Laptop batteries share a common frustrating trait with most rechargeable batteries of any electronic device, they tend to weaken and lose holding charge over time. A battery that once held up charge for more than 2 hours, may gradually go down to as low as 20 minutes. Since replacement batteries can be expensive, the cheaper alternative of replacing cells inside your laptop battery can be very tempting!
Before you proceed, make sure you know the type of battery you have, how many wattages it consumes, and what is the make and model. It is entirely possible to replace the cells in your laptop battery, however, even with the most skilled hands, this is not a fail-proof procedure. Be prepared to invest in a new laptop battery if you are not successful.
Before you start, review the manufacturer warranty for your laptop to make sure that a cell replacement will not void it.
PLEASE READ: What You Should Never Do with Lithium-ion Batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are pretty dangerous, if you are not careful, there is always a risk for fire and explosion. These batteries may only be operated with the charging circuits provided for them. Lithium-ion batteries can only be replaced by other lithium-ion batteries. Fires may occur when nails are hammered in or when sawing, resulting in poinsonous smoke. In case of a fire, do not attempt to extinguish it with water, the safer option is to use sand.
PLEASE READ: Open Battery Packs with Care
Most of the time, the battery packs are locked with screw connections or snap locks that can be opened without causing any damage. The housing of the battery pack consists of two plastic parts glued together. Therefore, the rear groove of the housing needs to be carefully sawed sideways with a metal hacksaw. Again, be careful to not damage the Lithium-ion batteries inside, otherwise there is a risk of fire.
The polystyrene shavings produced when sawing the battery open may cause eye irritation, which is why protective goggles are a must! After opening the groove, remove the housing and you will see six lithium-ion batteries. Before removing those, make a careful note of the wiring and the colors of the individual cables. Short circuits must be avoided at all costs!
STEP BY STEP: Removing the Old Battery Cells and Replacing with New Ones
- Let the battery drain its power completely and then turn off your computer and remove the it. Take down the model number on the cover so that you can order the correct replacement in case of an accident.
- Crack open the battery seam using a flat screwdriver. Continue all the way around until you can see clearly from the top. This will take some strength, as the housing halves are initially glued together with an industrial adhesive.
- The number of cells present in the battery should be between four and eight. Count the number of cells, along with the model number you have already written down, and order the correct replacements.
- Carefully cut the plastic covering the cells with a knife. This will not expose the batteries. Now connect the wires to remove the battery from their charging tray. Hold the plastic housing in front of the new cells.
- Place your new cells in the plastic case belonging to the previous batteries. Put the new cells in the battery tray and restore the wire contacts. You can hold these contacts in place with a double sided tape. Soldering is also an option, but not usually required. The cells should now look exactly like the old ones.
- Assemble the halves of the battery cover with industrial adhesive. Install the laptop case. Charge the new cells overnight before use.
The charging circuit of most modern laptops is intended for lithium-ion batteries. That is why only lithium-ion batteries can be used as replacements. Make sure that the replacements are OEM! Effective advertising, unrealistically high capacity information, missing weight information and cheap prices are an indication that the batteries are counterfeit.
The new batteries do not have to have the exact same capacity as the original ones, they should be slightly higher to not exceed the maximum permissible charging current.