The Replacement Battery situation

It’s a sample size of one, but for whatever reasons i have ended up replacing two laptop batteries and one iPad battery through third party repairs, or self repair, over the last 6 months or so. These are for old laptops and ipads, < 2015 vintage or so. I’ve always felt repair > rebuy.

Except that, for whatever reason, i see little to no improvement in battery life with any device after repair. There is some but it’s generally significantly below that which a new device would have. Brand new replacements burn through their batteries in hours on idle, and last half or a quarter of the time they ought to unplugged.

It makes me think the real issue with repair nowadays is that the replacement parts themselves are several years old at this point, and are degrading at a less but still substantial rate compared to batteries actually in devices. This really puts me off ‘repairability’ as a long term solution since apparently are there are no replacement parts really, just old stock parts slowly degrading in a warehouse in Shenzhen somewhere.

It seems like the ‘real’ solution is to treat it like a depreciating asset and offload them before they reach that critical ‘no repairability’ zone, probably around 5 years or so max.

Anyone else have similar issues with battery replacements on older devices? Is it just assumed at some point all laptops become ‘wall bricks’ due to a lack of replacement parts?

It seems like most replacement batteries that I can find years after purchase are no longer the original brand but off brand compatible replacements, of dubious quality and reliability (or else pay exorbitant cost) . Sometimes it’s decent, sometimes not, but they’re usually cheap enough to not care overly much, given that the equipment itself, like you say, is running itself to obsolescense anyway.

In some cases I’m amazed the original battery has lasted so long, sor example my wii U tablet can still hold an hour of charge, for like, a 2013-5 machine.

I’ve replaced my laptop battery twice (bought it 2016) I don’t treat batteries well and kept the device plugged in constantly

I’ve replaced phone batteries. They work fine. I just grab them off ebay. I’ve never bothered to seek out OEMs. The real issue is damaging the rest of the components when disassembling the device.

There are two factors that I can think of that could be changing battery performance over time, in addition to the batteries themselves. For the laptops, they can get dusty and push the temps up, which can leave the fans (assuming there is one) running more of the time, which will obviously have a battery effect. For mobile devices, especially Apple, older devices have much less RAM than newer ones. As newer apps come out tuned for larger RAM sets, older devices can evict apps from memory more often, usually writing data to flash memory in the process, which can add up in battery usage.

For that matter, make sure there is a fair amount of space free on the iPad as well. Apple devices will attempt to auto-archive apps etc when space runs low, which makes the thing run super slow as the device is constant trying to recover disk space.

Lastly, I would recommend restoring the iPad if you haven’t recently. Even backing up and immediately initializing from backup helps. Not only will it get rid of phantom files that apps can leave behind, I have found that misbehaving apps will sometimes spew megabytes of logs constantly because some setting got out of whack. The restore often helps with that.

There’s a fair bit of “refurbished” batteries masquerading as new, unfortunately.