How to Start a Mobility Scooter Without a Key: Ultimate Guide

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There are many reasons why you might find yourself without the key for your mobility scooter.  I’ll give you some great tips on what you can do to avoid being stranded.

If you’ve just acquired a new or used mobility scooter [2], you may be wondering how to start it without a key or getting a replacement.

I’ll talk about the circumstances where you might not be able to use the existing key and what measures you can take instead.

Fear not, this guide will show you how to do just that! Follow these simple steps and you’ll get going in no time. 

Check: Best Heavy Duty Mobility Scooter

Why Do You Need to Start a Mobility Scooter Without a Key?

Maybe you’re asking yourself why do you need to start a mobility scooter without a key in the first place. There are a possible few reasons.  Here are some of them: 

1- I’ve Lost My Key!

It’s possible that you’ve misplaced your mobility scooter key and won’t be able to replace it any time soon. This means you might have to consider other options for starting it.

2- Keyless Scooter Design

Some modern electric mobility scooters can be keyless or automatic.   So, by the very nature and design of modern scooters, they will make use of the alternate keyless entry. Your specific method is undoubtedly relevant to the one prescribed by the scooter manufacturers.

3- The Batteries Are Drained or Damaged

If your battery is drained, you won’t be able to start the scooter. In this case, using a charger should revive the battery connection so you can start it. If the battery is damaged, it may not work at all and you’ll need to replace it.

4- Broken Keys

broken key

Yes, it’s possible! Keys may be broken or in such a condition of disrepair that they will not be able to perform their primary functions. Again, this may mean that you need to use an alternative way to start your scooter.

5- Damaged Key Switch or Control Panel

If you know that your battery is working but there is no power when you turn the key, it may be the case that your key switch (sometimes called an ignition switch) is broken or there is a fault within the control panel. 

6- Emergency

Emergencies can happen anytime, necessitating you find a temporary alternative to solving your problem without going down the route of a key replacement.

In these circumstances, you might be looking for a quick fix and need tips on how to look for and implement techniques that are targeted in line with starting mobility scooters without the need for a key.

Also Check: Lightweight Scooter for Elderly

Find out How to Choose the Best Lightweight Mobility Scooters in the video below!

3 Ways To Start a Mobility Scooter Without a Key

Consider the following scenario: you’re about to go for a short trip and you can’t find the key for your mobility scooter. It would be a shame to have to postpone your plans because you were unable to locate the key.

That’s why I’ve compiled a list of ways to start your power-operated vehicle/scooter or electric scooter without a key.

1- Contact the Person Responsible for Maintenance

elderly man calling

Depending on whether you own or rent your scooter, you may be able to call on someone else for help.  If rented, then you should contact the rental company for advice.  If you own the scooter, is it under a maintenance agreement?  If so, the easiest option may be to contact them.

2- Get a Replacement Key 

A replacement key should be considered even before the original is lost if it is so essential to your daily life.

That’s because losing your key is a source of unnecessary stress that may be avoided by preparing for the “bad” day in advance. You don’t want that (I know I don’t!).

Think carefully in advance about things like losing a key when choosing a mobility scooter manufacturer.

Some companies with poor customer service or online services are less concerned about quickly replacing your key.

For a replacement key, the following information is required:

  • The serial number
  • The invoice number
  • The make and model 

With these details, you should be able to call the manufacturer and request a replacement key for your mobility scooter when you have this information.

Rekeying a mobility scooter key is restricted to clients who already own one. Before placing a purchase, be certain that you fall into one of these categories.

3- Can You Hotwire a Mobility Scooter?

Technically, yes. Although I would recommend you explore all other options first.  There is a chance you will cause damage to the mobility scooter. 

If you do it in a public place, someone might think you are trying to steal the scooter and call the police.  That said, in an emergency, you might choose to.

Hot-wiring is an old practice used by criminals to steal cars.  The ignition switch has two attached cables that connect to each other to allow the battery to power the scooter. 

When the key is removed, this connection is broken, so there is no power. By opening the control panel, it is possible to disconnect the key switch and connect the two wires directly together to form a circuit.   

If you decide to proceed, it’s advisable to have some basic safety equipment and tools on hand to assist with the repair.

Here are some things that you’ll need:

  • Rubber gloves 
  • Needle-nose pliers with rubber handles
  • Screwdriver with many heads
  • Rubber mallet
  • Soldering iron (if you want to make a permanent fix)

Safety is always important when working with electric devices [1].  When working with the wiring, the battery should be disconnected.  Pay attention, so you don’t work with the wrong wires.

The process involves unscrewing the cover for the control panel. The screwdriver and rubber mallet can help if this sticks. 

You can now locate the underside of the ignition switch and disconnect the two attached wires.  These vary but can be red and black wires, or red and brown.

The wires can then be directly connected to each other temporarily.  You can re-solder these wires later to the original ignition switch or a new replacement.

To give you a better visual of the steps, I included a video [3] below on this process.

Use a Screwdriver 

If you have broken the key and a segment remains in the ignition, you may be able to use a screwdriver to manipulate it. 

Using a flat-head screwdriver might allow you to get some leverage to turn what’s left of the existing key in an emergency. [3]

If you choose this method, make sure you order a key replacement or consider fitting a new key switch which is relatively inexpensive.

Below, I included a video [4] which during the first minutes, shows you an example of how to do this on a regular scooter:

READ MORE: The Best Mobility Scooter for Outdoor Use

FAQs

What Can I do When I’ve Lost my Mobility Scooter Keys?

The first thing is not to panic.  Breathe and then work logically through the possible places you might have put them and the last time you used your scooter.

How Mobility Scooter Ignition Locks Work?

An ignition lock is simply a lockable “switch” that connects two wires.  These wires complete the electric circuit, providing power to your scooter.

Should you Attempt to Hotwire a Mobility Scooter?

If it’s an emergency and you are competent and confident with wiring then you might choose to.  Try all the other options first.

Conclusion

A mobility scooter can be a great way to get around, but it’s important to have a plan for when you don’t have a key to start it.  The best advice is to plan for that eventuality.  Get a spare key today.  Keep it safe or with a trusted person.

Make a note of any relevant information needed to get a replacement. Having the right information to hand will make this a swift process.

Familiarize yourself with the different ways to start a scooter before you need them, just in case!

woman picking a phone with her mobility scooter

Do you have your methods on how to fix these kinds of problems? Comment down and let us know!

References: 

  • 1. Electric Shocks Can Cause Neurologic And Neuropsychological Symptoms [Internet]. ScienceDaily. Available from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080515113311.htm
  • 2. L Z, sman. Types Of Wheelchairs – A Visual Tour [Internet]. United Spinal Resource Center. 2019. Available from: https://www.spinalcord.org/disability-products-services/types-of-wheelchairs/
  • 3. DESIGN AND PRODUCTION [Internet]. Nih.gov. World Health Organization; 2016. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK143784/
About Martina Todorovska

"Martina is a graduated Doctor of Dental Medicine with a huge obsession for anything beauty-related. Her freelance writing started out as a creative outlet and turned out to be a full-time job. If you have any beauty questions, the chances are Martina has the answers. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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