How to Replace a Wheelchair Battery

The heart of any electric wheelchair is wheelchair battery. Electric chairs and scooters have rechargeable batteries that can fail and eventually burn out.

Any electric wheelchair veteran probably already knows this.

If you use a power chair or power wheelchair, you must learn how to change and replace batteries to stay independent or prepare for emergencies.

Like our other DIY guides, we always make sure you get the easiest way to do things.

In this article, I will show you the easiest way to replace and replace the electric wheelchair battery.

Insert the new wheelchair battery (2)

How to Charge Wheelchair Battery

If you have a place to go or a face to see, nothing can stop you, especially the electric wheelchair batteries.

If you’re planning to replace your power chair’s battery, here’s a step-by-step guide on the entire process.

1. Unplug the power plug

The first thing you must do before attempting to replace the battery in a power chair is to disconnect the power chair from any power source.

You can easily disconnect the chair from the power source by tracing all the wires connected to the wheelchair chassis or joystick and disconnecting them from the wall outlet.

2. Remove the robot and screws around the battery compartment

Now that the chair is disconnected from the power source, turn the chair around and remove all bolts and screws holding the battery compartment in place.

You’ll need a screwdriver or scanner to loosen the screws around the battery compartment. After loosening all the screws and bolts, remove the frame and you will see the battery.

However, keep in mind that some models use a non-removable wheelchair safety system. This means the manufacturer doesn’t want you to tamper with the chair or its system.

If your wheelchair uses a non-removable wheelchair safety system, the battery is usually located under the chair. You can simply slide the battery out from under the wheelchair.

3. Open the battery compartment

Once all the screws and bolts around the battery are exposed, disconnect all wires from the battery terminals, making sure to disconnect the red wire before continuing to connect other wires.

After removing all the wires from the terminals, move to the bottom of the batteries, there should be four screws around each battery. Loosen all eight screws and remove the two batteries.

4. Insert the new battery

Finally, it’s time to install a new set of batteries. After removing the damaged old battery from the electric wheelchair, unbox and install the new battery.

Reconnect the wires in the battery terminals and screw the battery back into the chair.

After reconnecting the wires to the battery terminals, you can turn on the power chair to see if everything is ok before reassembling the chair.

If you open the chair, it works and you can keep closing the battery compartment.

If you turn on the chair and it doesn’t work, one of the wires at the battery terminals is not connected properly; reconnect it properly and everything should be back to normal.

When done, close the chair and reconnect the joystick. Test the chair to see if everything works.

If it works, you’ve just successfully replaced the power chair’s battery. Do not use the battery immediately, it is recommended that you fully charge the new battery [10 – 12 hours] before use.

If it still doesn’t work, you may have made a mistake when inserting the new battery. Read the manufacturer’s manual carefully to see what you’re doing wrong, or have a technician help you install it.

Insert the new wheelchair battery (1)

How to care for a wheelchair battery

There are certain things you can do to ensure that the battery in your wheelchair stays in the top condition, lasts longer, and serves you better.

Whether you are a wheelchair user or a caregiver, the steps are straightforward, easy to follow and require no technical knowledge.

Here are some of the best ways to ensure your wheelchair battery maintains peak performance.

1. Store the battery at room temperature

Avoid exposing your wheelchair battery to heat, extreme heat or cold. High temperatures can cause battery cells to overheat and subsequently reduce their efficiency.

Riding a power wheelchair in snow or other cold climates can reduce its overall performance. You can always feel if the battery case is too hot or too cold.

The optimal operating temperature of the electric wheelchair battery is between 15°C and 32°C.

2. Don't overcharge your battery

If you have a new battery, it is best to charge it for 12 hours before using it. But over time, it’s recommended that you only charge them for 6 or 8 hours.

That means you have to plug in the electric chair overnight and unplug it from the wall outlet when you wake up in the morning.

Overcharging the battery in the chair will only degrade its overall performance. 

3. Don't drain all the cells in the battery 

Do not empty the battery from the battery before charging it again. Once you see the low battery warning, get out of the chair and charge it.

Most wheelchair batteries have 1000 charge cycles, so charge the power chair while the battery still has life.

4. Drive a power chair only when necessary

One of the things I often see people in power chairs do is ride their wheelchairs all over the place. Some even use their chairs for racing, rafting, slalom, curb climbing, and many other stunts that strain tires and batteries.

Stunts like this can shorten the battery life of a power chair.

If you want to go to your favorite coffee shop or shopping center, please call a taxi or Uber to take you there.

If the distance is more than 30 minutes or two miles, please do not ride a wheelchair there. This will save energy in the battery and ensure it stays in top shape.

5. Carry only what you must carry in the wheelchair

Carrying excess weight in a wheelchair is one of the easiest ways to destroy a power wheelchair.

Most power wheelchairs weigh about 400 pounds based on your body weight; you can weigh up to 550 pounds in total.

No need to add anything that would make the total weight of the chair over 800 pounds. So tell your sibling or best friend to hitchhike elsewhere.

care for a wheelchair battery

How do I charge a dead wheelchair battery

When your wheelchair doesn’t fully charge, discharges after each charge, or in some worse cases, is completely dead and doesn’t respond to the charging current, then it’s dead and you’ll need to lift it back to normal working conditions.

Charging a dead electric wheelchair battery is easy; you can use a pulse charger or use another battery to charge the battery.

How to charge a dead wheelchair battery

When your wheelchair is not fully charged, discharged after each charge, or in some worse cases, completely dead and not responding to the charging current, then it is dead and you need to lift it back to the normal working condition.

Charging a dead electric wheelchair battery is easy, use a pulse charger or use another battery to charge the battery.

How to charge a dead wheelchair battery

How many hours can an electric wheelchair walk

If the battery in your power chair is working optimally, it should serve you 8-10 hours a day. That’s the equivalent of 16 miles per full charge.

How can I make the battery in my wheelchair last longer?

Just charge the battery in your wheelchair before it drops below 10% and it will last longer than you expect.

Batteries in wheelchairs and mobility scooter will last longer if they are charged before the batteries are dead.

Even if you are your battery is empty; do not leave a dead battery out for more than a day without charging.

This principle also applies to other electric and rechargeable devices, including lights, laptops, speakers, cell phones, smartphones

Which type of wheelchair battery is stronger

The battery type also affects its strength, I’ve used gel sealed lead acid, deep cycle AGM, Li-Ion, and even higher Ah batteries.

I can tell you that the gel-sealed lead acid battery is the best of the three rechargeable wheelchair batteries.

What is the lifespan of an electric wheelchair battery

All things being equal, the average lifespan of an electric wheelchair battery is 19 months.

While wheelchair batteries have an average lifespan of 16 months; proper use can extend their lifespan. Using your chair occasionally and charging it with a charger provided or recommended by the manufacturer will keep your battery going for longer.

How long can the wheelchair battery be charged

Most electric wheelchairs take up to 6 hours to complete a charging cycle. Some may take up to 12 hours to charge from 0% to 100%.

The rechargeable wheelchair battery must be replaced after prolonged use.

Conclusion

This article provides detailed guidelines on how to replace your wheelchair battery and other important tips to ensure the longevity of your power chair battery.

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