A Beginner's Guide to Electric Scooter Maintenance: Everything to Know
If you want your electric scooter to run for years, you need to know how to take care of it. Here is a beginner's guide on electric scooter maintenance.
Americans spent more than 84 billion hours in their cars in 2015 alone. While some of those trips were long, most were just a few miles.
Those short trips are far more enjoyable when you can enjoy the great outdoors and the best way to handle those trips is on an electric scooter.
You’ll arrive at your destination looking and feeling fresh and won’t have to deal with that frustrating gridlock your coworkers deal with every day. However, you will need to take care of some regular electric scooter maintenance if you want your commute to go smoothly.
Here are a few key tasks to take care of.
CHARGE THE BATTERY OFTEN
Your scooter’s battery needs to be fully charged for you to be able to use your scooter without worrying about the motor shutting off when you least expect it. Get in the habit of charging it to 100 percent every few days or after every ride.
This will help extend the life of the battery so you won’t have to worry about spending hundreds of dollars on a replacement sooner than you should.
Every battery, whether it’s a lithium-ion battery or sealed lead acid battery lasts for a set number of charging cycles. One complete charging cycle occurs when you drain the battery and then recharge it to 100 percent.
When you do this often, the battery will start to lose its ability to hold a full charge, shortening the scooter’s range. By charging your battery after every ride, you’ll extend the lifespan and charge capacity for years.
STORE IT SAFELY
The best way to handle electric scooter maintenance is to prevent as much damage as you can in the first place. Start by making sure you’re storing your scooter in a safe place.
You’ll want to choose a location that’s out of direct sunlight and in an area where temperatures are steady. Keeping it in overly warm or cold conditions can damage the battery and cause the components to break down faster.
If you use the scooter to commute to work or run errands, bring it inside whenever possible. This will keep it out of the elements which will cut down on corrosion and general wear and tear.
KEEP THE MOVING COMPONENTS CLEAN
At least once a week, take the time to clean your scooter. Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off dust and grime that collected on the handlebars and stem. Wash the deck with lukewarm water and a bit of dish soap.
For stubborn dirt and caked-on mud, use a nylon-bristled scrub brush to lift it away and rinse the area with warm water. If you need to get between the wheel spokes and hinges, use a toothbrush to scrub the grime away.
Remove any plant matter that collects in the spokes and axels. Leaving it in place can cause your wheels to jam and could send you flying over the handlebars.
Take care not to get the electrical components wet. If you need to do work around those areas, do so carefully.
If you notice water on any of the components, mop it up with a clean microfiber cloth immediately. Let the components dry before you use the scooter again.
CHECK TIRE PRESSURE BEFORE EVERY RIDE
Get in the habit of checking your tire pressure before you take the scooter out. Proper inflation helps you reach maximum speed without taxing your motor.
A simple bike tire gauge will do the trick. Many air pumps have these built into the system so you’ll be able to maintain proper inflation easily.
If your wheels are solid rubber or have solid rubber tubes, check them for damage. Look for cracks in the rubber that indicate dry rot or damage. If you notice the tread wearing more quickly on one wheel, order a new tire and install it as soon as you can.
The better your wheels are, the more fun your scooter will be to use.
It’s also a good idea to carry a patch kit with you on rides. This way, you’ll be able to repair a flat quickly without derailing your commute.
INSPECT CABLES FOR WEAR AND TEAR
Every electric scooter has a dedicated brake system to help you stop on a dime when you’re cruising down the road. That brake system relies on a series of cables to operate. When you pull the lever, you adjust the tension on the cable which then allows the brake to engage.
When the cables are in good condition, the brake system works properly. When they’re old, frayed, rusted, or damaged, your brakes won’t work as well as they should. Worse, they can fail entirely.
Take the time to inspect your cables for wear and tear. Make sure the plastic housing for the cables is solid and not peeling off.
Do the same for your throttle cable and housing while you’re inspecting the brakes.
If you notice any damage to the cables or their housing, you may need to replace the cables. It’s best to leave this to a professional whenever possible.
AVOID RIDING IN WET CONDITIONS
Your scooter is able to handle exposure to the elements, but it’s not meant to get ridden through standing water frequently. The water often gets trapped inside the fenders and joints of your scooter and can cause the metal to corrode.
If possible, try to avoid riding in heavy rain or through deep puddles. If you have no other option, make sure you dry your scooter thoroughly when you reach your destination.
If you find yourself riding in wet conditions often, keep an eye out for corrosion on the metal components. If you notice any starting to form, clean it off with an approved rust remover.
KEEP ALL JOINTS AND PARTS LUBRICATED
Every moving component on your electric scooter needs lubrication. Otherwise, the components will grind against each other and will end up damaged after just a few uses.
So, what do you need to lubricate? You’ll want to start with the brakes, chain, and hinges if you have a folding scooter. If other components or parts of the motor sound like they’re grinding, it’s best to let an experienced technician make the repairs for you.
As a general rule, you’ll need to lubricate those components at least once a month to keep the scooter in good condition. If you ride in dusty areas or leave your scooter outdoors often, you may need to lubricate the components more frequently.
Think about your riding habits and plan your electric scooter maintenance accordingly.
Avoid using household lubricants when possible. Instead, use lubricants designed for bicycles and scooters.
CHECK YOUR BRAKES
Brake system maintenance is an absolute must if you want to stay safe on the road. Every week, check your brake pads, discs, or rotors for wear and tear.
If the components look worn down, you’ll need to replace them with new parts. When shopping for brake system replacements, make sure you choose the right type and size. Remember, scooter wheels are smaller so most standard e-bike components won’t work.
Pay attention to the way the brake levers feel when you squeeze them. They should be easy to move, but not so loose that they hit the handlebar when you engage the brake fully.
TIGHTEN LOOSE BOLTS BEFORE EVERY RIDE
Before you hit the road, do a simple safety check and make sure all bolts and screws on your scooter are tight. If they’re loose, grab your hex wrench and tighten them.
Use enough force to make sure the bolts are secure, but not so much that you’re forcing the bolt beyond the threads. This can damage both the bolt and the threading on the scooter itself.
Once that threading gets stripped, you’ll need to drill a new hole to repair the threading. This can threaten the integrity of the scooter itself.
SCHEDULE AN ANNUAL INSPECTION
If you’re using your scooter as your primary means of transportation, these basic electric scooter maintenance tasks may not be enough to keep it in good shape. You’ll want to schedule an annual inspection with your trusted mechanic.
They’ll be able to go over the scooter and make any necessary repairs before they turn into serious problems. Even better, they’ll be able to spot issues quickly and can preserve your scooter’s warranty for years to come.
FOLLOW THIS ELECTRIC SCOOTER MAINTENANCE GUIDE
Nothing beats the feeling of the wind on your face as you glide down the street on your scooter. Make sure you keep it in good condition by following this electric scooter maintenance guide.
The more maintenance you can take care of yourself, the longer your scooter will last and the more fun you’ll have.
If you’re looking for an upgrade to your older model that just doesn’t seem to ride well, don’t wait.