Are you wondering, “Can mobility scooter batteries be reconditioned?”
A couple of years ago, I spent a lot of time researching how to recondition batteries since my father didn’t want to get a new lead-acid battery for his scooter.
And I’m here to share this experience with you and give you some invaluable tips on extending the battery life.
Just keep reading!
Also Read: What is the Best Mobility Scooter to Buy?
Table of Contents
- Mobility scooters run on four main types of batteries.
- You can recondition some types of mobility scooter batteries with a few simple tricks.
- It’s easy to extend the life of your scooter’s battery with proper care and maintenance.
Types of Batteries in Mobility Scooters
Before I explain whether mobility scooter batteries can be reconditioned, let’s talk about the most common battery packs in mobility aids.
It matters because different models run on different types of batteries. And if you don’t know your battery type, you risk damaging it during repairs.
In general, mobility scooters run on four types of batteries:
- Lithium-ion batteries. They’re one of the most popular types because they’re long-lasting, safe for air travel, and hold a charge well.
- Sealed Lead-Acid batteries. They are affordable and easy to charge but heavy and can spill.
- GEL batteries. They are more expensive than SLAs, but they don’t spill and don’t require any maintenance. But overcharging can damage them.
- Absorbent glass mat batteries. They’re expensive but maintenance-free, charge quickly, and last long.
And now, let’s see if it’s possible to recondition batteries for mobility scooters.
Can Mobility Scooter Batteries be Reconditioned?
You can recondition some types of mobility scooter batteries.
According to Care and Mobility, you must fill the battery with distilled water and recharge it for an hour. You can repeat this process 3-4 times before replacing the battery. (1)
This type of reconditions is suitable only for sealed lead-acid batteries. And it’s vital to use distilled water, not tap water.
“Tap water contains minerals that are harmful to batteries, even if added in small amounts.” (2)
Another way to recondition an SLA battery is to use a battery charger, as this mobility scooter user does in the video. But the process is complicated and not for people that aren’t handy.
And what about GEL and absorbed glass mat batteries? Let’s find out!
Can You Recondition GEL and Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries?
In general, you can’t do much to restore a GEL battery. Some users recommend discharging the battery entirely and then recharging it slowly. But you can overcharge it and damage it.
As for AGMs, try this method:
- Get a fresh battery and place it next to the deeply discharged one.
- Connect positive to positive and negative to negative.
- Connect the mobility scooter battery charger to the good battery.
- Leave the batteries to charge and use a voltmeter to check if the discharge one is fully charged.
- Disconnect the batteries if the old one gets hot to the touch or you hear any gassing sounds.
The biggest con of this method is that you need another working battery.
Moreover, since AGMs are a type of lead-acid battery, you should be careful not to get exposed to any of the dangerous stuff inside.
If you’re looking to extend the range of your mobility scooter, be sure to check out our article “Can You Upgrade Mobility Scooter Batteries for Greater Range?” for helpful tips and insights on upgrading your scooter’s battery.
Can You Recondition Lithion-Ion Batteries?
I’ve read about freezing lithium batteries to restore them, and I tried it with my old phone battery. It wasn’t successful, and I had to purchase a new one.
And when I researched reconditioning lithium-ion batteries, I discovered that freezing could damage the batteries, especially if you don’t thaw them before charging. (3)
You can try jump-starting the battery by connecting it to a fresh one, just like in this video.
However, I wouldn’t risk it because if the battery fails while riding your scooter, you’ll be stuck and have to call for help.
Moreover, a new battery doesn’t cost as much as you think, as you’ll see in a moment.
How Much Does a New Mobility Scooter Battery Cost?
The price of the battery depends on its type. Seal-acid ones are relatively cheap, costing $30-$50. GEL and AMG batteries reach $100 on average, while lithium-ion batteries are the most expensive.
Still, you can get a reconditioned battery for a lower price or use these simple tricks to extend the life of your mobility scooter batteries.
How to Extend My Mobility Scooter Battery Life?
Proper care can extend your battery life and ensure you don’t get stranded in the middle of your traveling. And here are five tips to help you.
1. Let the Batteries Work
At least twice a week, you should turn your scooter on. You don’t have to go anywhere, but the batteries must work to perverse the voltage.
2. Proper Storage
Don’t store your batteries in wet places or in freezing temperatures. Please read the manual to ensure you’re keeping them in an optical condition.
3. Avoid Overcharging
Overcharging can damage some types of batteries. So, unplug the charger as soon as your batteries are fully charged, and don’t leave it connected for more than 24 hours.
Moreover, never turn off the charger in the middle of the charging or before the charge is completed.
4. Use the Original Charger
Always use the original charger. The wrong charger can shorten the battery life significantly. If the original breaks, contact the manufacturer to enquire about compatible chargers you can use.
5. Avoid Flat Batteries
Never allow your batteries to run flat. Recharge batteries after each use if you use the scooter daily or overnight before use if you’re an occasional user.
What Is the Average Life of a Mobility Scooter Battery?
A mobility scooter battery can last up to three years with proper care and maintenance. But the average life is about eighteen to twenty-four months.
How Often Do Mobility Scooter Batteries Need Replacing?
You’ll need to replace mobility scooter battery every two years or whenever it stops holding a charge.
How Do I Know If My Scooter Battery Is Bad?
Several signs show battery failure – you can’t cover the same distance as before on a single charge, your charger doesn’t recognize the batteries, or the light doesn’t turn off/on.
Can mobility scooter batteries be reconditioned? Yes, you can recondition your scooter’s battery to extend its usage, but you can also damage it if you use the wrong charger/method.
You can also purchase a desulfator – a device that potentially restores the battery charge by removing the lead sulfate from the internal battery plates.
But it works only on acid batteries and is not always effective.
What do you think about this topic? Can mobility scooter batteries be reconditioned? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
- 1. All you need to know about mobility scooter batteries [Internet]. Care and Mobility. 2019 [cited 2022 Oct 5]. Available from: https://careandmobility.co.uk/all-you-need-to-know-about-mobility-scooter-batteries/
- 2. Battery C. Watering Your Lead Acid Battery: The Basics [Internet]. www.crownbattery.com. Available from: https://www.crownbattery.com/news/watering-your-lead-acid-battery-the-basics
- 3. Lithium-ion batteries that last longer in extreme cold [Internet]. American Chemical Society. [cited 2022 Oct 5]. Available from: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2022/acs-presspac-june-8-2022/lithium-ion-batteries-that-last-longer-in-extreme-cold.html