A good mobility scooter is fairly easy to maintain. It doesn’t have a complex network of wires and whirring gizmos like a car. But it can still cause you a lot of frustration if it develops a problem and you can’t figure out what’s causing it.
Most mobility scooter owners have had various issues at some point including lights not working, scooter not starting, frozen wheels, constant beeping sounds and so on. One of the most common and hard-to-solve problems is the scooter cutting out suddenly.
You are just moving along when without warning the motor cuts off and the mobility scooter comes to a standstill. For some users, it happens when they are going up or down a kerb. For others, it’s more likely to happen when going up an incline. For many others, it just happens regardless of where they are.
Your mobility scooter keeps cutting out?
Does your mobility scooter also keep cutting out? Here are 4 reasons why it could be acting up plus tips on what to do when driving a mobility scooter.
A lot of times when the mobility scooter cuts off, the gauge on the battery drops to zero. This could mean one of two things: that the battery is actually depleted or that it still contains charge but there is an electrical problem somewhere causing the gauge to drop.
If you have a multimeter or voltmeter, you can directly check the battery for charge. If it shows that it’s actually empty, the battery is the problem. Another way to check that the battery is depleted is to try and start the scooter again. If it fails to start, the battery is most likely empty.
The most common reason for a fast-depleting battery is age. As batteries age, they store less charge and are less efficient. So not only do they lose their charge faster, they have little of it to begin with.
If it’s a new battery, it might be faulty. Contact the manufacturer for a replacement.
Solution: Buy a new battery or ask the manufacturer for a replacement.
But if you check the voltage and find that the battery still has charge despite the gauge showing empty, the problem is most likely a poor connection to the battery.
Solution: Check for any loose wire to the battery or dirty connectors. Refer to your manual for instructions on cleaning the connectors. If none of that solves the problem, ask a professional electrician to take a look.
Sometimes the problem is just a loose connection somewhere that keeps cutting out the power.
One way to know it’s a loose connection is if the scooter cuts off when you hit a bump or go down a kerb. The impact disconnects the loose wire. Restarting the scooter might get it going again until you hit the next bump or kerb.
Solution: If you can, check for any loose wires connecting the motor or battery. Open up the battery and motor compartments and see if any of the wires feels loose or looks out of place. If you can’t find any, ask a technician to take a look.
The motor is one of the hardiest components of a mobility scooter. It’s difficult for it to fail but not impossible.
The most common reason for motor failure is moisture penetration. The motor housing will often be protected from moisture. But moisture can still find its way in if the motor is exposed to a lot of water or submerged in it.
Directing a hose towards the motor, leaving the scooter in the rain or driving in deep puddles can all cause the motor to fail which then cuts off power to the wheels.
You can tell it’s a motor failure when the battery gauge shows there is charge and you cannot find any lose connection.
Solution: Have a mechanic or technician remove the motor and wipe it dry. This will often resolve the problem.
Finally, check whether the problem is at the switch. A faulty switch can cause the scooter to either stop suddenly or fail to start. Sometimes it can even throw the scooter into reverse without you doing anything.
Solution: Go to a technician and have the switch looked at. It may have taken some moisture or someone may have lubricated it (never lubricate the switch). Cleaning it might solve the problem or you may need to buy a new switch.