A mobility scooter is a major investment, so you want to make sure it will be around to help improve your quality of life for a long time. As such, a bit of daily maintenance (coupled with a yearly servicing) is highly recommended for those who use their scooter regularly.
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
How to take care of your scooter:
- Read the manual
- Ask your dealer about the best way to care for your battery
- Protect your scooter from the elements
- Clean your mobility scooter
- Do a quick surface clean
- Check the air pressure on your tires and fill them if they need it
- Check up on your battery
- Examine your tire treads
- Examine your wheel bearings
- Bring your mobility scooter in for a full inspection
When you pick up your new mobility scooter:
Read the manual
Get to know your scooter by reading the advice that comes straight from the manufacturer. The more you know about your scooter, the better you’ll be able to take care of it. Take a look at all the components of your scooter so you’ll know what a properly functioning scooter looks like. Consider taking some photos, including close-ups, so you’ll have something to refer back to if you’re not sure.
Ask your dealer about the best way to care for your battery
They’ll be able to recommend a maintenance schedule and give you tips on the best way to care for your scooter battery.
Protect your scooter from the elements
Avoid rain or extreme temperatures whenever possible. When using your mobility scooter in inclement weather, it’s always a good idea to protect the electrical components of the device. Also, if your scooter 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 Scootaround and other suppliers.
Clean your mobility scooter
Make sure to wash dust or dirt off your mobility scooter before it accumulates. Getting dust or dirt in the moving parts of the scooter may cause unnecessary damage to the device. Also, it is essential to keep your scooter as dry as possible in order to prevent rust and corrosion from forming on the metal components.
Remember to clean the underside of the scooter, 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 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 scooter 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, 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 scooter 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 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, 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 scooter for signs of corrosion.
All mobility scooter 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 battery life.
Always charge the scooter battery for 8 to 10 hours at a time (or the amount of time allotted in your specific manual) and do not use your scooter during that period. Ideally, you should be charging your scooter battery after each time you use your mobility device. Scooters will often come equipped with a charge indicator, which will inform you when you need to charge the device.
Avoid charging your mobility scooter when the battery has 80% or more charge remaining. A number of factors can drain your battery other than driving the scooter, 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 scooter. Talk to your technician if you notice any changes.
Bring your mobility scooter in for a full inspection
A trained scooter 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 personal transport vehicle, you can reach Scootaround anytime at 1-888-441-7575.
Mobility Scooter Insurance
Although you are not legally required to buy insurance for your mobility scooter, it is still highly recommended. Insurance can cover the following issues:
- Significant repairs
- Mobility scooter theft
- Third Party liability (a collision with a pedestrian, for example)
- Accidental damage to the mobility scooter
- Breakdown assistance
Before buying a specific policy, check your household insurance policy to see if a mobility scooter could be covered under the existing plan.