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Mobility Scooters FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions & General Advice about Mobility Scooters

The Mobility Scooter or Power Wheelchair will not power up, is it the Batteries?

Batteries very rarely go dead overnight. If the batteries were working fine within the last week or so, chances are it could be something else. However, if the batteries are a year or older and you have been noticing that they no longer get you as far as they used to or require charging more often, then you likely need new batteries. Additionally, if the Scooter or Chair has not been used for a prolonged period of time (multiple months), and now will not power up, you probably need new batteries. See our section on Caring for your Battery

My charger is plugged in but the charging light does not come on?

Mobility Scooter and Power Wheelchair chargers are designed to protect against overheating the batteries when in operation. They do this by requiring the batteries to already have a 10 to 11 Volt charge on them. If your batteries have dropped below 11 volts, the charger will not turn on. Batteries that have been left sitting for a long period of time often fall below the acceptable level to the point where the charger will not turn on. You basically have two options. Try reviving the batteries using a charger without the safety feature or get new ones.

How do I find out which Wheelchair or Mobility Scooter Battery is needed?

The most simple, but also can be quite difficult, way is to look. Easier said than done, we know. But if you're unable to identify your make and model or you do not have the manual, then looking at what is in the Scooter or Chair is the best way. However, generally, if you have a Portable device, it will use smaller 12Ah Batteries. If it is mid sized, 35Ah batteries and if it is a Heavy Duty product it will use 55Ah to 75Ah Batteries.

Can I take my Power Wheelchair or Scooter on Airplanes and Cruises and what should I tell them if they ask about the batteries?

Yes, you can normally take them, but they may have a restriction as to the size of the chair or scooter. You need to check that with your travel service provider before traveling. In regards to batteries, they will typically ask you what type of battery you have. If you do not have Lithium batteries then you probably have Sealed Lead Acid, Non-Spillable Batteries, and this is what you should tell them. They may ask if they’re “Gel” batteries. You can say “Yes” to that. Why? Because Gel Batteries are Sealed Lead Acid, Non-Spillable. The most important point is that they are “Non-Spillable”. That all said, many smaller portable scooters use AGM Batteries (Absorbed Glass Matt). AGM Battery technology is newer but very similar to Gel Battery technology and are basically the same when it comes to handling. However you may be one of the few that have Lithium batteries. Those batteries often fall under different conditions when traveling.

Can I put stronger batteries in my Chair or Scooter to get more speed, power or range?

The short answer is, No. However, there are some exceptions! Certain scooters can be upgraded to longer range and higher capacity batteries. It is best to make this determination when initially purchasing your scooter, but you can always check with your local Mobility Service Provider (like us at Care Mobility!) about an upgrade.

What is the difference between an AGM and Gel Battery?

For all intents and purposes both AGM and Gel are very similar in that they're both Sealed Lead Acid, Deep Cycle, Non-Spillable Batteries. They are both approved by the F.A.A. and D.O.T. for Air and Sea Travel. Where they differ is Gel batteries generally can be re-charged a higher number of times. Making them last as much as 30% to 50% longer. However, Gel Batteries charge at a slightly lower voltage so using the right charger is important. Most manufacturers list in their manuals if one or both style batteries can be used.

What Types of Batteries are used in Electric Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters?

There are 3 major Types of batteries Sealed Led Acid (SLA), Lithium, and Nickel Cadium (NiCad). Of those 3, by far, Sealed Led Acid make up the vast majority of batteries in use throughout the USA.

How do I charge my batteries correctly?

To properly charge your mobility battery, follow these simple procedures:

  • If you've just purchased new batteries, charge them for about 10 hours every night for 5 nights in a row, this will break them in.
  • Anytime you use the Power Wheelchair or Scooter, give it a full charge overnight or when you're done using it.
  • If you have deeply discharged your batteries, i.e. run them down to the point the chair or scooter stopped moving. If possible immediately plug in the charger. If you wait too long the batteries may fall below 11 Volts and the charger will not turn on at that point. See above.
  • If you are not using your scooter on a frequent basis, please try to charge it overnight on about a weekly basis when connected to the scooter.

Can I use a regular Car Battery on my Power Wheelchair or Scooter?

No. Car Batteries are designed to provide a very large amount of current for a short period of time. They would actually work but they would quickly die, usually in a month or so. Power Wheelchair and Scooter batteries are designed to provide a steady amount of current over a long period of time. This why they are called Deep Cycle batteries.

How should wheelchair and mobility scooter batteries be stored?

Always store your scooter & wheelchair batteries FULLY CHARGED.

  • Check all batteries once a month and recharge as needed.
  • Sealed batteries can hold a charge for up to 6 months.
  • When storing a chair or scooter for more than 1 month, charge the batteries and then disconnect them.
  • Avoid hot and cold extremes when storing.

How long, in months and years do Mobility Scooter and Power Wheelchair batteries usually last?

On average around 2 years, but it can vary greatly depending on various circumstances. In a case where the owner is using the chair or scooter all day every day and is traveling more than 4 to 5 miles each day, then the batteries may only last as little as 6 months. It really comes down to the amount of usage / distance traveled. The more you travel the more the batteries need recharging and there are only so many recharges in these batteries. Also, terrain can be a big factor. If you have a lot of hills in your neighborhood and are going up and down them often, that will reduce the life of these batteries. If you are just using the chair or scooter around the house and not going far, then they should last 2 to 4 years if properly charged. To get the fullest life from these batteries always recharge after usage and always charge the batteries weekly if you have not been using it.

What is the proper way to store batteries for the winter?

Store batteries fully charged. Check them once a month and recharge as needed. Sealed batteries can hold their charge from 6 to 12 months. Remember, if storing your chair for longer than a couple of weeks, it’s best to charge the batteries and then disconnect them.

Getting the right Charger for your Power Wheelchair or Mobility Scooter?

Here are the 4 major chargers and the batteries they correspond with best. For batteries that are between 7Ah and 15Ah, use a 24 Volt - 2A Charger. For Batteries between 18Ah and 35Ah a 24 Volt - 3A Charger. For batteries between 35Ah and 60Ah, use a 24 Volt - 5A charger. For Batteries 65Ah up to 100Ah use a 24 Volt - 8Ah charger.

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