If your warranty has expired, you're best off buying a new drill. Replacing batteries will quickly add up to the cost of a new drill.
I know they cost a lot more, but, if you want something that will last a lot longer, look at a Milwaukee, DeWalt, Makita, Bosch, Hitachi for your replacement. Milwaukee actually guarantees their LiIon batteries will last 1,000 charges or longer.
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Its much more likely that your batteries are not charging up properly. Ni-CD batteries suffer from 'memory effect' and can appear fully charged when only 70% charged. Also they lose charge when being stored. Do not short them out to discharge them! Wait until the drill complains that they are flat and then recharge them rather than when they first start to slow down. Do not let become completely flat (less than 1 volt).
Either the charging adapter is faulty or the battery is worn out.
If the recharageable battery is more than 3 - 4 years old then the battery could be worn out.Rechargeable batteries have a finite number of charge and discharge cycles andwill lose their charge capacity over time, i.e. won't charge to 100% andgradually the charge reduces until the battery won't charge up at all. OR Thebattery shows a 100% charge but when the adapter is disconnected the batterydrops off to zero capacity in a very short time. If the battery drops to anunacceptable charge level then the battery needs to be replaced.
Hello Howard, There are two different kind of cordless drill chargers. One is a smart charger that will not overcharge your battery. It usually has a stand alone base that the battery plugs into and sometimes may have a red and/or a green light to let you know it is charged. This charger will stop charging when the battery is fully charged after an hour or less. The other one is a dumb charger that can overcharge your battery if left on the charger too long. This charger usually has a square or rectangular transformer that plugs directly into your wall receptacle. This charger may take up to eight hours to fully charge your battery and will continue to charge until you unplug it.
If the battery is less than 2 years old, Black & Decker/Dewalt has a 2 year warranty on all batteries from date of purchase. Its most likely just a bad or damaged cell from not being fully charged pre-purchase. What happens is most Ni-Cads are only given a trickle charge in the factory and if left on a shelf too long can fully deplete itself, causing irreparable damage to the cells. If you're outside of that, a cheaper solution for battery replacement would be to look into a battery cell manufacturer like Interstate battery, who sells a non-describable battery for pretty much any application for about half the price of a name-branded one. Funny thing is they use the same exact cells. Hope that helps.