Some battery manufacturers and new scooter purchases only give sealed lead acid batteries a six month warranty - this doesn't necessarily mean that will only last six months. Age, storage, temperature and proper charging, (after every full use of your mobility scooter) will determine how long they will last.
What brand of battery is best?
Some more expensive brands such as UPG and Interstate might claim their batteries are superior, but again how old and how you look after your batteries will determine their life span. We supply locally sourced SLA batteries - this way we can pass on the savings to our customers. Having only a few batteries in stock and not a store full of aging batteries will help us ensure you're not getting old stock. Plus all our batteries have a 6 month limited warranty and no core charge so you can dispose of the batteries yourself at your local recycling center or let us dispose of them for you - please ask for more details.
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AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat)
SLA (Sealed Lead Acid)
GEL (Gel Cell Electrolyte Battery)
Note: Transport of Lithium-ion batteries on commercial aircraft is subject to federal regulations and airline policy. Please consult your airline prior to your flight to ensure your Scooter and its lithium-ion batteries are permitted
These two technologies are the two most commonly known on the market, with each having certain distinctions that allow them to perform effectively per the purpose they were designed. There are some who wonder which of these two batteries is the best to use. The answer to that is that there is no unanimous agreement, because each battery is designed to excel in an area in which the other is not, hence their performance will depend on the manner in which they are used, but GEL cell batteries tend to be more expensive verses standard SLA and AGM batteries.
Can I charge just one battery?
Most mobility scooters or power wheelchairs run on a 24v system and require a specific 24v Amp rated charger specific for the size of AH size battery. The charger is designed to charge each battery simultaneously via the XLR charger socket on the unit. Using a 12v charger or even a 12v car charger to try and charge each battery individually is NOT recommended and will invalidate any warranty on your batteries and scooter. Using a high rated Amp charger on low AH batteries can blow the battery box fuse and create to much heat within the batteries causing damage to cells and also make them to swell over time.
Can I change just one battery?
It is highly recommended to replace your batteries in pairs for the best results. Even though the batteries look in good condition, internally they can be weak. A load test would indicate if a battery is under-performing or going bad. If one battery is damaged or leaking the good battery will support the bad one which will effect the range, charge time and could also cause damage to the scooter. After time the charger will not perform a charge on the batteries. If you are unsure about your batteries or your charger you can contact us or ask your local dealer to perform a load test to each battery to confirm the health of each battery.
Can I change the batteries myself?
Yes. Most powered wheelchairs have batteries that are accessed by removing a shroud or a removable tray. Most mobility scooters have a removable pack or plastic case that is fastened with screws. Some cases require a longer screwdriver which can be purchased at many hardware stores. Internally they are attached by F2 (faston spade connectors) or internal thread or post nut and bolt. Please remember to attach the colored wire correctly to their corresponding positive (red) and negative (black) terminals. Failure can cause serious damage to the scooters electronics and controllers if connected incorrectly. We suggest doing one battery at a time to not mix up the right sequence. Please be aware that some battery packs secure their batteries with two strips of Velcro™ tape to the bottom of each battery, this can make removing the batteries difficult be careful not to damage and connectors, wires or the outer battery case.
If you are unsure about your batteries you can call or contact us or ask your local dealer to perform a load test to each battery to confirm the health of each battery. Using a multimeter will only show you the output voltage and not show you the batteries under load. We have seen brand new batteries show 13.6v using a multimeter and then put the same batteries on our load tester and one battery show complete failure even though it read 13.6v.
Can I over charge my batteries?
Most modern SLA battery chargers supplied with your scooter have an indicator light to show you when the batteries are fully charged. Some chargers feature a trickle charge mode where they keep your batteries topped up over time. However SLA batteries have limits to how many times you can charge them (300 - 400 charges) so we recommend that you fully charge each battery pack for no more than 12 hours after using the scooter. If you are not going to use the scooter the following day remove the charger and battery pack (if removable) but remember to pre charge the scooter battery pack prior to the next days use. We have also encountered a battery charger that was left on continuously and had tripped. The customer was trying to charge a power chair for several days but wasn't charging the batteries. Even though the power light was illuminated the batteries subsequently discharged to a point they where to week and had to be replaced.
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Always check your charger for and damage to the wiring especially around the XLR connector. See if there are any exposed wires or damaged to the metal outer plug and pins.
If you charger power indicator flashes when not plugged into your scooter this is a good indicator that the charger has failed or is faulty. Your charger is also a good indicator on the condition of your batteries. If your chargers charging indicator light is illuminated and stays on your charger is ok and the batteries are charging. Normal charge time is between 8 and 14 hours depending on how much the batteries have been depleted and their age.
If your scooter or power wheelchair battery indicator shows low battery power and your chargers charging light goes out quickly or doesn't light up this is a good indication that your batteries are at the end of their life. Also a non illuminating charging light can also indicated you have a blown fuse or a break in the wiring of the charger or scooter.
What do the number on the batteries mean?
- 12v - This is the amount of voltage the batteries produces
The higher the AH, the lager the wattage produced. Larger scooters and power chairs have larger motors with bigger wattage consumption which in turn require larger AH batteries.
My batteries wont charge
There are a couple of things you need to check if your batteries wont take a charge.
- First of all how old are the batteries? If your batteries are old or faulty your charger will be a good indicator that there is a problem with your batteries. If the charger detects that the batteries are beyond there life or have damaged cells it will not charge the batteries.
- Check your charger. Are there any exposed wires on the charger? Are any of the connections loose on the charger? Try plugging the charger into a different wall outlet (never an extension cord) Does the power light illuminate or power light flash? If the charge light doesn't illuminate or flashes you may have a faulty charger.
- Check the fuse on the battery pack of the scooter near the charger port. If you have a tiller mounted charge port try and locate the fuse for this (normally on the tiller) If this fuse has blown try charging the batteries directly through the charge port of the battery pack. Some battery packs have an internal fuse that can only be accesses by dismantling the battery pack. If the fuse has blown it has blown for a reason, a surge of power, a short in the wiring or the Amp rating of the charger is to high for the battery AH rating e.g. 12ah batteries use a 24v 2A output charger.
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Unfortunately, after allowing SLA batteries to completely deplete, most of the time they will not re-charge, especially after a long period of time. Sometimes they might recharge but will loose charge very quickly, reducing the range of the scooter or wheel chair. In some cases we have seen that charging dead or weak batteries can cause them to swell and leak out. This can cause serious damage to the scooter, battery case and internal wiring and it can also cause the charger to fail. In the worst cases the charger can over heat and cause a fire risk.
A normal and swollen battery caused by trying to charge a week battery
Other things to remember
- Take your charger with you if you are going somewhere all day just in case you need to charge your batteries.
- Consider upgrading to a larger AH battery or pack, or a spare battery pack if you are going to use your scooter for longer or further than the specified distance of the scooters range.
- After placing your batteries on charge after a day of use check the chargers charge indicator light after a minutes - if the charge light changes from red to green straight away then there might be a problem with your batteries and/or the charger.