The dreaded battery problems ... What are your experiences

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by YahoKa, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. YahoKa macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2006
    Searching for people's battery stories here (and yes I know how many there are, I have been trying to read people's stories on forums...)

    I've had my Macbook Pro for about 22 months. So purchased summer of 2008. Now, at the time I also purchased Applecare along with it (so covers hardware for 36 months). My battery has died, and I understand that regular use is not covered.

    I have followed all of Apple's instructions with regards to care of the battery; that is, I calibrated the battery, and I cycled it once per month. It is basically a desktop replacement, so it remains plugged in and so the cycle count is a mere 64. Since I installed Snow Leopard a few months ago, the OS has said "service battery" and the performance has gone way down, so it now holds less than 10% of its rated charge. Apple claims that a 300 cycle count should leave the battery at ~80% (assuming a reasonable timeframe, I suppose), and I figure that anywhere close to that is reasonable, provided I follow their care instructions.

    I went to the Genius bar, and they told my my cycle count was too low, so I didn't care for the battery properly (untrue, I followed their instructions). This seems slightly unreasonable, given that I followed their care instructions, and the charge it holds is an order of magnitude lower than what they advertise would be normal for the product. Has anyone had a similar battery experience of following their instructions and then being told you didn't care for it properly?
  2. jay1097 macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2008
    Batteries are consumable products meaning they have a shelf life. After 22 months it is normal for the battery to hold a small percentage of the original battery capacity. So replacing a battery after 22 months is normal.

    That all being said if you really want to push it, try calling AppleCare they are generally more giving than the Genii. And like the old saying goes if you fail, try and try again. You will probably get a replacement if you are persistent enough.

    Good luck!
  3. YahoKa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2006
    I know they're consumable, I know it's not covered the same way as other hardware, and I am not trying to get a free battery from Apple. What I want is to try and understand the justification.

    I followed their instructions, and they told me I didn't care for the battery properly... This performance isn't anywhere near what they advertise.
  4. jaysinnva macrumors member


    Aug 16, 2008
    97 cycles here, reporting anywhere from 39 to 86% health at any given time. Gotta love it! :rolleyes:
  5. johnkountz Guest


    Nov 3, 2007
  6. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    I've had that happen a few times. I used to mainly use my PowerBook and later my MacBook Pro plugged in most of the time. Average of about 40 cycles a year, and my batteries would die within a year, usually right at the 11-12 month mark. Apple replaced them while the machine was under warranty, but I always had to buy another battery after the replacement died around a year later. It was user error on my part, leaving them plugged in all the time kills their capacity. Battery health seems to be a "use it or lose it scenario. Now that I know better, I make sure to put at least a couple cycles a week on the battery.
  7. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2006
    Dude 22 months is not long, a battery should still be working pretty decently, especially with 64 cycles. I had 360+ cycles on mine and it still held 70% charge.

    I think theres something the "Geniuses" arent understanding.
  8. BlackMax macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    I work in the IT industry and I see a lot of notebook batteries fail, but the vast majority of them are over 36 months old and generally the ones used by folks who travel a lot and don't properly cycle their battery (fully discharged and then fully charged at least once a month).

    I have seen some batteries fail within 12 months, but these are defective and always replaced by the manufacturer. Then still some fail within 24 months and generally these are replaced by the manufacturer as well.

    A battery on a 22 month old MacBook Pro which is primarily used as a desktop replacement (plugged in the majority of the time) and only has a 64 cycle count should have almost 100% battery capacity. That is my professional opinion.

    Below is the battery capacity on my 40 month old Black MacBook that I use as a desktop replacement. It only has 45 battery cycles because it primarily sits on my desk, plugged in 24/7.


    I understand why Apple sealed the battery in their MacBooks Pros for a thinner, cleaner design and that is great... But they need to step up to the plate and replace batteries that don't go the distance or allow the owner an easier way to replace the battery themselves.

    I would call AppleCare and keep talking with someone until they replace your battery for you.
  9. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I concur in the recommendation made by others here that you call AppleCare. I would not give up on getting my battery replaced in warranty because some kid working behind a Genius Bar turned you down. If the first person you talk to at AppleCare won't help, ask to speak to a specialist.

    Based on another recent thread here, I have set up a recurring reminder in Apple Mail to discharge and recharge my Powerbook G4's and MBP's batteries every month. I didn't replace the original equipment battery in the PB G4 for more than 6 years but I had left it plugged in to external power so much of the time, there is no telling how long it had been essentially dead before I got around to replacing it.
  10. Hellishness macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    OK, to start off, most people on here will agree that keeping a laptop plugged in ALL THE TIME is horrible for the battery. 46 cycles after almost two years is NOT normal wear, and i agree with the genius that you maintained it improperly. You can try to go to another genius, (that's what i would do, but i wouldn't keep it plugged in all the time in the first place...) but there's no guarantee that you will get a new battery.

    In the end, though, why do you even want/need a new (or any) battery? if you keep it plugged in all the time, it should be perfectly fine that it lasts for 5 minutes. :confused:
  11. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2003

    Everything I've read about Li-poly batteries, and my own experiences, matches this. Heavy use kills Li-poly batteries, leaving them on the charger does not.

    But batteries are funny things, it seems very hard to quality control them. Even reputable manufacturers make a few which die very early.

    I think you need to talk to Apple again. You have a valid warranty claim. Nothing on Apple's battery care pages say "your battery may fail if you don't use it enough". I'd ask the Genius to show you some evidence of this.
  12. Pax macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2003
    Disagree with all this.

    (1) Just because the laptop is plugged in, doesn't mean the battery is being charged. Macs stop charging the battery when it is full, the battery "floats" and very slowly discharges. So his Mac has been plugged in for 22 months, but his battery has not been charging for 22 months solid. Read the batteryuniversity articles, they're very helpful.

    (2) If Apple wants to say that "under-use" of batteries is not covered, Apple needs to say so clearly when you buy a Mac. I haven't seen any evidence of this on Apple's site. It says "If on the other hand, you use a desktop computer at work, and save a notebook for infrequent travel, Apple recommends charging and discharging its battery at least once per month". That's what the OP has done. He's complied with Apple's recommendations, his battery has not lasted 300 cycles, therefore his battery is defective, therefore he should get a replacement under warranty.
  13. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    The battery on my 2008 15" MBP went bad on me when the laptop was less than 18 months old. The battery only had 50 cycles on it and I also got the "service battery" message. I took it to the Apple Store where they ran a couple of quick tests on it and they gave me a new battery. I'm not sure why this would be such a big deal for them. Batteries do go bad.
  14. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I disagree, too. Thus, I agree with you.:) MBPs are premium products thats why many of us undertake the considerable expense of buying AppleCare for them. With respect to gray areas like the OP's underused battery, Apple should include them in AppleCare coverage or be a hell of a lot more specific about what is required to keep then covered. That's why I suggested to the OP that he take the matter up with AppleCare.

    I should add that seems pretty clear to me that the OP should entitled to the use of his battery when he needs to use it, even if he does keep him MBP plugged up most of the time.
  15. amast26 macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2010
    battery error

    mines done 917 cycles after 2 and a half years????? how the hell did that happen. what do they mean by "a cycle"?

    i went in to the genius bar yesterday because i got a message to replace the battery and as i have hardware cover, thought they might do something about it, unfortunately they didnt, wasnt too surprised but i dont want to pay £99 for another..any ideas where i can get a cheaper one?????
  16. AnonMac50 macrumors 65816

    Mar 24, 2010
    Here is mine (bought in June 2008).

    Attached Files:

  17. miranda63 macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2010
    battery not holding the charge

    My battery charges to 100% but when I disconnect it from the charge it will hold it's charge for about 10 min. and then go off.
    Does anyone have these problem??
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Have you properly calibrated your battery? If not, the readings are likely inaccurate. This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions: Apple Notebook Battery FAQ
  19. ^prion^ macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2010
    My macbook (unibody 2008) is plugged in 99% of the time and cycle count is around 30 after 1 year. One day found it was swollen and cannot close the lid at the back. Called applecare and had 1 to 1 exchange of the battery FOC. BTW, macbook has the 3 years warranty.
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You shouldn't leave your MacBook plugged in so much. They only replaced it because it was swollen. If that weren't the case, they wouldn't have replaced it due to misuse. Read the link I just posted.
  21. CorporateFelon macrumors regular


    Oct 26, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I always like having the chance to post this.

    I had to replace a battery in the past. I was around the 2 year mark as well when mine first died. If your comp was covered under applecare they should have replaced it no questions asked.

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