General Battery Issues

  • What is the “Memory Effect”?

Ni-Cad batteries suffer from the “memory effect”. As a battery is continually re-charged before being fully discharged, it forgets the capacity that was not discharged. The way to avoid the dreaded “memory effect” is to fully charge and discharge the battery at least once every month. This will ensure the battery remains healthy. NiMH and Li-Ion batteries do not suffer the memory effect.

  • Why are some laptop batteries so expensive?

Some batteries which are specific to a manufacturer may be discontinued, or not made by a large number of manufacturers, or their price maybe kept high in order to motivate buyers to replace their laptop.

  • Why are some laptop batteries so cheap?

Laptop batteries are often manufactured in very large volume production runs and as a result the cost saving is directly passed onto the end user.

  • When not using my notebook for long periods of time, should I leave the battery in the laptop?

When the laptop is not in use do not leave the battery installed. The notebook will slowly discharge the battery. Total self-discharge may occur when the battery is left in storage, as the battery circuitry consumes power. DO NOT fully charge your battery when not in use or when being stored for extended periods of time. It should have atleast 40 -50% charge before being stored or when not in use for a long period of time. The battery should be checked every 3-4 weeks. If total self-discharge occurs, the notebook may not recognize the battery.

  • What should I do if the battery gets hot in my notebook?

It is normal for the battery to become very warm to the touch. It it becomes too hot, take the battery out and let it cool down. If problem persists once it is inserted back into laptop, the battery could be defective and may need to be replaced.

  • Can I store batteries in the refrigerator?

Yes, but the battery must be protected from moisture which will cause internal corrosion. This is only suitable when the battery needs to be stored for long periods without use. It must be kept in an airtight container. The low temperature slows down the rate of discharge. Once removed from the refrigerator, the battery must be allowed to warm up to room temperature before use. However, storing the laptop battery in the freezer is not recommended.

  • What is the difference between original and compatible batteries?

Original batteries are manufactured by companies like IBM and Sony and also by an Original Equipment Manufacturer(OEM), who manufacture under licence from companies like IBM and Sony. Compatible batteries are solely made by 3rd party manufacturers. These products are not produced under licence and cannot be labelled or branded as Sony, IBM, Toshiba etc. The physical attributes are the same between the two types of batteries, but the labelling will be different.

  • The colour of my new battery is different to the original, Is this a problem?

No, as long as it is the right part and the ratings are correct. Different manufacturers use various materials and processes and as a result colour may vary.