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I turned in my MacBook Pro 15" Late-2013 to a service shop. The battery indicator recently has said either "Condition: Replace Now" or "Condition: Service Battery" (I can't remember which).

The service shop returned a service cost proposal: after currency conversion $350 USD + VAT including work. Quite expensive.

The reason for the high price is – according to the shop – that the battery on this model is permanently attached to the so called "Top Case" (unibody case + keyboard + trackpad). To replace the battery, the Top Case assembly must be replaced.

I am inclined to reject the service offer, and keep on using the computer with the current battery. What sort of problems can be expected by doing so? Is the computer in any danger in the short or long term?


FYI, MacOS help about battery conditions:

View your battery’s condition: Press and hold the Option key and click the battery icon in the menu bar.

You may see any of the following conditions:

Normal: The battery is functioning normally.

Replace Soon: The battery is functioning normally but holds less charge than it did when it was new.

Replace Now: The battery is functioning normally but holds significantly less charge than it did when it was new. You can continue to use the battery until you replace it without harming your computer.

Service Battery: The battery isn’t functioning normally, and you may or may not notice a change in its behavior or the amount of charge it holds. Take your computer in for service. You can continue to use your battery before it’s checked without harming your computer.

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    You might try checking with Apple directly. They charge US $199 for battery replacement. Unfortunately, I don't know the currency and VAT charges, and the price may be different in your country. Worth calling Apple in any case. – cmason Aug 20 '18 at 15:19
  • Yes, the official battery service price according to Apple is way less than the shop's stated price: support.apple.com/mac/repair/service – Winterflags Aug 20 '18 at 15:39
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I use a similar model of MacBook Pro (15” Late 2013).

The batteries have something called charge cycle (1 charge cycle = 1 full charge and discharge). The MacBook Pro battery typically retain 80% charge holding capacity after completing 1000 cycles.

Although the advanced lithium-ion batteries in MacBook is meant to last for several years before they begin to lose their overall charge capacity, there will eventually be a time when it will need replacement.

This is reported by macOS by alerting you about battery condition. You can also view the current cycle count of the battery by going to Apple Menu → About This Mac → System Report... → Hardware → Power → Battery Information: → Health Information: → Cycle Count.

There are also various 3rd party apps which you can use to determine the current battery health status. coconutBattery is one such popular tool.

Once you are convinced that the battery need replacement, it is strongly advised to do so.

Also, the top case, keyboard, trackpad and the battery comprise of a single unit in the MacBook model you own. The entire unit will need replacement. (I got mine replaced a few months ago). That explains the hefty price tag.

Which problems can be expected by continuing to use a MacBook Pro Battery already due for replacement?

Continuing to neglect replacement may end up damaging other components thereby leading to more expenses. In my case (pun intended :-D), the battery started swelling which could have also ended up damaging the logic board assembly.

Other obvious issues include, lesser backup than expected, random shutdown under load and possibility of reduced performance at times.

If you haven't done so in the last 5 years since you bought the MacBook and macOS is alerting you about it, it's highly recommended to get the battery replaced for extending the lifetime of your MacBook Pro.

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I have had this on several Macbook Pros. In general, there is no lasting impact on the machine, and no risk that I can determine. The only impact is unreliable battery life. I mostly use my Macbooks plugged in, in which case this issue is not noticeable. However, should I unplug the Macbook Pro, battery life can be literally minutes, despite what the menu bar claims. Often the display will indicate 80% charge, then suddenly indicate 10%. This is not unusual for LiIon batteries, where voltage can drop suddenly with the age of the battery. In all cases, replacing the battery returned the battery life to normal.

Yes there are risks, as another poster mentions the batteries can swell. I will point out that LiIon batteries can swell for many reasons, and age isnt the only one. But it would be prudent to keep an eye on the battery and case, just in case.

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