MBP Battery Issues

MBP Battery Issues

Since I got the MBP back roughly 3 weeks ago, I noticed that the battery life has diminished. And significantly that is. I can use the machine for a maximum of two hours now, whereas it can stay almost 3.5 to 4 hours before. I wonder if the logic board replacement has got anything to do with it (although I highly doubt). For all I know, this could have been going on for a while but I was just unaware of. It’s been more than a year anyway.

Anyhow, before I check with Apple Care, I decided to diagnose it myself first (not an expert, so let’s just check the stats). This way, I can avoid excuses technicians always make when dealing with customers (i.e. like try to reset PRAM first, etc).

Using the reliable app coconutBattery, I discovered that my current battery capacity to be only 3860mAh of the 5500mAh maximum when first purchased. That’s 70%. It also lists two equally important statistics, the battery’s Loadcycle and the age of your machine. Below is the result from mine.

Screen shot 2009-09-15 at 12.06.36 AM

Unluckily for me, I never had the stats from before today. Heck, while it bothers me to death for a few days, I won’t even think of checking if not for Snow Leopard’s battery “Condition Status,” which is pretty helpful by the way.

Battery Conditions:
Normal – The battery is functioning normally.
Replace Soon – The battery is functionning normally but holds less charge than it did when it was new.
Replace Now – The battery is functioning normally but holds significantly less charge than it did when it was new.
Service Battery – The battery isn’t functioning normally.

UPDATE: My battery status is at “Replace Soon” since Sunday. This morning it suddenly alarmed me with “Replace Now” sign.

The same info can be found in the System Profiler. Click the Apple Logo -> About this Mac -> More Info. In the Contents area, under Hardware, select Power. This will list the more detailed Battery Information and System Power Settings. The Cycle Count is probably the most significant one.

That’s for the initial diagnosis. I’m still not sure what first aid troubleshooting to do aside from zapping the PRAM, so I better check with google. 🙂

Even AppleCare’s replacement guideline HERE on the battery problem is not clear. I guess they have a way of knowing if it’s “manufacturing defect” or something…

Notebook Owners
Your one-year warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. You can extend your replacement coverage for a defective battery to three years from the date of your notebook purchase with the AppleCare Protection Plan. However, the AppleCare Protection Plan for notebook computers does not cover batteries that have failed or are exhibiting diminished capacity except when the failure or diminished capacity is the result of a manufacturing defect.

Ok so finally, here’s how to properly maintain our lithium ion batteries to extend its life.

Calibration Method (from Apple support):

1. Plug in the power adapter and fully charge your PowerBook’s battery until the light ring or LED on the power adapter plug changes to green and the onscreen meter in the menu bar indicates that the battery is fully charged.
2. Allow the battery to rest in the fully charged state for at least two hours. You may use your computer during this time as long as the adapter is plugged in.
3. Disconnect the power adapter while the computer still on and start running the computer off battery power. You may use your computer during this time. When your battery gets low, the low battery warning dialog appears on the screen.
4. At this point, save your work. Continue to use your computer; when the battery gets very low, the computer will automatically go to sleep.
5. Turn off the computer or allow it to sleep for five hours or more.
6. Connect the power adapter and leave it connected until the battery is fully charged again.

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