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Troubleshooting and Testing Electric Scooters

Gas Scooter Parts. Electric Scooter Parts. ATV Parts.




My electric scooter is dead. Where do I start?

No "system on" indicator lights
Before trouble shooting charge the batteries fully. If the batteries will not charge click here to go to Troubleshooting and Testing Batteries

Look for the obvious.

1 Make sure the on/off switch is on.
2 Don't try to test the scooter with the battery charger plugged into the scooter. As a safety feature most functions of the scooter including power to the motor may be disabled when the charger is connected to the scooter.
3 Inspect the main fuse. If its blown nothing works.
4 Look for broken parts. Frayed or shorted wiring.
5 Loose or separated connections (check all..everywhere).
6 Use your nose, sniff around for a burnt smell. If you find a component has a Burnt smell it's most likely defective. (motors often produce a slight burnt smell. This is normal).
7 Charge the batteries. If they won't charge see troubleshooting and testing batteries.

Main Fuse.
Make sure the scooters main fuse has not "popped"
If it's defective nothing on the scooter will work.
Remove it and inspect it closely for element burns or breaks. If your not sure, replace it, their cheap.

On/Off or keyed switch:
Most likely a loose or broken wire here.
You will most likely have to remove the switch to inspect these connections.

Connections:
Check all wiring connections. Most of these will be found in the battery compartment and are standard plug together connections. Make sure these are all "plugged" firmly together. While your in the battery box be sure to inspect the main and individual battery connections. They should not be sloppy or loose.
Give all the wiring a good once over inspecting for breaks or shorted wires.

Bad Controller:
The controller is the brain of the scooter. It controls every aspect of the power system. It is responsible for processing all of your scooters built in electrical systems.
If the controller goes out, generally everything else goes out. See more here.

Scooter Will Not Move
"system on" indicator lights working

Brake power interrupt switch
Rider is resting fingers on the break lever and inadvertently activating the brake power interrupt switch.
This switch could also need adjusting.

Disconnected or loose connections
Check them all. It only takes one to ruin the day.
Follow the wires everywhere. Look for broken, shorted or burnt wires.

Throttle failure
See throttle test in the Components Tests area.

Controller failure
See Components Tests area for more information on testing the Controller

Motor failure

See Components Tests area below for more information on testing the motor.


Motor And Chain/Belt Spin, But Rear Wheel Does Not Move
Check the Chain or Belt:
Inspect the chain or belt to make sure that it is properly installed on both the motor sprocket and the rear wheel sprocket.
If the rear wheel sprocket spins when the throttle is applied but the rear wheel does not move the problem is a defective rear wheel "freewheel clutch mechanism".


Scooter Stops Working While Riding
With known good batteries.
Overheating
Most e-scooters are equipped with an overheat protection breaker. When the motor reaches a certain temperature (140F or there abouts) the breaker "breaks" and disconnects the power supply from the motor thereby preventing damage to the motor that overheating would cause.
To reset the breaker simply turn the on/off switch to the off position and wait for the motor to cool. The breaker will reset itself when a safe temp is reached.
Here are the most common causes of overheating.
1 Too much weight on too little scooter
2 Low tire pressure
3 Chain is adjusted too tight.
4 Breaks are dragging
5 Front or Rear axle bolts are too tight not allowing the wheels to rotate easily.
7 Overheat breaker is failing.

Main fuse
Check the main fuse. Make sure it hasn't "popped" and fits snuggly into it's holder.

Brake power interrupt switch
Rider is resting fingers on the break lever and inadvertently activating the brake power interrupt switch.
This switch could also need adjusting.
 
Disconnected or loose connections
Check them all. It only takes one to ruin the day.
Follow the wires everywhere. Look for broken, shorted or burnt wires.

Throttle failure
See throttle test in the Components Tests area.

On/Off or keyed switch failure:

Most likely a loose or broken wire here.
You will most likely have to remove the switch to inspect these connections.

Controller failure

See Components Tests area for more information on testing the Controller

Motor failure
See Components Tests area below for more information on testing the motor.

Scooter Runs Erratically
Loose connections
If your scooter runs ok then suddenly cuts out and then runs ok again there is a 90% chance the problem is going to be a loose connection or a wire that "shorts out" now and then.
Time to do the Check the Wire and Connections Routine. Include the on/off switch and throttle connections.

Brake power interrupt switch
Rider is resting fingers on the break lever and inadvertently activating the brake power interrupt switch.
This switch could also need adjusting

Power or Distance Loss
Under inflated tires. One of the most common causes for a noticeable power or range loss is low tire pressure.
Click here for more information on tires.
Chain is adjusted too tight.
Chain rusted or has no lubrication and does not bend around sprockets easily.
Brake adjusted too tight or otherwise dragging.
Wheel bearings are failing
Front or Rear axle bolts are too tight not allowing the wheels to rotate easily.
Batteries are failing.


Gas Scooter Parts. Electric Scooter Parts. ATV Parts.





Component Tests Section

Troubleshooting and Testing Batteries
For electric Scooter Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) Batteries.
Use safety precautions when working with batteries.

Inspect the Batteries:

Try charging the batteries.
Battery Damage:
Check the battery case for damage, cracking, leakage or noticeable bulges.
The battery connecting tabs or posts of the battery should have no play or looseness. This could indicate internal battery connections have failed.
Have the batteries been totally discharged?
Has it been 3 months or longer since the last charge?
(if the batteries have been totally discharged they will not accept a charge, their all done. get some new ones). Click here for more information on scooter batteries.
Test the Batteries
You will need a multi tester for this operation.A multi tester is a tool that can measure and display amps, volts and ohms of a given power source. They are inexpensive (5 to 15 dollars) and available at hardware, home improvement, automotive and discount stores. If you have a multimeter the battery voltage can be tested to determine the battery's condition. Attach the meter per its instructions to battery and observe the voltage output readings. A good battery will have a voltage above its rated voltage . If a battery's voltage does not bounce back to above its rated voltage within a few minutes after being discharged you most likely have a defective or worn-out battery. Or when a battery has been fully charged and its voltage is below its rated voltage also points to a defective battery. Good scooter batteries will return to above their rated voltage level within a few minutes after use.
(A 12 volt battery should have a voltage output reading above it's rated voltage of 12 volts)
Anything less and you should replace the battery.
Click here for more information on scooter batteries
You can also have the battery tested at many auto parts stores, auto repair shops or a battery stores for no or a very small fee.


Battery Charger:
Quick Test. Plug the battery charger into the wall and look for one or more illuminated indicator lights. If an indicator light is not illuminated or blinks on and off when the charger is plugged into the wall then the battery charger is defective.

Testing the Charger Port:
Loose or broken wires on the scooters charger port can prohibit charging. Plug the battery charger into the battery charger port on the scooter and look for an illuminated indicator light on the battery charger. If an indicator light on the battery charger comes on when the charger is plugged into the scooter then the wiring and connectors going to the charger port are good and the charger port itself is good.

Testing the Controller:
The controller is the brain of the scooter. It controls every aspect of the power system. It is responsible for processing all of your scooters built in electrical systems.
Electric scooter controllers are much too complex to easily test. Testing the components that are connected to the controller and using the process of elimination is the best method to determine if the controller is not working. If all of the other components that are connected to the controller test good then the controller has to be the problem.
Test The Other Components Connected To the Controller


Test motor.
Do this by making a direct connection to the battery. You will need to find some insulated wire to do this procedure and cut 2 pieces approximately 6-8 inches in length.
1 Raise the scooter so that the rear wheel does not touch the ground.
2 Remove the battery cover and locate the 2 wires that come from the motor. Disconnect the motor wires from the controller. (This is easily done by un-clipping the wire clips)
3 Using the 2 jumper wires, attach the first jumper to the red, positive wire inside the wire clip coming from the motor. Do the same with the black, negative wire coming from the motor. Then, take the red wire and make contact with the positive + terminal of the battery and do the same with the black wire on the negative - terminal.
4 If the motor starts and the rear wheel turns, the motor is good.
5 If the rear wheel does not turn, the motor is bad.

Adjusting and Testing Power Interrupt Switch. :
This safety feature "interrupts" the power to the motor when the brake lever is squeezed. If your scooter doesn't work after you adjusted the brakes this is the problem. Adjustment procedures can vary model to model. Usually you can loosen the brake adjustment tension by turning the brake adjuster, built into the brake handle, in towards the brake lever. This will loosen the tension on the adjustment and safety switch
Check owners manual or contact the manufacture for details. If adjustment doesn't work there is an easy way to test the switch. Disconnect (unplug) it from the controller then try to run the scooter. If the switch is the problem the scooter will run only when the brake lever switch is disconnected.

Testing a Throttle:
Throttles on electric powered vehicles are of course electric and work in conjunction with the controller to tell the motor how much power you want it to use.
A lot of scooters manufactured after 2008 have a built in diagnostic capability. Check your owners manual to find out if your scooter has this ability. This feature is usually found on higher end scooters.
If the scooter does not a have self diagnostic feature there are ways of testing the throttle, Testing a throttle requires a 4-5 Volt DC power source (3 AA batteries will work) and a multimeter. Apply 4 through 5 Volts DC positive(+) to the throttles red wire, and apply ground(-) to the throttles black wire. Attach a multimeter between the black wire(-) and the green or blue wire(+) and engage the throttle. The output Voltage should vary between 0 through 3 Volts DC as the throttle is fully engaged. If the throttle has under 2.5 Volts DC output at full throttle it's defective and should be replaced.


Motor And Chain/Belt Spin, But Rear Wheel Does Not Move
Check the Chain or Belt:
Inspect the chain or belt to make sure that it is properly installed on both the motor sprocket and the rear wheel sprocket.
If the rear wheel sprocket spins when the throttle is applied but the rear wheel does not move the problem is a defective rear wheel "freewheel clutch mechanism".

Chain Falls Off Rear Wheel Or Motor
Inspect The Chain And Align The Sprockets
Make sure the chain is properly tensioned and adjust the tension if necessary. The chain should have approximately 1/4" of play up and down when properly tensioned. Inspect the rear wheel sprocket for proper alignment with the motor sprocket. The rear wheel sprocket should be pointing directly towards the motor sprocket and the chain should be centered on the sprocket and not pulling to one side or the other. To adjust the rear wheel sprocket loosen the rear wheel axle bolts just a little and then tap and pull on the tire to adjust the wheel. Once the wheel has been properly aligned and tensioned then tighten the axle bolts. Motor position is usually not adjustable so adjusting the rear wheel is the only way to align the sprockets on most electric scooters.
If the chain started falling off directly after a sprocket alignment or a tire and tube replacement then the rear sprocket may be out of alignment, or the axle spacers may have been reinstalled in the incorrect order. Try aligning the rear wheel sprocket to the motors sprocket first, and if that does not help then try rearranging the axle spacers to make the alignment correct once again.


Power Loss (With Known Good Batteries)
Under inflated tires. One of the most common causes for a noticeable power loss is low tire pressure.
Click here for more information on tires.
Chain is adjusted too tight.
Chain rusted or has no lubrication and does not bend around sprockets easily.
Brake adjusted too tight or otherwise dragging.
Wheel bearings are failing

Wheel Bearings
These allow the wheels to rotate freely on the axles.
Wheel bearings should be inspected often as a safety precaution. They will need to be replaced periodically. Sandy, dusty or muddy conditions will shorten the life of these drastically.
Test Wheel Bearings. Block your scooter up with both wheels off the ground. Try to move the wheel up and down and side to side. there should be no movement of the wheel on the axle. Spin each wheel by hand. They should spin easily and smoothly with no noise.

Tires Lose Air Frequently
Small electric vehicle tires will loose air pressure much more easily than a car or motorcycle tire.
Flats From Road Hazards
If you are getting frequent flats from road hazards there are several products available which are designed to help such as Slime tire sealant or similar product.
Flats From Improper Tire Pressure
Keeping the tires properly inflated is one of the best way to prevent flats. Under-inflated tires seem to always go flat quickly. Electric scooters have a lot of weight on the rear wheel when they are being driven due to the battery pack and the position of the rider on the scooter. We recommend inflating the tire pressure all the way up to the tires maximum recommended pressure rating. Keeping tires as full of air as possible is one of the best things you can do to help keep them from going flat.
Flats From Improper Installation
When installing an inner tube on an electric scooter one of the most common mistakes made is not partially filling the inner tube with air before installing it. Inner tubes which are installed with no air in them tend to get pinched between the tire and rim during installation or between the two sides of split rims as they are being bolted together. When an inner tube gets pinched it usually creates a hole in it.
click here for more tire information

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