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You do not mention the particular model of Motorola, so this answer will be generic in nature. Some Motorola TalkAbout radios have been factory programmed with a few GMRS repeater frequencies. These channels require the use of a repeater tower, which will 'repeat' what you say over a greater distance. It is possible you have this type of radio. Check your user guide, and then set your radio to the appropriate channel for the repeater in your area.
Radio-to-radio without the use of a repeater you can expect up to 2 miles line-of-sight out of most handheld radios. This distance is reduced by obstacles such as buildings, trees, etc. inbetween the radios. It can also be reduced if you do not hold the antenna of the radio perpendicular to the ground.
Generally when a radio shuts off when you press the PTT button it is a sign of a bad or poorly charged battery. It takes more energy to transmit than to receive. The fact you have a charge which the light does not come on indicates you have a bad charger or bad connection between the radio and/or battery and the charger. Clean your battery contacts (on both radio and charger) with a pencil eraser and see if it clears up the problem. If not, you have either a battery or charger problem.
This was extremely difficult to find but I have located the manual for you on these walkie talkies. It will be easiest to just use the manual and follow the instructions. If you still have questions or problems please respond here and I will get back to you. Please rate my answer 4 thumbs up here on the site, it is very important to me. I would be forever grateful. Here is the manual:
I couldn't locate your specific model, but all of the Microtalk series radios seem to be basically the same as far as operations. Follow the link below to a manual that you can download/print -- it should work fine with your radios: