Written by Guest Blogger: Chris Miller
Do you have a mobility scooter that is not taking you as far as it used to? Has it been a year or more since you replaced your mobility scooter batteries? If so, it is likely your mobility scooter needs a new set of batteries. However, it is good to know how to test your batteries to ensure they need to be replaced before calling a technician and buying a new set.
Today we will explain how to run some simple tests on your batteries so that you can be sure they are in need of replacement. Before doing any of these tests make sure that your mobility scooter is completely charged over night.
Locating Your Mobility Scooter Battery Indicator
First of all, you will need to locate your battery meter that shows you how much juice your battery has. As you are on the scooter operating it come to a stop with the mobility scooter key still in the on position and look for your battery gauge. The battery indicator can be digital LED lights or an analog amp meter with an orange needle.
To the left, you will see an example of what an LED meter looks like for your reference. Depending on what type of mobility scooter for sale that you found, your meter may look a bit differently. The meters shown here are from a Afikim S4 4 wheel mobility scooter and a Golden Technologies Patriot 4 wheel mobility scooter.
Now that we have identified where the battery indicator is we can tell how weak the batteries are we can start to run a few simple tests.
Testing Your Mobility Scooter’s Batteries
At a stand-still, take notice of where the battery indicator needle is or how many LED lights you have lit up on your LED meter. It should be fully charged while testing your batteries in this process. While stationary, press or push the levers that make your mobility scooter run. Be sure to be on a flat level surface for best results. If the needle or LED lights decrease rapidly as you begin to move, then your batteries are weak and need to be replaced.
Another effective way of measuring the strength of your mobility scooter batteries is to ride the mobility scooter up a slope grade that is 75% of the mobility scooter capability. A simple 6 degree grade would be ample for almost any mobility scooter. We will want to take notice of how many LED lights or what percentage the needle is on the indicator then ride up the ramp. If your battery indicator is near full and then drops to below half way, this is another good sign that your batteries need to be replaced.
Testing Mobility Scooter Charger
The next most logical choice to make when troubleshooting a power related issue is to make sure that the charger is working properly. Plug your charger in overnight and use your mobility scooter the next day. Next, you will want to read your user manual to determine the maximum distance your mobility scooter can go. If you don’t have your user manual, you can visit Mobility Scooters Direct where each product page contains a downloadable user manual. There should be a page in the user manual that contains the travel range for your mobility scooter which you will need to know. Most new mobility scooters go a long distance on a single battery charge so you might be pleasantly surprised when you find out just how long your scooter can go.
Once you’ve identified your travel range, it’s time to take the scooter for a ride. What you need to do next is simply ride your mobility scooter and keep track of the travel distance. Most manufactures base the milage of someone that is 140 lbs so if you are over this weight guideline you will not reach the maximum distance with your mobility scooter. Once you have drained the scooter, charge the batteries again overnight and repeat. If you get a similar distance out of your batteries, then your charger is working to its best capacity. If you get a significant less milage from the day before, you may need to replace the charger with the same specifications as your original charger.
Testing Your Batteries With A Multimeter
The absolute best way to identify the power left in a mobility scooter battery is to test them. A local mobility scooter store will be able to help you test them if you’re able to find one. The problem is there aren’t many mobility scooter repair stores in areas that are not densely populated. If you do find one nearby, hopefully they will be fair with you and offer a good price on a set of new batteries. You might be able to replace them on your own to save some money.
If you have a simple multimeter you can get a good idea of where your mobility scooter battery level is. A multi-meter is a tool used to measure electrical current and continuity in many different type of electrical wave lengths. Mobility scooter batteries are 12 vDC each. Most mobility scooters contain two batteries combined to operate on 24 volts. Using a multimeter set the dial to vDC. Next you will want to locate the charging port and place the red and black leads in to the left and right holes. It does not matter which lead is placed in each hole. You should get a reading of 24 – 25vDC. Anything below 23 volts is considered to be not good with mobility scooters. Now to test the load you will want to turn the scooter on an operate the mobility scooter with the leads in place as they were. The volts will dissipate as you are riding the mobility scooter. If the voltage drops more than 2-3 complete volts your batteries should be replaced.