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What Happens When a Mac Battery Goes Bad.

June 19, 2019 Comments off

While at the Clinic Monday night, we looked at a 2010 MacBook Pro (Core2 Duo) whose battery had gone bad – literally blown up, in fact. In the process it destroyed the trackpad and other parts inside.

The problem with swelling in 13″ MacBook Pros last year (without the trackbar) caused Apple to agree to replace the batteries for free. Apple claimed it was a component issue that – upon going bad – would cause the battery to swell.


UPDATE: MacWorld reports “Apple on Thursday (June 20) announced a voluntary recall for owners of the 15-inch MacBook Pro. If you bought such a laptop between September 2015 and February 2017, it could have a battery that is at risk of overheating. Apple will replace the battery in these laptops for free.”


But clearly the problem of a swelling lithium ion battery is not new. We have seen many over the years at theMacRecycleclinic.

Here are a few photos to show just how bad this problem can be (again on an older Mac in this example.)

The inside of the 2010 MacBook Pro shows there’s extensive damage to the trackpad.

The good news is that it can be repaired – but it can be costly if you take it to Apple or other Mac shop. When MRC does it, we have to take parts from another non-working laptop of the same generation and switch out the affected parts. If Apple or another company did the repair, it would likely use new OEM parts – a costly endever. In fact, it might be better to just get a new laptop (which is usually what is recommended).

But if you see a swelling in your Mac laptop under the trackpad and the computer is not acting properly, look at the battery as a possible culprit. In that case, make sure you have a backup of your data and unplug it from the wall until you can get it to the Apple store (or the Mac Recycle Clinic if you’re in the DMV) or third party repair facility.

What has your experience been with swelling batteries – and did you have the laptop repaired or just replaced? Let us know in comments!

REPAIR UPDATE – June 24, 2019

Given what this MacBook Pro looked like, it was hard to imagine it would be worth the repair effort. But repaired it has been. It is what MacRecycleClinic does!

WHAT WE DID

  • Replaced the battery
  • Replaced appropriate cables and hinges
  • Replaced the trackpad

And yes – it took two to three OTHER MB Pros to make this one whole again. But whole it is… and now it’s ready to go back out into the world and help a family or student who might not have access to a computer!

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