Swollen late-2013 15" Macbook Pro Battery

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mickeydean, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. mickeydean macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #1
    As in the title, the trackpad doesn't click well.

    15" late 2013 retina with the 2.6ghz/16gb/1TB/750m

    My cycle count is less than 300. I use it plugged in clamshell mode but recently had to use it on the go and with bootcamp. I realised the trackpad takes a lot of effort to click and does not click anywhere but the bottom.

    I realise the laptop is not able to sit flat because it is swollen at the base.

    Anyone else found this? Did Apple replace the battery? I post this because it doesn't seem to be a particularly ubiquitous problem for this model but some users here might pay more attention.
     
  2. duervo, Dec 13, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016

    duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #2
    If you have AppleCare which has not yet expired, and:

    1. The battery is under 300 cycles, and
    2. The battery has less than 80% of its original capacity when fully charged ...

    Then Apple should replace the battery for you at no cost.

    That 300 cycles with 80% capacity statement applies only when the system is under warranty. If it's out of warranty (either past 1 year from purchase date without AC, or AC has expired,) then you will need to pay to have the battery replaced.

    For example, my 2012 cMBP still has its original battery. 39 cycles and 96%. If it suddenly dropped down to 75% capacity tomorrow, there's no way I would expect Apple to replace it for free, since I bought it 4 years ago by now.
     
  3. mickeydean thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2011
    #3
    No Applecare. Damn
     
  4. duervo, Dec 13, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016

    duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #4
    Bummer. But if it's swollen, you should get it take care of, as it will just continue to swell, risking damage, or further damage if the trackpad has already been hurt. Worse, the battery could burst, but that's going to take quite a while for that to happen, unless the system gets dropped or something ... that might do it.
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #5
    Give Apple a chance to answer. Batteries can be an interesting result. The usual response is that batteries wear out, and fail over time.
    However, a swelling battery sometimes will push the issue further than you might think. Apple has shown some sensitivity to the real possibility of safety issues when the battery starts swelling. It won't hurt anything to show it off to an Apple "genius", and ask what they can do. I hear of "free replacement", or another that was not offered anything, except to pay for a replacement battery. One difference the last few years is that the battery is not considered user replaceable, so that can also affect what Apple _might_ do for you. Ya gotta ask.
     
  6. kb3tzt macrumors member

    kb3tzt

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    #6
    dont mess around with a swollen battery. stop using it, and take it in a get it checked out. worst case is they say its a pay for repair. I can't stress enough that its nothing to mess with.
     
  7. mickeydean thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2011
    #7
    Taking it in tomorrow. It is a safety issue too. I am hoping Australian consumer law will help me out. Reasonable to expect a $5000 machine to last 3 years or more. The battery is not user-replaceable and under 300 cycles currently.
     
  8. sarc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    #8
    I had this happen to my 2011 mbp. When it started the trackpad was not clicking and then it swelled up and opened the case.
    I took it back and they said I would need to pay for the battery but not what it damages. I'm in Australia.
     
  9. happyslayer macrumors 6502a

    happyslayer

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    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ
    #9
    I just tried to look it up for you and there are really no aftermarket batteries available for a 2013 15" MBP. Also I found an article saying that self-replacement isn't really all that possible past 2012.

    http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...ro-retina-display-how-to-replace-battery.html

    Definitely take it in. It may cost a bit, but you don't want to mess around with a bulging battery. Could be dangerous if the internal chemicals touch. Also, it's pressing against internal components and could damage them as well.

    Good luck!
     
  10. itegypt macrumors 6502

    itegypt

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  11. sarc macrumors member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    #11
    I believe in Australia it was around $260 for the new battery.
     
  12. 537635 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 7, 2009
    #12
    It IS a safety issue. Especially after Samsung.

    And Apple realises that. I have a late 2013 13''. Battery started pushing the back cover out mid 2016. No Apple Care. They repaired it completely free of charge in 48 hours. EU.

    I'm getting a new 2016. With this kinda customer service I'm not really looking at other companies.
     
  13. ImTheOne macrumors member

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    Jan 12, 2008
    #13
    Just had the same issue with my mother-in-law's 2012 MBP, it had swollen so bad the chassis was torqued and the trackpad was raised above the top of the chassis. Took it to Apple, no AppleCare cost $145 for them to swap the battery and everything went back exactly how it was supposed to. They did it on site, took them about 15 minutes to swap and then did a complete hardware scan for another 15-20 minutes and we were out the door.
    Just know, swollen batteries are a fire hazard and should be taken care of it as soon as possible, you don't want it getting worse.
     
  14. mickeydean thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2011
    #14
    Thanks for all the responses. I called Apple and unlike being on the phone with Telstra (Aussie AT&T) or etc it was, to their credit, pretty quick and painless. They organised for an appointment tomorrow. They didn't list all the options despite being told the issue but will see how it goes.

    As a student the money is an issue and I think their designs for these macbooks means their batteries should be lasting for what is a reasonable amount of expected use. ~4-5 years is in my mind fair for a laptop.

    I had the same issue with the black macbook but it was easy enough to replace the battery. That lasted me 6 years. Which they did free of charge in the past.
     
  15. ImTheOne macrumors member

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    Jan 12, 2008
    #15
    So, I think it truthfully varies from store-to-store. I would say you have a 50/50 shot at getting it replaced free or them expecting a payment for it. I'd approach the "friendly, broke student" avenue first and let them know this is your only machine, etc.

    I agree that they SHOULD last longer, but the "technical lifespan" on a lithium ion battery is roughly 3yrs, regardless of how it was used. For instance, my MIL 2012 13" laptop was RARELY ever used and had to be replaced, where on the other hand I have a friend with a 2008 15" MBP that he STILL hammers daily and has yet to replace the battery. This is one of the main reasons I always press people to buy the Apple care. It is worth the extra 2yrs of warranty as well as the added fluff of "Ok you paid for AppleCare and never used it, we'll let it slide", which I have seen happen on numerous occasions as well.

    Good luck, here's to hoping they swap it for free!
     
  16. mickeydean thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2011
    #16
    So there has been peeling on my display. To be replaced at no cost supposedly.

    $300 for the battery and they'd replace the top case (parts damaged).

    I'd lose the laptop for 3-5 days. Except Apple do not have the parts and the screen in particular "global shortage" so only till February 2017. The battery and top case replacement also in-waiting but will be sooner apparently.

    Had the swelling occurred within 3 years, they'd have replaced it for free. 3 years and 3 months means I have to pay $300. Not unhappy but it would have been nice if the battery did its thing 3 months ago.
     
  17. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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  18. mickeydean thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2011
    #18
    Got an email that the part was in, drove in and dropped it off.

    My worry was this was the Apple store where they had 4 male employees going through some peoples photos.

    I suppose that given the media spotlight that they'd be more vigilant. I do have private stuff I keep on my mac but patient info that I have from clinical research and projects were my concern. I relayed this and they said they can use their own OS.
     
  19. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #19
    Battery swell by design, to prevent batteries from exploding or catching fire. If you LiPo battery starts getting old, the pressure inside it starts building up. With a rigid design, there is a substantial danger of puncture. This is why modern LiPo batteries employ flexible outer shell which can stretch to contain the pressure.

    It is important to maintain your batteries in due time. That is your responsibility as a user. Battery is subject to wear and tear! Yes, it would nice to have batteries that last 5 years or longer without a hitch, but our battery technology is unfortunately still fairly limited. Apple laptops already have among the most durable batteries on the market.
     
  20. 537635 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 7, 2009
    #20
    You do know, that replacing batteries on a Macbook Pro means replacing:

    1. Top case.
    2. Keyboard.
    (3. Damaged components from battery inflation.)
    4. Battery itself.

    I would gladly accept your logic, if battery would be user replaceable. Your logic means that a €3k laptop needs to be replaced in 3-4 years, when it's value drops to the price of battery replacement. In my opinion this is unacceptable.
     
  21. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #21
    Or you could have Appel replace your battery for $199. Like it was designed to be. Do you also service your fuel-injected car yourself? Or do you actually let a professional garage do that, which is equipped with proper tools for the job
     
  22. 537635 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 7, 2009
    #22
    Unfortunately it's €399.

    And I change the battery on the car myself. ;-)
     
  23. leman, Dec 17, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016

    leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #23
    Where do you live?

    P.S. I just checked most major EU countries, its 209 euros for battery replacement in all of them. The UK price is 199 pounds. So yes, its essentially the same as $199 + tax.
     
  24. makinao, Dec 17, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016

    makinao macrumors regular

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    Dec 27, 2009
    #24
    I don't know about Retina MBPs, but last year I had batteries replaced on my 2012 cMBP 15" ("service battery" alert, mild swelling found only after the battery was removed) and my daughter's 2011 cMBP 13" (obvious swelling, trackpad unresponsive) and none of the other parts you mentioned were damaged. Both are working flawlessly now.
     
  25. iMacDragon macrumors 65816

    iMacDragon

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    Oct 18, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    In retinas, they're glued to the top case un backside of keyboard, so apple consider the whole topcase, keyboard and battery a single repair item.
     

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