Often we are asked why battery replacement on Macbook is expensive. Or sometimes even, why our prices are slightly higher than our colleagues in the sector.
In this post, we want to explain the difference between batteries and how we avoid using low quality or counterfeit batteries in our repairs.
What is a great example than this 13″ Macbook Pro 2015 model, which came with a swollen battery? This Macbook’s battery expanded so much that it would not lay flat on the table. Causing the Macbook to swing from left to right as you type on it.
How are Macbook Batteries built?
First of all, let’s look at Macbook Batteries. They consist of battery cells built-in form of pouches. To reduce cost and have the availability to shape and combine them as required for each Macbook. Manufacturers create batteries in so-called pouched packs. Each pack consist of a Lithium battery compound with specified characteristic and power specifications.
Each pouch has a specification of approximately 4V 0.5-1A, which is, of course, not enough to run the Macbook on battery for a couple of hours. Hence, they are often organised in series to ensure the voltage is reached towards the 18V mark required to run the Macbook on battery power for a couple of hours.
Why do Macbook Batteries fail?
As we all know, lithium batteries have a fixed amount of cycles to be charged and discharged. This is usually around the 1000 cycles mark. Also, one reason for most laptops using lithium batteries is their ability to hold a charge for a long time and have a pretty much linear charging/discharging cycle.
Unfortunately, not many of us know that leaving a Macbook battery for a long time completely discharged at 0% or fully charged at 100% is detrimental to battery health. This is due to the characteristics of lithium batteries.
Most of the time, we leave the Macbooks connected to a power source for months at a time without disconnecting them and letting the battery discharge itself. Charging and Discharging Macbook Battery on a regular (fortnightly) basis is healthy for the battery itself.
Why Macbook Batteries swell?
Due to the high flammability of lithium used in battery packs, they are equipped with multiple levels of protection, including overcharging, over-draining, a short circuit, and high-temperature protection on individual cell level.
However, most of these protections are placed as a final measure if something goes terribly wrong. Especially temperature protection, which is set at around couple hundred degrees, ensuring that in even extreme heat, batteries can disconnect themselves and reduce the risk of multiple cell packs catching fire at the same time. Therefore reducing the damage to the surroundings.
That said, having a constant heat source next to a battery is not advisable, although not avoidable in today’s laptops. With the advancement of technologies, laptops are getting more powerful, while to please the eye, they are getting thinner and thinner. Contrary to the requirements of more air space between components, laptops end up as these tightly packed briefcases which cannot ventilate properly as they overheat. And adding an extra couple of years of dust collected within does not make it easy on the cooling system.
As a result mostly heat is the reason for quickly deplating battery health, also swelling batteries on Macbooks.
Difference between Genuine and Aftermarket Macbook Batteries.
We used to have a clear distinction between genuine batteries and aftermarket batteries. However, these days even reputable and authorised supply chains cannot guarantee that the batteries they are getting are genuine.
This is caused mainly due to Apple’s policy to reduce lifespan on Macbooks by officially stopping the production of Macbook parts (batteries, keyboards, screens, etc.) for two or more year old devices.
Production lines in China are not designed for manufacturing only for a short period of time though, especially when outsourced across thousands of contractor small factories. Due to most of the designs of components and replacement parts being similar, manufacturing and feeding of the supply chain continues even after Apple “officially” deems 2+ year old Macbooks as legacy models.
This inevitably leads to established shady practices on the manufacturing end, and concealing replacement parts as genuine parts. Unfortunately, due to limited legal transparency of the suppliers market overseas, it is hard to ensure the parts arriving from overseas are of high quality for most repair shops, even for Apple themselves (and they are well aware of the quality issues with part supplies).
How do we ensure we get genuine parts?
Here in IT-Solve we ensure each part is tested thoroughly before it gets installed and back at owner hands. Especially valid for batteries, hence of their chemical compound nature.
To ensure we fit high-quality parts, we test parts quality by monitoring the charging and discharging process for a couple of cycles.
In this example of a Macbook swollen battery replacement, we can clearly see that this “genuine” battery controlling circuit cannot monitor all cells equally. Hence it “thinks” the charge has depleted to 6% while it keeps running the Macbook for another 60 minutes on intensive load.
In comparison, a healthy battery would drain and charge at steady levels with slight discrepancies. Under heavy load, this Macbook battery performs as expected and drains the battery pretty much linearly within the specified time frame.
Using a fully tested and reliable battery for Swollen Macbook Battery Replacement
To ensure you are getting high-quality parts and reliable batteries, ensure that you are using reputable repair centres. As the saying goes, if it is too cheap to be true, it most likely is not – especially valid for lithium batteries, which are highly flammable under stress and with questionable protections in place for low-quality cheap batteries.
We specialise in Macbook Battery Replacements in Adelaide. To ensure we provide high-quality parts, we test each part separately before we fit the part. This way, we ensure it has passed all test and performs as expected. Also our repairs comes with 30 days warranty for peace of mind.
Do you need this Repair in Adelaide?
If your Apple Mac or Macbook is causing trouble and need a Macbook Repair Service in Adelaide, give us a call, and we will advise on the best scenario to get your device repaired.
Interstate? Why not Send IT for a Repair. Repairs take under three weeks, including forward and backward postage. Contact us to get an idea of cost and turnarounds.
We at IT-Solve, specialise in Apple Mac and electronics repairs. We will do our best to repair your Mac quickly without involving high costs and long waiting times in repair shops. Our average repair takes under a week!
Repaired, not Replaced!
We are committed to reducing e-waste in Australia. How we do it is by educating our customers on the reparability and longevity of their devices, as well as providing affordable Macbook Repairs here in Adelaide.
Although our best intentions and hard work, this is not an easy task. Customers must accept that cost of high-quality electronic repairs, is between a third and half of the price of a new device. However, with the current trend of planned obsolescence in electronic design, we see more and more Macbooks having shorter lifespans. To tackle that, while we do our repairs we target common planned obsolescence engineering design mistakes to ensure we extend the life expectancy of the Macbooks we repair. Check some of our Macbook Repair Cases to get an idea of the process.
That said, if we buy a new one or write it off via insurance, it does not guarantee that the new one will not meet the same fate as the older one pretty soon.
As matter of fact, quite often we see accidents reoccurring within less than 2-year gaps. If we can save 2000$ or even 1000$ today by repairing our faulty Macbook is brilliant. That’s an extra half Macbook cost ready to be spent on another one when the time comes or our need for performance increases.
When that time comes is up to us to buy a new one or keep pushing the one we have, but delaying it by a year or three is always a good starting point and saves another abandoned Macbook from polluting our one and only Planet.