There are a number of people that require the use of a mobility scooter to help them get around on a daily basis. The cost for these scooters can be quite expensive depending on the model that a person chooses, and so people need to know how to make their scooter last as long as possible.
Once a person gets their scooter it may take some time for them to become familiar with it and learn how to properly operate it. By doing some research, people can learn ways to preserve the battery life of their scooter as well as how to properly care for their scooter. Most people don’t plan on having to buy a replacement scooter during their lifetime, so it is in their best interest to take the best care possible of the scooter.
Mobility scooters rely on battery power, one way to extend the life of the scooter is to preserve the battery as much as possible. There are five main factors that can affect the life of a battery. People need to pay close attention to the temperature, depth of discharge, cycle life, state of charge, and over charge conditions. A scooter should be stored in cool temperatures as much as possible. Storing a scooter with the battery in place in high temperatures can drain the battery much faster. Users should also avoid letting their batteries drain completely, because the higher the depth of discharge the lower the life of the battery.
Batteries have a limited life cycle. Each time a person drains the battery completely they use one cycle. Avoiding complete drainage of the battery uses less cycles. Keeping the battery fully or near fully charged when not in use will also preserve the life of the battery. Overcharging a battery can also reduce the life cycle of the battery. If people take proper care of their mobility scooters they should be able to use them safely for years to come.
The best method to charge the batteries is to plug the scooter in to charge at the end of the day when you’re done using it and unplug it once the charger indicates it is full. If you’re not going to use the scooter then plug the scooter in once every other week. Do these two simple steps and your batteries will last for years.
One of the greatest benefits of using a mobility scooter is the freedom and independence you’ll enjoy now that you are able to get around easily. However, it’s your responsibility to operate your scooter safely, especially if you intend to use it outside the home. Following are 18 simple tips that will help you operate your scooter safely and responsibly:
Pride Go Go Sport, model SC74
Read your owner manual – It is important to familiarize your mobility scooters’ user manual. Most manuals include instructions on how to navigate over uneven terrain, the proper way to negotiate turns, safe braking practices, etc.
Practice – Before you go on long excursions, practice operating your scooter in a quiet parking lot.
Straight Ahead – Avoid going on inclines, like curb ramps, on an angle. You are at the greatest risk of tipping when you turn too sharply or go too fast going up or down hills or ramps.
Power Down – Make sure you shut off your engine when you’re finished driving your mobility scooter. For extra safety, remove the key when you’re finished using the vehicle.
Be Reflective – If you plan on operating your scooter at night use a fluorescent vest or other reflective gear so that you can be easily seen.
Be Seen – Use a safety flag at the rear of your scooter if you travel near a roadway. A safety flag that is placed at a level above your head can be seen by motorists.
Drive sober! – Do not operate your mobility scooter if you are impaired by alcohol, prescription drugs or any other intoxicating substances. Alcohol and drugs compromise your judgment, putting yourself and others at risk.
Watch out for others – Pedestrians, bicyclists, and other mobility scooter operators are obstacles that can move into your path. It’s always prudent to drive defensively.
Parking Lots – Exercise caution when you’re driving through commercial parking lots where shoppers on foot or in cars are likely to emerge at any time. Be especially cautious when driving near storefronts because people can exit a store at any time.
Power Up – Make sure your batteries are fully charged each time you operate your scooter. Getting stranded far from home is no fun at all.
Speed – When you drive on footpaths, don’t exceed the speed of pedestrians.
Avoid Water – It is safest to drive only in dry conditions. Avoid riding in the rain, driving through puddles or traversing wet grass.
No hitchhikers – Don’t let kids of other passengers ride with you on your scooter unless it is designed for more than one person. Your scooter is designed to bear a specific weight load; exceeding that weight can damage its frame.
Phone Home –
Don’t leave home without your cell phone. In case of an equipment breakdown you should always have a cell phone handy so you can call for help.
A Must See – If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses wear them when you ride your scooter. You need to be able to see clearly to drive safely!
Know it well. It’s a good idea to check out the sidewalks and pathways in your neighborhood prior to operating your mobility scooter so you can anticipate problem areas such as high curbs, rocky terrain and areas with high bicycle traffic.
That’s right – It is safer, at least in the USA, to drive on the right side even when on sidewalks.
Horn – Only use your horn when it is absolutely necessary. But use it when needed.
If you are shopping for a mobility scooter, power wheelchair, lifts, ramps, lift chairs and mobility aids please visit ScooterDirect.com, your source for all mobility products. And be sure to be safe!
Tools Required: Battery Load Tester
You can measure battery voltage using a conventional voltmeter and get an acceptable reading of 12 – 14 Volts but you still may not have enough power to drive the Power wheelchair or Mobility Scooter. You need to test the batteries under a “Load State” – (e.g. sitting in and driving the Mobility Chair).
Batteries that fail when used under a load may change the performance behavior of the Mobility Device. Most controllers need a minimum of 18 volts to function properly. Batteries that fail under a load may not have enough power to operate the Equipment properly. See Picture 1 for load test connections.
To load test the batteries:
- Remove the chassis shroud or open the Battery Pack as needed to access the scooter batteries
- Disconnect the battery cables.
- Connect load charger terminal connectors to the battery terminals. Make sure the Positive connector of the load tester is connected to the positive terminal of the battery and the negative connector of the load tester is connected to the negative terminal of the battery.
- Hold the Load On switch on for 10 seconds.
- Read the meter with the load on.
- Determine if the battery is good or bad while under a load.
- If the battery is bad, replace the battery at http://www.scooterdirect.com/batteries~29.htm
- It is recommended that both batteries be replaced at the same time.
- If the battery is good, then the batteries are not the problem. Continue to troubleshoot unit by checking battery connections and harness connections.
Battery Load Tester