Analysts expect the market for power wheelchairs to grow by nearly 9.7% over the next five years, including for mobility scooters. Whether you’re new to using your mobility device or you’ve had one for years, you’ve probably heard how important regular maintenance is. You might also be wondering, how often you should service your device in New River Valley.
In fact, there are maintenance tasks you, or someone you trust should perform on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. You should also schedule a professional mobility scooter repair service once a year.
Find out more about mobility device maintenance, and you’ll be sure to keep your mobility device working its best for as long as possible.
Cleaning your power wheelchair every day is one of the most important preventative maintenance tasks you can do. Wipe the chair down with a damp cloth to remove any dirt. Dry the chair thoroughly.
Avoid using too much water when you clean. It can damage the motor, batteries, and controls of your power wheelchair.
You should also avoid using abrasive cleaners or chemicals. They can damage the electronics on your mobility device. They can also damage other materials like cloth or plastic.
You can use a soft brush to remove ingrained dirt. Check your owner’s manual to see if the seat cushion has a machine-washable removable cover.
A soft brush or a vacuum cleaner will remove food and debris in the nooks and crannies of the chair.
Inspections to Do Daily in New River Valley
You should inspect your mobility device every day. Daily inspections of certain key components will keep you safer and your mobility device in better condition.
Plastic covers or shrouds protect the electronics and the battery of the power wheelchair. If the covers are damaged or missing, dirt and moisture can damage your wheelchair.
Check to see if the covers are present, undamaged, and not loose.
The brakes are critically important to your safety. To test the brakes, turn down the speed on your mobility device. Push the joystick forward until you hear the brakes click. Release the joystick and listen for the sound of the brake working.
Complete this test three more times, moving the joystick backward, then left, and then right.
While using your power wheelchair, listen to how the motor sounds. If you know how it sounds when it’s working well, you’ll be better able to recognize when something is wrong.
More noise than usual can indicate worn bearings, belts that are out of alignment, or a problem with the gears. Noise can also be a sign of problems with the frame of the mobility device.
Inspections to Do Weekly in New River Valley
You should check components like the tires, wheels, and joystick weekly. You can identify potential problems before they become more serious.
If you have pneumatic (inflatable) tires, ensuring that you have enough air pressure will make your mobility device easier to maneuver. Proper air pressure helps your tires and wheels last longer.
Pressing down firmly on the tire with your thumb will give you a good idea of the air pressure. If you can press in more than the thickness of three pennies stacked together, you should add air.
A tire pressure gauge will give you more precise measurements. Each tire will have the recommended psi/bar/kPa rating marked on it.
Drive Tires and Castor Wheels
Your drive tires can be pneumatic or solid. In either case, you should check for cracks, punctures, and excessive wear and tear. You’ll need to replace the tires when the tread depth gets too low.
Castor wheels usually wear out faster than the drive tires. Check them carefully for cracks, bulges, and signs of wear. They should pivot and rotate freely.
While you’re driving, pay attention to any rapid vibration or shimmy in the castor wheels. Listen for sounds like clicking or grinding. These noises can be a sign that the bearings are wearing out.
A professional wheelchair repair service can replace your tires or wheels when necessary.
The joystick or other control interface gives you control over operating your mobility device. Be sure to avoid getting the joystick too wet. If you live in a wet climate, carrying a plastic bag to cover the controller in rainy weather can help prevent moisture from getting inside.
Turn off the joystick before you inspect it. Check that the rubber boot is intact. Look for any signs of damage on the joystick seal as well.
Ensure that all parts of the controller system are securely fastened. Be careful not to overtighten the fasteners, though.
Inspections to Do Monthly in New River Valley
The other elements of your power wheelchair can be part of your monthly inspections. These parts include the frame, anti-tip wheels, cushion, supports, and seat belts. You should also check the battery charger and electrical connections.
Frame, Nuts, and Bolts
Examine the frame of your mobility device for any cracks. Be sure the weld points are intact.
Check all of the nuts and bolts. Tighten any that are loose but be sure not to overtighten them.
Check to be sure the anti-tip wheels don’t drag on the ground when you drive. Look for any cracks and signs of excessive wear.
Inspect the cushion and the cover. Look for any tears, holes, and worn areas. The type of cushion you have determines the maintenance it needs. For example, an air cushion should be properly inflated. A foam cushion should bounce back after you press it.
The armrests, back support, and foot support should receive a monthly inspection. If you use head support or postural support, you should examine them as well.
Check to be sure the supports are intact and securely in place. Movable components should move freely, but they shouldn’t be loose enough to rattle.
Look for signs of damage or excessive wear. Pay special attention to the foot supports because they’re often the first part of the wheelchair to contact an obstacle.
The seat belt should latch properly and stay latched. Check the strap, buckle, and hardware for damage or signs of wear.
Check the battery charger cable to be sure it’s in good condition. Inspect the other electrical connectors for loose connections or damaged cables.
You should bring your power wheelchair for a professional wheelchair service once a year. If you live in an area that tends to have bad weather, you may want to get professional wheelchair maintenance twice a year.
Your daily, weekly, and monthly inspections combined with a yearly professional service will keep your power wheelchair working reliably for years.
Finding the Right Wheelchair Service Provider in New River Valley
Before you schedule an appointment for wheelchair service, you want to be sure you’re choosing a company that works for you. Freedom Mobility Center is dedicated to providing superior maintenance and repair services to our clients in the New River Valley area and beyond. We will maintain any power mobility device no matter where you bought it.
For annual wheelchair maintenance or a wheelchair repair, we’ll work with you and your caregivers to find the best time to perform the work at your home. We’ll offer you a replacement chair if repairs are necessary that we may not be able to complete in your home.
Contact us today to schedule a maintenance appointment. We look forward to earning your business.