How Apple's Battery Repair Saved My MacBook Pro

For a while, I was seriously worried about the health of my aging 2012 MacBook Pro, which kept getting hit by calamity after calamity, including wonky internet connectivity and speakers that were practically dying. But then when I finally took a battery warning to heart, Apple managed to fix everything that was wrong with my ailing system.

Yes, this fix for my Apple laptop cost me $199, but I was willing to spend that much for just a new battery. And instead, I got a whole lot more life breathed back into my nearly seven-year-old system.

"Service battery." Those were the words that I saw every time I would click on my MacBook Pro's menu bar icon for its battery.

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For a while, probably years, I acted like those words weren't important or potentially dangerous. I didn't take this MacBook Pro out for work. I kept it at home. It was OK as it was.

My thoughts changed one night when I used it in my lap, as opposed to mounted at eye level at the top of a stack of books on my desk. In my lap, it just felt a little too warm.

And so I booked a Genius Bar appointment to get the battery checked out and hopefully replaced. After a technician performed a veritable autopsy to confirm that the battery was indeed bad, the rep told me it would cost $199, and that I'd need to leave my MacBook Pro with Apple for up to two weeks.

Why so long? My 2012 MacBook Pro is classified as a "vintage" machine, and so Apple couldn't guarantee how long it would take to find the necessary parts. Its age concealed the big surprise: The technician told me that since the battery was connected to many other parts in the top half of the case, getting it fixed wasn't as simple as replacing just that battery.

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Five days later, though, Apple called to tell me that it had finished servicing my MacBook. And when I got to the Apple store and booted it up, I was delighted to hear the Apple startup chime ring out without any distortion.

This is when I started to ask myself why I never looked into getting the speakers replaced, and remembered I never could fully confirm that my MacBook Pro's sound issue was rooted in the hardware of the speakers (and not caused by some fraying cable like in Flexgate).

And then I noticed that everything else was clean, with the replacement of the keyboard deck, the keys (including the A key cap I'd clicked so much it was fading away) and the touchpad. And while the MacBook Pro is harder to repair because all of those parts are contained in the top enclosure where the battery is affixed with a strong adhesive, it also somehow meant that my model got a new lease on life for the price of only one of its parts.

It was as if my MacBook Pro went away to a spa and came back after having had a cleanse. Yes, I'd love it if Apple's laptops were more easily repaired, but when I saw the great surprises contained in my repair — even the ports were new — I realized that sometimes, Apple's industrial design can create excellent accidents.

Credit: Shutterstock; Laptop Mag