Electric scooters are just as prone to issues as gas powered scooters, but they suffer from a different set of problems. Rather than internal combustion issues, electric scooters have to operate with all their circuitry at maximum efficiency, or they won’t work at all.
Diagnose The Problem
The first step of the repair process is identifying the problem with the scooter. While we’ve compiled a list of common issues and their fixes later on in the article, your first steps are to put your scooter’s failures into words.
Is your scooter:
- Failing to start
- Starting partially, then stopping
- Not responding to any attempt to start it whatsoever
- Behaving erratically once started
- Predictably under-performing once started
- Stopping unpredictably while running
Each of these problems implies a problem with a different part of the scooter.
The dead or undercharged battery is by far the most common electric scooter issue, and has a very simple solution: plug in the scooter to leave it to charge. The symptoms of a low battery will be partial turning on but the failure of the electric motor.
A dead battery, on the other hand, will leave your scooter totally unresponsive and take longer to charge.
If a battery isn’t charging, you may have an electrical controller issue, which there’s an entire section for later on. Measuring your battery’s charging is easy with a cheap voltmeter.
Kill Switch On
A scooter with its engine kill switch on will have an engine that refuses to move, but you will be able to get other features of the scooter like lights and its console to be powered, which can be confusing.
Many people mistake a kill switch being left on with a battery being low.
The kill switch should be located directly on the engine of your scooter and must be set to the off position before the engine can run.
If your turning of the ignition isn’t causing any action on your scooter, but your battery is full, you may have an electrical problem, or the kill switch may be on.
In the event of an electrical problem, the first culprit is usually a flipped fuse somewhere in the scooter. If your scooter isn’t responding to your attempts at ignition, check the fuse for the ignition and make sure it isn’t flipped.
Likewise, if your engine isn’t running despite full battery charge and a working ignition, check the main fuse and flip it if necessary.
Electrical Controller Issues
Speaking of the electrical system, the circuits of the electrical controller where some of your fuses may be located is often the source of many scooter issues.
Electrical controller issues can be tough to diagnose because they can seem to come and go depending on the kind of issue. If any debris or water has gotten into the electrical controller area, you can expect unpredictable behavior from your engine if you can get it started.
One thing that you can do to make sure that your electrical controller is operating properly is to secure all of the wire connections at their point of meeting the board, and also at their source. Loose wires are a big cause of unpredictable issues, though they’re unlikely to prevent your scooter from starting.
If there aren’t any loose connections or flipped fuses or blown fuses on your electrical controller, look for popped transistors.
While it’s extremely unlikely that your scooter will have a popped transistor, they’re easy and cheap to replace—just clip out the old transistor from the bottom and solder in your new one using a minute amount of solder.
Often, electrical scooters will run with extremely hot engines, which you’ll be able to feel. If the scooter’s engine overheats, it’ll turn off. This prevents damage to the engine.
When the engine is extremely hot, the battery is also extremely hot. This is dangerous and hurts your battery’s health. One thing to check is the main fuse going from your battery to your engine—be sure to wait until everything is cool enough to touch.
If the wiring is damaged or the fuse is damaged but still partially operational, your engine may be drawing an excess amount of power from the battery, and, paired with electrical controller issues, running at more cycles than necessary, causing overheating.
Weak acceleration points to a problem with the engine’s ability to draw power from the battery or the mechanical aspects of the engine itself. Check your fuses and electrical controller.
If it’s a mechanical issue, send it to the shop.
This wraps up our list of common electrical scooter problems and quick solutions. Hopefully, you’re ready to repair your scooter, or at a minimum figure out what your scooter’s problem is. Remember, there’s no shame in sending your scooter into the shop.
For many of the thornier mechanical issues, sending your scooter to the shop is necessary.