How to Tell When a Lithium Battery Pack Is Going Bad?

Commonly used in several household electronic products, such as camcorders, digital cameras, cell phones and laptops, lithium ion battery packs, also referred to as li-ion batteries, are rechargeable.

Many newer cell phone models use rechargeable batteries to power the unit.
As the batteries are used and recharged, the battery slowly dies. Charging and using the battery diminishes its capacity and lifespan. Although it may not be noticeable between every charge, over time the battery will dissipate. Routinely monitoring the battery capacity will indicate when the battery is dying and should be replaced. .

Charge the lithium battery pack until it's fully charged. Depending on the product, the battery can either be recharged by plugging a battery charger into the product, with the battery still installed, or removing the battery and inserting it into a separate charging unit. Only recharge the battery using the method and product recommended by the manufacturer. If the battery will not recharged, it has already died.

Turn the electronic device on. Use the device until the battery dies. Time how long it takes for the battery to go from full charge to discharge.

Repeat the process every three to six months. Over time, the battery efficiency will slowly diminish, allowing it to power the device for less time. When the battery life has diminished by 50 percent, you should look into replacing the battery. Once the battery life has diminished by 75 percent--or the battery no longer powers the device for an acceptable time period--replace the battery. When the battery no longer recharges, replace it.

Things You Will Need

  • Battery-charging device or charging cord


  • The amount of time that a li-ion battery can power an electronic product for can vary based on the tasks being performed. For example, playing a game or watching a movie on your laptop uses more battery than surfing the Internet or using a writing program. For best results, perform the same functions on your electronic device when comparing discharge rates.


  • Never attempt to recharge NiMH or NiCD batteries using a power cord or device designed to recharge lithium ion batteries. You can short the charging device, batteries or start an electrical fire.

About the Author

Kallie Johnson began her writing career in 2009, contributing to various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She enjoys writing home and garden topics and considers herself an expert on do-it-yourself home improvement topics.