Kobalt 80V 5Ah Battery problem ...

dougmacm

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As mentioned in another thread, I bought the Kobalt 80V 22" Brushless Snow Thrower back in May of 2019 and it came with a 5Ah battery. Later that same month I bought the KHB 2580-06 Brushless Blower that came with a 2.5Ah battery. Used the 5Ah in the blower a few times to give it some exercise, but being quite a bit heavier than the 2.5Ah, it was not ideal in the blower. The 5Ah battery finally got used in the snow thrower last winter maybe a 1/2 dozen times and it worked just fine and had been storing it fully charged ever since the last snowfall.

Fast forward to last Friday, I bought the KMP 6080-06 Self Propelled Lawnmower that came with a 6Ah battery. My thinking here was having the mower, the 5Ah battery could get year round use alternating between it and the 6Ah and same would be for the 6Ah getting use in the winter months too.

The 6Ah was just partially charged, so I put it on the charger and grabbed the fully charged 5Ah from the Snow Thrower and put it in the mower.

Now onto the problem ... the battery shows fully charged by the lights and if you put it on the charger it will just glow green saying it is fully charged.

Voltage across the terminals reads 81.2V (the new 6Ah fully charged reads 82.2V and the 2.5Ah reads 82.8V).

Put this 5Ah battery into:
Lawnmower, it will turn the blade motor for a couple of seconds then shut down with a 5 beep sequence followed by a 4 beep sequence.
Snow thrower, it ran motor for a few seconds then beeps constantly
Blower it will blow for a couple of second then shut down (no beeping)

All the 80V Greenworks/Kobalt battery issues mentioned online are low voltage conditions where charger does not recognize and will not charge, saw no mention of my issue so figured I'd post here to see if this is familiar to anyone.

Battery has a 3 Year Warranty and manual states to either bring it into the store where purchased for exchange of call 1-888-3KOBALT. Rather deal with someone face-to-face so I'm going to my Lowes tomorrow to see if they will order me one in to exchange (they only have the 2.5Ah in stock).

Doug
 

mechanic mark

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My older son spent over $500 on battery powered lawnmower with 2 batteries a few years ago taking about 1 & 1/2 - 2 hours to mow his lawn having to swap out batteries. Shortly thereafter he called my younger son saying he could not finish mowing his lawn because both batteries were slowly wearing down. He told his younger brother to be on the lookout for a good used lawn tractor with 4x4, he's had one since last Sept. with 50" mowing deck & now takes one hour to mow. He uses battery powered self propelled mower on steep hillside which takes 30 minutes, & tractor 30 minutes.
 

tom3

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This is what keeps me away from high voltage battery seasonal equipment. Battery reliability and cost. I like the concept though.
 

MowerMike

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So, you got a dud, no doubt a few weak cells. This is not typical of most Li-Ion batteries. I’m not sure about the quality of Kobalt batteries, but I’ve had excellent luck with my Greenworks batteries that are made by the same Chinese conglomerate. As to long term storage, I’d recommend partially charging the battery, and then bringing it up to full charge when you are ready to use it again.
 

dougmacm

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Guess I never followed up ...

Went to my store August 27th and the store manager said I needed to call the Kobalt Customer Service line as they don't handle Kobalt warranty issues at the store. So early August I called 1st thing in the morning and sat on hold for 30+ minutes before someone finally picked up. Gal who answered seemed a bit frazzled and call went smooth until we got to what the problem was and when I said "Defective Battery" there was a pause then we got "conveniently" disconnected. I called back immediately, and sat on hold for over an hour before I gave up as I had other things to do. This was Covid, and they had shorter hours and less staff at that time as stated by the "hold message", so I did not bother trying to call back again.

Well, I had a reason to call them again this week ...

Ordered the KCS 4080-06 18" 80V Chainsaw and picked up at my local Lowes last Thursday. It was shipped to the store via Fed Ex and the box was pretty beat up and re-taped, and probably does not help that the sheathed bar just sticks out of a slot in the box so not really packed for "as-is" shipping. Everything looked ok inside the box, so I took it and further inspected / tested it at home and all was OK. Anyway, went to grab the tool to loosen / adjust the chain on Monday and it is not snapped in the slot at the bottom of the saw ... it must have escaped in transit !!

So called the Kobalt Customer Service line first thing Tuesday and was on hold for less than a minute before someone answered and it was a completely different experience. It was not a part that he could supply, so I needed to call a different number. He would have transferred me, but it was too early in the morning so he gave me the number to call. Called that number and was given the "call back option", so I jumped on that. Got the call back a couple of hours later (actually from Greenworks) and now have a replacement wrench on the way.

While I had the guy on the phone, I mentioned my battery issue and how I tried to get a replacement last July-August but never tried to call back after that insane experience.

Well, battery issues need an email sent with copies of the receipt, pics of the S/N's, and detailed description of the problem. He gave me the email address and I sent all the required info on Tuesday. Got a reply Wednesday that they were processing and another email today stating the order was entered and I will get another email once the new battery has shipped.

Both the Kobalt and Greenworks people were extremely nice over the phone, as were the prompt email responses. Back to how things should be and I'm really happy about that !!

Doug
 

dougmacm

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Got my replacement 5Ah battery this week from Kobalt/Lowes. Had read that they've been known to send out "reman" batteries for these warranties but the one they sent looked new. What I found interesting is the DATE CODE is a dead match to the bad one ... 09/03/18. The chance of this has got to be slim to none, so I first thought they just made a new sticker that matched the bad one, but no, the S/N's are not the same. Seems kinda silly they would go though the effort to print a new label for warranties, as they could just record what S/N & Date Code went out for each warranty and keep records that way.


I started out the season mowing with one of my Lawn-Boy's so today was my first outing with the KMP 6080-06 80V Mower ... having never ran a 5Ah battery in it, I ran both to see how long they would run.

Grass was kinda long, green, & thick and I mulched on the 2-1/8" setting (level 3) running the Unicorn Greenworks HD blade. Really should have cut it higher or bagged it, but I was stubborn. Mower ran on high speed most of the time and I got 26.4 minutes out of the Chainsaw's 5Ah battery (also 1st use), then 28.8 minutes out of the new replacement. Swapped in my Generic HYG 6Ah (which uses lesser quality cells and is really closer 4Ah or 5Ah in performance) and finished the remaining 18.7 minutes (1 hr 14 min total). So basically burned through around 13-14 Ah worth of battery.

When I timed the 6Ah batteries run time last summer running the HD blade, grass condition was similar and I was cutting on the same level 3 however I bagged it. The HYG Generic 6Ah went in 1st and lasted 27.6 minutes, swapped in the Kobalt 6Ah and it lasted 33.6 minutes. The HYG was actually done charging when the Kobalt died (another reason I think it is no where near 6Ah as the Kobalt should take 90 min to charge per the manual), so it was swapped back in and finished the yard 11 minutes later with 2 bars left. So basically the same 13-14 Ah of battery usage in 1 hr 11 minutes of run time bagging (15 bags total).

Doug
 

slomo

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Sad to say after all the money laid out, only a matter of time. Gas mowers reign supreme still to this day. Anything new, you see on the shelves, be cautious. Chances are the old timers that built the older stuff already worked it all out.

slomo
 

dougmacm

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Sad to say after all the money laid out, only a matter of time. Gas mowers reign supreme still to this day. Anything new, you see on the shelves, be cautious. Chances are the old timers that built the older stuff already worked it all out.

slomo
I've got 8 running Lawn-Boys ... 2003 & older, one 4-Cycle, the rest 2-Cycle, 7 cast aluminum decks & 1 steel ... and I agree.


But I've also been running Lithium Ion tools for the past 9 years in 12, 18, 40 & 80V (41 batteries in all) and this was only my 2nd battery failure ... my 3 original 18V Ryobi batteries I got in 2012 still work and don't have noticeably less power than new.


If you want to talk smack about Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries, I'm right there with you ... I even converted my old 14.4V Makita Drills at work over to Lithium Ion.


I've got 2 40V Greenworks 21" deck mowers that I've been running since 2018 and YES 40V has it's limitations in a mower. However this 80V is a contender for gas especially when running the HD High Lift Greenworks blade. I've got a 15k sq-ft. yard and when the grass is not too long the 40V Self Propelled Greenworks is not underpowered for the task. And if is hot & humid out, I'd much rather grab a battery powered mower than walk behind a hot running engine.

When you want to go and mow grass and NOT smell like fuel when done the battery powered mowers are really nice and the quieter purr of an electric motor vs. a noisy engine is a bonus.


I'm a hands-on / can fix almost anything kind of guy. And when I say "fix", I typically improve / correct what ever caused the failure to begin with. And I enjoy and want to experience new technology ... plus I can afford it.


Battery powered OPE tools are typically lighter duty than the gas versions so if you are HARD on your tools & equipment, then you should STAY AWAY from battery powered tools.

As far as the "PLASTIC DECK" battery powered mowers, this is a NO-GO for me. Had I not run into these Greenworks 21" STEEL Deck mowers in 2018, I'd be Mr. Negative right along side you.


One final thing ... a decent quality residential gas mower in no longer available NEW, and I'd guess 99% of today's commercial grade mowers can't compete with what was built 15 years ago either.


Bottom line is all you narrow minded battery tech haters should just stay out of this forum !! Don't you have better things to do ??

Doug
 
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