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Problem with Die Hard 19.2v Lithium-Ion Battery Pack

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Forum topic by Joseph Crivelli posted 1461 days ago 38414 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joseph Crivelli

44 posts in 1753 days


1461 days ago

A serious problem appears to exist with the Craftsman C3 19.2 volt Lithium-Ion Battery Pack. Below I’ve copied the message I sent Sears and the Craftsman Club this morning.

Has anyone else on this site had a similar experience?

On 06/09/09, I purchased the Craftsman C3 19.2 volt Lithium-Ion Battery Pack & Charger (item #033287141609) at Sears in Garden City, NY (Sales check # 010045522358). The battery pack worked well with my three Craftsman C3 19.2 volt tools:

Craftsman C3 19.2 volt Cordless Drill/Driver (item #00917191000)
Craftsman C3 19.2 volt Impact Driver (item #00917080000)
Craftsman C3 19.2 volt Work Light (item #00911391000)

About March 27, the battery pack indicated that it needed to be charged. I placed it in the charger. The charger ran through the charging sequence, but, when it indicated that the pack was charging, the indicator switched to full charged in about 30 seconds. When I placed the battery in the Drill/Driver, the tool worked when I pushed the trigger the first time, but it ceased to operate on the second push of the trigger. (However, the charger worked fine with my 4 Craftsman C3 Battery Pack and all of my C3 tools ran well with these Ni-Cad packs.)

After repeated tries to get the Lithium-Ion Battery Pack to charge, I returned the battery pack and charger to Sears in Hicksville, NY (Sales check # 012641090696).for a warranty exchange. I believe I got the last Craftsman C3 19.2 volt Lithium-Ion Battery Pack & Charger (item #033287141609) in the store.

Once I got the new battery pack home, I placed it in the charger. The charger ran through the charging sequence, but, when it indicated that the pack was charging, the indicator switched to full charged in about 30 seconds. When I placed the battery in the Drill/Driver, the tool work ed when I pushed the trigger the first time, but it ceased to operate on the second push of the trigger. Repeated tries elicited the same result.
The Sears web site no longer lists the Craftsman C3 19.2 volt Lithium-Ion Battery Pack & Charger (item #033287141609).

Since this problem happened with two of the battery packs, I am reluctant to simply exchange the item again. I would prefer to just have the battery pack replaced with one which has been tested and works.
Thank you! Joseph L. Crivelli Craftsman Club Member #7071100268094569

-- SOLTC


12 replies so far

View miserybob's profile

miserybob

88 posts in 1546 days


#1 posted 1461 days ago

I have had similar problems with my Milwaukee 18v Li-Ion batteries. I think there is an issue with Li-Ion batteries in general. Maybe all the drill manufacturers use the same overseas factory to make the batteries, I don’t know. But those are awfully expensive batteries to go dead after such a short time.

View Joseph Crivelli's profile

Joseph Crivelli

44 posts in 1753 days


#2 posted 1444 days ago

I’m happy to report that the subject battery has been replaced with a fully functional one.
This outcome was due to the kind intervention of the Craftsman’s Community Engagement Manager.
This was a problem that needed a contact familiar with the Craftsman line and had technical knowledge. While SEARS Customer Service sincerely tried to help, they don’t have Craftsman-knowledgeable personnel to assist customers.
Anyone who uses Craftsman products should join the Craftsman Club.

-- SOLTC

View Kerryj's profile

Kerryj

4 posts in 1430 days


#3 posted 1430 days ago

Had almost the same experience during the same time period w/ C3 Li Ion 19.2V battery pack. Purchased June 12, 2009, failed in April 2010.

Similarities ended when Sears rejected my replacement request saying the Battery pack carried only a 90-day warranty.

Battery shop (Batteries Plus) could not repair device as Batteries Plus was “not licensed” for Li Ion batteries.

Nothing to loose so I removed the top off the battery pack & smelled & saw a “smoked” PC board. Also found evidence of pre-purchase tampering with stripped PC board screw heads and screwdriver scrapes on other internal parts.

This was a rare, but disappointing experience with Sears Would appreciate feedback & info on others having a similar experience.

View Stuey's profile

Stuey

43 posts in 1459 days


#4 posted 1430 days ago

Hmm, so does this mean that the two failed battery packs were coincidental, or in fact an indication of a much wider spread issue?

-- http://toolguyd.com

View Joseph Crivelli's profile

Joseph Crivelli

44 posts in 1753 days


#5 posted 1430 days ago

I suspect that this was a problem with an entire lot.

-- SOLTC

View solarfry's profile

solarfry

1 post in 1346 days


#6 posted 1346 days ago

I have the same problem with my 19.2 Volt Lithium Ion battery from Craftsman. The light goes on for 30 seconds on the charger but the battery will only work for 30 seconds.

I agree this is a problem with the batch. I purchased mine in Florida about same date 06/06/09. Have only used it 5 times!

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

227 posts in 1584 days


#7 posted 1346 days ago

Does anyone feel like Li-ion batteries are for Craftsman 19.2V tools are worth the cost vs the risk of early failure?

I have 7 old Nicad batteries purchased with 3 different kits of drills, trim saws, and other combo kits. The oldest is probably 8 years old. The newest is probably 4 years old. One by one, the Nicad batteries have been failing to the point that maybe only 3 of them hold any charge. The max run time is about 1/4 what I used to get.

I definately got my money’s worth out of them, but have come to a dilema. Should I buy 2 more Nicad batteries for $70? Or 1 Li-ion battery and new charger for $100? Or scrap the whole lot and buy a different brand like Milwaulkee or Dewalt?

-- Steve

View Joseph Crivelli's profile

Joseph Crivelli

44 posts in 1753 days


#8 posted 1345 days ago

This is the reply I got to my original message on the Woodworking Talk site:

My name is Richard Goldsmith. I’m Craftsman’s community engagement manager and I’d love to talk to you more about the problems you’re having. Could you email me at richard (dot) goldsmith (at) searshc.com so we can try to address this problem?

Richard Goldsmith is very approachable and he solved the problem.

-- SOLTC

View Kerryj's profile

Kerryj

4 posts in 1430 days


#9 posted 1334 days ago

Sears has given me mixed messages about this product, one clerk saying that my problems w/ the C3 Li ion were just a fluke and another admitting to seeing similar defects.

The more empathetic (and experienced) clerk agreed to replace the battery. Although I accepted his offer I wonder if it would have been better all around to request a Ni Cad.

As I mentioned previously the Li ion construction seems to be very complex and depends on the control logic built in to a 1” X 2” PC board. The fault on the battery I took apart was on the PC board. The control system may make this battery perform better, but the control board appears to be the weak link.

View ncbenson's profile

ncbenson

2 posts in 1271 days


#10 posted 1271 days ago

My battery seems to charge fine, but it only lasts for a few minutes and if there is any kind of load on it, it will go dead immediately and have to be completely charged again. My four c3 ni cad batteries work fine, but not the lithiom. I took the first one back to sears and they replaced it with a new one telling me that I had just made it under the one year warranty but that if I had problems with the replacement, it would be out of warranty. The replacement does the same thing. They are useless. I’ll stick to the ni cad that have twice the power and twice the work life at half the cost.

View Kerryj's profile

Kerryj

4 posts in 1430 days


#11 posted 1267 days ago

Similar situation and results for me. One 19.2 V, Li Ion that went sounth on me was replaced by Sears, but only after some amount of discusssion. Life was good, for a few months, when the other Li Ion battery started behaving as desribed by ncbenson…”it only lasts for a few minutes and if there is any kind of load on it, it will go dead immediately and have to be completely charged again.”

The Li Ion is filled with promise, and has some nice features that perform well, e.g. the charge indication light.

After a post-mortem on an Li Ion that was not under warranty I found a damaged PC control board. Whether the problem is in the PC controller, a mis-match between controller and Li Ion cells or some other defect these battery packs seem to be somewhat less than exquisitely engineered.

The Ni Cad version is still the best for me.

View Roycc's profile

Roycc

1 post in 291 days


#12 posted 291 days ago

Four years ago when I first bought the Craftsman Li Ion drill I was leery of the reliability of the new battery technology so I bought the product protection plan for $18.00 for 3 years. Two years later I had the same experience with the batteries failing to charge but showing charged. I basically exchanged it for a new one which lasted again for about two years and then the same problem. Since I had extended the product protection plan the second drill was covered and I exchanged it for another new one. Everything again works great (yes I extended my product protection plan again). If I had to guess, I suspect the charge sensing circuit in the charger develops a problem and tells the “microprocessor” that the battery is charged when it is not. In both cases the problem was actually the charger, not the batteries. I probably used the charger less than 10 times during a year so the reliability on the charger is very poor. Aside from that, this is one heck of a good system, the drill works great, I also have a recip saw that’s great for cutting up limbs, etc.

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