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Essential wheel chair maintenance

As the weather improves I will be taking to the streets more often and so have decided its time to give my wheelchair a good service. My wheelchair is a manual wheelchair or self propelled as some call them, but all of these tips are relevant whichever type of wheelchair you have.

You may have an instruction book for your wheelchair which will point out any special maintenance that is required but failing that these are my top tips for a comfy and reliable wheelchair:

Daily wheelchair checks:
• Check the tyre pressure. The recommended tyre pressure is generally on the tyre but 100 PSI is about right for most wheelchairs.
• Check the wheel nuts are nice and tight

Weekly wheelchair checks:
• Inspect the wheels. Make sure that spokes are all present and correct and not missing or bent
• Inspect castors. Replace castors that are wobbling, have excessive play or are badly aligned.
• Clean the axle housings and remove any debris using a clean cloth. Add a couple of drops of oil to each side.

Monthly wheelchair checks:
• Check the wheel alignment is correct. This prevents the wheelchair from veering to one side.
• Check the wheelchair and all critical components for cracks. These can occur due to bad luck or occasionally flaws in the metal or weld joints.
• Check tyre wear and sign of any cracks in the rubber. Replace the tyres if the rubber has excessive cracking.

Annual wheelchair checks:
• Using some 3 in 1 or silicone oil, lubricate all pivot points and hinges. This helps to keep folding wheelchairs in good order and prevents irritating squeaks.
• Lubricate all ball bearings.
• Check castors for cracks in the spokes that can cause collapse
• Check all straps for wear and tear and replace where necessary.

In addition to the above wheelchair checks I like to check the upholstery for wear and tear. I wash the seat cushion cover regularly and finally check that all visible nuts and bolts are nice and tight.

If you stick to this easy plan you will get the most out of your trusty wheelchair !

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