Questions? Contact Mobility Equipment Recyclers:401-294-4111 Email


8 Most Common Power Wheelchair or Electric Scooter Repairs - Mobility Equipment for Less

8 Most Common Power Wheelchair or Electric Scooter Repairs

If you ran into a problem with your power wheelchair or electric scooter you have come to the right place! We tackle a plethora of issues in order to help our customers. Below is a list of 8 of the most common issues and details on what you should do if you encounter these issues.

Also check out our durable medical equipment repairs page!

1. Joystick Replacement

When trying to maneuver an electric wheelchair in a tight area, you can accidentally slam the joystick controller into the side of a wall. This hard impact can break the joystick into pieces, rendering the entire power chair useless. Moisture and other water damage can have a detrimental effect on the joystick also. 

If this happens, call 401-294-4111 with your Make, Model and Serial Number information, and we can send a technician right to your home to replace the broken part.

Here you can also view our selection of joystick controllers.

2. Brake Tightening

Rollator, walkers, and manual wheelchairs both have hand brakes installed on them so that the user can safely transfer from different positions. Over time, the hand brakes on both devices will start to give out and no longer touch the wheels. This can present a very unsafe situation, one with a high risk of fall and injury. Don’t let it get that far!

We will diagnose the problem and determine whether the brakes just need to be tightened, or simply replaced. This measure will ensure safe transfers and give the user, the caregiver and the family some piece of mind.

3. Tire Replacement

Much like a car tire, tires on manual and motorized wheelchairs eventually will need replacing. Tires will lose tread over time and it’s very important to change them regularly -- how regularly is obviously dependent on usage. If tires are bald they no longer will be able to grip the ground and terrain like they should.

Picture yourself on a wheelchair trying to navigate up a handicap ramp with a slight incline. Maybe it was cold the night before, and now there’s some black ice on the ground. What will happen is those tires will not have the right amount of tread to grip the ice and trudge forward, so you will be stuck there -- literally and figuratively -- spinning your wheels!

Dry rot is another common problem. Dry rot can eventually crack the tire into pieces and all you’ll be left with is a rim. Changing your tires is of utmost importance and just one of the many repair jobs we commonly see.

Browse our wheelchair tire selection here.

4. Motor Replacement

Another need that can arise with your powered mobility device is a motor replacement. The majority of scooters and electric wheelchairs are driven by 24 volt motors. These motors are connected to a gearbox or a transaxle assembly that is the drive train of your vehicle.

Over time, the gears, brushes, bearings and brake discs will wear out. How can you tell? If you start to hear “funny” noises coming from underneath your chair, like a grinding or whistling noise, chances are a motor or motors replacement is in your near future.

If your electric wheelchair is starting to pull to one side, that means one motor is starting to go bad, and the other motor is working twice as hard to compensate, hence the noticeable change of direction when driving. New electric wheelchair motors can be priced well over a thousand dollars for the pair, but you will be able to get refurbished motors for mobility equipment from us for just a fraction of that cost.

5. Cosmetic Damage

Besides tires, arm pads, leg rests, calf pads, seat cushions, seat backs, head rests, cover shrouds and other small parts and accessories are the most susceptible to cosmetic wear and tear, specifically dings, dents, scratches, rips, tears, etc.

A ripped arm pad not only looks unappealing, but it can also cause cuts and bruising to the skin -- not good! Head rests will eventually lose some of their comfort as the padding starts to wear down, same can be said for the cushions and back rests.

6. Battery/ Battery Charger Replacement

Power chair batteries unfortunately have a shelf life and do not last forever. If batteries have not been charged for an extended period of time, for instance, the entire duration of the winter time, come spring, chances are the batteries will not hold their charge properly and should be replaced. That is why it is important to maintain your power chair and electric scooter batteries even if you are not using it a lot. During the winter, to prevent battery issues, you should store your power wheelchair or electric scooter indoors.

Power wheelchairs and electric scooters need batteries in order to function. Most electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters that we sell and service run off of a 24 volt system, using two 12 volt batteries. The size of those batteries, meaning amp hours (Ah), will determine how frequently they have to be replaced. Small amp hour batteries, such as ones for electric patient lifts and Go-Go Scooters, will need to be replaced every one to two years. Large amp hour batteries, such as ones for Permobil and Quantum electric wheelchairs, are able to last five years or more. Keep in mind that not all battery manufacturers are created equal.

7. Detailed Cleaning

 For a lot of our clients their power chair or electric scooter is their only mode of transportation. It is, in essence, their motor vehicle. A detailed cleaning from our staff on your power wheelchair, electric scooter, manual wheelchairs, tilt-in-space wheelchairs, and hospital beds is similar to taking your car to the car wash. 

Dirt, grime, bacteria, and even mold can accumulate on our client's mobility devices, which is why we use products like Simple Green and Steri-Fab in conjunction with compressed air to thoroughly clean and sanitize your power wheelchair or electric scooter in order to make it germ free.

8. Actuator Replacement

Electric wheelchairs with power seating functions, such as Permobil and Quantum, use motorized actuators to tilt, elevate, lift, and recline the seat backwards. Over a lengthy period of time over extended use, these actuators will wear out and no longer work.

For those with skin conditions, paraplegia, and other medical conditions, not having these power seating functions can be detrimental to their overall health. We replace all kinds of actuators, including tilt, recline, elevate, and leg rests.


Those are the 8 most common repairs that we do here at Mobility Equipment Recyclers. However, there are too many different repairs that we have done to name. We repair equipment from a plethora of brands, makes, and models.

We are authorized providers for many popular brands including but not limited to:

If your mobility device is in need of repair, please feel free to contact us!

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