If you have recently been affected by a deterioration in your ability to walk for long distances, purchasing one of our new mobility scooters could be just what is needed to give you a new lease of life.
Before you take your scooter home with you, however, it would be a good idea to find out more about how to care for its lithium battery. As you will appreciate, suddenly breaking down and becoming stranded can be extremely inconvenient, not to mention irritating. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, read the below advice and get all the information you need to look after your mobility scooter’s most essential component.
Charge the battery up as soon as you get home
We understand that the increased independence having your own mobility scooter will provide is exciting and that you will want to start using it straight away. However, it is important that you spend the first 24 hours after you get it home fully charging your scooter’s battery, as it will not function to its full capacity otherwise.
After this, you can start taking your scooter out and about immediately and begin to enjoy the benefits of going to the shops or seeing your friends and family with ease and in comfort. We recommend, however, that you then try to almost drain the battery and recharge it overnight three or four times in succession. The reason for repeating this process is that it will help to establish a good, deep-cycle usage and charging pattern at an early stage, which will in turn help to prolong the ‘life expectancy’ of your scooter’s battery.
We know that remembering to do all this will be a bit of a hassle when all you want to do is get out there and start savouring your newfound freedom, but we can assure you that this small amount of effort will be well worth it in the long run; the peace of mind you will gain from knowing your battery is in perfect condition is simply invaluable.
If possible, charge the battery indoors
No matter how well you treat your lithium battery when you first take it home, it will still not work to its full capacity if you don’t continue to look after it in the months that follow.
Most important of all is ensuring that your battery is not exposed to the elements when the colder weather starts to creep in. To stop your scooter’s performance being affected in the winter months, we recommend storing it and, most vitally, charging the battery in a protected environment. By this, we mean that – wherever possible – you should avoid using a shed or carport and try to plug in your battery in a room that is completely enclosed and benefits from central heating.
If you do not have space at home to store your scooter indoors, consider investing in an off-board charging unit instead. Although this is an added expense (you will probably be looking at upwards of £100), the one-off cost will certainly be worth the added convenience it will provide, especially if you would rather keep your mobility scooter in the car whenever it is not being used. Simply plug in the charger, pop in your battery and let it fuel up overnight.
Keep charging the battery up regularly
After we have owned something for a while, it can be easy to get complacent and not be quite as diligent in taking care of it. Nevertheless, it is imperative that you keep on top of how and when to charge your mobility scooter’s battery so that it doesn’t lose any of its reliability over the months and years to come.
Therefore, whenever your battery is almost or totally drained, you should charge it overnight (for at least eight but preferably up to 12 hours). If the light on your battery charger turns to green before the recommended time has elapsed, you don’t need to unplug it. In fact, leaving it plugged in will be beneficial, as this will allow the battery to effectively be ‘cleaned’.
If you will only be taking your scooter out intermittently, on short journeys, or are temporarily keeping it in storage and thus unlikely to drain its battery after a day’s usage, we would still advise that a full overnight charge is administered at least twice each week.
Consider buying an additional battery
Although lithium batteries are known for their impressive efficiency and longevity, it is still the case that they will slowly lose their charge even when not in regular use. For this reason, and to avoid the nightmare of being stranded at home whilst you wait for it to charge up, you should consider purchasing a backup battery for emergencies.
Depending on the specifications of your scooter and where you choose to buy your batteries from, the price of your additional unit could cost less than £50 or over £100. Once again, though, the investment will prove to be more than worthwhile; not only will buying a second battery negate the chances of being without your scooter at any time but alternating between the two will also help to prolong the lives of both.
Quick tip: to make sure you alternate between the two batteries correctly, put ‘A’ and ‘B’ labels on them to avoid any mix-ups.
Service your mobility scooter annually
Even if you follow the advice in this guide to the letter and keep your battery in excellent condition, it is important to remember that this is just one of several aspects that you need to consider when it comes to keeping your mobility scooter working as it should.
Think of your scooter as needing the same kind of maintenance routine as any car you may have owned in the past. Cleaning and checking it regularly should be regarded as a necessity rather than an option, whilst a full annual service – although not a legal requirement – is highly recommended.
We realise that all these little admin tasks are annoying but ticking them off your list could save a lot of trouble in future and will allow you to continue enjoying your mobility scooter for many years to come.