Trying to figure out how to test a mobility scooter battery charger? My grandfather’s scooter had developed unusual charging behaviors.
I needed someone with experience troubleshooting the mobility aid, so I consulted a local dealer, who used a multimeter to do the tests.
Read on to learn what I discovered about testing a mobility scooter charger.
Table of Contents
- You need three items to test a mobility scooter charger: a socket outlet, a digital multimeter, and a charger.
- Check the scooter’s batteries, as they also can be faulty.
- Seek professional help if you’re unsure of how to troubleshoot the charger.
CHECK OUT: 5 Best Heavy Duty Mobility Scooter Reviews
Testing an Electric Scooter’s Battery Charger
Studies show that over 25 million Americans have travel-limiting abilities. 13.4 million are in the 18 to 64 age group, while 11.2 million are over 65 years old. (1)
People who don’t know how to test a mobility scooter battery charger may wonder where to start. This is because you may not have the necessary knowledge to determine electrical faults.
Note that batteries lose charge when stored for long periods, and that can cause charging abnormalities. Check out this YouTube video from Mobility Scooter Sales on how to test a scooter’s battery charger:
The following step-by-step guide will help you check for charger problems on your electric wheelchair. You will need the following three items:
- A functioning 120-volt power outlet.
- A 12-volt battery charger.
- A multimeter tool to test the voltage.
1. Plug the Battery Charger Into a Power Outlet
The first step to determine if the charger conveys energy to the power chair is to plug the power cord into a power outlet. Once you plug in the charger, it will start channeling charge to the chair.
You will observe a green light on the battery charger, showing that the charging process has started. When you unplug the charger, the green light will turn off.
2. Set Up Your Digital Multimeter
A multimeter, also known as a voltmeter, measures output voltage in electrical devices. Take your multimeter and set it to the DC (direct current) voltage range.
Ideally, set the mode to measure DC and adjust the volts to 200. After that, you’ll see a zero reading on the digital display.
Be careful when operating the measuring device. A wrong setting can overload a multimeter and lead to accidents, such as an explosion. (2)
3. Plug the Multimeter Into the Battery Charger
Confirm whether the probe ports are color-coded for easy identification. Connect the multimeter test probes to the charger.
Most multimeters come with two colored probes: a red and a black test probe. The red one is usually used for positive and the black one for negative. So you can stay calm about where to find them.
Start by positioning the negative probe first and the positive one next. The voltmeter will display a reading of 42 volts, which is a perfectly average rating for a 36-volt battery charger.
4. Unplug the Battery Charger
Once you get the perfect readings, the charger is in good working condition. But if your charger doesn’t respond to the voltmeter, it has faults and needs fixing.
Unplug the battery charger from the power outlet. Remove the multimeter probes from both ends and turn the voltmeter off.
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How To Troubleshoot Your Scooter Battery Charger
Troubleshooting involves tracing and correcting faults in an electronic system. You can troubleshoot your scooter’s charger by following the steps below:
1. Troubleshoot the Cable Connectivity
- Check whether the cable is securely connected from both sides of the mobility scooter and wall outlet.
- Check for any signs of dust on the charger and scooter ports.
- Check if the wall outlet works by plugging in another electronic device, such as a lamp.
2. Troubleshoot the Battery
You should check the type of battery used on the scooter. Are the batteries sealed?
You can also check the battery gauge. Another thing to check is if the battery smells like burned plastic.
Plug in the charger and connect it to the mobility scooter. Check if the battery lights appear.
If the lights do not show, the charger is not passing an electric current. On the other hand, if they do, the charger is working well.
How To Fix Scooter Battery Charger Problems
Before you buy another charger, there are some tricks you can try to fix your charger and cut on purchasing costs. Here are some tips to fix battery charger problems.
- Use a different wall outlet.
- Fix any loose cable connections. You can try unplugging the cables and plugging them back.
- Fix any exposed wires with electrical tape.
- Clean the charging port. When dust accumulates on the ports, it may cause a malfunction in your mobility device.
READ MORE: How to Charge a Wheelchair Battery?
What are the signs the scooter charger is working?
When the battery starts charging, the mobility scooter will display some lights to indicate it’s charging.
How long does a single charge last on the mobility scooter?
A mobility scooter lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour on a single battery charge. So if your scooter averages below this duration, you may have to replace electric scooter battery.
What happens when I forget my mobility scooter charger?
Nowadays, chargers have an automatic cut-off feature that turns off the charging process. So, the battery won’t overcharge, but it’s advisable to avoid leaving it on charge for an extended period.
How often should I replace the batteries on my mobility scooter?
Depending on your use, you can replace the batteries after 12 or 18 months. Mobility scooter batteries last between 28 to 24 months and up to three years with proper maintenance. (3)
The question of how to test a mobility scooter battery charger is sometimes challenging for many users. A scooter can develop charger problems warranting a replacement or repair.
You can test your mobility scooter charger with the above simple steps. But if unsure, avoid risking more damage and take the device to a mobility scooter repair store.
So, are you ready to follow these simple steps? Don’t forget to share your experience with me in the comments below!
- 1. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Travel Patterns of American Adults with Disabilities [Internet]. www.bts.gov. 2022. Available from: https://www.bts.gov/travel-patterns-with-disabilities
- 2. Saunders T. What Not To Do With A Digital Multimeter – Tool Nerds [Internet]. www.toolnerds.com. [cited 2022 Dec 9]. Available from: https://www.toolnerds.com/what-not-to-do-with-a-multimeter/
- 3. MK Battery | How Long Do Batteries for Mobility Scooters Last? [Internet]. www.mkbattery.com. [cited 2022 Dec 9]. Available from: https://www.mkbattery.com/blog/how-long-do-batteries-mobility-scooters-last