Dead Ryobi Battery? Here are 6 Methods to Fix It

Written by Adam Morris
6 Min read

Nothing is more frustrating than when you’re all set and ready to do some DIY and your Ryobi battery is not charging and doesn’t want to play ball. You may be tempted to just give in and buy another one, however they aren’t cheap so it is worth trying to fix it before resorting to this. We want to help you to save that money so in this article we will run through 5 simple and effective methods for fixing your Ryobi battery.

One reason Ryobi batteries can become less effective over time is due to a process known as battery crystallisation. This is a process that occurs as a result of the crystallization of the battery when it is discharged, meaning the battery can no longer hold as much charge. However, there are a number of other reasons your Ryobi batteries may not be working which will also be covered in this article. So don’t worry, you will hopefully have your Ryobi battery working in no time!

If the problem with your Ryobi battery is that it doesn’t feel like it holds as much charge as it once did, then follow the next set of instructions. However, if your Ryobi battery has fully died then skip to the third set of instructions to get your battery back up and running!

image of a drill with a dead ryobi battery

Repair method for battery discharge

  1. Place your Ryobi battery on the charging port and turn on the charger. Let your battery fully charge.
  2. Once fully charged, remove the battery and turn off the charger, allowing it to fully cool down.
  3. Now place the Ryobi battery in a compatible power tool and turn on the tool, allowing it to run until the power tool turns off due to the battery discharging.
  4. Now turn off the power tool and let the battery cool down for approximately 15 minutes.
  5. After it has cooled, put the Ryobi battery back into the power tool and let it run until it is discharged again.
  6. Again, let your battery cool down before repeating this process until the power tool cannot even be turned on.
  7. Finally, put your Ryobi battery back onto charge and allow it to fully charge. Repeat step 3 and if your battery lasts longer than it did the first time then you have fixed the issue. If it fails to do so then you most likely have dead cells in your battery. These will need to be replaced, don’t worry this is not as difficult as it sounds! Simply follow the next set of instructions.

How to replace dead cells in a Ryobi battery

  1. Firstly, you need to check the label on the battery pack to find out what cells it contains. Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel-cadmium (NiCad) mean that you can continue with this process. However, if it says lithium-polymer or lithium-ion then you will unfortunately either need the battery professionally repaired or replaced.
  2. Again, you will need to fully charge your battery. However, this time, once the charge is complete you need to remove the battery pack cover from the battery. To do this you will need a screwdriver for small Phillips head screws that can be found on the bottom of the battery.
  3. Next, you will need to use a slotted screwdriver to remove the cells from their compartments and check their voltage using a voltmeter. If a cell measures at less than 1.1 volts then dispose of it. Any cells between 1.1 and 1.2 volts can continue to be used.
  4. Buy as many sub-C batteries as you need to replace the ones you disposed of. It is important that the new batteries you purchase have a soldering tab, otherwise, you won’t be able to attach them! Soldering the new cells to the old cells, it may be necessary for you to use hot glue to ensure that the connection between the cells is stable.
  5. Put your new battery back into the case, remembering to attach the temperature sensor and replace any insulation you removed. Once you have done this you can now replace the battery’s cover.
  6. Congratulations, you now have a fully functioning Ryobi battery again! Now all you need to do is put it back on charge so that all of the new cells are fully and equally charged.

If your issue with your Ryobi battery is that it has completely died then there are various issues that could potentially be causing your problem.

How to wake up a Ryobi battery from sleep mode

One potential cause of a dead Ryobi battery is that it has gone into sleep mode. Yes, you heard us right, batteries can go into sleep mode. This happens when a battery is drained and then left for a long time without charging it. During this extended period of time, the little charge left in the battery will drain and it can go into sleep mode.

  1. The issue with a Robi battery in sleep mode is that it will refuse to charge, so we need to trick it by charging it for very short periods of time. So put your battery on charge for 2-3 seconds and then take it off.
  2. However, doing this once will not be enough to wake it up. You will have to repeat this process, potentially for half an hour, until it has enough charge to release that it can safely be charged.
  3. When you are charging the battery for these short periods of time you should take the battery off of charge just before the green and red lights on the charger turn on.
  4. When you are getting green lights from the charger it means that your Ryobi battery is now safe to charge normally and is out of sleep mode.

Waking up from sleep mode: Power source method

This is a method for those of you out there that fancy yourselves to be slightly more electronically savvy than others as it takes a little bit more knowledge of your Ryobi battery. However, it is a faster method than the one outlined above.

It involves using another battery or a DC power source to wake up your battery. The way to do this is explained below.

  1. Connect the positive contact on one of the batteries to the positive contact on the other battery/power source.
  2. Then do the same thing, but with the negative contacts. Make sure you get this right as getting it wrong could cause damage to the battery.
  3. Once you have done this leave them like this for five to ten minutes. This will give the sleeping battery enough charge to be able to charge normally again.

Change the charging temperature

Another reason your Ryobi battery may seem dead is that you could be charging the battery at the wrong temperature.

All lithium-ion batteries need to be charged between 41 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, if there is a chance that the battery has been stored somewhere that made its temperature deviate from that range then this could be where your issue lies. Simply find a place to store it that will keep it at or around room temperature.

Clean or repair the battery terminals

Another simple fix to resurrect a seemingly dead Ryobi battery is checking the charging terminals. If the terminals appear to be either rusted or dirty this could cause the battery to not charge effectively, or at all.

If the terminals appear to be rusty then to fix this you will need some sandpaper. Simply rub the sandpaper against the terminals until they appear clean rather than rusty, then give the battery another shot at charging.

If the terminals appear to be dirty then there is an even easier solution! All you need to do is take an alcohol-soaked wipe and wipe the terminal until they are clean again. Be sure to check that the terminal is dry before you try to charge your battery again.

Concluding Remarks

Hopefully reading this article has helped you to save your failing or faltering Ryobi batteries and saved you the time and money of having to fork out for a replacement. If you are one of the unlucky few, and your battery just does not want to wake up then you have two options. Either get a professional to look at your Ryobi battery to see if they can identify and fix the issue or you may want to just purchase a new Ryobi replacement battery. We would probably recommend this as it will most likely be cheaper than taking it to a professional unless you have multiple dead batteries for the professional to fix at once.

Are Ryobi batteries any good?

Yes! Although we have just written a whole article explaining how to fix Ryobi batteries when they go wrong please don’t less us put you off from buying one. All power tool batteries can go wrong and the Ryobi batteries are some of the best available, if not the best!

How long does a Ryobi battery last normally?

Ryobi batteries can be expected to last for approximately 3-4 years. Therefore, if your battery is that old then it may not be fixable and you may just need to purchase a new one! However, the good thing about Ryobi is that all of its batteries come with a 3-year warranty.

Appliances made simple. 

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