to use power differently and also discharge more quickly despite whatever your 6700mah capacity and 45W CPU TDP indicates. Remember your dedicated GPU can use 35W or so on average and the HEAT created means AGE of exposure to that heat also is a factor despite that cycle count. When in doubt, stick to AGE of batteries to decide when to change. Personally I’d of done replacement well before this point if that helps. My iPhone 32GB 3GS I was saving as a relic, but a once “flagship” relic and it exploded, puffing out, cracking back plastic candy bar backing, splitting entire phone open. Ruined. Same thing happened with my 30GB Video iPod, but I thought it was a fluke. Either replace batteries if you want to keep something or be okay the day it explodes. Not “fire” explode, but “puffed out” to point of irreplaceable damage.
 
Last edited:

jerryk

macrumors 603
Nov 3, 2011
5,683
2,840
SF Bay Area
[doublepost=1548715104][/doublepost]Did you have your laptop plugged in most of the time? Those Cycle Counts don’t really my crap if you have. Even then “age” alone is an issue even when cycle counts are low. Low cycle counts on older machines “suggest” being plugged in too often and not cycled enough (at least monthly, but I think it’s 3X that) which can cause battery to discharge more quickly or not provide same voltage and cause the machine to use power differently and also discharge more quickly despite whatever your 6700mah capacity and 45W CPU TDP indicates. Remember your dedicated GPU can use 35W or so on average and the HEAT created means AGE of exposure to that heat also is a factor despite that cycle count. When in doubt, stick to AGE of batteries to decide when to change. Personally I’d of done replacement well before this point if that helps. My iPhone 32GB 3GS I was saving as a relic, but a once “flagship” relic and it exploded, puffing out, cracking back plastic candy bar backing, splitting entire phone open. Ruined. Same thing happened with my 30GB Video iPod, but I thought it was a fluke. Either replace batteries if you want to keep something or be okay the day it explodes. Not “fire” explode, but “puffed out” to point of irreplaceable damage.
This is thread from July 2017. They OP has probably dealt with this issue by now.
 
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