How to Check Your Mobility Scooter Batteries?

Mobility scooters are a great way to get around for those who have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time. 

However, like all vehicles, they require regular maintenance to ensure they are running smoothly. 

One of the most important things to check on a regular basis is the battery. 

The batteries in a mobility scooter are one of the most common points of failure, so it’s crucial to make sure they are in good working condition. 

In this article, we will guide you through the process of checking your mobility scooter batteries so you can ensure your scooter is always ready to go. 

We will cover everything from the different types of batteries commonly used on scooters, and the alternative methods of checking the batteries’ integrity and charge level. 

By the end of this article, you will have the knowledge and tools necessary to keep your mobility scooter running smoothly.

Key Takeaways:

  • To ensure the scooter is always ready to use, extend the battery life, and spot potential problems early on you should regularly check its batteries.
  • Daily attention to battery usage and monthly deeper checks are recommended.
  • There are 4 common types of scooter batteries: Sealed Lead Acid, AGM batteries, Gel batteries, and Lithium-ion batteries.
  • To measure the scooter’s battery level use the scooter’s battery gauge after waiting for 30-90 seconds. Avoid relying on the gauge during charging.
  • Physical check and testing of batteries: Look for overheating, corrosion, damage, and leakage. Test the batteries by putting them under stress and observing the battery indicator’s reaction for signs of weakness.

Why You Should Check Your Scooter Batteries Regularly?

Checking your scooter batteries regularly is important for several reasons:

  • First, it helps ensure that your scooter is always ready to go when you need it. If you wait until the battery is completely dead, you won’t be able to use your scooter until you can replace the battery or recharge it.
  • Second, regular battery maintenance can extend the life of your battery. When you regularly check your battery level, you can recharge it before it gets too low, which can prevent damage to the battery and help it last longer.
  • Third, checking your battery can help you spot potential problems early on. If you notice that your battery is not holding a charge as well as it used to, this may indicate a problem with the battery or the scooter itself. 

By catching these issues early, you can avoid more serious problems down the road.

Checking your scooter batteries regularly is important for ensuring that your scooter is always ready to go, extending the life of your battery, and spotting potential problems early on. 

To keep your battery in good shape, it’s a good idea to check it at least once a month and to recharge it when necessary.

How Often Scooter Batteries Should Be Checked?

It’s recommended to pay attention to your scooter’s battery on a daily basis, and check for overheating or issues with its charging cycle, such as finishing too quickly, which can be signs of wear.

However, these daily checks are probably natural with the device’s usage.

A deeper check is recommended to be done monthly, while you perform other maintenance tasks on your unit.

We have an article on a recommended maintenance routine for your scooter that you can check out here:

Types of Mobility Scooter Batteries

There are basically 4 types of batteries commonly seen on mobility scooters:

  • Sealed Lead Acid
  • AGM batteries
  • Gel batteries
  • Lithium-ion batteries

All of these kinds of batteries have different properties and are used by manufacturers to serve varying kinds of scooters.

For instance, lithium-ion batteries are most common on lightweight foldable scooters, while gel batteries will probably be more usual on heavy-duty or extended-range units due to their higher capacities.

Most of these batteries are designed to output 12V and are used in pairs to deliver the 24V required by most scooter motors.

Reading the Battery Indicator

The battery gauge in your scooter acts as a voltmeter. 

It constantly reads how much voltage the battery is outputting and then estimates how much charge it has left based on that measurement.

This is why you are likely to see the needle dropping instantly when performing a taxing task, in terms of power drain, such as climbing on a steep road.

The recommended procedure to get a proper reading is the following:

  • Stop your scooter, but leave it on
  • Wait for 30 to 90 seconds so the gauge falls to a natural reading
  • Check the battery level displayed

By doing this you will have a proper reading of the battery your scooter has left.

Although gauges are not the same on every scooter, yours will likely have a needle clock indicator, or a strip or set of led lights to represent the charge.

Some scooters also have indicators for complete charges or low charge levels in the form of colored lights.

Now, you should never rely on the battery gauge of a scooter that’s being charged.

This is because the charger outputs a high voltage that can make the indicator display a full charge even when the battery is flat.

The way of checking if the charge cycle is over is by looking at the indicator on the charger, and not the scooter.

Physical check

One of the simpler and more effective checks you can perform on any kind of battery is a physical one.

You should be looking for signs of overheating, especially when the unit is not overly strained, look for corrosion on the connection terminals, and any other kind of visible damage that could affect its proper function.

Also, any signs of leakage such as green fluids you might identify are a clear tell that there is an issue with the battery.

If you detect any of these issues you should consider contacting a repair shop or even replacing the batteries altogether.

Testing the Batteries

The best way of testing mobility scooter batteries is to put them under stress and take a look at how the battery indicator reacts.

For instance, at a standstill, throttle the vehicle so it starts moving forward.

Look closely at the gauge to see how big the measured drop in voltage is.

If the needle (or led indicator) falls rapidly it might be a sign of a battery starting to lose strength.

You can also perform a similar test at a slope, not necessarily too steep.

Again, from being stopped start accelerating the scooter and see how far down the battery indicator goes.

If it stays below 75% it might also be a sign of battery weakness.

Testing the Charger

A simple and rigorous way of testing the charger of your scooter is by letting it charge overnight, and then going for a prolonged ride.

The intention is to drain the battery completely and take notes of the range achieved on a single charge.

You can compare the results of these experiments with the expected range featured in the unit’s manual.

However, take into consideration that the informed milage of your scooter on a full charge is usually calculated with a hypothetical 140 lbs. driver and in perfect weather and terrain conditions.

This is to say, a flat road, and not too much heat or cold.

Now that you have this baseline reading, and your batteries are empty, leave them to charge overnight again, and repeat the operation the next day.

If the range you get is the same, everything is fine.

If you get a shorter travel distance, perhaps it could be a sign of the charger failing.

Testing Mobility Scooter Batteries With a Multimeter

The best and easiest way of checking if your batteries are working properly, and diagnosing any signs of wear is to use a multimeter.

This tool will read the voltage output your vehicle is outputting to a more granular degree than the built-in battery indicator displays.

Here is a short video showing you how to do it:

All the claims made in this article are only for informational purposes, based on the writer’s experience and not clinical advice. You should always consult your physician or physical therapist if you have any doubts about how this applies to your specific case.