Help with service battery warning

I have a 2017 13" MacBook Pro (14,1) purchased in October 2017. It has 135 cycle count. On battery power the system shuts down unexpectedly and I have a service battery warning.

I finally had enough of it and went to Apple Support only to find out they will not allow me to chat with them, or allow me to use their callback service, because they say I’m no longer eligible. I can’t take it to the Genius Bar because Apple Stores are closed.

I can’t replace the battery in this model myself can I?

Are my only options authorised repairer or wait until Apple Stores re-open?

I’d cite Australian consumer law and say that 2.5 years is not a ‘reasonable’ lifespan for an expensive laptop.

Did you buy it from Apple?

I agree, but I’m not too concerned about having to pay. I am frustrated about being blocked from support and being able to ask basic questions such as how much and is this normal. I bought it from Myer eBay.

I think that if you want any type of phone support you need AppleCare, because usually you can walk in store with an out of warranty/non AppleCare device and ask questions/get software help etc.

I think you’ll have to go through Myer, as the consumer law I believe applies to the place of purchase, and they have to provide the remedy. Usually I think the Genius Bar handles this stuff but the current situation makes everything so difficult!

1 Like

My daughter in London just had this same issue with her 2010 MacBook Pro. This is what I told her based on some online research on the issue. She did the calibration and that fixed her problem.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Here are some possible causes and solutions. A faulty battery is probably NOT the problem. I suggest that you try each cause/solution in the order shown.

Battery Calibration

Do the following:

  1. Charge it to 100%, and keep charging it for at least two more hours.
  2. Unplug your laptop and use it normally to drain the battery.
  3. Save your work when you see the low battery warning.
  4. Keep your laptop on until it goes to sleep due to low battery.
  5. Leave it overnight
  6. Charge your laptop uninterrupted to 100%

Ref:

Some people suggest that repeating the calibration process for a second time solved their problem and increased the measured battery capacity

SMC Error

Try resetting your System Management Controller (SMC), which is a hardware chip that controls some hardware settings, including the power system. The process is straightforward, but any customisations to your power plans or hardware settings may also be reset.

Here’s how to reset the SMC:

  • Shut down your MacBook Pro
  • Press left [Shift]+[Ctrl]+[Option]+the power button at the same time and hold for 10 seconds
  • Release all keys at the same time.
  • Turn on the laptop.

The SMC controls the computer fans, backlights, and indicator lights, as well as some aspects of the display, ports, and battery, so resetting it will force your MacBook to revert back to its default settings for all these things. I

If a transient issue in the SMC was causing the Service Battery warning, this should address it

(Extracted from https://www.techjunkie.com/service-battery-mac-replace/)

Cable Problem

Some users found the problem was caused by a dodgy cable between the charger and Mac. It includes both power wiring and monitoring wiring. The latter feed the battery status back to the charger. If one or more of the monitoring wires are not connecting, the control of the charging process does not work correctly. Check for cable damage at each end.

Yep, that’s what I’ve done in the past but it’s not an option at the moment. Hopefully they’ll open again some time in May.

That hasn’t been my experience historically thank goodness.

Thanks for this suggestion. I’ve been trying this and I don’t get a low battery warning. It just shuts off. I plug the power in until it boots up again, remove the power and it’ll run for a little while again and then just shut off. I imagine this can’t be good for the hardware to repeat this until the battery behaves and gets to zero.

This one hasn’t worked unfortunately. What did work for a while was formatting the system. I have a feeling that only worked because I hadn’t ran it on battery and the first time I did it shut down and the service warning appeared again.

Looks like Apple are planning to reopen stores here soon.

Hopefully you will be able to get somewhere in person. I’m not an expert, but I think you’ve got a solid case for a warranty repair.

I would be trying to politely push the view that the battery in a premium product needs to be able to return more than 135 cycles before failing. They’re rated for 1000. It’s not acceptable and it would be highly likely that ACL would provide remedies in this matter. You just need to be able to talk to someone who realises this.

Conceptually it may help to remember that the warranty is not determined by Apple. It’s determined by Australian Consumer Law. And being being unfailingly nice and relentless is, in my experience, the most effective way to further your cause.

1 Like

I had this issue with a Black MacBook battery.
Ran fine on battery from full charge, appeared to have 50% + capacity left and then shut down without warning. - No “I’m low on power and will sleep soon” warning.

The battery needs replacing. - Much easier to do with a black book than a newer model though I admit. 135 cycles is way too low, they are rated for 1000. My 2015 model reports 74% health and 738 cycles.

You can’t get one cheap from outside Oz from OWC or others now either, because since the UPS 747 freighter crashed in the Middle East after a hold fire no one will fly lithium ion batteries as freight anymore. - Newertech doesn’t list batteries for models newer than 2015 MBP anyhow, btw. Apple must be making it harder to swap them out ?

Run on Mains power until you can get to an open Apple store ? - Maybe get a cheap UPS as insurance in case the mains power dies, so you have time to save work before the battery lets you down ?

1 Like

Usually the same with me but my iPad Pro Smart Keyboard is having problems (its just over 2 years old) and AppleCare told me to exercise my consumer rights I’d need to talk to the place of purchase (which was JBHIFI).

Sounds like going directly to Apple is fine