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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > New Battery Time? Replacement Time?

New Battery Time? Replacement Time?
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ghporter
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Jan 19, 2024, 03:47 PM
 
My Early 2015 13" MBP flagged its battery as "needing service" quite a while ago. Yesterday I noticed that it didn't sit flat on the desk... OK, that's bad. So I'm looking at either replacing the battery or replacing the laptop with a refurbished one.

Apple says replacing the battery in my machine would cost $250, while I see refurbished machines, including M1 MBPs, for not a whole lot more than that. The ads frequently mention 1-year warranties, too.

I'm at a loss, but mostly because I don't know if Apple stands behind a repaired MBP, and if so for how long. I also don't know what to do with the current machine if I replace it.

Ideas and suggestions are welcomed.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Thorzdad
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Jan 19, 2024, 06:57 PM
 
Apple only warranties a repair or refurb if they do the work, or it’s done by a certified Apple repair center.
     
reader50
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Jan 19, 2024, 07:07 PM
 
Try an independent repair shop. Famous ones include Rossman repair, or DosDude.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 19, 2024, 07:54 PM
 
My wife said to take it to the local Apple Store for several reasons. Accessibility was the first that she mentioned: we know where it is and can get to it easily. She also pointed out that they would be more likely to have an 8 model-year-old battery handy than small shops. Then I actually went looking at local places...

Aside from Best Buy, the local pickings are kind of sparse. DosDude apparently used to be here but no longer. A place called MacTLC has a good rep, but is not very accessible (location in a part of town I find challenging to navigate), and the wonderfully named "uBreakiFix". So I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon to get the machine looked at by Apple guys. At worst it will be a matter of not being worth fixing, and they will be able to tell me why in detail. I'll report back later.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Thorzdad
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Jan 20, 2024, 08:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
.Apple says replacing the battery in my machine would cost $250, while I see refurbished machines, including M1 MBPs, for not a whole lot more than that. The ads frequently mention 1-year warranties, too.
I’m kind of shocked that an M1 MBP can be had for “not a whole lot more than” $250.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 20, 2024, 07:32 PM
 
It was a refurb for about $320 on (I think) BackMarket. I can’t find that one now, but I recall looking at it closely and noticing that the BackMarket listing offers different cosmetic levels (maybe?) and the cheap M1 was “good”. But there wasn’t a real definition of what “good” meant. Still there are i5 MPBs out there for just over $300.

Anyway I dropped off my computer at the easier to get to of two nearby Apple Stores this afternoon. I have to say I felt really positive about how it would be handled; the tech I dropped it off with was wearing his ESD wristband, and even mentioned that they have a static-free vacuum to clean out computers after I’d mentioned that I hadn’t ever figured out how to effectively vacuum newer MacBooks/Pros.

When he asked if there were any other issues I was concerned about, I said I worried that the bottom of the case was permanently bent by the swollen battery. He said it wouldn’t be a problem because they just replace the whole bottom, including the glued-in battery. Cool. Plus I don’t really trust that a “not big chain” local Mac shop would do that, and instead just un-glue the battery and slap a new one into the old, bent case.

They did not have the part on hand, and have to order it. It’ll be in within a few days, and the repair will be done by next Saturday. I’m OK with waiting that long, since my M2 MBP is just fine for most things. But having an Intel Mac has its advantages, plus this was a present, so I’m sort of attached to it.

On the other hand, I don’t know what to do with my original, 2006, Core 2-based MBP. I have a Core 2 Duo Linux computer that is pretty anemic, and I haven’t come up with a real job for the oldest Mac I own, whatever OS it runs.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 25, 2024, 02:28 PM
 
I got my MBP back this morning. I really feel that I got my money’s worth having Apple replace the battery.

I don’t know if there was some processor throttling going on when the original battery was going downhill, but with the new battery the machine feels peppier. No data, just impression.

And while Apple will only warranty the work they did, they also ran all the diagnostics on the machine. I’m not worried about something crapping out next month, whereas I just don’t know whether a local Mac shop would have put in the effort to do those tests.

And I realize I sound like “those little shops are crap,” but I have worked in that kind of shop (repairing radios and car phones, not computers), and we had a pretty tight lock on the market. Yet unless a piece of equipment would not work (and working included meeting - if only barely - FCC standards), management policy was to only do the minimum needed to get the equipment back out the door - and as quickly as possible.

The tech repair business model can’t have changed significantly from what it was back then, and it’s probably worse since more and more people just junk tech instead of having it repaired. So while I don’t actually think any small Mac shop would do a poor job replacing a laptop battery, I also feel that what is essentially “factory service” is a better buy for me.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
reader50
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Jan 25, 2024, 03:22 PM
 
Huh, I forgot to recommend the best independent repair shop, Doc HM. Shipping could be a bit high for you, but I'm sure he does all the extra checks you're concerned about.

I understand he's into fast cars too, so you could request racing stripes. To improve your MBPs speed and airflow, just like they do for race cars.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Jan 29, 2024, 09:46 PM
 
I get the importance of streamlining and airflow, and I’d have gone with Doc HM except I couldn’t figure out the customs form…my MBP is a stock item, not custom at all.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Doc HM
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Feb 2, 2024, 07:53 AM
 
We also offer speed holes!
This space for Hire! Reasonable rates. Reach an audience of literally dozens!
     
ghporter  (op)
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Feb 2, 2024, 01:35 PM
 
Ooooooo. I wish I’d known that sooner.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
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