Cordless in the Cold


Old 12-28-04, 06:22 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Cordless in the Cold

I have a question for those that keep tools in trucks/vans
Well, maybe it's a couple of questions

What do you do with your rechargeable cordless tools?
Maybe it's me, or maybe they are giving up the ghost anyway, but since it's gotten below freezing, I swear my cordless batteries need to be recharged all the time
The first couple of times I thought "oh I forget to switch batteries and recharge the dead one"
But it kept happening
I'd charge up, throw it in the case, keep it in the van, pull it out a couple of days later, stick it in the drill and whirrr.r..r...r...stop-dead

Should I bring them in at night?
Are my batteries on their last legs?

It's really just the drill driver I need to keep in there, as I use it often
I also need to keep the charger with it, as I do need to recharge at the job sometimes
Anything else is inside with it's recharger, I use mostly corded in the field
In case it matters it's a 3 to 6 year old (prolly 4 or 5?) 14.4 Makita

Thanks for any input
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Old 12-28-04, 07:58 AM
mattison's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Cinti, OH
Posts: 5,549
I've had my cordless tools in my truck for years and never had a problem such as that. Try bringing it in at night as a test to see if it makes a difference.
Old 12-28-04, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Lake Murray, SC USA
Posts: 1,461
And, most instructions for prolonging battery life, at least for D, C, AA, AAA, etc. say to store the batteries in the refrigerator. I agree with Mattison, and see if bringing them inside helps.

Since these are also dry cell batteries, I don't know why they would be any different.

But please post back and let us know what you learn.

Old 12-28-04, 05:37 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Thanks guys,
I'll bring it at night for the rest of the week
It's not gonna warm up till friday I guess
I'll post back with what I find
Better go grab it now
Thanks again
Old 12-28-04, 06:23 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
there was a pretty good discussion on this subject by some "pros" over at fine homebuildings breaktime forum

( i dont think Im allowed to post that type of link here or I would )

the consese seems to be to bring them in , keep them in the heated truck cab and in generall keep them as warm as possible

you might want to check it out
Old 12-28-04, 06:44 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Well, they're nice and cozy for the night
Mango man, I tried and found no breaktime
I don't think I'm looking in the right place
Could you send me a PM?
I'd like to check it out
Old 12-28-04, 09:12 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 281
My cordless batteries are the same way. They take longer to recharge, too.
Old 12-29-04, 07:31 AM
Dave_D1945's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 1,178
The owners manual for my new Makita 14.4v cordless drill says that cold weather can affect battery charging. They recommend keeping the charger and batteries warm.
Old 12-30-04, 07:13 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 536
I agree,bring them in at nite although I've never heard of extreme cold draining batteries.Its a well known fact that heat kills most types of rechargeables. Thats why most good cordless charging bases have a cool down mode.In the summertime I make it a habit not to leave my powertools {both types} in my truck
Old 12-31-04, 11:46 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Thanks for all the input
Guess I jinxed it by posting the question
I've been bringing the Makita in @ night but for the last few days I have not needed to use it so I haven't had a good test
It figures
I'll see how it goes next week
Old 01-09-05, 08:13 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
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Well, it's been over a week and I have been keeping my Makita in @ night
I have not had problem one with charging
I guess that's that

My batteries may be on their way out (I don't recall having this problem last winter, but I also had a different vehicle and the cordless were inside more), but keeping then warm, or at least not leaving them to sit in freezing weather, has eliminated my problem for now

Thanks for all the input
It's been very helpful
Old 01-17-05, 05:34 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Just an update
I forgot the cordless in the van over the weekend
Yup, both batteries dead this morning
Old 01-18-05, 04:33 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 281
My batteries do not charge very well in the cold, and my Milwaukee stuff will not charge at all (charger won't charge if it is too hot or cold).

Kinda sucks when the builder does not provide heat....

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