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May have been cheated buying "New" laptop battery

By johnhenry
Aug 27, 2007
  1. Hi Guys,

    I bought a new Li-ion battery for my Thinkpad X31 today. It's an IBM factory original battery. After I got home and started using it I noticed it was manufactured in March of 2004. It is 3.5 years old!!

    My understanding of Li-ion batteries is that they do lose efficacy over time, even if not in use. I've seen sites suggest that you should not buy old batteries for this reason.

    Anyway, after the first charge, my laptop battery utility showed that its capacity was up to specifications. (However, the same utility showed the "Battery Wear" already at 5%.) I'm worried it will wear out faster than it should because it's so old.

    Is there any way to test this, or do you think I should just try to return it immediately?

    Again, this is a Li-ion battery, not a Nicad or other. It's rated at 10.8V 4.4AH.

    Many Thanks!
     
  2. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    It may be that old but never used. Two things that kill batteries are heat and lack of exercise. If you got some warranty with it, see how it goes after a few charge/discharge cycles. If you use the laptop connected to the mains, take the battery out unless you are charging it.
     
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Yes, Li-ion batteries go worse over time no matter what you do.
    Then again, your battery may be a remanufactured one and the sticker on it may apply only to the casing.

    Just use the thing through a full cycle and see if it is much worse than it should be.
     
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    some batteries sit the warehouse a long time. Where did you buy it from?
     
  5. johnhenry

    johnhenry TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 69

    Thanks guys.

    I bought it from the Authorized IBM distributor here in Taipei. The Date of Manufacture was stamped, along with serial number, on the outside of the sealed box.

    Nodsu: "Just use the thing through a full cycle and see if it is much worse than it should be."

    That's what I want to do. I need to know how exactly to test it. I have a battery utility that gives specific details of the battery's charge, but how do I compare them? I'm not really sure what to look for.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Richtea1955

    Richtea1955 TS Rookie

    johnhenry,

    I bought a Lion replacement for my Compaq Laptop and within 6 months the charge would only last me some 30 mins and its wear was recorded as about 75%. Big disappointment.

    I decided to completely drain it and use the windows calibration routine to charge it. This resulted in a re-calibration up of some 35%. I repeated this several times and I'm presently at a capacity of 31258mWh (of 65120) and 51% wear. It's much improved.

    I'm using BattStat to monitor it and have adjusted my power scheme.

    I would support the comments above with regard to 'lack of exercise'

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    As I made the comment about exercise, let me explain what I mean! Simply this: a battery kept at full charge will fail before a battery that is regularly drained (through normal use) and then fully recharged. I run the thing to < 10% at least once a month and it is still peforming well after 3 years.
     
  8. k.jacko

    k.jacko TS Rookie Posts: 493

    Li-ion batteries do lose approx. 5% charge more or less straight away, so don't worry about that its just a natural thing they do. But to echo what's been said, regular charge discharge down to 5-10% will keep the battery as healthy as can be expected.
     
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