lithium ion batteries

Can I buy a replacement battery for my laptop?

ASUS VivoBook

Episode 1613

Lori from West LA, California

Lori's friend has an Asus Vivobook computer that needs to have the battery replaced. But there doesn't seem to be a way to do it. Leo says that the Right to Repair is a serious movement that computer companies are starting to resist, chiefly Apple. They make it harder to open up your computer and they won't even offer replacement parts. That's why there are bills to establish a right to repair law in several states.

Is it OK to Keep my Smartphone Plugged in and Charging?

Lithium-ion battery

Episode 1575

Richard from West LA, CA

Richard wants to know if keeping his laptop and smartphone plugged in all the time will damage it. Leo says that there is great debate about it. It's not really bad to keep them plugged in at all. What's worse would be completely discharging or overheating them. Lithium-ion batteries also have circuitry designed to keep from overcharging. Check out Battery University for details on the life of 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.