Just as you would with a car, you should perform regular maintenance on your wheelchair to make sure that you are extending its life and getting the most from your equipment. Whether you are a wheelchair user or a caregiver of someone who uses a wheelchair, here are some tips for regular wheelchair maintenance. These are the four things you should check out regularly on your chair:
- The Caster Wheels
Check the caster wheels on the front to make sure they aren’t damaged. If they are damaged (with chips or cracks), they may need to be replaced. The caster wheels don’t require much maintenance, but should be checked on a regular basis to make sure they don’t have damage.
- The Back Tires
You’ll want to make sure the back tires are properly inflated and that the rims aren’t damaged. This may require filling them if they are not inflated properly, or repairing or replacing them if the rims are damaged. The tire pressure in the back tires should be checked on a weekly basis because of the critical role they play. If the back tires aren’t filled properly, then the brakes may not function correctly. While looking at the tires and wheels, you’ll want to make sure that the wheels are correctly aligned. To check alignment, glide the chair (without the user in it) on a flat surface and see if it goes one way or another or travels in a straight line. If it veers, you may need a realignment.
- The Brakes
The brakes are a critical component of your wheelchair. If the brakes aren’t in good working shape, your safety may be compromised. The performance of your brakes can depend on your tires so you’ll need everything in order to have your wheelchair running in top shape. If you notice brake issues, seek repairs quickly. You’ll also want to make sure that the brakes aren’t rubbing on the tires because it can prematurely wear down your brakes and cause ineffective braking.
- The Nuts and Bolts
You will want to check all of the nuts and bolts on your wheelchair to make sure that they are fully tightened on a regular basis. If they require replacement, you need to make sure you use parts from the manufacturer to maintain the quality of the wheelchair. When checking the nuts and bolts, you will also want to check the nuts and bolts on the casters. If they are loose on a caster, the wheelchair can be hard to steer. The tightness of the nuts and bolts should be checked on a weekly basis.
If you’re a wheelchair user or a caretaker for a wheelchair user,you’ll want to check out our wheelchair maintenance tips listed above. Keeping your wheelchair maintained can help extend its life and help prevent early replacement and repairs. Likewise, your wheelchair van can also use regular maintenance to extend its life. If your wheelchair van is in need of maintenance, schedule service with us. For more tips and resources, make sure you check out our other blog posts.