Macbook Air battery weirdness

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My 10 year old Macbook Air is giving me some fits. Could be time for a new battery, but here goes. Wife noted it was showing 0% and charging for a while, but the light on the charger indicated it was charged. Pulled the plug, and it shut off immediately. Uh oh, battery may be shot. Plugged cable in, still says charged. Unplugged, hit the power switch, and it turns on, showing 100% battery. She shut it down because she didn't need it. Next day, it's plugged in, and still showing 0% and charging. Tried the same sequence, but this time, trying to start it on battery, the screen shows it needs to be charged. Plugged in, shows it's charged, but turns on and shows 0%. Pulled the plug, and it shuts off immediately. Yeah, battery may be shot.

Today, last ditch effort. Tried turn it on a few times on battery, got the low battery screen several times. This time, I plug in the charger, and it's actually charging! So I turn it on, it shows 98%. Pulled the plug, and it kept going. Got down to about 38%, but then it suddenly jumped up to 55%. Kept going, and it abruptly turned off at 44%. So, it seems the battery does have some life, it's just way out of calibration. Letting it cool off for a while, hoping it will charge back up and work properly. All told, probably ran for 1.5 hours.
 
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If your MBA is 10 years old, I doubt it's still getting security updates. You can install Chrome OS Flex on it for free.
 
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If your MBA is 10 years old, I doubt it's still getting security updates. You can install Chrome OS Flex on it for free.

A mid-2012 MacBook Air can still run Catalina, which is still getting regular security updates.


Apple theoretically may have discontinued most hardware repair, but batteries are another matter where they say that they may have battery replacements for up to 10 years after a Mac was discontinued.

Service and parts may be obtained for longer, as required by law or for up to 7 years, subject to parts availability. Additionally, Mac notebooks may be eligible for an extended battery-only repair period for up to 10 years from when the product was last distributed for sale, subject to parts availability.​
 
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My 10 year old Macbook Air is giving me some fits. Could be time for a new battery, but here goes. Wife noted it was showing 0% and charging for a while, but the light on the charger indicated it was charged. Pulled the plug, and it shut off immediately. Uh oh, battery may be shot. Plugged cable in, still says charged. Unplugged, hit the power switch, and it turns on, showing 100% battery. She shut it down because she didn't need it. Next day, it's plugged in, and still showing 0% and charging. Tried the same sequence, but this time, trying to start it on battery, the screen shows it needs to be charged. Plugged in, shows it's charged, but turns on and shows 0%. Pulled the plug, and it shuts off immediately. Yeah, battery may be shot.

Today, last ditch effort. Tried turn it on a few times on battery, got the low battery screen several times. This time, I plug in the charger, and it's actually charging! So I turn it on, it shows 98%. Pulled the plug, and it kept going. Got down to about 38%, but then it suddenly jumped up to 55%. Kept going, and it abruptly turned off at 44%. So, it seems the battery does have some life, it's just way out of calibration. Letting it cool off for a while, hoping it will charge back up and work properly. All told, probably ran for 1.5 hours.

A lot of issues can be solved with a new battery. Not sure if Apple will still replace it, but it may be near the 10 year window.

Old, worn batteries can do weird things as a result of the battery health estimation model going out of whack. Seen it on an iPhone where I might see it drop almost 20% immediately. It may seem to improve but then goes back to being unpredictable.
 
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I'd toss a new battery at it, as it does have some life left.

There use to be a battery calibration write-up on Apple's website and it might be worth trying that.

The basic procedure, or at least the way I've done it when replacing a battery, is you first charge it fully(at least 8 hours plugged in, or at least 8 hours after it indicated fully charged). You then run it down completely-use it until it shuts off, then let it sit at least 8 hours. That SHOULD calibrate it.

With that said, "high mileage" batteries can give wonky readings. I have one I've never bothered replacing that has over 1000 cycles, and will indicated100% charged. You can unplug it and it will remain at 100% until it just abruptly dies, which is 10-15 minutes after unplugging. All the battery health tools will tell you that the battery is in perfect condition. It's in a computer I don't really have any use for, which is why I've never bothered to replace it(2009 15", which has no redeeming qualitities for me).
 
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I put one of these in my mid 2013 Air with good results.
Ed

I participate in an Apple forum, and certainly there's some discussion that aftermarket batteries can be hit or miss. Even brands like NewerTech (or whatever iFixIt sells) that seem to be good can change their suppliers, or their suppliers can be inconsistent. Or maybe made to a different standard than Apple OEM.

When I had my problem with my mid-2012 MacBook Pro not turning on, I wasn't sure if it was worth spending $90 on a battery from iFixIt or OWC/NewerTech if it didn't work, but a $27 battery on Amazon seemed like a poor choice. But Apple was able to do it, although I'm a bit peeved because they installed a graphite thermal pad that left a mess. But if it didn't work, I would have gotten it back without having to pay for it.
 

JHZR2

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TBH I haven’t been happy with aftermarket batteries, so I wish you the best, but don’t have much confidence. You do need a battery though. This is starting to sound like a high impedance dendritic short, and if it gets worse the battery could blow.

Both my 2008 MBP and 2010 MBA have gotten aftermarket batteries (OWC) and neither has lasted like the OE.
 
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TBH I haven’t been happy with aftermarket batteries, so I wish you the best, but don’t have much confidence. You do need a battery though. This is starting to sound like a high impedance dendritic short, and if it gets worse the battery could blow.

Both my 2008 MBP and 2010 MBA have gotten aftermarket batteries (OWC) and neither has lasted like the OE.

Theoretically there shouldn't be anything all that difficult about making a quality battery. There are several very high quality battery manufacturers that Apple purchases from and that will sell a pretty much identical part to any reseller willing to meet their volume purchase requirements. There are some who bought these, and they claim to be made by Simplo or Dynapack. Granted there could be some special sauce (like firmware) in the battery that's only provided for Apple, but who knows. There is the possibility of faking the name of the manufacturer, which wouldn't be all that difficulty by just writing to the non-volatile memory in the battery that stores all this stuff.
 

JHZR2

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Theoretically there shouldn't be anything all that difficult about making a quality battery. There are several very high quality battery manufacturers that Apple purchases from and that will sell a pretty much identical part to any reseller willing to meet their volume purchase requirements. There are some who bought these, and they claim to be made by Simplo or Dynapack. Granted there could be some special sauce (like firmware) in the battery that's only provided for Apple, but who knows. There is the possibility of faking the name of the manufacturer, which wouldn't be all that difficulty by just writing to the non-volatile memory in the battery that stores all this stuff.
I agree. But my experience with batteries from OWC indicates an issue. Had it been on one computer I might chalk it up to a bad item. But both are notably lower performing than the original batteries when new.
 
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I agree. But my experience with batteries from OWC indicates an issue. Had it been on one computer I might chalk it up to a bad item. But both are notably lower performing than the original batteries when new.

OWC/Newertech batteries use to be great, but I'm ready to be done with them.

I have a 2010 17" that I use for a few specific purposes and I put a Newertech battery in it when I first got it(to replace the no-name that was in it). I used it a year or so, then went a few months without using the computer and the next time I tried the computer wouldn't power on. It was fine with the battery unplugged.

I bought another and it was fine for a little while, but about a month ago, same story again. I'm a month past warranty on it.

I also pulled out a 15" 2008 Unibody not too long ago-the first unibody, and the only one(along with the 13" aluminum macbook) to have a removable battery. I actually have two of these computers-one has a bad capacitor that maybe I'll fix one of these days, and the other works fine. In any case, in trying to get one started, I was looking and had an original Apple battery and a Newertech. The Apple battery is working fine if only good for an hour, while the Newertech is dead...
 
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