Anyone who has read my blog would probably know I’m not afraid to repair my own computer, but I also try to know my own limitations. This was not one of those times I thought was a DIY fix. I thought I’d write about it anyway because the symptoms are interesting and potentially dangerous.
Recently, I had started to notice that typing on my MacBook Pro Early 2015 13″ was a challenge because it was rocking back and forth as I typed. The case seemed warped, and I wondered if I could have possibly done something to it transporting it in a bag with things like a camera or iPad that weren’t perfeclty flat. That didn’t seem likely, but it was the first thought that came to mind.
After awhile, though, I realized that I was having trouble closing the case, and looking at it carefully, I realized that the keyboard was bulging. This finally caused me to do a little searching online, and with the right search terms, I quickly saw the likely problem.
The battery in these MacBooks (and several others) can sometimes swell when they get old. I’d been getting errors about the battery for some time, but figured I could live for awhile with a battery that didn’t last as long as it used to. When I read that the gas inside the battery that was causing it to expand could actually catch fire, I decided it would be good to replace it.
After a quick look a iFixIt to see how hard the repair was — Difficult — so I decided not to attempt it. Not only do you need solvents to loosen the glue holding the battery in, but if you puncture the battery, it could explode. You need ventilation, too. Though I’ve replaced my own battery in the past, it wasn’t this involved, so I decided to see how much it would cost to repair. After calling around to find a local repair shop (my usual one isn’t doing those kinds or repairs anymore), I found a cell phone repair shop that was willing to change the battery for $160.
Since leaving the battery alone could mean fire, explosion, or at best a cracked keyboard or lower case, I figured it would be worth the cost. It took a few days for them to get the part, but once they had it, they were able to replace the battery in a couple of hours, and I was back up and running with my MacBook.
The main reason I’m writing this is to say that if you are experiencing symptoms like I did — a rocking case or a case that won’t close — it’s best to get it looked at right away. Now my laptop doesn’t rock, the case closes perfectly, and typing is so much better.