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Power Wheelchair, Mobility Scooter, Lift Chair Troubleshooting & Repair Instructions


Note: Many of the simple troubleshooting / repair techniques for one manufacturer can relate to other manufacturers.

If you need to locate a technician near you click here ...

If you need to locate a technician near you click here ...


Shoprider Troubleshooting guide (pdf, big file12meg)

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Service and Repair for Mobility Scooters, Electric Wheelchairs, Recliner Lift Chairs ...

If you need to locate a repair shop / technician near you click here ...

How to check and solve the most common mobility scooter or power wheelchair problems:

Service Repair Shop for Power Wheelchairs, Mobility Scooters, Recliner Lift Chairs

The most common problems with a power wheelchair or mobility scooter will be related to the batteries, charging, circuit breakers, keys / switches, cables, connectors or free wheel levers. Direct battery problems occur because they're, old and can no longer hold a good charge, not that old but have been pre-maturely worn down (due to any number of reasons), or just not being fully charged.

IMPORTANT: Problems related to the batteries only, occur because the batteries are not fully charged, or it could be that the batteries are worn down and can not hold a proper charge. If the batteries are not holding a charge, and are old, you just need to have them replaced. If batteries are not that old, it may be that you have not been charging them properly (check the manual). If the batteries are not worn down but your device does not get the range it did, it could be that the motors or other components are drawing too much current from the batteries. It can even be a wheel that is dragging which will discharge the batteries quickly.

Here are some other non-direct battery problems to check ...

What can I do if my mobility scooter does not power up?

1. Verify that the key is fully inserted into the key switch.

2. Verify that the battery pack (some scooters may not have a battery pack) is seated properly.

3. Verify that the battery quick-disconnect harness connections are fully joined.

4. Verify that the batteries are connected correctly, red to positive (+) and black to negative (-).

5. Verify that the main circuit breaker has not been tripped.

FYI: If your device is beeping and or flashing check the table below to help diagnose the problem (the chart is for the most common controllers, check your manual to verify) ...

IMPORTANT: Turn Key on. Flashing occurs in bursts, separated by a 2 second pause.
Flash Code
Fault Description Actions
Battery needs recharging The battery voltage has dropped below 23.3V in neutral. Recharge the batteries soon.
Battery voltage too low The battery voltage has dropped to 16.5V. Check the battery condition and the connections .
Battery voltage too high The battery voltage is greater than 32V. Check the battery condition and the connections. Suspect a charger malfunction. For a temporary solution, turn on the lighting system for a while in order to lower the battery voltage.
Current limit time out The controller has detected a shorted motor. Check the loom for shorts and check the motor. Contact your authorized dealer.
Free Wheeling Lever fault Check the Free Wheeler Lever connections, the condition of the motor and loom(s). Contact your authorized dealer.
Thumb control levers out of neutral Return Thumb Control Levers to of neutral neutral and reset system. Contact your authorized dealer to readjust the wigwag to neutral if necessary .
Thumb control levers fault Check thumb control levers wiring for open or short circuits and thumb control levers set-up. Contact your authorized dealer.
Motor volts error Contact your authorized dealer.
Other internal errors Contact your authorized dealer.

IMPORTANT: Turn Key on. Flashing occurs in bursts, separated by a 2 second pause.
Self Diagnostic Warning Flash Code Fault Description Actions
The On status / Power Reserve Indicator light does not light up when the controller is switched on. Check that the battery connector to the controller is securely plugged into the connector from the battery. Check the batteries are connected correctly (check the battery terminals). Check the condition of the batteries . Check the battery supply fuse or circuit breaker. If the fuse has blown check for wiring faults.
Low battery voltage fault Check that the battery connector to the controller is securely plugged into the connector from the battery and is in a good condition (free from corrosion). Check that the battery terminals are tight and in good condition. Check that the batteries are not at the end of their life. Check the condition of the batteries.
High battery voltage fault Check the battery charger - is it overcharging?
Left motor (or connection) fault Check the left and right motor/Free Wheeling Lever connectors are securely plugged in. Check the contacts in the left & right motor connectors for corrosion or damage. Contact your authorized dealer to check the left and right motors, resistance of the motor and controller.
Right motor (or connection) fault. As above.
Left or right free wheeling lever (or connection) fault. Check the free wheeling Lever connectors are securely plugged in. Check the contacts in the connectors for corrosion or damage. Contact your authorized dealer to check the condition of Free WheelingLever.
Controller fault. Contact your authorized dealer.
Motor stalled or joystick out of neutral time out. Check joystick is released and in neutral when controller is switched on. Check Power Chair is able to move and is not blocked by an obstacle. Check motors and gearboxes are OK by releasing the Free Wheeling Levers, deflecting the joystick forward and observing the levers to see if both left and right wheels turn.

BATTERIES - Mobility Scooter and Power Wheelchair Charging and Testing:

 Q: How often should I charge?

A: Daily Users:
Charge daily. This applies to anyone who actually uses his or her equipment outside of the home.

Occasional Users:
Always be sure to charge before an outing and always after active use. The ideal recharge point is about 50% on a scooter or wheelchair gauge.

Q: How do I charge my MK Batteries correctly?

A: To properly charge your mobility battery, follow these simple procedures:
- Use the manufacturer’s automatic charger for all routine charging.
- Never use an automotive or wet-type charger on gel/sealed batteries. (They’ll quickly ruin your battery).
- Never run your battery completely flat.
- Don’t “top off” the battery with frequent charging.

Q: How should a battery be stored?

A: - Always store your batteries FULLY CHARGED.
- Check all batteries once a month and recharge as needed.
- Wet batteries can hold their charge up to 3 months.
- Sealed batteries can hold a charge for up to 6 months.
- When storing a chair or scooter for more than 2 weeks, charge the batteries and then disconnect them.
- Avoid hot and cold extremes when storing.

Q: What is the proper way to store batteries for the Winter?

A: Store batteries fully charged. Check them once a month and recharge as needed. Sealed batteries can hold their charge from 6 to 12 months. Remember, if storing your chair for longer than a couple of weeks, it’s best to charge the batteries and then disconnect them.

Q: I want to store my MK Gel batteries outside for the winter. At what temperature do the batteries freeze at?

A: MK Gel batteries can be stored in sub-freezing temperatures as low as -25°F without freezing as long as they are fully charged prior to storage. The self-discharge rate of fully-charged batteries is so low in these conditions that they will not require charging for many months; however, if your gel batteries are frozen … they will not always recover.

To attempt recovery the following is the best plan of action:

1) Bring them inside and let them sit at room temperature for two days. (They must reach 60°F).
2) Charge the batteries normally. (Follow standard safety procedures).
3) Run a capacity check either through a quality discharge tester or by operating your power wheelchair in a controlled environment.
4) If you don’t get enough run time then repeat steps 2 and 3.

Q: Do I have a battery problem or a charging problem?

A: The Digital Voltmeter is still the most valuable tool in the Mobility Technician’s arsenal for sealed batteries. The starting point for checking batteries is always the charge voltage. In 24-volt systems we know the chances for two bad batteries are less than 1 in 10,000. So what we need to determine is W HI CH battery is bad or if either battery is bad. This is accomplished by checking the voltage of each battery separately.

As illustrated in photo 1, voltage for a pair of batteries can read in excess of 24-volts which can incorrectly be assumed to be a good set. However, as shown in photo 2 one battery has a voltage of 12.89 volts while the battery in photo 3 is reading 11.97 volts. Combined, the voltage of this set of batteries looks good, but clearly the battery in photo 3 is bad.


Two batteries in a 24-volt system charge and discharge together almost as one 24-volt battery. A wide voltage separation between two batteries indicates that you may need to replace both batteries. If both batteries read similar voltage, they should be fully charged before doing any further testing.

If both batteries are below 12.0 volts, the question becomes, “WHY?” Is the battery charger working correctly? Could there be a problem with the wiring or other components of the wheelchair?

You can determine the next step in the troubleshooting process once you know the voltage of each battery.

Q: My batteries were over-discharged and my battery charger will not start. What do I do?

A: Have you ever had a customer state that their batteries will not take a charge even though the charger was plugged in overnight? When you checked their batteries, you found that they both read 9 volts? This is usually due to a light or a brake being left on for an extended period of time, which drains the batteries.

The reason why the charger is not working is that most wheelchair battery chargers need to read at least 21-22 volts in order to begin charging. This is how the polarity protection system of many chargers works. If the user were to hook up the positive and negative backwards, nothing would happen to the charger or the batteries because the batteries never read any voltage so it never started.

The drawback to this polarity protection design is when a user over-discharges their batteries below the 21-22 volt cutoff. Although the charger is connected, it does not receive the signal to begin the charging process so the batteries never get charged.

The best way to solve this problem is to remove the batteries from the wheelchair and charge each battery separately with a 12-volt battery charger. When each battery is fully charged, they can then be reinstalled in the chair and returned to service. Note: It may take the batteries up to 15 cycles to return to their former capacity if they have been severely discharged.

Things to Consider When Purchasing Wheelchair/Scooter Batteries...

* Discharge: Gel Cell is preferred for wheelchair and mobility scooter / power wheelchair batteries because of its deep cycle life span. The AGM battery will work nearly as well if the discharge rate is not below 50% before it is recharged.

* Range and Use: A battery's size determines its range. By size, we mean the Amp Hours the battery is rated for. A 30 AH battery has a range of approximately 10 miles, while a 98AH battery has an approximate range of 20 miles. Range depends, of course, on how and where you use your wheelchair or mobility chair and what features it has.

If you need to locate a technician near you click here ...

Most power mobility equipment suppliers have technicians for repair and service in or near these cities: AL : Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Huntsville. AZ : Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Scottsdale, Gilbert town, Tempe, Peoria. AR : Little Rock. CA : Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Long Beach, Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Bakersfield, Riverside, Stockton, Chula Vista, Modesto, Fremont, Irvine, San Bernardino, Glendale, Huntington Beach, Moreno Valley, Oxnard, Fontana, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Santa Clarita, Oceanside, Garden Grove, Santa Rosa, Pomona, Corona, Lancaster, Salinas, Pasadena, Torrance, Hayward, Palmdale, Escondido, Orange, Fullerton, Elk Grove, Sunnyvale, Thousand Oaks, El Monte, Concord, Simi Valley, Visalia, Vallejo, Inglewood, Santa Clara, Costa Mesa, Roseville, Downey, Victorville, West Covina, Fairfield, Norwalk, Burbank, San Buenaventura (Ventura), Richmond, Berkeley, Daly. CO : Denver, CO Springs, Aurora, Lakewood, Fort Collins, Thornton, Arvada, Westminster, Pueblo. CT : Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury. DC : District of Columbia. FL : Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale, Tallahassee, Cape Coral, Port St. Lucie, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Coral Springs, Gainesville, Miramar, Clearwater, Pompano Beach, Palm Bay. GA : Atlanta Georgia, Augusta, Richmond, Columbus, Savannah, Athens, Clarke. ID : Boise. IL : Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Springfield, Peoria, Elgin. IN : Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend. IA : Des Moines, Cedar Rapids. KS : Wichita, Overland Park, Kansas, Topeka, Olathe. KY : Louisville, Jefferson, Lexington, Fayette. LA : New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lafayette. MD : Baltimore. MA : Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Cambridge. MI : Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint. MN : Minneapolis, St. Paul. MS : Jackson. MO : Kansas, St. Louis, Springfield, Independence. MT : Billings. NE : Omaha, Lincoln. NV : Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno, North Las Vegas. NH : Manchester. NJ : Newark, Jersey, Paterson, Elizabeth. NM : Albuquerque. NY : New York, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, Syracuse. NC : Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary town, High Point. OH : Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton. OK : Oklahoma, Tulsa, Norman. OR : Portland, Salem, Eugene. PA : Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie. RI : Providence. SC : Columbia, Charleston. SD : Sioux Falls. TN : Memphis, Nashville, Davidson, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Clarksville. TX : Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, Garland, Laredo, Lubbock, Irving, Amarillo, Brownsville, Grand Prairie, Pasadena, Mesquite, McAllen, Carrollton, Waco, Abilene, McKinney, Denton, Killeen, Beaumont, Midland, Wichita Falls. UT : Salt Lake, West Valley, Provo, West Jordan. VA : Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Arlington, Richmond, Newport News, Hampton, Alexandria, Portsmouth. WA : Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue. WI : Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay.