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  #1  
Old 03-12-2007, 09:09 AM
Shoeless Shoeless is online now
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Cell phone won't hold a charge

My wife is having a weird problem with her cell phone. The phone shows that the battery needs charging, but when she plugs it in to the charger, within five seconds the light turns green and says the battery is fully charged. As soon as she unplugs it, it tells her the battery needs charging. Thinking it might be a problem with her charger, she tried to use the one in the car, but got the same result.

Hmmm, I thought. It probably needs a new battery. It sounds like the old battery just won't hold a charge anymore. So over the weekend she went to the phone store and bought a new battery. When she put that one in, the phone still showed that the battery needed charging. And when she got home and plugged it in, it did the same damn thing -- light turns green after five seconds, then says it needs charging as soon as it's unplugged.

So, a couple of questions here:

1. Any idea why the phone won't charge? We've eliminated the charger and the battery as points of failure, and I have no idea why the phone itself would prevent the battery from charging.

2. Should either the phone or the battery be going bad after just over two years of normal use? What's the normal life span of a cell phone battery?

3. Should a replacement battery be fully charged when you buy it? (My wife thought it was odd that the new battery immediately showed that it needed charging.)

If it matters at all, the phone is an LG 6100.
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2007, 09:10 AM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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Cell phone and laptop batteries have a lifespan of about 2 years. If that's the age of the phone, then a new battery is in order.
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:13 AM
mks57 mks57 is offline
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There may be a problem with the charge controller in the cell phone.
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:57 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mks57
There may be a problem with the charge controller in the cell phone.
That'd be my bet, too. Although I don't know how the electronics work, the cell phone manages its own power. When a charge is applied it monitors the battery level (maybe it measure the current available under load or something, I don't think it's sufficient to just watch the voltage). There could be something haywire in the phone itself that makes it think the battery is fully charged anytime the charger is connected.
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:01 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VunderBob
Cell phone and laptop batteries have a lifespan of about 2 years. If that's the age of the phone, then a new battery is in order.
OP sez:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless
. . .over the weekend she went to the phone store and bought a new battery. When she put that one in, the phone still showed that the battery needed charging.
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2007, 01:32 PM
Shoeless Shoeless is online now
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Argh, sounds like it's time to get a new phone. Thanks all!
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2007, 02:33 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is online now
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I had a similar problem with a Sprint phone. Took it in to the store, and the Techno-Wizardess there told me the phone had two charging receptacles. The one I was using, with a small spike-like plug wasn't getting the job done. She swapped it out for a new charger--one with a flat plug that fits into a wider slot on the phone. Been working like a charm ever since....
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  #8  
Old 03-12-2007, 02:45 PM
bouv bouv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless
3. Should a replacement battery be fully charged when you buy it? (My wife thought it was odd that the new battery immediately showed that it needed charging.)
New batteries are usually low on the charge level. Rechargeable batteries slowly lose charge over time, even when not in use, so even if it was fully charged when it left the factory, it would be almost dead by the time it got to you.
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:59 PM
Will Repair Will Repair is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mks57
There may be a problem with the charge controller in the cell phone.
Agree. I run into this problem a lot in my work although I don't see the recharging circuit. Unfortunately you have a consumable product so it's throw-away and buy another one time. But try Oakminster's idea if possible.
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2007, 07:20 PM
Rhubarb Rhubarb is offline
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My last 6 or 7 cell phones have died in this fashion (except the one I flushed down the toilet, it drowned). I have always assumed it was the phone's charging circuit, and as such, there's not much to be done for it.

FWIW, I have also seen the same problem on a laptop or two, but in those cases, I was able to get the battery to charge by removing it and re-inserting it while the laptop was plugged in to normal power. Absolutely no idea if this is even possible on a cell phone.
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2007, 08:48 PM
Adoptamom_II Adoptamom_II is offline
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Something cheap and easy to try before ditching the works is to take a regular pencil eraser and rubbing (erasing) the contact points on the battery and the cell phone to make sure there is a good, clean connection. I don't know what it works, but sometimes it does.
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2007, 11:09 PM
GiantRat GiantRat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adoptamom_II
Something cheap and easy to try before ditching the works is to take a regular pencil eraser and rubbing (erasing) the contact points on the battery and the cell phone to make sure there is a good, clean connection. I don't know what it works, but sometimes it does.
My dear old mom had the same problem with a Verizon phone (don't know the model). After three trips to the store with lousy customer service, someone finally told her that this sometimes happens if you charge the phone while it's still on. I thought that odd, since I've never turned one of my cells off (I need to be available 24/7 ). It seemed, however, to do the trick for her. Thankfully, mom is more than happy to be unavailable by phone during sleepy time.
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