How to tell if a lithium-ion battery is bad

16 Feb, 2023

By hqt

bad Lithium-ion battery

What is a Lithium Battery? The Li-Ion Battery:

A lithium-ion battery is a rechargeable battery that uses lithium ions to store and release energy. 

Lithium (Li) is used in batteries because it is a highly reactive metal that can convert chemical energy into electrical energy quickly and efficiently.

The basic phenomenon of a battery is to store energy (recharge) and release energy (discharge) very efficiently. Moreover, Lithium is a very lightweight metal, which makes it ideal for use in portable electronic devices.

Lithium batteries are commonly used in a wide range of electronic devices, including smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles. That's because they have a more prominent capacity to store electric current than their weight making them ideal for small to extensive use.

Components of a lithium battery - Li-Ion Battery

Lithium-ion batteries most commonly consist of these components, including:

Anode: The anode is negative in a lithium-ion battery (while discharging). It is made of lightweight metal, such as graphite.

Cathode: The cathode is positive in a lithium-ion battery (while discharging). It is made of a lithium-based compound.

Separator: The separator, a porous material between the anode and cathode, separates both electrodes to control electric charges.

Electrolyte: An electrolyte is a chemical liquid that facilitates the flow of ions between the anode and cathode. Electrolyte plays a vital role in a battery to charge and discharge the cells.

What causes Lithium battery charge and discharge?

When a lithium-ion battery is connected to a charger, the lithium ions move from the cathode to the anode from the electrolyte. The electric ions (electrons) are combined and stored on the anode side. When the battery is discharged, the lithium ions move back to the cathode from the anode, releasing electrical energy for external use.

This is a repeated cycle in which a battery is charged and discharged to provide a direct electric current (DC). However, lithium batteries have higher capabilities to store and release energy efficiently. Moreover, Li-Ion batteries have high density and more remarkable ability to charge many times before losing their capacity.

But these batteries are sensitive to high temperatures and overcharging, which can cause them to fail or even catch fire. The process of repairing lithium cells is very complex; therefore, proper installation and charging safety are required.

commercial lithium-ion battery

How to tell if a lithium-ion battery is bad

It is easy to tell a lithium-ion battery is losing its capacity and is bad when you notice these problems in your battery. 

Reduced Capacity: A bad lithium-ion battery will have a reduced storage capacity. Which means it won't hold a charge for as long as it used to. 

If you notice your battery is losing power much faster than usual, it could be a sign of a bad battery.

Overheating: If your lithium-ion battery is overheating or has swollen, usually from the center, it's a clear sign that you should replace it. 

Note: Never use an overheated and swollen battery because it is dangerous to explode anytime. Stop using the hazardous battery immediately and seek professional help.

Slow Charging: As mentioned, a bad lithium-ion battery may take much longer to charge. Even connecting with a fast charger won't work. If you find your battery taking longer than usual to charge, it could be a sign of a bad battery.

Unstable Behavior: A poor battery cannot provide a consistent flow of electric current; hence, the device will shut down or restart unexpectedly. For example, 40% of the remaining battery power can power off the device.

Over time: If you use a lithium-ion battery for a long time, it will naturally degrade and lose capacity. Because as time passes, the battery's capacity decreases to hold and release eclectic current.

What to Do if a lithium-ion battery is bad

Because you have caught your Lithium battery in poor condition, your battery needs replacement. However, if the battery is not overheating or swollen, you can use it as long as it fulfills your needs. You can always purchase a wholesale Li-Ion Battery from Jieyo Battery, which offers the highest quality lithium battery.

How to dispose of your Li-Ion battery?

This is a good question, and here is the answer: lithium-ion batteries are expensive due to Li, which is present in a significant amount within a battery. If your battery hasn't exploded, you can sell it to the Li-ion battery shop owner and purchase a brand-new battery at half price. 

The shop owners will extract the Lithium and other expensive compounds to clean it and prepare for a new Li battery. 


Lithium Ion batteries are stronger, lighter, efficient and have a great capacity to store and release electric current. These batteries can be designed for any work, from Tesla motors that rely on li-ion batteries to smartphone batteries. Due to their capability and low maintenance, these batteries are safer to use and perform efficiently. 

However, you can tell if a lithium-ion battery is bad by noticing these common faults:

  • Reduced power.
  • Quick current draining(discharge).
  • Taking longer to charge.
  • Getting overheated, swollen or showing irregular discharging.
lithium-ion powered car battery