REPAIRING / FIXING MAKITA LI-ION 18V CHARGERS
Hi again folks,
Here`s a quick guide that hopefully helps a few folks out with their broken makita li-ion chargers.
Makita currently makes a few li-ion chargers and they can be temperamental.
The most commonly known charger is probably the dc18ra rapid charger, they also make a couple of older versions and a 12v car version too.
DC18SC (older 45 - 60 min charger), Blue (1st Generation - Discontinued)
DC18SD(usually black also 45 - 60 mins, no fan inside either.), (2nd Generation - Current Model)
DC18SE(auto car charger) & (3rd Generation - Current Model)
DC18RA rapid charger (22min charge time). These come in black and blue coloured versions. (3rd Generation - Current Model)
The DC18RA is the best model to have, it has the fastest charge times and is fan driven.
They are all essentially the same inside and all suffer from the same 3 most common problems that can be fixed.
THE MOST COMMON PROBLEM WITH THESE CHARGERS IS THE FUSE.If the fuse blows, then the charger stops working all together and is just dead when you plug it in.
Simply a matter of removing the rubber plugs and the 4 screws from the bottom of the charger.
Making sure of course the charger is not plugged into a power point.
Common sense prevailing!!
Taking of the top cover and testing the fuse (top right corner of pic below) with a multi-meter. There`s also a glass fuse over on the other side of the transformer. You can usually see that one if it`s blown.
If the fuse is blown then this job is best handled by an electronics repairman since there`s probably a reason it blew, such as a poor or blown varistor or failing capacitor, unless you had the charger on a generator or something and you know it blew from a power surge, i guess you could take a chance. I`d still recommend getting a pro to check it out to make sure other components weren`t damaged. Unless your handy with a soldering iron and prepared to find a replacement fuse and test other parts, best to leave that to a professional. They are no ordinary fuse and not all that easy to come by. Electronics parts wholesalers is the best place to find those. Any repairer who repairs mobile phones, computers, T.V`s, etc, etc should be able to handle this job for you hopefully at much less expense than a replacement. Or you can send them to us and we can fix it.
The next in the list of common problems is the fan.
These do fail regularly in DC18SD`s and DC18RA`s that have a fan in them and depending on where you charge your batteries, some people have more trouble than others.
The fan of course will suck in dust, so those guys using them in dusty workplaces will have more trouble with these than other people working in cleaner environments.
Best not to plug them in, in a room full of plaster & saw dust or in the dirt outside on the ground. Outside up on a window ledge in the shade somewhere or on clean concrete or something is a much better place to charge up.
If the fan stops working then after a couple of minutes of charging the battery the charger should stop and indicate an error.
You will be able to hear that the fan is not working. So this is a really easy problem to diagnose.
Simply plug the battery in and listen for the fan.
If the fan is not working, grab a replacement fan and fix it yourself. It`s a 5 minute job, with no soldering and a phillips head screwdriver being the only tool you need.
We usually will have those fans in our online store as a replacement part.
Follow the steps above and pull the rubber plugs out of the charger base and remove the 4 screws and top cover. Making sure the charger is not plugged into a power point. Once again, common sense. You don`t want to get a zap.
You`ll notice just to the left of my finger in the shot below the other glass fuse referred to earlier.
You`ll see the plug for the fan located where my finger is pointing in the picture above.
Unplug that and remove the fan and wires. Once again just to be sure folks don`t hurt themselves make sure the charger isn`t plugged in when you do this. There`s no need to have juice flowing through it and even though that`s a 12V dc output on that part of the circuit there`s still other live 240v spots on the board so for your own sake don`t have it plugged in when you do it. We don`t want to have a simple fix-it job become a trip to hospital.