Useful Battery Information &Tips

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Mobility Battery

Tests

This page has been set up to give you a few tips on how to look after and understand your mobility scooter and wheelchair batteries

Best charging practices,

 AGM & GEL batteries

(Unsure of what batteries you have give us a call) 

 

Charge after every use

We recommend that you charge your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair after every use for at least 8 to 12 hours to prolong the lifespan of your batteries.

Avoid short charges like the plague

charging your scooter or powerchair for an hour here and an hour there will do more damage than good, and will drastically reduce the lifespan of your batteries- if you need to charge your scooter or power chair in this way then we would advise that you look at models that use lithium Ion batteries. 

Still charge it if its not used

If you only use your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair occasionally its best to still charge it once a week when it is not been used. Also be sure to charge it back up fully after you use.

Beware of the charge complete light

Avoid removing the charger as soon as the charge complete light comes on. Your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair should be using a 3 stage smart charger and often this light will click on and off after every stage is complete. Unfortunately its the last stage that is most important when charging a battery, and this is the one that's most often missed.

Imagine filling a glass with lemonade, you fill it half way then have to stop as the bubbles hit the top of the glass, then you have to fill it bit by bit. Well that's what the final charge is doing, filling it bit by bit until full (trickle charge). 

 

Make sure its the correct charger

This is important to check if you have bought the equipment second hand or have more than one mobility scooter for example. Using the wrong charger can cause damage to your equipment not just your batteries and can be dangerous!

If your un sure of what size charger you require here is a quick break down of charger size required for battery sizes or feel free to give us a call:

 

  • 2amp chargers will cover mobility scooter / electric wheelchair battery sizes from 7amp to 22amp

  • 4amp chargers will cover mobility scooter / powered wheelchair battery sizes from 30amp to 55amp

  • 5amp chargers will also cover mobility scooter / powerchair battery sizes from 30amp to 55amp

  • 7amp chargers will cover mobility scooter / electric wheel chair battery sizes from 70amp to 85amp

  • 8amp chargers will cover mobility scooter / power wheelchair battery sizes from 70amp to 100amp

BEWARE

Most scooters and powered wheelchairs will use the same 3 pin connector but one or two reverse the + - pins (TGA Breeze S3 S4 among others) causing lots of damage if the wrong charger is plugged in. Also some Drive scooters and powerchairs use unique chargers so if in doubt give us a quick call.

Lithium-Ion (Li-ion)

Flexible charging

We would still advise charging your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair after every use for between 8-12 hours as good practice because this type of battery doesn't like to be left to long un charged, but unlike the above batteries you are able to top them up throughout the day for short periods if required.

Only use the correct battery charger

Lithium-ion batteries are extremely dangerous if the in correct charger is used as the charger they use is thermo regulated and will stop charging if they get to hot. If in doubt we would advise that you don't use the charger.

Still charge it if its not used

If you only use your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair occasionally its best to still charge it once a week when it is not been used. Also be sure to charge it back up fully after you use.

Beware of the charge complete light

Avoid removing the charger as soon as the charge complete light comes on when carrying out a full charge. Your mobility scooter or powered wheelchair should be using a smart charger and it will go through different stages of charge, the charge complete light may click on and off after every stage so may not always be accurate.

Batteries are consumable items and do wear out, generally speaking an AGM or Gel battery should last you between 3 & 5 years (unless its on a stair lift) and a Lithium-ion battery between 5 & 7 years

 

Testing Batteries

Mobility batteries are not as simple as you might think to test and require specialist equipment

We have heard all sorts of take a break tips about how to test your batteries, and our verdict was to go out and buy the correct testers that are needed as they are all false.

Here are a couple of them:

  • Checking a battery for voltage with a multi meter-even a faulty battery can still show good voltage so is almost pointless.

  • Holding the mobility scooter or powered wheelchair against a wall, power it up and see if the battery indicator drops-Need I say any more? we don't recommend you try this, if you did the battery indicator would most likely drop even if the batteries are good and it could risk damaging the scooter or blowing a fuse.

  • Using a mechanics drop tester-this will do more harm than good, a garage would not have the correct equipment to test mobility batteries as they are much more complex than a car batteries so beware. 

We only use the best most up to date battery testers on the market

The Titan slow discharge tester

  • Will test Gel and AGM batteries 

  • This without doubt provides the most accurate and informative battery test possible as it fully charges the battery, slowly discharges it and then re charges providing an accurate reading of whats going on inside.

  • We are then able to print you off a discharge/capacity graph if you require.

  • This test takes up to 24 hours and helps if your batteries are already fully charged

  • Our battery tests with this tester cost £10 per pair if brought to us.

If you were to buy batteries from us the cost of the test will be deducted from the cost of the batteries. 

The Instant PT6 pulse battery tester

 

  • Will test Gel and AGM batteries

  • Provides an accurate reading of the batteries capacity (how much charge they can hold) by sending a series of electronic pulses through the batteries

  • Gives a result within a few minuets

  • We use this tester on all of our mobile mobility scooter, stair lift and powered wheelchair services

  • We can offer battery testing at your door for just £30 or full services on mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs including a battery test for only £45*

    *Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham, Chesterfield only

The Titan Simple Lithium-ion battery tester

  • Will test AGM, Gel & Lithium-ion batteries, along with your battery charger.

  • This provides a very accurate and informative battery test, it fully charges the batteries using your battery charger, slowly discharges them and then re charges providing an accurate reading of whats going on both with your batteries and with your charger.

  • We are able to print you off a discharge/capacity graph if you require.

  • This test takes up to 24 hours and helps if your batteries are ran down slightley.

  • Our battery tests with this tester cost £15 per pair if brought to us.

  • If you were to buy batteries or a charger from us the cost of the test will be deducted from the cost of them. 

Diffrences between mobility batteries

GEL & AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat)

  • Sealed, and none spillable.

  • All sizes are airline safe but check with your airline first

  • Take around 8-12 hours to charge depending on the size.

  • Come in two build levels of build quality: lightweight automotive leisure (Lucas Bosch etc), or heavy-duty mobility (MK, Strident, Black Box) it is important that you only use heavy duty mobility batteries on mobility scooters, power chairs and stair lifts as the build quality is different.

  • Depending on how much they are used, they should last between 3-5 years.

  • They are not to be confused with wet cell car batteries, fitting a car battery to a mobility scooter could be very dangerous!

Li-ion (Lithium Ion)

  • li-ion batteries are much smaller and lighter in weight than Gel or AGM batteries.

  • You are limited to a maximum battery size of around 11.5ah (dependent on weight) on aeroplanes as per the recent CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) legislation.

View www.caa.co.uk for current limitations

  • Charging varies depending on the manufacture’s guidelines but generally Li-ion batteries don’t like to be ran low all too often and topping up their charge at regular intervals throughout the day is recommended.

  • They use a smart charger so you are safe to leave them charging, but it is critical that you use the correct charger for this type of battery.

  • Much more expensive than GEL or AGM to buy but have a much longer life expectancy.

Battery buyers guide

If you are thinking of buying batteries on line there are a couple of things that you should consider before you do

Do you need batteries?

Be sure that the batteries are faulty before replacing them. You can’t tell the condition of a battery with just a multi meter, an AGM battery requires a slow discharge test. Our battery tests are only £10 for a pair of batteries and we are happy to refund this cost if new batteries are purchased from us. 

We would recommend this before purchasing any new batteries.

 

Avoid cheap mobility batteries

You wouldn’t buy a rubber hammer to hammer nails just because it was £1 cheaper than a metal one would you? Rubber hammers have their uses but as you would expect, given the wrong job they don’t last long. Well AGM batteries are just the same, leisure batteries (makes such as Lucas or Bosch) are great, but are only designed to power things such as lights in caravans for days/weeks at a time, this means that the power is being taken very slowly and gently causing very little stress to the cell plates, this means that the cell walls can be built much thinner. This becomes a problem when they are used on mobility scooters, powered wheel chairs and stair lifts as this type of equipment will discharge the batteries within a few hours as they require much more power than a small light. If the plates aren’t heavy duty enough they will often warp or even crack causing the battery to fail prematurely.

 

Below is a great example of battery build quality differences, and cheap v good. both batteries are the same size and both are AGM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a genuine mobility scooter / wheelchair AGM battery, it weighs 24.65kg as the build quality is up to the standard for the mobility industry.

This battery costs £150 from us with 12 months warranty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a cheaper AGM leasure battery as found on eBay (actually being sold as a mobility battery.....) it only weighs 20.7kg. That's nearly 4kg less material!

These cost £117 on eBay....

 

 

 

 

Check what the online returns procedure is

  • What happens if the batteries do become faulty, will they require proof and if so how will you get it? 

  • Will they request the batteries back if so be aware that lots of companies won’t take them (Royal Mail, Parcel force, Hermes, Collect Plus etc etc...) and the ones that do are usually very expensive. 

  • If you do manage to send them back are you able to be without your equipment until they get the new batteries to you?

  • Also consider that you might have to go over this routine again and again as they will most likely keep failing on you.

 

Unfortunately, there are companies and people out there selling automotive leisure batteries for mobility equipment that either don’t know the difference between the two or just don’t care. There will always be automotive batteries being sold for mobility equipment as it is can be supplied cheaper, and the seller knows just how hard it can be for you to return them.

Buy in store or from a local mobility dealership (like ourselves wink, wink), and if you wish to compare prices search for key mobility battery brands such as MK, Strident and Black Box.

 

 

Un suitable 'leasure' batteries are currently the cause of around half of our repair calls, and although we would love to keep having to sell you new batteries we believe that you should only have to buy them once!

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