Oh Bother!

The evil “Service Battery” is back all the time now. I’m going to have to get the machine in for a battery replacement. It’s not that big a deal, it’s just a matter of time and how long can I be without the computer.

I’ve decided that I want Apple to handle it rather than doing it myself, in part because Apple will warranty the battery and in part because all the online battery suppliers I’ve spoken with, want me to remove the battery to read them the model number.

Apple started building many of their laptops with non-removable batteries after 2009.

The fact that this machine is a 2012 MacBook Air, and the MacBook Air was never manufactured with a removable battery gives me great concern when chatting with a battery supplier who doesn’t know this.

This is especially true when I’m asking them about a battery from their website where I’ve copied their part number into the little chat dialog, and am asking a specific question like:

“Your site says this battery will work in all MacBook airs but then specifically says this product is for a 2014 MacBook Air. Is the product compatible with a 2012 MacBook Air?”

Please remove the battery from your computer and read me the model number. If your machine in plugged in you can remove the battery and not have the computer turn off.”

“Uh you understand this is a MacBook AIR right?”

Yes, simply remove the battery and we can get started.

“Again, you understand this is a MacBook Air, correct?”


“OK, we’re done!”

For those unfamiliar with the MacBook Air construction. Just to get the bottom panel off requires removal of 10 screws. These particular screws are something called Pentalobe. While I have a Torx screwdriver set, I haven’t had a need to purchase a Pentalobe set. The screwhead looks like the image to the right, obviously not the run of the mill “Computer Tool Kit” from The Dollar store.

How can I trust anything that the representative of a battery manufacturer tells me, if they don’t know the most basic of facts about the product that they’re selling me a replacement battery for? I am after all accessing their consumer website, not their commercial supply site.

The cost to have Apple replace the battery is about $120. Purchasing a replacement on my own is $99, and there’s no warranty.

The difference is insignificant by the time I pay shipping, taxes, buy the proper screwdriver, and then splay my machine across my kitchen counter.

When I get round to needing a Terabyte drive in my machine, everything changes. (I want a TB drive now, but I don’t need a TB drive.) On that day, I’ll buy the proper tools to get into my beloved MacBook and while I’m in there I’ll look at any other upgrades that I might be able to install.

Based on pictures of the main logic board, I doubt there’s much I can do other than upgrade the hard drive, but it’s always worth a look.

I tend to buy maxed out machines right from the get-go so there’s little to add. When I bought this machine, I got the max memory and biggest hard drive available. The only reason that a TB drive is an option now, is because technology has made TB solid state drives available and reasonably affordable.

As an aside, it looks like Apple may be able to replace the battery while I wait. That is IF they have any in stock, so I guess it’s in my best interest to schedule my visit to Apple in advance.

I wonder if I’ll be able to get in and out of an Apple store without making additional purchases?

Hmm, self control? Me?