Mobility scooters are a big investment, aimed to last for years to help people with mobility or balance issues improve their independence and quality of life. As such, it needs to be kept in good condition throughout its use. The design and technology of class 3 to foldable mobility scooters has improved in the last decade, but basic maintenance is still required to help them run for longer.
Users of mobility scooters should know how to keep it in a good condition, from keeping it clean to getting it serviced when it needs it. When it comes to buying one, it is a good idea to be aware of the important factors surrounding their maintenance and storage, so you won’t be wasting your investment. Read on to see our tips and advice on how to maintain your mobility scooter.
The batteries are a key part of mobility scooter maintenance, and guidelines on caring for them are laid out in a scooter’s manual. The majority of mobility scooters have two rechargeable batteries included and can be various sizes, depending on the power of the scooter. Batteries last approximately two or three years before they need replacing, although you can extend the life of a battery by a few years with good maintenance.
Batteries need to be kept dry and clean to ensure they are functioning correctly. The battery should be charged after every use, so you won’t be worried about them dying when using the scooter. Standard mobility scooter use is usually around an hour and requires batteries to be charged daily, around eight and ten hours overnight. The battery should be taken off charge when complete and only the correct charger used, which is usually included when you buy the scooter. The general rule for charging time is to not go over 12 hours as this could overcharge and damage the battery.
If you are not taking your mobility scooter out on a daily basis, you should still try to charge the batteries weekly or monthly, depending on your use of it.
Keeping your scooter clean can help prevent future problems from occurring. Like with a car, the build-up of dirt can be damaging to your mobility scooter; small pieces can get into the mechanics of the scooter, such as brakes, and lead to parts becoming damaged or worn so they do not function correctly. If you are frequently using your scooter outdoors, then regular cleaning will be needed. Wipe down the surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt as soon as possible to guarantee the workings of the scooter are not badly affected.
In addition to dirt, it is important to avoid moisture and wet weather. Driving through puddles can cause rust to form and affects how well the scooter works. After being out in wet weather, make sure the scooter is dried completely and not left in a place where it can get damp and mildew, or mould can form. You could also use scooter covers if you are heading out in bad weather, which will protect both yourself and the scooter from the rain. As well as a scooter cover, a waterproof cover for the leather or fabric seat of your scooter will help keep it in good condition for longer.
When your mobility scooter is used regularly, keep an eye out for wear and tear. This could be light scuffs and scratches on the bodywork or worn tyres. Tyres get worn down with frequent use and may no longer be safe to use so will need to be replaced. Some tyres are filled with air and should be checked for punctures and tread depth occasionally. Solid tyres are less adaptable on different terrains, so to retain their good condition it is best to stick to pavements and indoor locations.
Correct storage of your mobility scooter can improve the longevity of the vehicle. The best place to store one, whether it is just overnight or for longer periods, is a clean, dry and secure space with easy access to a mains socket to charge it. A lockable garage or shed is ideal, though if you have space in your house, make sure it doesn’t block doorways to make it a fire hazard.
It is a good idea to invest in a cover for your mobility scooter. A cover will protect it from low or high temperatures, help prevent corrosion and is useful for stopping water damage if you have to keep the scooter outdoors.
When storing your mobility scooter, be sure to carry out some general checks before you come to use it again. These include looking at the underside for damage or debris and loose screws that could fall out the next time the scooter is driven.
Maintenance can be carried out by the owner, but servicing should be handled by a professional. Motability experts suggest a yearly service of your scooter, which may also be required as part of your service and these can be carried out in your own home. Servicing checks include the control module, the frame, steering, battery, lights, tyres and charger. Service tests are then finished with a test run to ensure the scooter is functioning properly.
The cost of services depends on the size and style of the scooter and can be arranged through a local mobility shop or through us. Not having a yearly service or even regular maintenance of your mobility scooter can mean issues flare up you are not aware of which could put you into a dangerous situation when driving the scooter.