If you have and use an electric scooter regularly, it is inevitable that you going to have an issue with it at some time. When something does break, are you going to want to repair it yourself or hire someone else?
If at all possible, you should learn how to repair your own electric scooter. Certainly if you have any basic ability to follow directions, there are enough video repair guides on YouTube that can help you. In this article we are going to go over the most common problems in electric scooters and how to repair them.
What Are The Most Common Electric Scooter Repairs?
- Battery fails to charge or loses charge quickly
- Motor doesn’t start
- Motor starts but the scooter doesn’t move
- Brakes don’t work properly
- Belts fall off
- Tires are flat
- You’ve lost the key
- You’ve lost the battery charger
So let’s say that you’ve come home after a long day of classes or work and you plug your charger into your battery on your electric scooter. However, instead of the normal lights on the charger that turn green, the lights are red or don’t come on at all.
It could be that you simply need to unplug all the connections and try again. Perhaps something just didn’t contact properly the first time. Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave it charging overnight and see if it does eventually charge. Letting it charge for at least 12 hours (but not over 24 hours) is a good way to make sure that the charger is actually functional.
Okay, so let’s say you do that and Still doesn’t work? There are 3 possibilities:
- The outlet isn’t working properly. You can test the outlet by using a multi-meter (check here). This isn’t a bad little tool to have with you as someone who owns an electric scooter. If you’re prone to plugging in your charger in many different outlets, you may always want to test the outlet before you plug in the charger for safety and efficiency reasons.
- Pull out your multi-meter and attach the pointed probes first. Make sure it’s set for AC and plug the probes into the proper vertical slot (live slot on the right, neutral on the left, and the ground is the slot above the others. If you get a reading between 110-120 volts, then your outlet is working correctly.
- The battery isn’t working properly. It could be that the battery itself has failed or that it’s simply worn out. You may be able to tell if a battery is worn out if you’ve noticed lately that the charge on the battery is lasting less time every time you charge it.
- If this is the first time you’ve tried to charge the battery in quite a while because it’s been sitting in your garage or basement for several months, the battery could very well be bad. It’s not meant to sit without a charge for so long.
- You can use the multi-meter to check the battery. If the battery’s voltage reading comes back less than what the battery is supposed to be (such as 24V, etc), then the battery pack may need to be replaced.
- The battery charger unit isn’t working properly. First just do the simple things and check for any obvious defects on the charger itself. Damaged prongs? Frayed cord? If you do see any damage to the wiring of the charger, don’t attempt a repair yourself. Take it to a proper repair shop or replace it. Attempting to repair electrical wiring could result in damage to both the charger or yourself. Check with your user’s manual for information about checking the charger.
You could also take your scooter to a friend who has a similar electric scooter with an identical voltage battery. Use their compatible charger and see if it works. In the end, if you just can’t determine where the charging problem lies, just take the scooter to an actual repair shop. We will discuss at the end of this article where to find one.
Problems With The Motor/Belts
Maybe you have a good charge but your motor won’t start. What if you start the motor fine, but it doesn’t run properly throughout the ride? Let’s look at many of the possible problems.
- Motor Doesn’t Start.
- Did the battery charge properly? Go back and look at the previous section if you aren’t sure if the battery charged.
- The battery did charge properly? Okay, here’s the stupid answer: is it on? Make sure the scooter’s power switch is actually in the “on” position.
- Inspect the scooter. Any funny smells or liquids coming from the motor? Any exposed wiring? If yes to any of these questions means replacement of certain parts.
- Check the fuse with the multi-meter. Burned-out fuses are a common reason why motors won’t start.
- Try just pushing the scooter for a few seconds to try and get it started. Stand on the scooter with one leg and push off with the other while activating the throttle.
- Maybe it’s a faulty braking system? Some scooter models have an engaged braking system that prevents the motor from running when the brake is engaged. Disconnect the braking level wire connector from the speed controller and see if the motor finally runs. If it does, then you have a faulty braking lever wire. For that type of repair or if, at this point, you still haven’t figured out what’s wrong with the motor, take it to the repair shop.
- Motor Runs Too Slow
- Make sure the battery is properly charged. See the top section above.
- Inspect the speed controller and the motor for any burning smells or loose wires. If there are any damaged components to the speed controller then it will have to be replaced.
- Motor Runs But Scooter Won’t Move
- The power transmission area of the scooter is probably defective. Inspect the belt and make sure that it doesn’t look damaged. Check the belt cogs.
- If the belt moves when the motor runs but the rear wheel doesn’t spin, it’s probably the clutch that is broken.
- If the motor runs but the belt doesn’t move then it could be an improperly installed belt (too loose or misaligned). If you want to try replacing the belt yourself you should make sure you get the correct replacement belt. Check the currently installed belt for a series of letters/numbers that identifies the model.
- To fix a misaligned belt or just replace it, consult your manual or search YouTube for a good video representation of how these things are done. If you’re not confident on how to do this still, then take the scooter to a repair shop.
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Brakes Don’t Work Properly
This type of scooter failure is something that should be addressed quickly and thoroughly. Brake issues can lead to severe injury of both the rider and possibly others (scooter or bike riders, pedestrians). Injuries can lead to disabilities or lawsuits. Think your brakes aren’t working properly?
- Inspect the entire braking system. Rear braking systems are usually disc brakes so make the sure the disc pads are clean and not overly worn. Make sure all the wiring looks clean and intact. If everything looks good, try and tighten the brakes themselves or the braking connector on the brake lever. Consult your manual for a more thorough explanation. Again, if you can’t adequately repair the problem, take the scooter to a repair shop.
Tires Are Going Flat
When an electric scooter tire goes flat, it’s very similar to when a car tire or a bicycle tire goes flat. There’s only a few possibilities for why this happens.
- There’s some type of physical object that has punctured the tire. Most scooters aren’t going to be ridden in an area where there could be broken glass or nails strewn across the road. However, you never know when that one tiny nail ends up in your path. Make a complete inspection of the outside of the tire.
- If you do have a puncture, one of the best things to carry with you whenever you ride your scooter is Slime Tire Sealant. Let your tire go completely flat and then pull the sharp object that caused the flat. Remove the valve core using the tool included with the Slime product. Attach the Slime tube to the tire valve and squeeze in the material while spinning the tire to fully distribute the sealant. Then replace the valve core and fill the tire up with air at a local gas station (hopefully). The scooter is now safe to ride again.
- If the tires seem chronically under-inflated, make sure that you fill your tires up with air all the way to the top of the recommended pressure level. Under-inflated tires can feel flat to a new rider. If you’re a heavier rider and tend to stand further back on the deck you may want to check tire pressures regularly to avoid this situation.
Lost Your Key/Charger?
What do you do when you’ve actually lost the key to your electric scooter? One way to try and prevent this issue in the first place is to always have at least a few copies of your key in secure locations. However, if you’ve already lost your only key, then the fastest and cheapest way to fix the issue is to just replace the switch itself. Most scooter models’ switches cost under $10 and are fairly easy to replace.
If you can’t get a new switch for some reason, then your only other option is to call a locksmith and that’s going to be a lot more expensive. It’s also time consuming. Getting a locksmith to come out and make a new key will likely cost you a few hours and at least $100.
Finding Replacement Parts
Depending on the popularity of your scooter model, replacement parts can be easy or very, very tough to find.
Here are some electric scooter replacement part companies online:
- Wild Scooter Parts – An authorized dealer in parts for Razor, Schwinn, Xiaomi, and others. There is a fairly complete catalog of Razor Scooter parts at reasonable prices.
- Electric Scooter Parts – Easily the most complete and most diverse selection of scooter replacement parts. It also has on the website many repair guides to help you fix your scooter no matter what the problem.
- Parts For Scooters – Primarily a Razor replacement part site.
- Ebay – Yep, Ebay.
- Amazon – There’s a lot of different replacement parts that can be found here. Most folks will probably use Amazon for items like replacement battery chargers or even batteries themselves.
Finding A Repair Shop
Maybe you’ve tried everything above and you still can’t fix your scooter. Maybe you don’t even want to try. Where can you find someone who has the skills and knowledge to know how to repair your prized electric scooter?
- Search locally for a scooter retail shop. They have become much more common in recent years and most communities should have one near. If they are selling scooters, they probably also have someone there who repairs them. Also, sometimes shops that also repair ATVs or even motorcycles will be able to repair scooters.
- Check in with your local bicycle shop as well. You never know if someone there can also repair scooters in addition to bikes.
- Many college campuses should also have resources for electric scooter owners. There may be a college club or just a gathering area online where folks can trade info such as where to get an electric scooter repaired.
- In areas where there are abundant rental electric scooters, there are usually independent scooter repair people.
- Check out this Scooter Repair Shop search tool.
- You can also check out sites like YouTube for videos on how to do repairs and even some basic maintenance tasks. Some of these videos are even produced by scooter manufacturers so you would get the best information.
Electric Scooter Maintenance Tips
If you plan on using your electric scooter regularly and for a long time you should really invest time weekly to inspect your scooter and do some basic maintenance. There are some common areas that you should focus on to keep your scooter in proper working condition.
- Tire Maintenance – Tires are one of the most common trouble areas in an electric scooter. There are two basic issues with tires that you’re going to want to focus.
- Tire Pressure – Inadequate or low tire pressure can cause you to wear your tires out faster and also result in a less than optimal ride. Consult your owner’s manual and use a tire pressure gauge to check the tire pressure regularly. Keep the air pressure at the top end of the recommended range.
- Preventing Flat Tires – You can actually prevent most flat tires with your scooter. Using a product called Slime is the best way to protect and fix your tires.
- The Slime tubes come with a small tool on the cap that will remove your valve core from the tire.
- Once the valve core is removed, simply attach the Slime tube onto the tire valve and squeeze the material inside. Check their website to know how much Slime you will need to properly protect your scooter tires.
- Once the Slime is added then reattach the valve core and attach an air hose to begin re-inflating your tire. Spin the tire during this process to make sure that the Slime material is spread out evenly along the tire. Use a tire pressure gauge to check for the proper filling pressure.
- If your electric scooter tires are tubeless this product works well as a preventative as well.
- If the weather hasn’t been good in a while and you’ve put the scooter up for the winter, take it out at least every few weeks and fully charge the battery. If a scooter is left for several months without being charged at all it can damage the battery to the point of needing replacement.
- Keep the battery clean and free of corrosion. Clean with an iron brush if you find any corrosion on the battery terminals. Use a dry clean cloth to wipe the battery down if dirty. If you find that there’s a lot of dirt or mud or other stuff on your battery use a proper battery cleaning solution instead of just plain water.
- Keep the chain/belt of your scooter clean and make sure it’s properly lubricated weekly if you’re a heavy user.
- If you get a lot of play (greater than 1/4″) in the chain when checking it, then it’s likely too loose. A loose chain or belt will cause slipping and potential damage to the cogs or sprockets. Check your owner’s manual to know what’s recommended for tightness. Keeping this area well-maintained will prevent you from having to replace cogs or your motor/rear wheel sprocket too soon.
- A thorough inspection of your scooter every month should also look for any loose bolts or wires. Anything found loose should be tightened or fixed immediately and you should come back and look at that area again in a week to make sure that the problem doesn’t begin to repeat itself.
- This is actually a very important step after you’ve first assembled your electric scooter and ridden it for a week. It’s at that point that things that you didn’t assemble 100% correctly may start to cause issues. Recheck all your connections a week into ownership to prevent a major headache down the road.
Ride Smart To Prevent Problems
The rider of an electric scooter can do quite a bit while on the scooter to prevent many issues from occurring. Don’t ride the electric scooter in extremely cold weather. Don’t ride the scooter through puddles or while it’s raining. It doesn’t matter that the batteries are sealed and should be impervious to water. Other electrical components can be affected by water as well.
Don’t deliberately ride on uneven surfaces if you can help it. Bumping and bouncing an electric scooter while riding is a great way to wear down your components much faster than intended. It also a great way to loosen bolts and wires that will cause all kinds of issues down the road. Don’t cause yourself more problems. You wouldn’t want to drive your car through potholes or on really bad road conditions so you shouldn’t do it on your scooter as well.
Finally, don’t let anyone else ride your electric scooter unless you trust them to ride it as you would. Even just a five-minute test ride for a friend could result in major maintenance headaches for you.
In the end, most repairs needed on an electric scooter can be done by someone willing to research and learn. Develop a proper and repeatable maintenance routine to try and prevent as many breakdowns as possible. With proper care and responsible riding, most electric scooters can last for years.