Nothing beats the excitement that comes with riding your brand new scooter for the first time. At that moment, you wish that it could run like that forever.
Unfortunately, like any other machine, electric scooters are prone to damage and are bound to break down after some time. So, how can you make it run smoothly for years?
The answer to this question is pretty straightforward. Give it proper maintenance, and don’t break it! The ‘don’t break it’ part is easy, but how should you maintain it?
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Take care of the Electric Scooter Battery
The battery in an electric scooter is like the engine in your car. It only cannot work without it.
Although the battery comes under warranty, its warranty is significantly lower than that of the scooter. At best, you might get only a couple of months. It, therefore, becomes imperative that you maintain it.
Here are a few things you can do to keep your battery healthy and prolong it’s life.
1. Keep it charged
Like most people, you probably don’t burn through your battery on your ride to and from work. Despite this fact, you shouldn’t wait until the next day to recharge your battery.
It is advisable that you keep your scooter battery’s minimum charge at 10%. It would be best if you kept the battery charged up at all times and never leave it discharged for long. Doing this might prolong the batteries’ life.
2. Charge it at the Right Time
If you’ve just come from a long ride, it is advisable that you leave the scooter about 30 minutes before charging it. However, if you’ve just come from a short ride, you can plug it in immediately. It would help if you never left it discharged for more than a few hours.
3. Always use the Appropriate Charger
Just like batteries have specified input voltages, chargers also have specific output voltages. Using the wrong charger can cause you not to reach or exceed your battery’s selected input voltage, which may, in turn, shorten its lifespan.
A charger is much cheaper than a battery, so I don’t need to tell you which you should be looking out for.
4. Charge your E-scooter Before Storing it
When storing your scooter for an extended period, ensure that its battery capacity is at least 40-50%. The minimum time you should take in-between battery charges is about 30 days. If you left your electric scooter for more than three months without charging it, its battery would be so damaged that you’d need to replace it.
5. Store your Scooter in a Cool, Dry Place
This might sound like something you expect to see on foodstuff or medication warning labels, but it applies to scooters and their batteries too.
But unlike food, you shouldn’t leave your scooter in the cold. Instead, find a place with a suitable temperature that is neither too hot nor cold. Extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) can damage your scooter’s battery, so it’s best to avoid storing it under the scorching sun too.
6. Never leave it to Charge Unattended
Most modern electric scooters use polymer lithium batteries. On the upside, these types of batteries are compelling. Unfortunately, they are also very fragile and should be treated with extreme caution. Damage, overheating, or unappropriated charging can result in a fire.
It is, therefore, not advisable to charge your scooter overnight. You shouldn’t leave it unattended when charging. Also, to avoid a fire hazard, you shouldn’t charge, use, or leave a damaged scooter battery unattended. You should also follow the disposal protocols for the sake of the environment.
7. Store your Scooter Safely
The best place to store an electric scooter is a dark, clean, and dry space. But, if you have only one choice, go for a dry space. Any moisture can damage your electric scooter, so it’s best to avoid it.
The ideal temperature for storing a lithium-ion battery is between 5-10 degrees Celsius. Still, it would be best if you didn’t let it bother you as long as you keep the scooter as close to room temperature as possible. The maximum temperature for storing a li-ion battery is 45 degrees, so you shouldn’t store it in a place that hot.
If you’ve got the space, the best place to store your electric scooter is in your home. There, it will be dry and will most probably remain within a comfortable temperature. You could also choose to store it in a storage room, as long as it is dry.
What About Winter?
Moisture and low temperatures can damage an electric scooter battery. This becomes a problem since winter and the rainy season are all about cold and humidity.
It would help if you never store your scooter in a place with temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius. If you can’t find a warmer storage space, the best thing to do is remove the battery and keep it in your house. This might void the warranty of most scooters, but considering what’s at stake, I’d say it’s worth it.
Additional Electric Scooter Maintenance Tips
1. Clean The Moving Components Of Your Scooter Regularly
You should clean your electric scooter at least once a week. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A clean sponge
- Two buckets of water (one clean, the other soapy) – it is advisable to use lukewarm water.
- WD40, Vaseline/Vaseline spray or oil for lubrication
- A cleaning brush (you should also have an old toothbrush in hand for reaching tight spaces)
- A few disposable rags
Now that you’ve got your equipment ready, follow this procedure:
- Use the soft sponge to clean the external components. When doing this, try not to get water into any electrical parts. Also, clean in straight lines. Using circular motion can cause spider scratches.
- Wash the wheels. You can use the brush since dirt and mud stuck in the tire treads are a bit hard to get rid of. Use the toothbrush to clean the area between wheels spokes.
- When cleaning the tires, avoid using heavy chemicals because they will eventually damage your tires over time. After you’re done with the tires, clean the brake pads.
- Lubricate the suspension and all moving joints. You should refer to your user manual before lubricating the brakes since some scooter brakes don’t need lubrication.
2. Inspect All Exposed Cables For Wear And Tear
Every scooter comes with a dedicated brake system to enable you to stop instantly. The brake system in a standard electric scooter relies on a series of cables that run from the handle to the wheels.
The more you use your brakes, the more these cables get worn out and may eventually snap if not maintained and replaced regularly.
Worn out brake cables might also fail to work correctly, resulting in an accident, especially when you are riding at high speed. It is, therefore, vital to check them regularly.
Another set of essential cables running through your scooter are the throttle cables. These cables operate your throttle.
When checking your electric scooter’s cables, run your hand through the external covering to check for any damages. You may also pull the handles to feel for any extra stress within the cables. It is also critical to check the cable housing at the handle, and they meet the brake pads.
3. Check Your Electric Scooters Tyre Pressure Before Every Ride
You should make checking your tire pressure a habit; do this every day before taking your scooter out. Properly inflated tires enable you to reach high speeds. They also make the motor to drain the battery a bit slower, thus giving you more scooter-hours.
However, tire pressure does not affect all scooters. Some scooters use full rubber tires that don’t require any air pressure.
If you own such a scooter, you can maintain its tires by checking for any damage to full-rubber scooter tires that may be in the form of cracks on the tires or internal rubber tubing. If you spot any damage to the tires, you should replace them immediately.
An important tip for people whose scooters have inflatable tyres.
Always carry a patch kit with you. Having a patch kit with you on your rides enables you to fix any punctures on the spot, without having to push your scooter all the way home.
4. Check For Any Loose Bolts Before Every Ride
Before you head out, do a quick safety check to ensure that all bolts and screws are tightly secured. If they are loose, use a hex wrench or spanner to tighten them.
When tightening the bolts, could you not use too much force on them? That can damage both the bolts and the threading on the scooter itself. If you end up damaging the threading, you’ll need to drill new holes, affecting the scooter’s structural integrity.
Electric Scooter Maintenance Checklist
When doing an electric scooter service, you can use this checklist to ensure that you don’t miss a thing.
- Understand what type of battery your electric scooter uses
- Check your users manual for the recharging instructions for your specific battery
- Your electric scooter hesitates when moving forward
- Your electric scooter stops suddenly
- Your battery is not working the way it used to
- Check the overall condition of your scooter’s tires
- Check whether they look worn out on one side
- Check whether they show any signs of damage
- Replace them if necessary
- Check whether they hesitate to stop
- Check whether they jump when attempting to stop
- Assess whether they have malfunctioned before
- Replace them if necessary
- Check whether it is working well
- Listen for any strange noises from the motor
- Sniff it to check whether it smells like burning
- Repair or replace it if necessary
Overall Condition of the Electric Scooter
- Is it clean?
- Check for any debris and twigs caught in the wheels.
- Check whether it has any grime or dirt in places that might affect its performance.
- Is it easy to control?
Benefits Of Doing Regular Electric Scooter Maintenance
1. Regular Servicing Prevents Dust And Dirt Buildup
Every time you ride your scooter, it picks up a lot of dust and dirt. If you don’t clean it regularly, dust and dirt accumulate, especially under the carriage.
Accumulation of dust and dirt can cause irritating sounds and can even affect your electric scooter’s performance. Furthermore, when dust and dirt come into contact with moisture, they form mud. This mud can cause rusting in the areas that it accumulates.
3. It Can Help You Identify Battery Issues
Tyre problems constitute a significant safety hazard when it comes to electric scooters. Regular servicing enables you to detect these issues early and solve them before they cause any harm.
Nothing beats the feeling of cruising around on your scooter on a sunny day. It’s a shame that electric scooters often break down and deprive you of these simple pleasures of life.
Lucky for you, you can avoid scooter breakdowns by merely following the electric scooter service maintenance tips we have discussed in the article.
The better you maintain your electric scooter, the smoother it rides, and the longer it lasts. So, please don’t wait for it to break to fix it when you can prevent the problem and save yourself the heartache.