Watching your colleague get to work on time each day feeling fresh and happy because they’ve been riding their scooter can make you feel jealous. If you can’t stand morning traffic anymore and you want to get a scooter too, find out more info here. Once you’ve purchased one, you have to get used to it, which might not be difficult if you had a scooter when you were a kid. However, what you probably weren’t doing back then was recharging your scooter’s batteries. Here is how you should do it.
What do you need to charge your battery?
Electrically-powered scooters have a battery that needs a charger in order to be recharged. If you no longer have the original charger you bought with the scooter, you can easily order another one or buy it from a store that sells home appliances and electrical devices or from an auto store.
Many scooter battery chargers are made for SLA batteries. If you lose or realize you forgot your charger, you can use almost any type of charger that is suitable for these batteries. Before you replace the original charger, make sure to check that the charger you want to use has the same amperage, voltage, connector, and pin polarities as the original one.
If you are trying to recharge the battery and you realize it’s not working, the most likely explanation is that the battery is defective, in case you use an SLA battery and a corresponding charger. These chargers only work with functional batteries and if you try to charge a damaged one, the battery can overheat and even melt.
Also, it is not recommended to use the same charger you use for your motorcycle or car because these products are not compatible with SLA batteries. They are specifically targeted to help charge wet cell lead-acid batteries and if you use them for your scooter, you can ruin its battery as it can overheat or overcharge.
Other items you need to have at hand are a screwdriver, a voltmeter, and rubber gloves. Here is what you need them for: the voltmeter enables you to check the specific voltage of your battery so that you know when it is alright to stop charging it.
The screwdriver might be necessary because some scooter batteries are screwed down and you might have to use the screwdriver to separate them from the scooter when you want to charge them. This is usually the norm with most electric scooters.
The rubber gloves are optional but you might want to wear them for extra protection as the batteries might leak or discharge electricity.
After the battery is completely charged, unplug the charger first from the outlet and only after that from the scooter.
How to charge your scooter’s battery correctly
Now that you have everything at hand, you start the recharging process firstly by locating the battery’s position. If you still have your scooter’s manual you can look it up there. If not, you can search for the product’s specifications online.
In most scooters, the battery can be found in the deck and you need to separate it from the scooter. This can be done quite fast in some models that allow you to detach the battery manually, but for others, you need to use the screwdriver.
The reason why most batteries should be separated from the scooter before charging them is that this technique maintains their longevity. If the battery is charged separately, it doesn’t heat too much, which boosts its durability.
Once your battery is separated from the scooter, you have to attach it to the charger. Most devices are quite intuitive, and you simply have to plug the battery into the device. Alternatively, there are also chargers that come with two wires, one is red and the other one is black; the first is attached to the positive terminal and the second to the negative one.
Before you start charging your scooter’s battery, plug the charger into the scooter first and then into the outlet.
After the battery and the charger have ‘made contact’, you have to check the LED light. Each charger might have a different display, but the general rule is that you will get a red light in the beginning when the battery is discharged, and a green light when the battery has charged.
Some devices display the charging level just like mobile phones so that you can easily monitor the battery and see when it’s time to unplug it. You can check the progress every now and then, which means once every two-three hours.
Each scooter charges differently and some require less time than others. Most batteries need at least 3-4 hours to charge, others require up to 6 hours. The charging time interval goes from 3-4 hours to as much as 12 hours and batteries that are fully discharged might require close to 12 hours.
To make sure you don’t leave your battery plugged in the charger for too long, you should check what the instructions manual has to say. Another method is to use the voltmeter that will show you the battery’s range. Normally, this should be around 12-13 and if the battery hasn’t reached this level, you can continue charging.
Don’t unplug the charger if the LED light is not green, which signals that the charging is not completed. The battery should be 100% charged when you disconnect it from the charger.
The final step of the process is to attach the battery to the scooter once again. If you had to detach the battery by using the screwdriver, make sure all the screws are kept in a safe place. You don’t want to lose any of them because you can’t ride the scooter until the battery is correctly attached, with all the screws in the right places.
To put the battery back, you simply have to resume the same steps you took when you got it out of the scooter.
How to prolong your battery’s lifespan
There are a few things that can help you maintain your scooter’s battery and make good use of it in the long term. We are going to list some common tips but keep in mind that before applying any of them, it is worth consulting your scooter’s instructions manual. There, you can find specific recommendations that apply to your scooter.
One of the easy things you can do to maximize your scooter’s battery is to recharge it frequently. Many people recharge them after each ride and manage to enhance the battery’s capacity this way. If you leave the battery totally or partially discharged for a while, you can end up shortening its lifespan.
Ideally, you should charge the battery after each ride, be it short or long. This will maintain its health as the chemical substances that can be found inside the battery should be stimulated continuously.
Even if the cold season is approaching and you start using the scooter less frequently or stop riding it for a while, you should still recharge its battery after two or three months to make sure it will be functional by the time you’ll ride again.
If you start recharging the battery and you see that after a few minutes the voltage doesn’t automatically go above the rated level, this might be a sign that the battery’s approaching its end of life.
The ideal charger for a scooter battery is a standard model that has a slow charging rate. This type of charger can maximize the battery’s lifespan as it charges at a suitable Amp rating. Yet, if you have to commute a lot on a daily basis, you might not have sufficient power by charging with the standard battery charger.
In this case, you can use models that rely on a higher Amp rating and that charge faster. However, keep in mind that used in the long term, these chargers can reduce the battery’s longevity. To avoid this, it is recommended to use the fast rate chargers only occasionally.
If you need to ride your scooter on long distances and a battery cycle is not sufficient for one day, you can use a small charger to recharge it at night and a big charger to charge it faster during the day. This alternation can help you preserve the battery’s health.
Charging your battery correctly is one of the most important maintenance tips you should follow in order to be able to enjoy your scooter for as long as possible.