I recently wondered how to test a mobility scooter battery with a multimeter.
It had been a long time since I got the tests done, and I needed to know how well my scooter batteries were doing.
I needed to learn how to go about it, so I consulted a local mobility scooter repair technician.
Read on to learn what I learned so you can test your scooter confidently.
Table of Contents
- You can use a multimeter to determine your scooter’s battery health.
- A healthy scooter will have a voltage rating higher than the device’s battery.
- A load test is more accurate in showing whether the battery is good.
How to Test a Mobility Scooter Battery With a Multimeter
The average lifespan of a mobility scooter spans up to five years.
However, to get your scooter to reach its full threshold lifespan, you must ensure the device is well-maintained.
Among the list of maintenance activities, checking the battery’s health is crucial.
For this reason, you will need a digital multimeter to read the battery voltage range.
Other tools needed for the exercise include a set of screwdrivers or hex wrenches.
Furthermore, note that the size of the hex wrench or screwdriver required depends on the screws present.
Here is how to test a mobility scooter battery with a multimeter to ensure the health of your battery pack:
- Ensure the mobility scooter is fully charged. Ideally, plug the mobility scooter battery charger for seven to eight hours and let it rest for some hours. This rest helps wear off any residual charge from the charger and allows the unit to perform under normal usage circumstances.
- Have the mobility scooter in a still position and unscrew the battery compartment to reveal the unit.
- Take the multimeter and set its function selector to VDC or DC Volts V. Ideally, have the selector at 200 because you want a reading averaging 20 and above.
- Clamp the colored probes (black and red) to the respective battery terminals and record the meter reading.
The battery pack’s voltage should read above the scooter’s rating. Thus, if you have a device housing two 12 Volt batteries, that equates to 24v.
The ideal reading should average 26 to 27, showing the battery unit is healthy. However, if the reading falls below 24v, you must replace the 12v batteries.
Check out this YouTube video from TravelScoot USA on how to test your scooter’s battery with a multimeter:
Alternative Tests for Mobility Scooter Batteries
1. Active Method Test
You will follow the above steps for this test, but the device will be active. So, turn on the mobility scooter and engage the throttle while the multimeter is still connected.
You may need a hand to do this to observe the voltage reading trend accurately. Note that the throttling introduces a load allowing the battery’s voltage to run.
If the reading drops with a small margin, your battery is in an excellent state.
However, if the reading drops significantly, it indicates battery troubles, and it is time to replace them.
Here is a YouTube video from Mobility Scooter Sales highlighting the load test:
2. Ride the Scooter
Riding your mobility scooter is another alternative method to test the battery. Moreover, you do not need technical knowledge to do this battery test.
All you need to do is to fully charge the device and use it on a level plane, ideally an even terrain.
According to Mobility Plus, a mobility scooter should last for at least 45 minutes to one hour on a single charge. (1)
If your scooter attains this average period, your batteries are in good health.
On the other hand, if the device averages 30 minutes and below, it is time to look for replacement batteries for scooters.
Other Scooter Battery Inspections to Do
Besides checking the battery’s voltage, you can do other inspections to ensure the unit is in top shape.
Moreover, underlying battery issues come in a wide range of forms you must address as a mobility scooter owner.
Here are other checks to consider:
1. Physical Damage
When inspecting a battery’s physical damage, you want to check for cracks in the unit and the terminals.
You can also check the firmness of the wiring harness on the battery pack terminals to ensure no short circuit risk is present.
2. Presence of Corrosion
Rust is a common nuisance in most mobility devices, especially ones using lead-acid batteries. (2)
However, it does not matter which type of battery your device uses because the issue can happen to any model.
So, you will have to disconnect the unit and scrub the terminals using a wire brush.
You can also use a bit of baking soda and a wet toothbrush, then clean the terminals with a clean cloth.
3. Charger Inspection
While charge issues may seem to arise from the unit, doing a battery charger test is also essential.
Moreover, according to Electric Scootering, replacing a scooter’s battery averages $150 to $300. (3)
Here is a YouTube video from Nithsdale Wheelchairs V on how to test your mobility scooter charger:
READ MORE: How to Charge a Wheelchair Battery
At what voltage should the scooter battery be?
An electric scooter’s battery voltage depends on the device’s model. Many popular scooters have a 24 V, 36 V, 48 V, or 52 V battery pack.
Can a battery have good voltage but still be bad?
A battery can show the recommended voltage reading but still be bad. However, a load test can tell a bad battery, so it’s crucial to do it.
How long do mobility scooter batteries last?
A mobility scooter battery lasts from 18 to 24 months with excellent maintenance. However, the lifespan depends on usage.
How do I know if my scooter battery is charging?
Most scooters have a battery indicator needle or digital LED lights showing the battery level. You can observe these battery indicators to know if the scooter is charging.
The question of how to test a mobility scooter battery with a multimeter will usually strike people owning these devices.
Moreover, you must keep your scooter in top shape to ensure it serves you longer.
That said, testing your scooter’s battery is straightforward with the proper tools, and you can do it yourself.
It is now up to you to make an informed decision and save some dollars you would spend at repair shops.
So, are you ready to test your mobility scooter battery with a multimeter? Don’t forget to share your experience with me in the comments!
- 1. Marquis J. How Many Hours Does a Mobility Scooter Battery Last? [Internet]. Mobility Plus Colorado. 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from: https://www.mobilitypluscolorado.com/blog/how-long-does-mobility-scooter-battery-last
- 2. What Is Battery Terminal Corrosion? [Internet]. UTI Corporate. 2021 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from: https://www.uti.edu/blog/automotive/battery-terminal-corrosion
- 3. How Much Does a Electric Scooter Battery Cost? – Electric Scootering [Internet]. Electric Scootering. Available from: https://electricscootering.com/electric-scooter-battery-cost/