The Basics Of Electric Scooter Maintenance: A Guide For Beginners

Daniel Foley
Written By: Daniel Foley
Updated on: 3/13/2024
Published on: 4/25/2023

Electric scooters are changing how people travel and opening up opportunities for countries worldwide to reduce the pollution caused by gas-powered cars and public buses.

With so many e-scooters available at all price points, including our Unagi Model One - which is ideal for commuting and getting around, it's easy to see why scooters are taking off.

However, if you're willing to invest in an electric scooter, it's important to remember that maintenance is central to ensuring it lasts and continues to perform well.

Luckily, you can get years out of your scooter with a few simple steps. In this electric scooter maintenance guide, we're going to reveal how to care for your model with just a few simple steps.

So, without further ado, let's jump into the basics of electric scooter maintenance.

Why Is Electric Scooter Maintenance Important?

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The great thing about e-scooters is they're available at all price points, including budget and premium models. However, if you plan to use the scooter often for either commuting or general travel, budgeting around $1000 will get you a reliable model.

Regardless of the quality of your scooter, you'll still need to maintain it regularly, extending its lifespan and enhancing performance.

We're about to reveal the importance of e-scooter maintenance, and after, we'll get straight to our top maintenance tips.

It enhances safety

Generally speaking, electric scooters are relatively safe - but you'll need to ensure your chosen model is in optimal condition for a safe ride.

Wear and tear - such as damaged brake pads or worn tires can have devastating consequences when you're riding, but simple checks can protect you - and other road users from serious accidents.

Maximise performance

When it comes to performance, regular electric scooter maintenance will help maximize your speed and range. The battery, tires, and rust can affect your scooter's performance.

For example, failing to care for the battery could lead it to overheat, while rust can impact the scooter's mechanisms, resulting in poorer performance.

Performing some basic regular maintenance will increase your scooter's lifespan - and ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

Protect your finances

A professional mechanic costs money, and you can easily avoid needing one by regularly maintaining your scooter. If you don't care for the brakes, mechanisms, and battery, you might need a professional mechanic to identify and fix the problem - which will cost money.

Most warranties will also state that you can only receive a free replacement if you prove you've protected the scooter, so without regular maintenance, the warranty will be void and you'll have to pay for a replacement.

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The electric scooter maintenance guide pre-ride checklist

So, we've covered the importance of e-scooter maintenance; it's time to reveal how you can make the most of your model using a pre-ride checklist.

These steps get you ready for any ride - even if it's just a few miles.

Check the tires

Scooters usually have either pneumatic or solid tires, and both will require extensive checks. Solid tires are more durable, and experts estimate they'll last three times longer than pneumatic tires, but they offer a more comfortable ride.

The biggest problem with a pneumatic tire design is a higher risk of punctures. However, regularly inflating your tires and examining them for any tears will prevent further issues and ensure they perform correctly.

You should also check solid tires for unevenness in the treads, as it can increase your risk of punctures and accidents when traveling on unstable surfaces.

Look at your brakes

Performing a pre-ride check of your electric scooter brakes is integral to ensuring your safety while riding. Ideally, you should check them before each ride and follow this simple checklist to identify any issues:

  1. Inspect the brake pads: Inspect the brake pads for wear and tear. Look for any cracks, chips, or signs of uneven wear. If the pads look worn, replace them before riding.
  2. Test the brakes: While standing still, apply them to test their responsiveness. If the brakes feel spongy or take too long to engage, air in the brake lines or pads may need adjustment.
  3. Check the brake cables: Inspect the brake cables for any fraying or damage. If the cables are damaged, replace them before riding.
  4. Check the brake lever: Test the brake lever to make sure it moves freely and returns to its original position when released. If the lever feels loose or does not return to its place, it may need adjustment.
  5. Test the brakes in motion: Once you begin riding, test your brakes by applying them gently to slow down. Gradually increase pressure to come to a complete stop. If the brakes do not respond, stop riding and fix the problem.

By performing these checks, you can help ensure that your electric scooter brakes are in good working condition and minimize the risk of accidents while riding.

Are the lights functioning properly?

Lighting is essential to e-scooter maintenance because visibility will protect you and other road users. If your lights malfunction, you won't notice obstructions and could get into accidents.

Road users should also be able to see you - which is central to road safety. Luckily, it's simple to deal with lighting issues, and - in most cases - you'll probably need to replace the bulb.

Check the bolts and nuts

Last but not least - check all the nuts and bolts on your electric scooter to ensure they're tight enough. Loose bolts can cause severe damage to your electric scooter and impact the mechanisms, but they can also affect ride quality and cause serious accidents.

If you do notice any problems and aren't sure of how to fix them, it might be a good idea to seek professional help from a mechanic.

As you can see, basic pre-ride maintenance won't cause any headaches, and simple checks can prevent serious accidents.

Battery Maintenance

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Maintaining your electric scooter's battery is essential to keep it running optimally. Battery faults are among the most common problems we see with e-scooters, but maintenance will preserve your model's health and the battery.

Lithium-ion batteries are common in scooters due to their rapid charging cycles and longevity. Regular maintenance ensures they protect the environment and give you the necessary speed and power.

Here's how to get the most out of your lithium-ion battery.

Keep it at full charge

Maintaining a full battery charge as much as possible is crucial - even when you're not using it regularly. Charging it every few weeks will prevent further damage and prolong its lifespan.

Check and clean the battery

You should also periodically check and clean the terminals of your battery because a build-up of dirt or debris that could negatively impact its performance.

There might be minor signs of corrosion in the terminals, so grab some steel wool or a wire brush to remove it.

Preserve your battery

When storing your electric scooter for an extended period (especially in cold temperatures), take extra precautions - such as removing the battery and keeping it indoors or in a temperature-controlled environment.

Not only does this prevent damage from occurring, but it also reduces the need for a new battery further down the line.

Tire Maintenance

We briefly discussed tire maintenance in the pre-check section, but tires are integral to an electric scooter. Yes, you should check the tires before each ride, but performing regular maintenance in-between rides is also essential.

An electric scooter's tires provide traction, so their condition is essential for optimum performance. To maintain them properly, you should regularly check for any signs of wear or damage.

Worn treads require immediate replacement, and low-pressure levels can also cause issues.

Cleaning your tires regularly with a damp cloth or brush will remove dust and dirt build-up, ensuring they maintain their grip when riding on different surfaces. Using a quality lubricant will reduce friction and extend the life of your tires.

By following these simple steps, you'll be able to ensure that your scooter is running optimally at all times - giving you freedom and peace of mind on every ride.

Cleaning And Storage

Before you finally hit the open road, there's one more step to consider: cleaning and storage. It's a critical aspect of electric scooter maintenance that can't be overlooked. After all, who wants to show up to work or school on a scooter covered in dirt and grime?

Cleaning your electric scooter doesn't have to take forever, and it's always better to do a quick clean regularly than leave the dirt and debris to build up.

Following this step-by-step cleaning process regularly will keep your electric scooter looking as good as new:

  1. Start by wiping down the exterior with a damp cloth every couple of weeks, including the handlebars and wheels.
  2. Move onto the internal components like the battery and motor. Check the manual for specific instructions regarding how often these need to be cleaned, as it varies from model to model.
  3. Keep the electric scooter inside, ensuring it's dry and away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight. If your scooter has an exposed battery pack, ensure it's fully charged before storing it away - this will help protect against degradation over time.

Taking care of these simple steps now will save you time and hassle in the long run.

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Maintaining electric scooters doesn't have to be a headache

As a beginner, scooter maintenance might seem like too much work, but it's pretty simple. With basic knowledge and equipment, you can prolong the electric scooter's lifespan and prevent any safety issues.

Good maintenance gives you unlimited access to your scooter and also saves money. Following the tips in this post will make a difference - so what are you waiting for?

If you're looking for a cost-effective, high-performance scooter that gives you flexibility and insurance, Unagi's subscription scheme allows you access to one of the top-rated models.

For a small monthly payment, you get to take advantage of everything our scooters offer and included insurance.

FAQs

Should electric scooters have an annual inspection?

It's always important to ensure your e-scooter continues running at high performance and regular inspections can make a big difference to ride quality and safety. These inspections highlight any issues with the scooter, and a specialist will have the knowledge needed to identify problems.

If you're unsure about the internal components of scooters, a trusted mechanic will perform the necessary repairs, preventing the need for a new scooter.

Is it a good idea to ride in wet conditions?

Wherever possible, you shouldn't ride in wet or rainy conditions because water can damage the electric components of the scooter. If your scooter doesn't have a high IP rating, you might need to replace it sooner.

However, it's near impossible to guarantee year-round sunshine and dry conditions, which isn't helpful when using a scooter for commuting.

If you decide to ride, you should evaluate different models and find one with a suitable IP rating. Riding in sunny California is much different from navigating the rainy Seattle climate, but the Unagi Model One has an IP54 rating, which protects the scooter from light rain and splashes.

If you must ride an electric scooter in wet conditions, take extra precautions to ensure your safety. These include:

  • Wearing appropriate clothing.
  • Take it slow.
  • Dry the scooter after using it in wet conditions.

Are electric scooters cheaper to maintain than cars?

Absolutely. It's no secret that cars are expensive to run and maintain, but electric scooters are more convenient than bicycles and are budget friendly. The maintenance is less frequent, and if there are any problems, repairs will cost a fraction of what you'd expect from cars.

They're also cheaper to charge, which makes them an ideal alternative.


Daniel Foley
Daniel Foley

Daniel tests all the latest e-scooters and currently enjoys the Unagi Voyager as a daily driver for it's light weight, good range, and stylish look.

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