As the spring season is now showing its presence it’s the perfect time to get out on the mobility scooter. However, throughout the winter months its not that uncommon for many of them to be stored away for long periods. This means that a thorough inspection of the scooter and preparing it well can ensure everything runs as it should. Here are the most important areas to check before heading out.
Give Your Scooter a Spring Season Clean
If a mobility scooter has been left sitting in the garage, shed or even outside during the colder months it can accumulate a lot of dirt, grime and dust. This makes it very important to give the scooter a thorough clean before that first journey of the spring season. However, this isn’t just to make it look better, it also has an important role to play in keeping the scooter working. If dirt and grime are not cleaned then the moisture in them could potentially cause corrosion on any metal parts, just like a car. The consequence of this is that they may fail, resulting is serious damage and expensive repairs or replacements.
Check for Any Loose Parts
If a mobility scooter has been left in an area that can fluctuate significantly in temperature then microscopic expansion and contraction of material over time can cause some looseness. This makes it very important to check for any parts that may be rattling or moving when they shouldn’t be. If you do find any loose parts then you may be able to tighten them with a spanner or screwdriver. However, if you don’t feel comfortable fixing more technical parts then check if you’re scooter is covered under warranty for repairs or, ask someone you know with mechanical knowledge to help (just be sure this doesn’t void an existing warranty).
Ensure the Batteries Work Correctly
Making sure the batteries work correctly is an obviously vital part of preparing your mobility scooter for the new spring season. The first thing to do is a quick visual check making sure there is no residue – such as battery acid – around the terminals. Once you’re confident it’s clear you can go ahead and plug the battery in to be charged. If it doesn’t charge correctly – or at all – it may have been caused by the temperature it was stored at. Batteries are usually best kept at room temperature or slightly cooler.
Ideally, you should keep battery charged when not in use – we recommended a weekly overnight charge, even if you have not been driving your scooter. Before you take your scooter out for the first time this year, give it a full 12-14 hour charge. After charging you can take the scooter out to test that it performs correctly in a driving situation, and test it’s range (battery charge) without venturing too far from home. If you find that the battery is losing charge too quickly. or any unusual behaviour, consider replacing the scooter battery or the charger, or both.
Inspect Tyres and Brakes
Tyres and brakes working correctly are essential to having a safe level of control over your scooter, so a spring season inspection is vital. When it comes to tyres, pneumatic types can be affected by temperature like other parts, meaning air can contract and expand causing a loss in pressure. If they are overly soft replacements may be needed. You should also check for wear and debris on both pneumatic and solid tyres as it may cause an obstruction or loss of grip.
When inspecting the brakes find a quiet, open and flat area to drive the scooter first. Then, get the scooter up to speed and test that it stops as it should normally. This ensures that there are no technical faults or physical obstructions that might catch you off guard in a more dangerous situation. This test also helps make sure the joystick and overall driving experience is also normal.
Check Your Lights
If you have lights, especially if you have a road mobility scooter, check that all lights, including brake lights, are in good working order.
Once you’ve finished these checks you can get out and enjoy the spring season.