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I have a 2017 MacBook Pro without Touch Bar with 1090 battery cycles, 70% battery capacity and as condition it says "Replace Soon". I bought the computer 2 and a half years ago so my warranty is no longer valid.

I contacted the only two apple service repair shops near me and if the battery is faulty they will charge me the equivalent of 250USD, but if they find no fault they will charge me 450USD. That's outrageous, it's almost twice the price if they find no fault in the battery because they will also charge me for the keyboard (they said the keyboard is on Apple if the battery is found to be faulty).

I can bring it in for a diagnostic for 40 bucks (that go towards the replacement if I go for it) but I can't afford keyboard+battery, I can only afford to be charged for the battery (250 USD). I asked what is the test they do to know if the battery is failing, if it's the condition in the system report or if its something else. They told me it's something that can only be done at an Apples Diagnostic center.

If I take my computer they will have it for 2-5 business days and I can't spare that time if the battery won't be replaced. My computer is my work and I can only afford to be away from it to replace the battery for the 250USD. So, before I take it to be repaired, I need to know 100% that when they test it they will "find a fault with the battery".

So, what do they do to test that? It's obvious the store is not gonna tell me, but maybe I can find the info online. Would it be bad for my computer if I wait for the condition in the battery to be "Service Battery"? I am assuming if that message pops up is because it is for sure failing so if I can't find a way to test the battery I might as well wait for that message if it warrantees that they will find a fault.

My computer shuts down randomly, it happened more often about a month ago. Sometimes the battery switches from 34% to 4% and then back to 34% once plugged into the wall. It doesn't last more than 2-3 hours when it's on battery.

Edit: I am on macOS Mojave

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  • So 250 with a discount for the keyboard if the battery is faulty and 450 if not. Don’t you expect to pay for things?
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 15, 2021 at 21:07
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    I'm confused as to what your actual question is. Is it "should I replace my battery now" or is it "what does Apple do to test the battery"?
    – fsb
    Sep 15, 2021 at 21:15
  • My question is how to test the battery to know if it's faulty by their standards. Like what are the tests they will do so I can do them myself. And my second question is if I wait for the message to be "Service Battery" will I be damaging my computer?
    – M.O.
    Sep 15, 2021 at 21:22
  • Sorry if it was rambly, I thought my questions were clear.
    – M.O.
    Sep 15, 2021 at 21:23
  • @SolarMike I expect to pay for the battery. I know it's faulty, it's behaving horribly, it has a lot of bugs and it has been happening for a few months. I don't expect to pay to replace my perfectly fine keyboard. It's their internal policy that they are both one piece and I as a customer shouldn't be punished to pay for both when I only have a problem with one. I just need information to know if they will find in fact my battery faulty under their standards.
    – M.O.
    Sep 15, 2021 at 21:28

2 Answers 2

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At over 1000 cycles and 80% capacity, your battery is not 'faulty' (in the sense of performing below expectations): it has just reached the end of its life. As such, it should qualify for the cheaper replacement price.
https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201585

When I had the battery replaced in my 2015 15" MBP, I was told by the Apple Store staff that if the battery was below 80% capacity, or failing other test criteria, then I would get the replacement at the cheaper price.

If it didn't fail any of criteria, then I would have to pay the higher rate. (Or I could walk away at that point.)

The diagnostic test was performed in front on me, and my battery was approaching the threshold, but not quite. In the end, I smiled sweetly, and they offered me the cheaper price. (I did not have to pay for the test or Genius appointment.)

The design of the laptop means that they can't just replace the battery: they have to replace the entire 'top case'. So you get a new keyboard, trackpad and the outer frame as part of the cost, regardless of whether it's the cheaper rate or not.

If I remember, they quoted me 7 days for the work, but they turned it around in 48 hours.

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The repair shop will run an Apple Diagnostic (off of their server) that will report the battery health. If your system reports "Replace Soon", so will the Apple Diagnostic and you will be eligible for the discounted price of the "Top Case" replacement (which houses battery). On certain MacBook Pro models Apple can run the diagnostic software via the Cloud, so you might be able to call AppleCare and they might offer you to run the battery diagnostic with you.

The only reason why you would not be eligible is if there is a different fault with the Top Case (such as a defective keyboard, physically damaged housing, liquid damage, ...).

In any case, the way the Service Provider should handle this is that you both agree to the price for battery replacement (250USD in your example) and if they encounter a different issue to give you a new quote (which you can accept or decline, in which case you'd pay the agreed amount of 40 USD (in your example) for their diagnostic work).

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  • Is the Apple Diagnostic they run the same I can run by turning off my computer? Where did you get the information that if it says "Replace Soon" I will be eligible for the discounted price? I specifically asked for this and they didn't say one way or another.
    – M.O.
    Sep 16, 2021 at 2:20
  • I have worked at an Authorised Service Provider as an Apple Certified Macintosh Technician. I am not sure which Diagnostics you mean exactly when stating "turning off my computer". I also edited the answer for some added details regarding diagnostics via Apple. Sep 16, 2021 at 2:27
  • Thanks so much for your reply! I am glad to know that is how it works inside the Authorized Service providers of Apple. With the apple diagnostics that I can run by turning off my computer I meant this support.apple.com/en-us/HT202731
    – M.O.
    Sep 16, 2021 at 2:38
  • Yes, in theory that is the same diagnostics. A Service Provider can set which diagnostic he wants to run on your Serial Number. If no diagnostic is set it will perform a simple default diagnostic set (which is what happens here in your case). Sep 16, 2021 at 16:07
  • I haven't found any contact information on your profile, feel free to contact me via the website on my profile, I'm happy to check this with you @M.O. Sep 16, 2021 at 16:08

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