If you’ve had your electric scooter for some time, you should find out more about what kind of electrical or mechanical problems you could encounter while using it. Some scooter riders experienced battery issues, the motor may run too slowly or the braking system might not work properly after a while.
Electric scooters have a life span of 2 or 3 years so it’s no surprise that after some time of using it, you may encounter some issues. Let’s assume that you just got home after a long ride and you want to charge the scooter’s battery.
However, it seems the charging process doesn’t go on as usual since the lights are red or don’t turn on at all. The first thing you should try is to reconnect the charger as sometimes it doesn’t connect well on the first try. You can leave it charging overnight and see if it does finally charge.
Keep the charger plugged in for more than 12 hours (but not more than 24) to test if it is still functional. If the battery is still empty, there are a few possible causes for the apparently malfunctioning battery.
It could be the outlet’s fault
You can use a multimeter to test the outlet. Having this tool is a good idea if you own an electric scooter. If you charge the scooter’s battery using different outlets, you should test them before you connect the charger for safety and efficiency reasons.
The battery is defective
Every e-scooter owner hopes the battery has a good life span since it’s one of the most expensive parts. But it happens for the battery to stop working or becoming worn out. If it is worn out, the charge on the battery lasts less after every charging.
In case you are charging the battery for the first time after a while because you didn’t use your scooter, the battery could very well be bad. The batteries used for electric scooters are not designed to sit without a charge for a long time.
To check if you need a new battery, use the multimeter to measure its voltage. If the reading comes back less than the normal value (usually it’s 24V), then you need to buy a new battery.
The charging unit isn’t working well
Before throwing it away, look for any obvious defects such as a frayed cord or run-down prongs. If there is damage to the wiring, don’t try to repair it by yourself and take it to a proper repair shop. Trying to repair the charger unit by yourself without having the necessary expertise could result in damage to both yourself and the equipment.
If a friend of yours has a similar e-scooter with an identical voltage battery, see if his/her charger works on your scooter. If you can’t identify the problem, do not hesitate to take the scooter to the repair shop, especially if it is under warranty.
Proper battery maintenance
If you didn’t use your electric scooter because of the cold weather, try and take it for a spin every few weeks and give the battery a complete charge. If you leave it for a couple of months without charging it, it will damage the battery to the point of needing a new one.
Keep the battery tidy. If you find dirt or mud on it, use a recommended battery cleaning solution instead of plain water and take a dry cloth to wipe it down. Also, make sure it has no signs of corrosion. You can use an iron brush to remove corrosion on the battery terminals.
The motor is not starting
If you made sure it’s not the battery’s fault for the scooter’s malfunctioning, give the scooter a quick look around. See if there is no exposed wiring, odd smells or liquids coming from its motor. Use the multimeter to check the fuse since burned-out fuses are a common cause for motors not starting.
Try giving it a jump start. Push the scooter for a few seconds while trying to get the motor running. Push the scooter with one leg while you are standing on it. After you get it moving, try to activate the throttle to start the engine.
Some e-scooters are equipped with an engaged braking system that stops the motor from functioning while the brake is engaged. Check the scooter’s manual and disconnect the braking wire connector from the speed controller and check if the motor starts. If it does, then the braking lever wire needs to be replaced. You can do this by yourself or take the scooter to the repair shop.
The scooter is too slow
Sometimes this happens because the battery is not well charged. If the battery works properly, check the speed controller and the motor for any exposed wires or burning smells. If the speed controller’s components are damaged, you must have it replaced.
Motor works but scooter can’t move
In this case, the power transmission system might be damaged. The belt could be too loose or not aligned. Check the belt to see if it needs to be replaced. If you plan on replacing the belt by yourself, make sure to order the right replacement belt.
Look on the currently installed belt for a set of numbers/letters to identify the model. Usually, you need to replace the belt every 12 months. If the belt moves properly when the engine is running but the wheels don’t spin, the clutch could be malfunctioning.
Proper belt maintenance
If you ride your electric scooter every day, clean and degrease weekly before lubricating. This will keep it running smoothly. If there is a lot of vibration or noise, the belt might be loose. Having a loose belt will cause slipping and will damage the cogs or sprockets.
Brakes don’t function well
This is a serious issue and should be addressed as fast as you can. Brake malfunctions can cause injuries to the scooter’s rider, bikers, or pedestrians. Even if you tried everything to avoid an accident, it can lead to lawsuits and disabilities. So make sure your brakes work properly.
How to inspect the brakes
In general, disc brakes are used for rear braking systems so inspect carefully the disc pads. Make sure the discs are clean and not overly worn. You can use some degreasing solution to keep them tidy.
If the discs seem to be in good condition, tighten the brakes themselves and check the braking connector on the braking lever. If you are not sure how to do this, consult the manual for a more detailed explanation.
If you have a bike or a car, you know how this happens. It could be a sharp object that punctured the scooter’s tire. Even though electric scooters are not designed to be driven on harsh terrain, a flat tire is not that uncommon.
First of all, inspect the whole tire. If there is a puncture, one of the best solutions is to apply some tire sealant. Let the tire go entirely flat and remove the sharp object that caused the puncture. In general, tire sealant products come with a tool to help you remove the valve core.
After removing the valve, attach the sealant tube to the valve and empty its content while spinning the wheel so the sealant distributes equally. After you squeezed in enough sealant, replace the valve core and fill the tire up with air. The scooter should be now safe to ride.
If the tires always look under-inflated, check if the pressure is the same as the recommended one. If the pressure is lower, the scooter will consume more energy and make more noise while riding it. Also, if you are a heavier e-scooter enthusiast and like to stand further back on the deck, you should check the pressure often in order to avoid this situation.
How to avoid problems
If you want your scooter to last longer, you should pay attention to how you ride it. Avoid riding the scooter in extremely cold weather as this will affect the batteries. Also, don’t ride it through puddles or while it is raining. Even if the batteries are sealed, other electrical parts could be affected by water.
Avoid riding the scooter on uneven surfaces. It will cause a lot of bouncing and vibrations which will wear down the components quicker than intended. Riding recklessly will loosen bolts and wires and will cause you unwanted problems.