Skip to Content

What Do The Lights on a Makita Battery Charger Mean?

Slot a Makita battery into a charger and you are greeted by flashing lights, and maybe a catchy jingle depending on your charger. But what do these lights mean? Let’s have a look!

What Do The Lights on a Makita Battery Charger Mean?

So you’ve just got a Makita charger or maybe your borrowing someone else’s tools. You plug the battery into the charger and are greeted with lots of flashing, or solid lights, all meaning different things. But what do they mean, well I got my charger out and showed the different lights.

Flashing Green Light

This is how the charger looks when plugged in but with no battery in it. The green light will flash continuously, this just means the charger is plugged in but there is no battery inserted in it.

A (dusty) Makita battery charger
A (dusty) Makita battery charger

Solid Red Light

A solid red light means a battery is being charged. It also tells you that the battery is currently below 80% charged.

Solid Red Means Charging - Battery is Below 80% Charged#
Solid Red Means Charging – Battery is Below 80% Charged

Solid Red & Green Lights

If both the red and green lights are solid then this means the battery is charging. It also means the battery is above 80% charged but it is not fully charged.

Solid Red and green Means Battery is Charging and is Above 80% Charged
Solid Red and green Means Battery is Charging and is Above 80% Charged

Solid Green light

A solid green light means the battery is fully charged.

Solid Green Light Means Battery is 100% Charged
Solid Green Light Means Battery is 100% Charged

Warning Lights

Beyond the charging lights, there are other warning lights.

A flashing red light means the battery is overheating and should be removed.

Both lights flashing at the same time means there is a problem with the battery and it will not charge.

Warning Lights
Warning Lights

No lights on Makita Charger (DC18RC)

If there are no lights showing on your Makita charger it is not receiving power. When the Makita charger is plugged in and receiving power, a single green light will start to flash. This signals that a battery is ready to be inserted.

Makita Battery Charger (no power input)

Important note: There is no power ON button on the Makita charger itself, you just have to plug it into a 240v power outlet and the green light should come on and start flashing.

The most common reasons are:

  • The battery charger may not be plugged in to a plug socket.
  • The power may be turned off at the switch (RCD may have tripped in the consumer unit)
  • The fuse may have blown in the battery charger plug – If this is the case just replace it fuse with a new 13amp fuse.

Flashing Green light only on Makita Charger (DC18RC)

A single Flashing green light means that the charger is in stand by mode. It is connected an AC power supply and is ready to start charging your batteries.

Makita Battery Charger – Ready to charge, Flashing green light

Solid Red light on Makita Charger (DC18RC)

A solid red light means your battery is bellow 80% and having a good time charging as it should be. Don’t panic, the red light on your Makita battery charger is a good thing, not like a red light on your dashboard.

Makita Battery Charger – Below 80% charging, single solid red light

When the battery cartridge is inserted, the red charging light will light up and charging will begin. A brief pre-set melody sound will play to assure you that the battery is charging, The melody will chime again when the battery is fully charged.

Once the battery is over 80% charged the solid red light will be accompanied by a solid green light.

Solid Red and Green light on Makita Charger (DC18RC)

Congratulations! if you have a solid red and solid green light next to each other it means that your battery is over 80% charged. If you are desperate for your battery you can take it off charge now and get your job done. Or you can leave it till you get a solid green light signalling the battery is 100% fully charged.

Pro tip:  I like to wait till the solid green fully charged light is on, and the fan has stopped whirring. Then I can be confident the batteries have finished their charging cycle!

Makita battery charger – 0ver 80% charged solid red and green light

Solid Green light on Makita Battery Charger DC18RC

The solid green light will appear on its own when the battery has finished charging. The charging light will change from solid red to solid green and the melody sound or buzzer sound (a long beep) will come out to notify completion of charge.

Makita Battery Charger fully- charged solid green light

 

Red, Green and Yellow (All lights) on Makita Battery Charger DC18RC

Makita Battery Charger – all lights on

If all the lights come one when you first insert the battery it could be because it is already fully charged. Try it in your tool first to see if it works!

If it doesn’t work leave it a few minutes and try inserting it again. If it still doesn’t work leave the battery for a few days to completely discharge, then try it putting it on charge again.

Flashing Yellow light on Makita Charger DC18RC

A flashing yellow light indicates a cooling abnormality. A yellow light will start to flash if the Cooling system has come into operation. The battery will still charge in spite of the warning light, but it may take longer than usual.

The yellow light will flash for warning in the following cases.

Trouble with the cooling fan
Incomplete cool down of battery, such as, being clogged with dust

The charger may have detected that the battery is too hot to charge at maximum efficiency.

You may also hear the sound of cooling air coming out of the charger in order to try and lower the temperature of the battery. You can leave the battery on charge, or you can take the battery out and wait for it to cool down before putting it back on charge again.  

The battery can be charged in spite of the yellow warning light. But the charging time will be longer than usual in this case. Check the sound of the cooling fan, the vent on the charger, can be sometime clogged with dust.

The Battery charger should be sent to repair or maintenance, if the yellow warning light flashes frequently.

Makita Battery Charger vent

Solid Yellow and Red light on Makita Battery Charger DC18RC

If the Yellow light does not flash, it could indicate that it is “conditionally charging” the battery. The battery can be charged in spite of the yellow warning light. But the charging time will be longer than usual in this case.

Check the sound of the cooling fan. The vent on the charger can sometimes be clogged with dust.

Makita Battery Charger solid yellow light

Conditional Charging

The battery charger may “conditionally charge” to prevent fast wear out. In
the following cases:

1. Inserted battery temperature too high
2. Inserted battery temperature too low
3. Inserted battery is already fully charged
4. Inserted battery has Over-discharged, this can happen if the power tool has not detected that the battery is low and continued to drain power from it.

The re-charging time of such battery may be longer than usual as the battery may have continued to discharge in spite of low power.

Most Makita power tools are protected by “STAR” protection, this detects conditions that threaten to over-load, over-discharge or overheat the tool or battery. The tool will automatically cease operation, this prevents any damage to the battery.

Makita “STAR” battery and drill protection

Alternate Red and Green lights flashing on Makita Charger DC18RC

If the charging light flashes alternately red to green on a Makita (DC18RC) battery charger, charging is not possible. The terminals on the charger or battery cartridge could be clogged with dust, or the battery cartridge is worn out or damaged!

Flashing Red light on Makita Battery Charger DC18RC

A Flashing red light on a Makita DC18RC battery charger signals a Delay in charging. This can happen if the battery is either too hot or too cold. If the battery is below or above the ideal operating temperature charging may not start.

  • The Battery cartridge may be hot from a just-operated tool.
  • The battery cartridge may have been left in a location exposed to direct sunlight for a long time.
  • Battery cartridge may be too cold if it has been left for a long time in a location exposed to cold air

Two Flashing Red lights on Makita Charger DC18RC

When the temperature of the battery is extremely hot, more than approx. 70°C, two charging lights may start flashing red. When the temperature drops to 50°C – 70°C, one charging light will flash red. Leave the battery to stand for a while to cool down before attempting to recharge.

Flashing Red and Green lights on Makita battery charger DC18RC

Flashing red and green lights indicate a Defective battery. Try taking the battery out of the charger and putting it in again, a couple of times. Sometimes this can cause the battery to start charging normally. If this does not solve the problem your battery may be faulty.

 

Related posts

Interested in power tools? We picked these articles out just for you.

John Holland

Wednesday 27th of April 2022

My battery is making the charger flash red. This is supposed to mean it’s too hot, but it’s at room temperature and another battery stored with it is charging fine. I’m told that if the battery is faulty, then both red and green lights flash; my thought is that if a thing faulty, it’s faulty, meaning it could flash anything or nothing. My battery is clearly faulty, and because it’s faulty, it’s not telling me it’s faulty- if you see what I mean,

Daniel Berry

Wednesday 27th of April 2022

Yeah John I see what you mean and concur with those thoughts. It could easily mean that the temperature sensor inside has broken. If you are any good with a soldering iron it could be worth trying to replace the sensor to see if it fixes it, they are just normally placed on top of the cells and have two wires going to the main board.