General Question

evegrimm's avatar

MacBook Pro owners! (especially older MBPs) Do you have battery issues?

Asked by evegrimm (3714points) September 15th, 2009

My MBP (macbook pro) is almost exactly 2 years old.

Supposedly (according to the Apple website), my battery should stay at ~80% capacity for up to 300 “cycles”.

However, my first battery crapped out about a year after it was purchased, and I replaced it with my current battery.

It’s been about a year since my replacement, and it is, again, dying on me.

(According to iStatPro, I’ve had 78 cycles, and my batter is at 38% health.)

So here’s the question: does anyone else have similar issues? (It’s a known issue with the batteries issued during the time my MBP was created.)

Have you had to replace your battery more frequently than you should?

Any ideas for prolonging battery life (once I get a new one)?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

30 Answers

Allie's avatar

I have one and I made the mistake of keeping it plugged in. After a while I was told that this was a no-no, but that warning came a bit too late. My battery doesn’t hold a charge for more than a half hour or so… and that really, really sucks, especially when I take my MBP to class.
I’ve never replaced the battery, though. I usually just carry the plug around with me in my backpack and sit next to an outlet.

Maybe I should get a new battery?

lukiarobecheck's avatar

I have the First Gen MacBook Pro, and my battery still can hold a 2 hour charge. And that is the first battery that came with my Mac.

evegrimm's avatar

What’s really strange is that I’ve done both: keeping it plugged in (result: dead battery) and keeping it unplugged when it’s charged (result: dead battery) so I’m not sure where to go from here. :D

At this point, I’m worried about keeping my laptop unplugged because, last time, it died on me for NO REASON at about an hour of battery life…which is pretty much what I’m getting, now—about an “hour” of battery life. (dead battery! dead battery! oh no!)

@Allie, if you have Apple Care, and your laptop is still under warranty, they’ll replace the battery for free. It’ll take about 3–4 days for turnaround. Otherwise, a new battery is about $100, if I remember correctly.

jrpowell's avatar

Can you drop into the Terminal and run

ioreg -w0 -l | grep Capacity

I’m curious what the output is.

evegrimm's avatar

@johnpowell, I’ll do that. <does that>


| | “DesignCapacity” = 5600
| | “MaxCapacity” = 2142
| | “LegacyBatteryInfo” = {“Capacity”=2142,“Amperage”=149,“Cycle Count”=78,“Current”=2142,“Voltage”=12605,“Flags”=5}
| | “CurrentCapacity” = 2142

(I’m ashamed to admit I have very little idea what that means.)

perplexism's avatar

I haven’t replaced my battery yet, and I’ve had my MBP for over two years. My battery only gives me about 15–20 minutes of life before it dies. It needs to be replaced.

jrpowell's avatar

@evegrimm :: Your battery is pretty much on its last legs. It should be replaced.

evegrimm's avatar

@johnpowell, yes, I know.

Can you tell me what running that thing in Terminal told you?

(I’m guessing it’s similar to what iStatPro told me.)

ShiningToast's avatar

My MPB is about 1 year and 2 months old, and the battery is at 82% at 203 cycles.

That is really bizarre that your batteries are going that quickly. I plug mine in when I’m sitting at my desk and it is hooked up to my external monitor, but other than that it is unplugged unless it needs to be charged. I think that the problem may be with your Mac now, is there an Apple store close by that you can take it in to have it looked at?

evegrimm's avatar

I had my MBP in twice to a local Mac authorized retailer (once for the battery, once because my display wouldn’t come on) and I’m assuming they did a diagnostic of some sort.

I mean, I’m pretty sure I paid for a diagnostic.

Oh dear.

ShiningToast's avatar

@evegrimm Oh dear indeed. They may have just replaced the battery after determining it was shot, so no underlying problems were looked into.

evegrimm's avatar

(I was hoping they might have run a diagnostic when they replaced my display, actually.)

‘Cuz how else are you going to figure out what’s wrong?

ShiningToast's avatar

@evegrimm What exactly was determined to be wrong with your display when you took it in?

evegrimm's avatar

Hmm…don’t remember. :D

Actually, now that I think about it, I want to say it was more to do with my computer not starting up. But I don’t remember exactly…it was in April, I think.

It wouldn’t boot up from a disc or from something else.

I’m sorry I can’t remember! I sort of blocked it out…my laptop was being persnickety (I had said something mean about her, it’s understandable. :D )

I do remember trying all the suggestions on the Apple discussion boards, to no avail.

simpleD's avatar

You may have qualified for the MacBook and MacBook Pro Battery Replacement Program, but that program is closed. Still, there are some links to battery updaters that might help you out.

ShiningToast's avatar

@evegrimm It’s ok, no worries! Well I really don’t know what to do, multiple batteries shouldn’t fail like that. If you have the money, take it in and have it specifically looked at for battery issues.

evegrimm's avatar

@ShiningToast, I’m still under AppleCare Protection, and as far as I’m concerned, this is exactly the type of situation that it supposed to help with.

So, yeah, going to take it in.

Any opinions on authorized resellers vs. Apple stores?

jrpowell's avatar

Apple store probably has the part in stock. authorized resellers will probably have to order it. Either should work. Your computer isn’t dead so you should be able to make it a couple days while a authorized resellers gets the part.

I would give both a call before going in.

kevbo's avatar

I just found out about this place: I’m in the process of getting my MacBook battery refreshed through them. I’d be interested in any feedback.

jumpo7's avatar

It could be the electric power where you normally plug in to recharge. If you are plugging it directly into the wall there may be power fluctuations that cause stress to the battery despite the power supply supposedly regulating that. I always plug into a power strip that filters the power.

It could be your power adapter itself. Do you use only the Apple issued power adapter or do you have a third party adapter as well? If you are using a third-party adapter it may not be properly charging the battery.

And lastly there could be a problem with the Macbook itself. And by that I mean the design not just your Macbook as it seems to be a problem with other folks as well.

wenn's avatar

My old MBP need a new battery after 2 years and a couple months. but im a web designer and always doing stuff on my comp.

now i have a new MBP since my old one died recently. sell my old MBP’s new battery for cheaps!

evegrimm's avatar

@jumpo7, I usually plug into a strip.

I also use only Apple power adapters.

Yes, it seems like quite a few people are having issues with their MBPs.

ShiningToast's avatar

@evegrimm If you are under Apple CAre, don’t even sweat it. They are great about taking care of you if are still under warranty, unless they can find something to blame on you (my buddy’s MBP fell off his desk, then 3 months later it quit. Apple said so sorry, but you dropped it, not our problem anymore. I would do the same thing in their position; if you drop it, it’s your fault stupid.) My story aside, take it in! They’ll look at it for free and (most likely) fix it for free too.

majorrich's avatar

My battery mysteriously went from 93% to 60 something overnight. I went to sleep in the man chair and the power got disconnected, consequently running the battery dry. Today it’s a mere shadow of itself.
| | “CurrentCapacity” = 650
| | “LegacyBatteryInfo” = {“Capacity”=3706,“Voltage”=12071,“Flags”=7,“Current”=650,“Amperage”=2524,“Cycle Count”=63}
| | “DesignCapacity” = 5600
| | “MaxCapacity” = 3706
I am out of warranty, So I removed the battery. unplugged it and held the power button for 30 seconds (I seem to remember that as being the way to reset the PMU) then rebooted resetting the Pram. Discharged the battery and plugged it back in. Above is the command line response for battery condition. Mysterious eh? Should I run it into the ground again and let it rest for a while and charge it etc. like they say on the web page?

Inofaith's avatar

yes i have the same problem..
under about 80% 77% the laptop shuts off completely without warning.

Looks like bad clusters or something in the battery, I guess the only solution is buying a new one.

Allie's avatar

Someone should show this page to Apple. Maybe we’ll all get free batteries. (Wishful thinking.)

Inofaith's avatar

the threads on the discussion boards on the apple support pages are even looooonger.
Also at mac rumors and other mac dedicated sites.

I gues apple just ignores everybody with a 2 to 3 year old macbook pro because people tend to buy a new laptop every 4 years.

karentookawalk's avatar

@johnpowell I wonder what this means:

| | “CurrentCapacity” = 907
| | “LegacyBatteryInfo” = {“Capacity”=907,“Voltage”=12453,“Flags”=5,“Current”=907,“Amperage”=0,“Cycle Count”=98}
| | “DesignCapacity” = 5600
| | “MaxCapacity” = 907

coogan's avatar

I have a MBP 2.5 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 512 MB GPU, the last before the unibody.

When I upgraded to Snow Leopard, I magically got a “Service Battery” notification. Not “Replace Battery,” so I don’t know what should be done. At the time, I had less than 60 charges over the course of a year. Apparently, if your laptop’s run as a desktop, remove the battery. It was meant to be fully cycled (charged/discharged) and by leaving it plugged in constantly, it actually hurts the battery (even though li-ion doesn’t suffer the same “battery memory” issues as previous battery generations). Apple has miles of threads about this on their site. I’ve had my battery go from 35% health, back up to 97% health, and sometimes dies when it discharges to 30%. The Apple Store told me to reinstall Snow Leopard, which has worked in the meantime. They also reset the PRAM and performed a battery diagnostic. Aside from what they learn out of a book, the techies didn’t seem all that knowledgeable.

jerv's avatar

| “CurrentCapacity” = 907
The battery is currently holding 907 milliamp-hours worth of charge

| | “LegacyBatteryInfo” =
{“Capacity”=907, – Repeating information from elsewhere; see below
“Voltage”=12453, – Delivering 12.453 volts DC…. though likely becuase it’s on a charer since that is an odd number for a Lithium-Ion battery.
“Flags”=5,“ – ???
Current”=907, – Repeating information from elsewhere; see above
“Amperage”=0, – Currently, no power is going into or coming out of the battery; it is fully charged which I already figured since current_cap = max_cap and teh computer is plugged into the wall
“Cycle Count”=98} – The battery has been discharged and recharged 98 times.

| | “DesignCapacity” = 5600
The battery was designed to hold 5600 milliamp-hours worth of charge

| | “MaxCapacity” = 907
The battery in it’s current condition can hold a maximum of 907 milliamp-hours worth of charge, which is less than one-sixth of what it’s orignal capacity was when it was new.

Overall, the thing tells me that your battery is probably about 3 years old and has just about shit the bed.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther