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How do I know when I need to replace my Mac’s battery?

Apple Upgrade, Repair support expert South Africa ZA Support

What does a battery consist of?


Technically MacBooks use lithium-ion batteries. Some of the newer MacBooks use a lithium-polymer battery. The Lithium-ion battery consists of an anode and cathode, a separator, and an electrolyte that fills the rest of the space of the battery.

Lithium is used in batteries because it is the lightest of metals and has the highest energy density by weight. It also stores a charge quickly.

What makes your battery fail?

Firstly Mac batteries are rated for about 1000 cycles which are about 3 years of average usage. If your Mac’s battery has reached that limit it needs to be replaced due to age.

Secondly extreme heat or cold can damage the battery. You should not expose your Mac to extreme temperatures for example leaving it in your vehicle or in the sun.

Thirdly physical damage can also affect your battery.


Signs that will alert you that the battery needs to be replaced.

1. Low battery rundown. When the battery charge is low the computer goes into standby mode to prevent losing your work.

2.  Service alert. Your Mac monitors the health of its battery. When you get the “Service Battery” warning then your battery most probably needs to be replaced.

3. Unexpected shutdowns. If your mac keeps on turning off often it is a sign that your battery needs to be replaced.

4. Swelling. When you find that the screen is not closing and there is a gap between the upper and lower parts of the case. Problems clicking the trackpad and keyboard keys not working. You could be faced with a swollen battery.

In closing: Although you can still use your Mac plugged in there is always the danger of the battery exploding. The faulty battery can cause more heat than it can handle and can explode. The battery can rupture and the spark can course it to explode and even start a secondary fire. Although it is statistically unlikely it can start a fire and can cause serious harm to a person using the device.

If you are not sure about what to do about your battery contact a specialist and service your Mac at least once a year.


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