You may have heard about “exploding” MacBook computer batteries.
When a lithium ion battery, like the one in your MacBook or cell phone, starts to fail, a chemical reaction can occur that causes the battery to swell up like a balloon. If the battery is punctured or otherwise damaged, it is technically possible for it to catch fire. This danger is one of the reasons it’s important to monitor the health of your laptop battery.
However, it’s far more likely to see an “exploded” battery like the one pictured above, where the battery cells have expanded to the point that they crack open the battery enclosure, but don’t actually ignite or smoke. This expansion can happen very quickly. The battery in this picture appeared normal a week ago, the only sign that something was wrong with it was that it couldn’t hold a charge for very long. By the time the customer had the chance to bring it into us, the battery had swelled so much that it bent the bottom of the laptop open, popping several screws loose in the process! It looked like someone had taken a crowbar to the bottom corner of the MacBook Pro, but it was just the force of the battery expanding as it failed.
Heat and overcharging can accelerate this swelling process, but it can happen to any lithium ion battery. If you notice your battery starting to swell, or if you get a warning message on your screen that says “service battery” it’s best to take it in for diagnosis and possible battery replacement. You don’t want to keep using your Mac until the battery looks like this one!
We offer battery replacements for almost all Macs out there! We try to keep them in stock for a fast turnaround. Check out our Mac battery replacement page for more information.