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Model numbers are critical. Cobra makes a lot of different models and instructions are different. Micro Talk is what they call them all.That said, on one model, the "light" is located beneath the PTT switch. It also adjusts the squelch for "max" range. Make certain it is not jammed by seeing if the switch moves. Other than that, it is only a light and would extend the battery if left off. On all Cobras with top mounted audio jacks, make certain they are covered at all times. Any liquid can intrude and could cause any number of issues, including your light problem. Factory repair is your only option except you could open 1 up and clean the board carefully.
Almost always, the problem here is that the micro switch for the Push-to-Talk (PTT) button has failed. Your radio should have a warranty, but even if the warranty has run out, it isn't horribly spendy to fix. I'd get in touch with Cobra Electronics, I have heard they're extremely helpful. Try this link and good luck! https://www.cobra.com/help/
The fact that these turn on while on the charger is an indicator that the batteries are just that far gone. Depending on how much you like these radios vrs the cost of a new set is something to think about.
This link is where you can get a reliable battery replacement.
I use a newer Midland talk around for camping, hiking etc. The thing I always look for in a talk around radio is if the manufacturer battery goes bad or runs dry can I use some batteries at home with it? I like the fact I can put 4AA batteries of the shelf in my radio in an emergency. And when the stock battery gores kaput, I can use some AA rechargeable batteries I already have at home and save on replacing the battery or radio. Something to think about should you decide to get a different radio set.
I couldn't locate information specific to your model, but on most of the Microtalk radios you push and hold the MODE/POWER button (may or may not be labeled MODE) to turn the sets ON and OFF. This is normally the top button to the right of the display. BillB
You are right there is no adjustment. You can however turn the squelch off and this maybe what is happening to you.
To turn the squelch off you press and hold the button that is just below the push-to-talk button for at least 5 seconds.
To turn the squelch back on, you either press (less than 5 sec.) and the same button or change channels.
When talking with a specific party or group, you should use the tone coded squelch (CTCSS) and that will mitigate the noise if you are not already doing that.