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Basic maintenance is not difficult, and for the most part, can be performed in the comfort of your home. Here are a few tips on how to service and maintain your mobility scooter or powerchair.
Read the manual
Get to know your mobility scooter/powerchair by reading the advice that comes straight from the manufacturer. The more you know about your mobility scooter/powerchair, the better you’ll be able to take care of it. Take a look at all the components of your mobility scooter/powerchair so you’ll know what a properly functioning mobility scooter/powerchair looks like. Consider taking some photos, including close-ups, so you’ll have something to refer back to if you’re not sure.
Ask NC Mobility about the best way to care for your battery
We'll be able to recommend a maintenance schedule and give you tips on the best way to care for your mobility scooter/powerchair battery.
Protect your mobility scooter or powerchair from the elements
Avoid rain or extreme temperatures whenever possible. When using your mobility scooter/powerchair in inclement weather, it’s always a good idea to protect the electrical components of the device. Also, if your mobility scooter/powerchair seat is made of leather or fabric, it is a good idea to protect those as well. A variety of seat covers, tire guards, waterproof shells and accessories are available for purchase from NC Mobility.
Clean your mobility scooter
Make sure to wash dust or dirt off your mobility scooter/powerchair before it accumulates. Getting dust or dirt in the moving parts of the mobility scooter/powerchair may cause unnecessary damage to the device. Also, it is essential to keep your mobility scooter/powerchair as dry as possible in order to prevent rust and corrosion from forming on the metal components.
Remember to clean the underside of the mobility scooter/powerchair, as well as the battery pack. Both these areas are often neglected by scooter owners and can be affected by dirt and grime. When not in use, the mobility scooter/powerchair should be stored in a clean, dry place for protection. This could be a hallway, garage or outdoor shed.
Do a quick surface cleaning
Even if your mobility scooter/powerchair looks clean, wipe it down once a week using a soft, damp cloth. Use cleaning products where appropriate (consult your manual). It might help to designate a specific day so you don’t forget.
Check the air pressure on your tires and fill them if they need it
The tires of a mobility scooter/powerchair, although durable, will wear down over time. It’s therefore important to regularly inspect them to make sure they are still functioning well.
Tires need to be checked regularly for punctures. Check your owner’s manual for the proper PSI for your tires. Do a quick visual inspection for any signs of puncture, foreign objects, cracks, discoloration, or other potential problems. Give your tires a spin and ensure they are moving without any vibration or wobbling.
A damaged tire should be replaced immediately. Deflated tires will make the mobility scooter/powerchair work harder, resulting in a shorter battery life and decreased velocity. Deflated tires can also destroy the valve system on the tire if the tires are allowed to go flat.
Not every model of mobility scooter/powerchair comes equipped with air-filled tires. If you’re using an air-free model, service is only required if the tread has worn out or the bearings of the tire have come loose. Always be sure to consult the owner's manual before performing any maintenance on your own.
Check up on your battery
The batteries are perhaps the most important component of any mobility scooter/powerchair, as they provide the charge that powers the device. As such, they must be looked after and maintained properly. Take care of the area around the battery, and regularly check the battery and underside of the mobility scooter/powerchair for signs of corrosion.
All mobility scooter/powerchair batteries are rechargeable and will either be made of a sealed lead acid, gel-based material or lithium. You need to follow a strict charging regime in order to get the most out of your mobility scooter/powerchair battery life.
Always charge the mobility scooter/powerchair battery for 8 to 10 hours at a time (or the amount of time allotted in your specific manual) and do not use your mobility scooter/powerchair during that period. Ideally, you should be charging your mobility scooter/powerchair battery after each time you use your mobility device. Mobility scooter/powerchairs will often come equipped with a charge indicator, which will inform you when you need to charge the device.
Avoid charging your mobility scooter/powerchair when the battery has 80% or more charge remaining. A number of factors can drain your battery other than driving the mobility scooter/powerchair, including using your headlights, the weight of the rider, and hilly or sloped terrain. Attached accessories can also contribute to charge usage.
Examine your tire treads
Make sure your tire treads have not worn down to less than 1/32”. Note any visual changes or ongoing concerns, and get your tires checked out if they aren’t holding air as well as they used to.
Examine your wheel bearings
Take a look at the wheel bearings, nuts and bolts, fuses, and other visible components on your mobility scooter/powerchair. Talk to your technician if you notice any changes.
Bring your mobility scooter/powerchair in for a full inspection
A trained mobility scooter/powerchair technician will be able to spot small problems you may not have noticed. Taking care of them now will help avoid more costly repairs down the road. If you have questions about the best way to care for your mobility scooter/powerchair, you can reach NC Mobility at (800) 674-9349.
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