lithium ion batteries

Why won't my laptop charge?

Battery

Episode 1531

Karen from California

Karen's laptop has stopped charging. It's 10 years old. Leo says that her laptop has a lithium ion battery and it has probbaly just worn out. They won't take a charge after about 500 recharges, and after 10 years, it's very likely that's what it is. But Windows 10 has a feature in the command line. She can get to it by pressing the Windows key, and then typing CMD and enter. Then she should type "powercfg /batteryreport." This will give her a report on her battery's health. It gets saved to the hard drive and she can open it with her browser.

Why doesn't my laptop charge?

Asus ROG laptop

Episode 1528

Kyle from San Pedro, CA

Kyle's Asus ROG Laptop isn't charging after a recent Windows 1803 update, and there hasn't been a patch for two years. What can he do? If Asus doesn't offer a fix, he should try the Windows 10 battery diagnostic by pressing the Windows key and typing "battery." Microsoft may troubleshoot and download a patch to fix it. If that doesn't do it, then it just may be that his battery is depleted and just won't take a charge. It would have to be replaced.

Why won't my iPhone charge?

Apple iPhone

Episode 1524

Maryanne from Santa Barbara, CA

Maryanne's iPhone 6 won't recharge and now it's dead. What can she do? Rich says that her iPhone battery could be depleted or faulty. The battery in the iPhone has a limited number of charges, and once it surpasses that, the battery will die. And being an iPhone 6, it could be that the battery needs replacing. But before doing that, she should try using a gentle burst of canned air into the lightning port. If it starts to charge, then she'll know there was just a little dirt or fluff blocking the connection. If it doesn't work, then it's time for a trip to the Apple Store.

Why doesn't my new laptop battery work?

Lithium Ion Battery

Episode 1513

Chris from Burbank, CA

Chris is having issues with his old Dell laptop. The battery has died. Leo says that Lithium ion batteries have a limit of about 500 charges and then they simply die. If he can pop out the battery, he can plug it into his AC adapter and run it. But he can get get a new battery for it as well. Chris did that and it still doesn't work. Leo suspects it's a third party battery that won't work on that Dell. It's likely a knock off.

Will heat degrade my phone battery?

Lithium Ion Battery

Episode 1419

Bruce from Pasadena, CA

Bruce hears that the lifespan of lithium ion batteries get reduced by heat. Leo says that's correct, and right now it's really hot out. That's why phones will shut down when it gets too hot. It's a safety program to protect the battery from damage. So Bruce should keep his phone out of the sun. He shouldn't let them get any hotter than normal. Even during hot days, the shade will reduce the heat by at least 10 degrees. On the other end, he'll want to avoid extreme cold as well. It does the same thing.

How can I get Microsoft to replace my laptop?

Episode 1412

Johnny from Atlanta, GA

Johnny is a Microsoft developer and he has noticed that his laptop battery has expanded, creating a bulge and warp. So he had to get it repaired. But Microsoft wants $600 to repair it!But there's a silver lining in that Microsoft replaced the laptop for free instead. But it took a few months. Leo says that's irresponsible because a laptop with a bulging battery is basically a bomb waiting to go off. Leo says it's stories like that which led Consumer Reports to ding Microsoft for its terrible long term reliability.

Are electric cars safe for the environment?

Tesla Model S

Episode 1403

Sandra from Fullerton, CA

Sandra hears that the lithium ion batteries in Tesla cars aren't recyclable and that Tesla simply dumps them in the ocean. Leo says that isn't accurate. They are recycling, but they can be difficult to recycle because if they're exposed to the air, the inside of the batteries can catch on fire. They are recyclable and it takes about a decade or two before they will be replaced. By then, the recycling technology will have improved as well.

Could my devices overheat and explode from a power inverter?

Power Inverter

Episode 1382

Manny from Ashtabulah, OH

Manny is a long haul truck driver and he has a lot of gadgets that require AC, so he needs an inverter. What's the best one that will provide power without overheating his gadgets? Leo says that in theory, the gadgets won't take more wattage that they can handle and if they are getting warm or even hot, that's just normal. Well made devices have circuitry that prevents overcharging.

Why do so many devices have non-replaceable batteries?

Nintendo Switch

Episode 1373

Clarence from Chesapeake, VA

Clarence is concerned about the new trend to have irreplaceable batteries in devices, like the new Nintendo Switch. Leo says that iFixIt says the battery in the Switch can be replaced with the right tool and replacement part. It's doable. But there's no user serviceable part for the battery in the iPhone. It's all glued in now. Apple will repair a battery for you, but it can't be done by the user. Clarence's battery should last around 500 complete charges. Once that happens, they are dead.