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Deciding when to replace Inspiron battery

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Anonymous
May 4, 2005 9:13:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Today I received an unsolicited phone message from Dell
reminding me that my Inspiron 8600 is now 16 mos. old and
that I might want to consider buying a new battery for $129.

Three pop-ups:

1. Wouldn't battery replacement be covered by my extended
warranty (ending 12/07)?

2. Is there any quick & easy way to determine the condition
or life expectancy of a battery? At least with car batteries,
we can judge their life expectancy by the length of the
warranty.... knowing full well that they cannot survive much
beyond that point.

3. If the computer generally operates exclusively on AC, will
this significantly extend or reduce the battery life?

4. Isn 't this an example of Customer Support (much maligned
in recent posting) going above and beyond the call of duty?

THANKS for any cognitive imput.
Anonymous
May 4, 2005 11:43:53 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

digger o'dell wrote:

>Today I received an unsolicited phone message from Dell
>reminding me that my Inspiron 8600 is now 16 mos. old and
>that I might want to consider buying a new battery for $129.
>
>Three pop-ups:
>
>1. Wouldn't battery replacement be covered by my extended
>warranty (ending 12/07)?
>
>
Dell warranty doesn't extend to batteries.

>2. Is there any quick & easy way to determine the condition
>or life expectancy of a battery? At least with car batteries,
>we can judge their life expectancy by the length of the
>warranty.... knowing full well that they cannot survive much
>beyond that point.
>
>3. If the computer generally operates exclusively on AC, will
>this significantly extend or reduce the battery life?
>
>
Battery life (lithium ion) is based mostly on charge/discharge cycles.
My Inspiron 8200 is about 2.5 years old. Batteries are still good but
beginning to decline -- mostly because my wife and daughter use the
system on batteries. I leave them in all the time and keep them charged.

>4. Isn 't this an example of Customer Support (much maligned
>in recent posting) going above and beyond the call of duty?
>
>THANKS for any cognitive imput.
>
>
Not really. You can probably find other sources for the exact same
battery for less cost.
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 1:16:51 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

On Wed, 04 May 2005 17:13:42 -0400, digger o'dell
<diggerodell@gmail.com> wrote:

>Today I received an unsolicited phone message from Dell
>reminding me that my Inspiron 8600 is now 16 mos. old and
>that I might want to consider buying a new battery for $129.
>
>Three pop-ups:
>
>1. Wouldn't battery replacement be covered by my extended
>warranty (ending 12/07)?
>
>2. Is there any quick & easy way to determine the condition
>or life expectancy of a battery? At least with car batteries,
>we can judge their life expectancy by the length of the
>warranty.... knowing full well that they cannot survive much
>beyond that point.
>
>3. If the computer generally operates exclusively on AC, will
>this significantly extend or reduce the battery life?
>
>4. Isn 't this an example of Customer Support (much maligned
>in recent posting) going above and beyond the call of duty?
>
>THANKS for any cognitive imput.

Many, many thanks for all (above) replies -- most helpful and
thorough !!
Related resources
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 2:22:30 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

digger o'dell <diggerodell@gmail.com> writes:
>4. Isn 't this an example of Customer Support (much maligned
>in recent posting) going above and beyond the call of duty?
>THANKS for any cognitive imput.

Another possibility is that they know something specifically bad about the
battery that you have.

There are two instances that I am aware of where there was a fire hazard on
certain Inspiron batteries and certain dell laptop A/C adapters.

Apparently the A/C adapter issue has been settled and Dell will replace (free)
the A/C adapters with the flaw.

When Dell calls about replacing a battery or an A/C adapter maybe you'd
be better off going along with it! :-)

Later

Mark Hittinger
bugs@pu.net
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 2:30:43 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Hi!

> 1. Wouldn't battery replacement be covered by my extended
> warranty (ending 12/07)?

I do not believe so. The literature for my Dell Latitude seems to say that
the batteries are warranted for one year regardless of any other warranty
coverage.

However, if a battery should fail, you might just try calling them and
checking. They might be willing to replace it without any issues or for a
pro-rated price.

> 2. Is there any quick & easy way to determine the condition
> or life expectancy of a battery? At least with car batteries,
> we can judge their life expectancy by the length of the
> warranty.... knowing full well that they cannot survive much
> beyond that point.

2a. Run the computer and see how the battery lasts. This will be a pretty
accurate test of overall battery condition, especially if you know how long
the computer ran when new. A deviation from that "runtime when new" of 10~20
minutes means the battery is still in pretty good shape. A change of 30
minutes or more is worth paying attention to. The battery is probably still
plenty usable, but it is starting to go downhill.

2b. I don't know that I agree with your stance on car batteries. (Yeah, I
have so little of "a life" that I'll point that out and discuss it!) I've
had expensive well warranted batteries die under warranty while the cheap
ones with no warranty left keep on going for what is usually a few years
after the warranty is gone. Car battery lifetime depends on a wide variety
of factors...charging system quality and condition, temperature, vibration,
variations in manufacturing...that sort of thing.

> 3. If the computer generally operates exclusively on AC, will
> this significantly extend or reduce the battery life?

Depending upon machine design, this could (and likely will) significantly
reduce battery life. Most batteries need to be used at some point and all
too many laptops *still* overcharge a seldom used battery when it is left in
the computer.

I'm pleased to see that the charging circuits are getting "smarter" or being
made with better quality, but if I assigned any value to the battery in my
computer, I would remove it when you are running exclusively off the AC
adapter for exceptionally long periods of time...like anything more than
about a week or two.

> 4. Isn 't this an example of Customer Support (much maligned
> in recent posting) going above and beyond the call of duty?

I think it depends on how you look at things. $129 is the regular asking
price for a new battery in my computer. On one hand, it is nice that Dell
called you up and said "hey, you ought to think about this in the near
future!". On the other, they aren't cutting you a deal and depending upon
how you use the battery you have now, it may have a long lifetime ahead of
it still.

What I'm getting at here is that purchase of a battery is your decision at
this point. If you're happy with the performance of your current battery, I
would not advise ordering another until you need it or if you plan on using
both of them.

> THANKS for any cognitive imput.

Hope this helps and gives you some insight.

William
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 2:52:22 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

digger o'dell wrote:
> Today I received an unsolicited phone message from Dell
> reminding me that my Inspiron 8600 is now 16 mos. old and
> that I might want to consider buying a new battery for $129.
>
> Three pop-ups:
>
> 1. Wouldn't battery replacement be covered by my extended
> warranty (ending 12/07)?
>
Almost no computer company (not even IBM) offers extended covera beyond
a year on Li-Ion batteries. The expected lifetime is generally a little
over 2 years for average use.

> 2. Is there any quick & easy way to determine the condition
> or life expectancy of a battery? At least with car batteries,
> we can judge their life expectancy by the length of the
> warranty.... knowing full well that they cannot survive much
> beyond that point.
>
Grab a multimeter and see how much of a charge its currently holding at
full charge. If it's more than a quarter volt below the listed charge
for the battery (eg. mid 8's on a 9V battery), then its on its way down.

> 3. If the computer generally operates exclusively on AC, will
> this significantly extend or reduce the battery life?
>
As long as it's within reason, and the battery every so often gets a
full discharge, it ought not to make much of a difference.

> 4. Isn 't this an example of Customer Support (much maligned
> in recent posting) going above and beyond the call of duty?
>
Yes & no, let's not kid ourselves, their sole intention is to get you to
buy a new battery.

> THANKS for any cognitive imput.

Adios,
~Nick
!