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Essential Guide To Caring For Your Electric Wheelchair

April 23, 2019 -
powerchair maintainence

Electric wheelchairs are wonderful devices allowing wheelchair users to go about their chores without help and aiding others to live in complete independence. Power chairs are particularly useful for those with little to no upper body strength. They can get you up and down inclines without too much worry and help you do most things without needing an attendant. As electronic devices, they require care and attention, and regular maintenance for you to receive maximum benefit. The cost of repairs can be eye watering. There are many ways you can maintain and protect your electric wheelchair. Follow these simple tips for many years of happy use.

Remember the Maintenance Schedule

With such an expensive piece of equipment, it’s important to get your powerchair serviced as per the schedule specified in the documentation. As with a car, regular servicing and replacement of worn or damaged parts will extend the life of the whole powerchair. Wires may burn out, connections may loosen and reduce productivity. Worn parts contribute to greater degradation and make the vehicle much less efficient. It can be costly in the long-term to ignore the need for regular servicing maintenance. Stick to it and you’re service agent will pick up most problems before they become problematic.

Lady using an Electric Wheelchair in her home

Electric Wheelchair Battery Care

The battery is the lifeblood of your powerchair. Without it, you are going nowhere. With a poorly maintained battery, your mobility is limited due to the poor range and power. How often you should charge the battery, and for how long, will depend on the type of battery. The manufacturer’s instructions will explain the process. Often, they recommend not letting the battery completely deplete but to recharge when it reaches a low point – around 10%. Unless you have a spare you can carry with you, we recommend charging a battery when it gets to below 50%. If you go any prolonged period without using your electric wheelchair, you should make sure you keep the battery charged. Typically, once a fortnight for a full charge will ensure its long life. It will deteriorate without regular use, shortening its overall life.

Keep Moving Parts Free of Dirt

It’s a simple step that you or a friend, family member or carer can carry out, but keeping the moving parts such as wheels and axles free of dirt and muck can go a long way to improving performance. Dirt can get into the other parts and reduce movement, especially where grease and oil are concerned. Just as you would remove dirt from your car, you ought to keep your powerchair as clean as possible too. After going out in weather where there has been rain, there will be a lot of standing water and mucky ground. Try to avoid this or make sure you clean the build-up.

splash deluxe wheelchair poncho lined

Protect From Water

Electronics and rain do not go together but sometimes you have no other choice but to go out when it’s raining. We supply powerchair accessories such as wheelchair ponchos and rain covers. We recommend buying some of these to keep you and your vehicle dry - our powerchair accessory pack has everything you need to get started. Should any water get into the device, you should clean it off immediately. If inside, allow to dry out. Sometimes a dehumidifier will work very well.

Get “In Tune” With Your Device

Things will go wrong with your powerchair even outside of the scheduled maintenance and servicing times. Over time, you’ll develop a feeling for your powerchair – how it sounds, how it handles and how it moves over certain terrains. Listen to the motor and understand what does and does not sound or feel familiar. When you notice a variation over a long period, you’ll be able to pick up problems almost as soon as they occur.

Will Harrison
Will Harrison

Will Harrison is the founder of CareCo. He has worked in the mobility industry his entire life and grown CareCo from a grassroots business in his family home to the UK's leading mobility retailer with nationwide mobility showrooms and operating in the global market.

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