Why does my mobility scooter keep slowing down?

Scooter slowing down
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Why does my mobility scooter keep slowing down?

There can be many factors on a modern mobility scooter that can cause it to slow down, in this post we will look at some of the common culprits that may be causing your mobility scooter to operate slower than usual.

1. Battery check

Of course, one of the first areas that may be causing a less than perfect mobility scooter performance can be due to battery wearing out slowly over time and being in a state of near failure. 

Most modern mobility scooter batteries will be linked to a battery health monitor on the scooter dashboard that can look like a series of LED lights going from green to red, or an analogue needle dial that shows the battery health of the scooter.

If either of these meters shows a rapid decrease when power is required for a slight gradient, or the meter is never all the way to the top shortly after a full charge, then the battery may well be the cause of the slow down and lack of performance. 

If it looks like you need a new mobility scooter battery, then check out our full range here

If you are still pondering ‘why does my mobility scooter keep slowing down? The next area of inspection should be the brakes of the mobility scooter.

2, Is it your brakes?

Mobility scooter brakes have many components that can wear over time and cause the mobility scooter to slow down, even if the battery is in very good health. 

The first thing to check is that when each wheel of the mobility scooter is lifted off the floor, are the wheels spinning freely and without you having to apply too much pressure? If the wheels are not freely turning, there could be a friction issue that needs to be addressed. 

Modern disc brakes on mobility scooters can have issues in their settings and individual caliper tensions, that can mean that a dragging can occur as the discs are unevenly spaced from the rotor, causing this mechanical drag. 

Such brake issues are best dealt with by a professional mobility scooter technician and if you are in doubt, you should ask for this to be checked by your local mobility scooter service centre. If you are in the North West of the UK we can offer a full brake checking service at our Garstang Mobility Store

3. Tyre pressure causing slow down

As with all vehicles that have tyres, the pressure of these tyres needs to be at the correct level to ensure that the motor is not having to over-compensate for the additional drag caused by underinflated tyres.

Underinflated tyres can cause your mobility scooter to slow down markedly over time and can also mean that your battery charge and distance you can travel are both compromised.

All pneumatic tyres will lose a slight amount of pressure each day which is normal, but a greater loss of tyre pressure in a shorter time may indicate a problem such as a slow puncture, this problem will obviously not occur on solid tyre mobility scooter models. 

A good way to ensure correct tyre pressure is to measure the tyre pressures several times over the course of a day. May be up to 3 times in a 12 hour period so you can see the rate of loss of pressure. If one or more of the tyres are losing pressure then this will highlight the problem and a replacement tyre or tyres sought. 

Of course, always check your tyre pressures regularly so they comply with the manufacturers recommended settings and top up every few months as necessary, even if there are no apparent problems detected.

4. Hardware / Firmware issues

Although less common, modern mobility scooters have technologically advanced computer circuitry and firmware controlling and monitoring many of the functions of the mobility scooter. 

Updates to firmware from the manufacturer or even bugs inherent in your individual model may cause certain components to function incorrectly which can sometimes have an impact on speed and performance.

Some firmware updates are sent via a Bluetooth connection from a computer or even a mobile phone directly to the scooter, this is then applied via a short update process usually over a couple of minutes or even just a few seconds.

Any apparent malfunction that occurs shortly after a firmware update could indicate a potential problem with the update, it is therefore important to contact customer support of the scooter vendor or manufacturer for a double check that the error has not been caused by the update.

As with all software and firmware updates available on the web, always check that yours is from an official source as using an unofficial version may well invalidate your mobility scooter warranty.  

5. What mode is the scooter in?

Different scooter models have modes that are based on an economy setting, this may say ECO or BEGINNER, but different manufacturers may have their own names for different power settings.

Each one of these custom settings can have an impact upon the speed (and sometimes braking) of the mobility scooter and it can be common for the settings to be inadvertently changed during use, putting the mobility scooter into a lower power mode and affecting available speed.  

This problem can also occur if a different user has adjusted settings to their own preferences and not changed them back to how they were before. 

If you still feel that even with these checks, that your mobility scooter is running slow there can be other causes and the best course of action is to let a professional technician give it a once-over.

If you need any parts for any aspect of your mobility scooter care, service and repair regimen, then we have a full range of quality parts including tyres and batteries, please either visit the parts section of our website here, or you can search the website from any page using the top search navigation field.