I recently noted my grandfather’s electric wheelchair lights flashing, which sparked my interest.
I must confess: I had not seen these unusual light flashes before, so I contacted a professional service technician. (1)
Are you experiencing the same abnormal light flashing issues on your power chair and wondering what they mean? Read on to discover what I learned about the lights flashing problem…
- Several instances warrant an electric wheelchair LED lights to flash.
- Different flashing sequences on a power chair show unique error codes.
- You can determine the specific fault in a wheelchair by checking the number of LED lights flashing.
Diagnosis of Electric Wheelchair Flashing
Typically, there are nine flashing lights on a power wheelchair: three red, three green, and four yellow lights.
These electric wheelchair lights flashing are the wheelchair’s way of saying, “Hey you, I need help with something.” So please pay attention to them and service it!
Also, these lights tell you something important: This feature tells you the fault code or error on the power chair and will speed up fault finding.
For an excellent review, check out this YouTube video from Marc’s Mobility to learn about the different fault codes and how to lock and unlock your power wheelchair:
To wrap up, here are the issues to look out for as a power wheelchair user.
- One light flash (one red) means the electric wheelchair batteries are low. You will need a power wheelchair battery replacement soon.
- Two flashing lights (two red) imply that the power chair’s left motor is faulty. You must check on it to determine whether it has a bad connection or corrosion issues.
- A three-light flashing sequence ( three red) depicts a motor wiring fault on the left motor, and you have to replace the unit.
- A four-light flashing sequence (three red and one yellow) shows a faulty right motor. You have to check for corrosion or if the motor has a bad connection.
- Five lights flashing (three red and two yellow) show a motor wiring fault on the right motor, and you must replace it.
- Seven lights flashing (three red and four yellow) show a bad joystick controller.
- Eight flashing lights (three red, four yellow, and one green) show a controller error. You have to replace the defective brainbox.
- Nine flashing lights (three red, two green, and four yellow) show bad park breaks or brake faults.
Nine flashing lights can also show that the chair is in neutral. You will need to put the power chair into gear and turn the power off, and then on.
It is rare to see a ten-flashing light sequence on the bar of lights. But, if the occurrence happens, you have applied excess voltage to the controller.
Other instances when the power lights may light up include:
- The battery gauge is a warning sign, flashing slowly to show low battery power. So take note!
- The battery gauge steps up to show that you have connected the battery charger. This indication shows that your device is getting charged.
- The gauge binks at a 2.5-second time rate to show the power chair has gone into sleep mode. You can turn the wheelchair off and on to remedy this issue.
- The speed indicator rippling shows that the chair is in lock mode. You will have to put the joystick into the drive position and hold until you hear a pitch beep sound.
Push the joystick into reverse until you hear another beep sound. Release your joystick, and you will hear a loud beep showing the chair is out of the lock position.
The battery gauge rippling shows that the joystick is in a defective position during the power-up.
You will have to return the joystick to neutral and power the mobility device again.
Electric Wheelchair Lights Flashing Causes
Ok, I know you meditated on “So how come my electric wheelchair lights are flashing” so let me tell you the short and sweet of common problems.
As shown above, your power chair can undergo various instances that make the lights flash. The common causes include:
- Low battery charge.
- Motor wiring faults.
- Overvoltage supply to the batteries.
- Worn out batteries.
- Poor park brakes/brake fault.
- Poor connections/ rust.
These signs are your wheelchair’s way of saying, “please, I need help!” (See next heading.)
How to Fix Electric Wheelchair Flashing Issues
Your user manual will have a section highlighting these error codes and how to troubleshoot them.
Still, if you are unsure of the diagnosis, consult a qualified service technician or take it to a repair shop.
Also note that while some problems may appear easy, others are a bit harder to tinker with and need a specialist’s eye.
The last thing you want is to touch the wrong parts and make the damage more extensive.
How do I know if my electric wheelchair is out of charge?
You can know when an electric wheelchair is out of charge by checking on the battery gauge on the controller interface.
Moreover, you will see slow flashes in the battery gauge indicator.
How many years will a wheelchair battery last?
According to MK Battery, an electric wheelchair battery lasts one to two years. Still, this lifespan depends on how you care for the battery unit. (2)
How often should you charge an electric wheelchair?
It will help if you charge your electric wheelchair daily after use for 8-14 hours. And if you use the mobility aid sparingly, have it charged for 12-14 hours weekly.
How do you test a mobility battery?
You can test your power wheelchair’s batteries by accelerating the device on a flat surface.
Ideally, use a multimeter to measure the change in the battery’s voltage upon acceleration.
How do you reset an electric wheelchair?
You can reset your wheelchair by pressing the power button for about four seconds.
Please wait for the device to switch off, then power it on. This button is located near the device’s battery pack at the circuit breaker.
Congratulations! With this knowledge about the meaning of electric wheelchair lights flashing, you are on your way to becoming a master wheelchair owner.
What’s more, as a power wheelchair owner, you can diagnose some issues without needing a technician’s help (pretty cool!).
So there you have it: a brief overview of the different error codes, their causes, and how to fix them.
It is up to you to share this golden knowledge with another power wheelchair user you know.
So, are you ready to solve this light flashing issue for your wheelchair? Don’t forget to share your experience with me in the comments below!
- 1. Mortenson WB, Hammell KW, Luts A, Soles C, Miller WC. The power of power wheelchairs: Mobility choices of community-dwelling, older adults. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy [Internet]. 2015;22:394–401. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4818588/pdf/nihms5135.pdf
- 2. MK Battery | The Battery Cost and Lifespan for a Power Chair [Internet]. www.mkbattery.com. [cited 2022 Nov 30]. Available from: https://www.mkbattery.com/blog/battery-cost-and-lifespan-power-chair