Everyone who has owned a laptop for a year or two has encountered their frustrating tendency of quickly running out of power. Most laptop batteries are rated for between 300 and 1000 charges, or between one and four years of use. After that time, they can hold a charge for only minutes or not at all, meaning that the laptop must be plugged into the wall when you use it. Many people wonder if laptop battery repair is an option. The answer is yes, but it might be more than the average user wants to get involved with.
Laptop batteries can cost a hundred dollars or more. This expense is a hassle after only a year or three of use, and often ends up being an unwelcome nuisance for laptop users. Most models are lithium ion batteries, and they run down because of cell oxidation, which causes increased resistance in the battery. Although technology is improving, this remains a fact of life for laptop technology. Often, batteries that do not function well usually still have stored energy; they just cannot deliver the required energy to the computer. One interesting fact is that heating a worn down battery may temporarily cause it to function again.
Yes, it is possible to replace worn out energy cells in lithium ion batteries. This is rarely done on a personal consumer level, however, because the chemistry is a little bit complicated. Assembling pieces that do not match can cause fire or explosion. There is also a digital element to understand about these batteries, and if correct protocols are not followed, loss of information or malfunction will result. For this reason, most lithium ion laptop batteries are sold preassembled for specific computers. Although it is expensive to replace them, it certainly is less complicated than fixing them yourself.
Someone who wants to get involved in laptop battery repair will probably need to have special equipment like a battery analyzer and re-conditioner. Because battery technology is not standardized, results will vary depending on battery type, and some expertise will be required. Complications may arise even if cell recharge is accomplished. The digital circuit may be scrambled or lose information, for example. The more complex these batteries get, of course, the more complicated become the repairs.
It is possible to buy the specific cells for your computer using the model number from the battery pack. Most computers use six cells. By prying off the back of the pack, slicing the used batteries out of their casing, and replacing them with the new ones, it is possible to rejuvenate a used up battery. In most cases, this will save you some money over buying a completely new battery, but beware, as it will most likely void your warranty.
There are a few small-scale services that specialize in battery repair. Because of warranty issues and convenience, however, the prevailing consumer trend is to replace the entire battery pack every few years. Rapidly evolving technology is improving battery life, but also making it less competitive for small operators to get into battery repair. The bottom line is that laptop battery repair is a real option and can save money. The downside is added complication and the risk of something going wrong.