A few weeks ago, my laptop battery started failing. In the past, this is really more of an inconvenience than a problem, I would just go to the local battery store and purchase a new battery and snap it on. Done. The last computer I purchased was a 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7 (mid 2011) MacBook Pro 13 inch. The battery is not user replaceable. Apple charges $129 to change the battery out in my MBP, that is not too bad, but there is no apple store with-in a 4 hour drive of where I live. I simply cannot be with out a computer for a week or two if I had to send it off….
So, after a little research, I found a battery for $109. If you are brave enough to crack the back panel of your precious MBP, keep reading. The process to change the battery is very simple.
- Completely shut down and turn off the computer. Unplug any chargers.
- Turn the computer over, there are 10 screws that hold the back case on. Use a #0 Phillips screwdriver to remove them. 3 of the screws are a little longer, keep track of where those go.
- Remove back case
- The battery is located on the bottom right corner. Located the pin connector, with a small plastic “Spudger” (a spudger is a small plastic pry tool, here are the details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spudger)
I did not have a “spudger”, so I used a small flat tipped screwdriver, just make sure that you do not bridge the contacts on the battery with a metal screwdriver. That would be bad.
- There are two tri-wing “y-1” screws that hold the battery in. I did not buy a tri-wing screwdriver; I used a 1mm flat head screwdriver and that worked fine for me.
- Once you have removed the battery, installation is opposite removal. It really is quite simple.
Your battery health and life is determined on a few things. But basically, it comes down to how many times you fully charge your battery (cycles). The battery was 2 years old and had 290 cycles on my battery when I replaced it. That is about average. I did notice that the battery worked good and held a charge well up until about 3 weeks ago. The battery health started drastically failing, until it would only hold a charge for a few minutes. It failed so fast and suddenly that it surprised me.
Here are some tips for maximizing the battery life.
- Dim your screen to the lowest comfortable brightness. Screen brightness is the single largest factor to battery life.
- Putting the hard disk to sleep when possible.
- Slightly dim the display when using this power source. (Choose “Battery” or “Power Adapter”.)
- Automatically reduce brightness before display goes to sleep.
- Setting the computer and display sleep sliders to induce sleep of the display or computer more quickly.
- Choosing the Better Battery Life option if available.
- Choosing Automatic Graphic switching if available.
- Running graphics-intensive applications such as 3D games, Aperture, iMovie, iPhoto, and others consumes more power. Quitting these applications will allow your computer to switch to the energy efficient graphics processor, which can give you better battery life.
- Eject CDs and DVDs you’re no longer using. Sometimes the optical drive spins to read CDs or DVDs that are in the drive. This consumes a small amount of power.
- Disconnect peripherals when you’re not using them. Connected peripherals—such as printers and digital cameras—can draw power from your battery even when you’re not using them.
- Shut down any runaway applications.
- Quit any applications that are running but not in use.
- If you’re not in a location where you need to use AirPort or Bluetooth, you can turn them off to save power
Take care of the battery, and it will last much longer…