Common Issues with Lithium-Ion Batteries

Over the past several years, lithium-ion batteries have been the preferred technology, not just for laptop batteries, but also for a number of electronic devices such as cell phones and MP3 players. Some of the main reasons for their popularity are that they are inexpensive to manufacture and that they don’t exhibit many of the issues that plague older technologies, such as the “memory effect” which can cause a dramatic decrease in capacity. Lithium-ion batteries can still have problems, however. Here, we will explore a few of the main issues that can affect lithium-ion batteries.

Decreased Capacity

The main problem with lithium-ion batteries is that they tend to lose some of their capacity over time. This is caused by deposits that form inside the electrolyte of the battery, which eventually inhibits the transport of ions. Eventually the battery loses a large amount of its capacity and needs to be repaired or replaced.


Lithium-ion batteries tend to heat up when being charged or discharged. Generally, this is not enough heat to cause any concern, but if the battery malfunctions, it may cause a large amount of heat. In extreme cases, batteries may even bulge or catch fire, though these cases are very rare. Li-ion batteries have many safety features to protect against these kinds of malfunctions.

Not Charging When Plugged In

In some cases, a laptop battery will not register as charging even when the laptop is plugged in. Check to make sure the battery is correctly inserted and that the AC adapter is connected securely to the laptop and the wall outlet. In most cases, this problem is caused by a bad AC adapter or a defective DC jack on the laptop instead of the battery itself.

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Despite the few issues mentioned above, lithium-ion batteries tend to be very robust and reliable. Lithium-ion will continue to be the battery of choice for quite a few more years, even as it is slowly replaced by newer technologies.