An electric wheelchair or scooter is a disabled person’s only means of getting around.
An electric wheelchair, manual, or mobility scooter is a disabled person’s only means of getting around. It might look like a simple device but that is not the case as every electric wheelchair and mobility scooter has complicated electronics and mechanical parts. As the parts on these devices have movement there is wear and tear involved and if these components are not maintained on a regular basis, the disability device will break down, or not function as intended which could become a safety hazard.
Regular maintenance on your electric wheelchair or mobility scooter is vital to keep it in tip-top running order and prevent unnecessary breakdowns. The maintenance of mobility devices should be done on a regular basis, depending on their usage. We recommend a service to be done at least every six months to identify any issues before it becomes a breakdown. A full service on a power wheelchair or electric scooter must be done once a year to ensure the power wheelchair or scooter perform optimally. When performing a service on a power wheelchair or scooter attention must be given to the following:
Bearings – there are a few bearings on all power wheelchairs that need to be inspected and replaced when needed.
These bearings are located on the castor wheels of the power wheelchair. Bearings pick up dust and dirt in the normal everyday use (always keep your wheels as clean as possible) of the power wheelchair and can become stuck and will cause the castor wheel to become sticky and not turn. These bearings should be replaced when this happens. On an electric scooter, the bearings are located on the front wheels and they can also become dirty and sticky which will cause the wheel to become stuck or noisy.
Batteries – all power wheelchairs and electric scooters are equipped with at least 2 x 12Volt batteries. This is the power source of the power wheelchair and electric scooter. Just like any battery, these batteries have a limited life span of 1 to 5 years depending on the usage of the power wheelchair or electric scooter. The lifespan is determined by charging cycles.
If the battery indicator on the controlled display indicates yellow, it will reduce the amount of available
cycles in the battery by 2 and if it indicates red it will reduce by 3 cycles when charged. When the power wheelchair or electric scooter starts performing sluggish or the batteries’ power does not last as long as always this is the indication that the batteries need to be replaced. Electronics – both power wheelchairs and electric scooters are equipped with power modules that control the power wheelchair and electric scooter. During routine services, the power wheelchair and electric scooter wiring must be visually inspected for chafing or ant breakages.
The wire connectors must also be inspected to ensure all connections are still secure in place. A loose
connection can cause the power wheelchair or electric scooter to stop working. Wires that short circuit can blow the power module on the power wheelchair or electric scooter and cause it to stop working. Replacing a blown power module on any power wheelchair or electric scooter can be very costly and also cause downtime. Structural – during the service of a power wheelchair or electric scooter it is vital to inspect the frame and ensure structural integrity is still in order. Cracks in the frame of the power wheelchair or electric scooter can cause the power wheelchair or electric scooter to break and cause serious bodily injuries. These structural issues must be repaired immediately if they can be repaired.
Look after your mobility devices and they will look after you.