If you rely on your powerchair for everyday mobility it is of course essential that it provides you with utmost reliability. The best way to achieve this is by having a maintenance schedule that makes sure that all aspects of the chair are kept in premium condition.
This doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect nor does it need to take a great deal of time but as your electric wheelchair is your lifeline to independence it is time well spent.
Most electric wheelchair manufacturers provide adequate instruction on what to carry out and when but not all owners hang on to this information so we felt it was a good idea to present a brief guide here.
Daily checks are essential for peace of mind and trouble free operation. This is as simple as looking over the powerchair for any obvious damage, particularly to wheels and or tyres. With your hand check that all visible nuts or bolts are tight. Keep your eye out for any loose electrical wiring that may have become detached near the lights, the joystick or around the battery area. While you do this check also make sure that none of the wiring is in danger of trapping near the moving parts such as the wheels. While doing this also keep your eyes open for any stripped wire where the sleeve has been worn. If you find this you will need to contact an electric wheelchair specialist for a repair.
Battery charging is a very important function to ensure reliable operation. Regular charging is key to this and the modern day batteries do not suffer if they are charged at a mid charge point. There is no need to drain them before charging and in some cases to drain the wheelchair battery entirely can cause damage to the cell. We always advise that the best way to charge is to do it every night while you sleep then you can have confidence the next day when out and about.
Tyres should be part of the daily inspection but every week or so it is worth spending a bit of time to do a more thorough inspection. The things to look for are tread wear, cracks and splits to the tyre face and wall. Secondly tyre pressure is important both to the comfort of the ride but also for the endurance of the tyre. A partially deflated tyre is far more likely to let you down so make sure you keep them at the right pressure by using a gauge and a pump. Wheel alignment is one issue that can cause tyre wear. It is worth checking this every 90 days or so or sooner if you can see uneven wear on one side of the wheelchair tyre.
Finally we do advise that you keep your electric wheelchair clean. When clean it is far easier to see any potential problem areas as above. Once cleaned it is a good time to apply some lubrication to the parts stipulated by the power chair manufacturer. We advise a good all-purpose silicone based lubricant which also comes in spray type canisters. Use it sparingly and regularly or you will find that it can attract dirt and dust and cause problems rather than allay them.
We hope these tips are useful and help to extend the life of your electric wheelchair.