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How to Fix a Mobility Scooter: Top 10 Common Problems & How to Fix Them

By jwilder

How to Fix a Mobility Scooter

Mobility scooters are an incredible asset to seniors who want to stay independent and social. However, just like every other technology, they’re prone to wear and tear. If you’re looking to troubleshoot issues on your mobility scooter, read through this list of the top 10 common problems, and learn how to fix/prevent them!

10 Common Mobility Scooter Problems - and How to Fix Them!

1. Battery Issues

The Cause:

Batteries wear down over time. If you’ve had your mobility scooter for a few years, or tend to run the battery all the way down each time you use it, chances are it will show signs of degrading. This could lead to loss of speed, range, and even a non-working mobility scooter.

The Solution:

It can be nearly impossible to reverse the effects of battery degradation; once it’s gone, it’s gone. This means that if you have a very worn, inefficient battery, you’ll likely have to replace it. There are, however, several steps you can take to preserve your battery health:

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  • Test Them: Use a voltmeter to ensure the batteries are still holding 12V or 24V of charge.
  • Keep The Batteries Charged: You should never go weeks without charging the batteries, even if you aren’t using the scooter. Leaving them alone like that can cause them to die much, much faster.
  • Don’t Overcharge: At the same time, you can also damage your batteries if you charge them all the time, regardless of whether or not they need it. It’s a best practice to charge your batteries up to about 90% when you’re using it frequently, and about 50% when you won’t be using it for a few weeks.
  • Keep Batteries Clean: Just like the batteries on your car, there can be buildup on your scooter batteries. Check them regularly and clean them with a wire brush or battery cleaner spray.
  • Check Your Connections: Sometimes, the reason your scooter won’t start is simply that the battery is slightly loose in its seat. Check your battery connections to make sure they’re all the way plugged in before assuming you’ve got a bigger problem to deal with!

Bonus: the Best Battery Fix!

If you have severely depleted batteries, you can remove them from the scooter and charge each battery separately using a 12V charger. It can take upwards of 15 battery cycles to get them back to prime condition, but doing this can potentially save you hundreds!

2. Motor Issues

The Cause:

Motors in mobility scooters are one of the most essential and technologically complex parts of the whole scooter. Fortunately, motors are also one of the most durable parts of the scooter.

If you notice your scooter is “lurching” forward randomly while using it, that’s a sign that the motor has begun to fail. When this happens, you have two options: replace the motor or replace the scooter (depending on cost of repairs)

The Solution:

If you’re mechanically inclined, you can order a new motor and install it yourself; however, this is not recommended for most people as the potential of human error is high. It is best to have a professional scooter servicer make the repair for you!

3. Flat/Worn Tires

The Cause:

Over time, the tread on your tires will wear down, making them ineffective. Similarly, the inner tubes in your tires may also deteriorate or be punctured. Worn/flat tires make your mobility scooter inefficient at best and outright dangerous at worst.

The Solution:

Start by checking your scooter’s warranty. Because tires are known to wear down, most scooters will include a total warranty on tires, so you can get replacements for free. Installing new tires is roughly the same as changing a car tire; you can definitely do the job yourself if you’d like.

For people with severely limited mobility, this isn’t an option. Tire replacements can be done by mobility scooter technicians easily. You can also ask your local home and garden store if they could install the tires for you since the process is similar to that of lawnmowers!

4. Ignition Switch Failure

The Cause:

The ignition switch on a mobility scooter is more or less the same as one in a car or riding lawnmower. They can become corroded over time due to exposure to the elements, and cease working/moving. On top of that, keys are notoriously easy to break, and when they break inside the throttle, they leave behind a hard-to-remove piece of metal.

The Solution:

Before replacing the entire ignition switch, disconnect the scooter’s batteries and try to clean it. You can use a pressurized can of air to blow dirt and grime out of the ignition, which may be enough to fix it. If that doesn’t work, you can order a replacement ignition and install it yourself; it takes a lot of time to do, but it isn’t an overly difficult repair if you have the patience!

Removing a broken key is easy with a pair of pliers. However, you may want to leave the broken piece in place until you get a replacement key. That way, you can use the pliers to turn the key and use your scooter while you wait for the replacement in the mail!

5. Armrests/Upholstery

The Cause:

Once you’ve had a scooter for a few years, or if you use it outdoors a lot, you’ll notice the upholstery start to wear out. Usually, this is nothing to worry about, but after a while, it will certainly reduce the comfort and safety of the scooter. Armrests are usually the first upholstered piece to go since they get a lot more regular use than other parts of the scooter.

The Solution:

Unfortunately, there is no good DIY fix for worn upholstery; your best option is to have it replaced. This can sometimes be covered for free by your scooter’s warranty, but you will likely have to pay a reasonable fee to get new upholstery. Armrests, specifically, are very affordable and easy to install on your own, so at least that part is simple!

6. Fuses

The Cause:

Different parts of your scooter are wired through a fuse, which prevents a potentially dangerous overload of electricity. If most of your scooter is working fine and one specific part isn’t, it may be a sign of a blown fuse.

The Solution:

Use your scooter’s owner’s manual to locate the fuse panel on your scooter. If you notice that the thin wire inside any of your fuses is broken, you’ll need to replace it. This is an easy fix anyone can do- check your owner’s manual for the correct type of fuse, install it, and you’re back on the road!

7. Electrical Issues

The Cause:

Because scooters are electronic vehicles, they can be pretty moisture-averse. If you’ve had your scooter out in rainy weather, it can damage the internal electronics. Using your scooter on bumpy ground can also cause wires to come loose. When this happens, you’ll notice that either part or all of your scooter will stop working.

The Solution:

First, check any accessible wires to make sure they haven’t come loose. If that simple fix doesn’t work, it’s time to take your scooter to a technician who will be able to locate/replace problem spots in the wiring!

8. Potentiometer

The Cause:

The Potentiometer is directly related to the throttle control; it’s what tells the scooter how fast or slow it should go. If you notice your scooter suddenly slowing down when you didn’t tell it to, your potentiometer could be failing.

The Solution:

When your potentiometer fails, there are few things you can do about it. Check all the fuses in the scooter, and if you can, check the fuses inside the potentiometer. If finding/replacing a broken fuse doesn’t work, you’ll have to get the part replaced!

9. Not Steering Straight

The Cause:

Just like a car that’s in need of alignment, your scooter can become misaligned and pull to the right or left. This can be caused by years of use, or a particularly bumpy ride.

The Solution:

Aligning your scooter’s wheels can be simple- you may only have to hold the front wheels still and force the turning mechanism to line up by twisting it back to the correct spot. That’s how bicycles and lawnmowers are easily (if crudely) aligned on the spot. If you have a more complicated steering system, it’ll need to be taken in for realignment.

10. Unlocked Free-Wheel Lever

The Cause:

Many mobility scooters have a “free wheel” lever that you can use to release the wheels from the drivetrain. That allows you to push the scooter like a wheelchair when you need to. Unlocking the free wheel lever and forgetting to lock it will fool you into thinking your scooter is broken when it isn’t!

The Solution:

If your scooter isn’t moving, the first thing you should do is check the free-wheel lever. It’s the simplest fix: just disengage it, and you’ll be moving!

Mobility Scooter | Freewheel Mode | Forbes Rentals

Troubleshooting Your Mobility Scooter by CareCo

Conclusion: How to Fix a Mobility Scooter

Mobility scooters are a perfect daily aid for many seniors, even though they do experience the occasional breakdown. If you’ve found the right fix for your scooter, we’re glad we could help! If you have any more questions, or scooter fixing tips for other readers, please share them in the comments section below!

23 thoughts on “How to Fix a Mobility Scooter: Top 10 Common Problems & How to Fix Them”

  1. I’ve got an eclipse 4 mph boot scooter when I’m charging the batteries it’s saying the battery is full but the charger is fine can it be where I plug the charger into the battery connection the charge is not reaching the batteries

  2. Hi I have larger type scooter, fitted new batteries, turn key light comes on to show battery level but flashes continuously but no go, lights, beeper works, neutral free level in correct position. Thanks Rod

    1. Donald Wilkinson

      When I turn on the key I get 5 beeps/flashing on the first power light. Battery charged and lever is in gear

  3. The seat stem on my Sundancer Mobility Scooter is wobbly, making the seat wobbly. It is wobbly toward the floor of the scooter.

  4. I have an older Celebrity X. I have well charged batteries. I turn on the key, charge lights light up all the way around. Green light comes on. Push forward or reverse and you hear a click coming from the computer on the floor. The green light starts blinking 6 times. No movement. I checked all fuses and are all good. Connections are good. I still need to figure out continuity for the puter thru the 40A re-rest breaker to the motor. I don’t know how to test the motor.

  5. harold chadwick

    my shoprider scooter works ok on the level but will not climb the slightest gradient with a fully charged battery

  6. I just bought brand new Metro Mobility scooter (Patriot) and the keys want go into the scooter. I also can’t get them to answer the phone or text me. This is so upsetting because it’s brand new. Denise

  7. Donald Wilkinson

    When I turn on the key I get 5 beeps/flashing on the first power light. Battery charged and lever is in gear.
    Please comment

  8. My charger has become loose in transit & is now sparking & smoking & will not charge the battery, its a Genie Solax & been hardly used.

    1. My jaunt mobility scooter will not link with the rear wheel unit. It will go together but doesn’t clip in. Can anyone help please?

  9. I seem to have a unique problem. My V8 scooter goes too fast while on the slowest setting. I try to find a comfortable speed while I’m shopping and it lurches forward bucking me around. I contracted the company and they say there isn’t a way to fix it. I wanted to know if that was true.

  10. My jaunt mobility scooter will not link with the rear wheel unit. It will go together but doesn’t clip in. Can anyone help please?

  11. My mobility Scooter whines when going forward.
    Other than that it goes fine.
    Could anyone suggest what the cause is here?
    Many thanks

  12. I have 2 mobility scooters and the wrong chargers were plugged into each of them. The particular scooter that I need to use will light up as fully charged when the ignition is turned on and the lights will come on when connected to the mains via the charger but, when the charger is disconnected the scooter is dead! What can I do? Please help! Thank you in advance, Richard

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