Q: The Mobility Scooter or Power Wheelchair will not power up, is it the Batteries?
A: 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 need new batteries. Additionally, if the Scooter or Chair has sat for a prolonged period of time, more than 6 months, and now will not power up, they may need replacing. You can try to put the batteries on a Car Charger to revive them but if that does not work, they are dead and you'll need new ones.
Q: My charger is plugged in but the charging light does not come on?
A: 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.
Q: How do I find out which Wheelchair or Mobility Scooter Battery is needed?
A: 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.
Q: Can I take my Power Wheelchair or Scooter on Airplanes and Cruises and what should I tell them if they ask about the batteries?
A: 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 before travelling. Battery wise, generally they’ll 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 “Gel” portion is just a silica substance used between the lead plates but in that silica is the acid. The real answer, and the one an Airline or Cruise Ship Operator should be concerned with 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 for intents and purposes, especially when travelling, they are 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 travelling.
Q: Can I put stronger batteries in my Chair or Scooter to get more speed, power or range?
A: The short answer is, No. However there are some exceptions. First I'll explain why you cannot. Simply put, stronger batteries that hold more Amp Hours / Charge, need to be physically larger to do so. So the major problem is, a stronger battery, due to it being bigger, just will not fit in the space provided in your scooter or chair. If there is extra space quite often it is because it was designed so one could upgrade the current batteries. That is your exception. If you're thinking of putting in stronger batteries, get a ruler and measure the amount of space you have. Then compare that space to the amount of space Two, larger stronger batteries would take up. If they will fit then you might need a larger charger. Also, putting stronger batteries in will not increase speed. It may increase it a small amount but not any major difference. It will however increase the range.
Q: What is the difference between an AGM and Gel Battery?
A: For all intents and purposes both AGM and Gel are very similar in that they're both Sealed Lead Acid, Deep Cycle 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.
Q: What Types of Batteries are used in Electric Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters?
A: 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.
Q: How do I charge my batteries correctly?
A: To properly charge your mobility battery, follow these simple procedures:
- Anytime you use the Power Wheelchair or Scooter, give it a full charge overnight or when you're done using it.
- With every charger made for Power Wheelchairs and Scooters you can leave the charger plugged in all the time. This will help to have them last longer but it will not completely stop them from Sulfating and Stratifying. Sulfation and Stratification are the main reasons batteries go dead.
- 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.
- 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.
Q: Can I use a regular Car Battery on my Power Wheelchair or Scooter?
A: 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.
Q: How should wheelchair and mobility scooter batteries be stored?
A: 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.
Q: How long, in months and years do Mobility Scooter and Power Wheelchair batteries usually last?
A: 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 twice a month if you have not been using it.
Q: What is the proper way to store batteries for the winter?
A: 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.
Q: Getting the right Charger for your Power Wheelchair or Mobility Scooter?
A: 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. There is some overlap and the rule of thumb for that is; if you use the wheelchair or scooter a lot pick the higher capacity charger.
Q: Which is best, buying wheelchair batteries locally or buying them online?
A: Now, I know "we're tooting our own horn here" but, from what we've heard over the years and depending on the case, overall you're better off buying online and having them shipped to you. Here is why. 1st - local actually is more times than not more expensive. 2nd - If you show up at a local store and they have the battery you need, you've got to wonder how long it sat there before you came along. The older deep cycle batteries are the less life they have. Our supplier is constantly shipping and replenishing supply which overall keeps our batteries newer and fresh. 3rd - Shipping items has become so prevalent that it has brought down shipping cost to the point where online suppliers can provide a great value. 4th - Shipping is quick... usually 1 to 4 business day. The major plus for local purchases is immediate possession and easily returned.