Electric Scooters require certain maintenance considerations to keep them in safe and working order. Moving parts are susceptible to friction damage over time, tires can lose pressure, and batteries may have significantly-lessened longevity with improper charging. Finding the best electric scooter for your needs is only half the battle; knowing how to keep that escooter in good condition is the other half. This maintenance guide is meant to help everyone ensure their electric scooters best performance.

Electric Scooter Maintenance 101

Recognizing the unique attributes of your electric scooter is an essential first step in learning how to best perform required maintenance. The first notable consideration to make is that electric scooters have batteries. This sounds silly to bring up, but understanding that your scooter’s battery is the most important factor contributing to your scooter’s performance will help ensure better maintenance. Moving parts are the second most important consideration to make.

Double checking everything before you begin riding an electric scooter will ensure that when and if a malfunction occurs—you’ll be as prepared as possible

These are areas on your scooter that are susceptible to wear and tear over time from friction (two parts rubbing together). These are areas like brake pads, wheels, brake handles, and folding points. Your electric scooter’s tires should be given attention on a regular basis. If you have inflatable tires, ensure your tire pressure is within the recommended range before each use. If you have thicker composite tires—you can be less attentive, but should still perform visual tests on your scooter’s tires. This guide will describe each of these considerations in much more detail below.

Electric Scooter Maintenance Guide Image RideZoom

General Maintenance

There are many specific aspects of electric scooter maintenance that need to be addressed in deeper detail. These are such considerations as battery health, brake function, and tire performance. Each of these areas of scooter maintenance require several different points of consideration and are outlined in more detail throughout this guide. This first section covers more general considerations that need to be made that often require model-specific knowledge. Always consult your operator’s manual before performing any type of maintenance routines to ensure future operation is done so safely. Below are some general maintenance considerations that need to be made for any escooter.

Check Folding Joints

Many scooters such as the Zoom Stryder offer the great benefit of being able to collapse into a more convenient size. This is often the result of an extra mechanical joint being included, typically near or above the front wheel, and allows the overall size of the scooter to be greatly reduced. Lower quality scooters may not have lower-quality folding joints that could quickly become hazardous if not attended to. The Zoom Stryder has implemented a well-machined design to ensure that unwanted folding doesn’t occur during active use and that un-intended unfolding doesn’t happen during storage. It’s recommended to check the resiliency of your scooters folding action before each use to ensure all joints are operating as intended.

Lubricate Moving Parts

The one thing common to all electric scooters is moving parts—wheels, accelerators, brake cables, foot brakes, and other similar devices. Anything that moves creates friction and can, in time, be susceptible to normal wear and tear. Ensuring that essential parts such as bearings, wheels, or calipers have adequate lubrication will help reduce the amount of accrued friction throughout the lifecycle of your scooter. Consult your scooter’s operating manual to understand the best type of lubricant to for your product. As a general rule, lubrication should be done at least once a month for regular use and maybe twice if heavy use is involved.

Check Fastener Tightness

Similar to the issue of friction, fasteners such as screws and bolts have to deal with the impact of constant movement as well. The constant vibrations felt throughout a scooter during use are known to cause small incremental loosening of screws, bolts, and other fasteners. This isn’t a process that happens quickly so there’s no need to check on a daily basis. Good practice dictates that one should check the tightness of all fasteners before the first use and then perform a casual check once per week after that. If Problems are identified you may need to adjust the frequency that you check as well as perform more detailed checks to ensure proper function. Sometimes a loose screw will cause little more harm than having something make a rattling sound though other times it could give way to a very abrupt issue.

Electric Scooter Battery Maintenance RideZoom

Battery Maintenance

Electric scooter batteries are a rapidly-evolving technology, and you may need to make special considerations depending on your scooter’s battery type. Most quality scooters today feature lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are high-performance, low-weight, and are produced in a smaller form than many comparable lead-acid batteries of the past. Advances in battery technology have framed notable technological advances throughout the history of electric scooters. While gas-powered kick scooters were invented as early as 1920, folding electric scooter models like those available today weren’t commercially available to most buyers until the late 1990’s. Modern mobile batteries are sleeker, more powerful, and more able to provide efficient and long-lasting power for consumer devices than ever before. All batteries have a life-cycle, the end of which is marked by their tragically-decreased ability to provide lasting charges. Fortunately, there is excellent research in the field to help provide insight into how to maintain your batteries to ensure longevity and performance! Below is an outline of the key factors to keep in mind.

Temperature

In the world of electrical engineering, temperature plays a huge role in how anything with electrical current performs. Batteries such as lithium-ion designs found in most quality scooters have been found to have an optimal performance range of near-room-temperature. Extreme colds or extreme heat will cause batteries to underperform and degrade more quickly. Research has demonstrated that keeping lithium-ion batteries within temperature ranges near 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) provides the best environment for battery longevity [1]. Apply this knowledge to your electric scooter’s regular maintenance by storing your scooter indoors, away from heating sources in the summer, and nearer to heating sources in the winter.

Depth Of Discharge

The depth of discharge (DoD) is a term used to describe what percentage of a batteries charge is used during operation. For example, a 50% DoD would describe using half of a batteries full charge before recharging again. Research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that adopting a practice of limiting DoD during regular use to approximately 50% maximized battery lifespan [1]. In other words, try to only discharge your battery by 50% before recharging during daily use. Buying a scooter battery that can achieve your daily use ranges within 50% of its total electrical charge is an ideal decision.

State Of Charge

A battery’s State of Charge (SoC) is comparable to the fuel gauge found on gasoline powered vehicles. Saying your electric scooter has a SoC or 50% is like saying your car has a half-tank of gas. Research has shown that storing batteries at a full charge promotes the longest lifespan possible [1]. What this research means is that charging your electric scooter battery should be something you do with every use. If your commute to work discharges 25%, you should start immediately recharging once you are settled. This practice will allow your scooter’s battery to sit between uses at a 100% SoC—just like filling up your car after use.

Chargers

Ensuring you use only manufacturer-approved battery chargers will help ensure that all the above considerations are met efficiently. Scooters come in with a wide-range of battery types and battery sizes which makes having a universal charger solution impossible. Using older chargers, chargers from other scooters, or chargers from unapproved sources can make the chances of overcharging, undercharging, or improperly charging. Batteries are rated by several different metrics but three of the most important are Amperes-Per-Hour (Ah), Wattage (W) and Voltage (V) [2].

Brakes

Being confident in your scooter’s ability to stop when is really important. Scooters deploy various methods of braking ranging from forced braking, calipers, and even disc brakes. Depending on the type of electric scooter brakes your product has, you’ll want to make some specific considerations. The best advice is to consult your owner’s manual for specific guidance as the manufacturer recommends. Below you’ll find general considerations to make towards overall electric scooter braking systems. After all, stopping is arguably more important than going when it comes to personal safety!

Tighten Brake Cables

Not all electric scooters have braking systems reliant on a cable system. There are, however, some additional precautions to make if your scooter falls into this category. Follow any instructions for maintenance outlined in your scooter’s owner’s manual and check for proper brake function before each use. These precautions can be as simple as driving a few yards on your scooter and doing a “brake check,” where you aggressively apply the brakes. This practice will ensure a safer ride and help draw attention to any potential brake issues in a situation where malfunction will have a lessened impact on your safety and wellbeing.

Replace Worn Brake Pads

Whether your scooter uses drum brakes, rim-caliper brakes, or disc braking—each will involve the use of brake pads. These are the scooter parts that apply friction to the moving wheel in a manner that results in slowing speed. Brake pads will gradually wear down throughout the course of using your scooter. This wearing is a normal event, though you should always be mindful to check of the degree to which it is occurring. That means, typically once per week, you should do a visual inspection of your electric scooter’s brake pads to ensure they are still in reasonable condition. If you begin to hear a metallic scraping sound or notice your brakes seem to be less responsive, you should immediately inspect the brake pads.

Bleeding & Flushing Brake Fluids

Electric scooters that utilize disc brake systems deploy a hydraulic caliper system. This differs from cable braking systems in that the tightness (also perceived as responsiveness) of the brake system can’t be adjusted by simply twisting a screw or fitting. If your scooter uses a hydraulic braking system, there will be a brake fluid reservoir located somewhere, usually close to the rear brake. Regularly checking to make sure there are adequate amounts of fluid here is an essential step in escooter maintenance. Refilling this reservoir with an ISO-rated brake fluid will help, but won’t always ensure your scooter brakes are working. Sometimes, air can become trapped in the cable system, reducing the pressure exerted by the hydraulic forces. This is experienced when one must clamp the brake lever all the way to the handlebar to notice an effective response. If your scooter falls into this category, it’s recommended you consult an experience repair provider. Disc brake systems offer better responsiveness but come with a lot more responsibility and required maintenance.

Electric Scooter Tire Maintenance RideZoom

Tires

Tires are what separates you and the ground. Ensuring the tires of your electric scooter are in proper working condition will help ensure your safety during operation and the longevity of your scooter. Some models utilize an inflatable inner-tube type tire while others deploy a more maintenance-free solid composite tire. The first step maintaining your escooter’s tires is to consult your owner’s manual and determine the type of tire on your scooter.

Monitor Air Pressure

Scooter tires aren’t held to the same performance standards as most automobile tires. The amount of pressure per square inch (PSI) that your scooter’s tire require should be indicated on their sidewall. Check and make sure your scooter’s tires have the recommended air pressure before each use. If you notice you have to fill your tires up more frequently, you should check for punctures or debris caught between the tire and rim. Even the smallest opening can release enough air to cause dangerous conditions. If your scooter has a composite wheel design, you don’t have to worry about this! Many riders often find that composite tires are better overall compared to air, mostly because of the reduced amount of maintenance. Scooters such as the Zoom Stryder features dynamic suspension systems that help cancel out the added amount of vibration produced by composite tires—resulting in what we believe to be the best of both worlds!

Tread Health

Tire tread helps scooters to maintain their course on surfaces that may be slippery such as damp concrete, wet pavement, or even grass. The tread of your tire is considered the depth of the textured inset patterning found on the tires exterior design. These slices into the tire allow for greater friction between your tires and the road. After some time, you’ll notice that the tread starts to become more shallow. General advice for tire replacement is when tread reaches a distance less than approximately 2mm you should change the tires. This practice will ensure proper turning, balance, and safety for continued use. Consult your scooter’s manual to determine the size and type of replacement tire you should reorder. Another good general guideline to follow is to check tire treads after every 500 miles of riding to ensure proper grip is still present. If you recognize the tread to be getting nearer the point at which replacements would be required, don’t wait another 500 miles to check!

Check Performance Before Each Ride

This consideration is a combination of most key points discussed in this article. Proper scooter maintenance can be assured by starting a pre-ride check, similar to what pilots do before takeoff. No matter how high-quality your scooter is and no matter how diligently you’ve maintained its parts—the unexpected can happen at any time. Double checking everything before you begin your daily commute, or perhaps just a quick ride through the park, can help ensure that when and if your electric scooter malfunctions you’ll be as prepared as possible.

Final Thoughts

Electrics scooters are quickly becoming one of the most popular methods of personal transportation. They’ve a history of mixed reception by consumers but recent advances in battery technology have made them much more practical. Understanding how to properly maintain one’s electric scooter can help ensure top performance, safe operation, and lasting convenience for many years to come.

References

  1. Smith, K.; Saxon, A.; Keyser, M.; Lundstrom, B.; Cao, Z.; Roc, A. Life prediction model for grid-connected Li-ion battery energy storage system. In Proceedings of the IEEE 2017 American Control Conference (ACC), Seattle, WA, USA, 24–26 May 2017; pp. 4062–4068.
  2. Ravado, Rik. “Watts, Amps and Volts and How To Understand Electricity.” Owlcation, Owlcation, 23 Dec. 2017, owlcation.com/stem/Watt-are-Amps-and-Volts.