Radio battery life expectancy is a common topic of conversation among radio users. As a general rule rechargeable batteries last between 18-24 months, with some variation for chemistry types, with NiCd and NiMH batteries at 18-24 months and Li-Ion 14-18 months. These are approximate numbers. If you treat your battery well, and do not overcharge it, undercharge it, or otherwise treat it poorly, you may get as much as 3 years from the average battery.
Signs of a bad, defective, or aged battery include constant or intermittent static, a shorter work day, and intermittent or poor transmit. Transmit problems are an early indicator of a old or bad battery. It is simple, it takes more energy to transmit than to receive. So if you have a radio that receives perfectly, but is iffy on transmit, check your battery.
So then the question arises… What happens if I continue to use the old battery? Just like any home appliance operating on low voltage, your radio will eventually have failures associated with the brown out. Then the simple need for a replacement battery turns into a battery + radio repair. As you can see, it would be much cheaper and wiser to replace the old battery when needed.
How do you know the age of a battery? On Motorola brand batteries you will find either a 3-digit code or 4-digit code on the label of the battery or embossed in the plastic of the battery itself. (See above photo for an example.) The first number on the 3-digit code represent the year of manufacture, the next two numbers are the week of the year. Example: 226 would be 2012 (or heaven-forbid 2002) the 26th week of the year. The newer 4-digit date codes are easier, 1226 would be 2012, the 26th week. If you have difficulty determining the age of a battery, give us a call and we’ll assist you. 800-872-2627.
FYI: Annual Battery Sale is May 28-June 28, 2013. You can receive a double discount on your battery purchase if you combine the purchase with a paid radio repair or new radio purchase.