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Electric Scooter Troubleshooting Guide

Speed Controller Does Not Work

If the speed controller is defective visit the Speed Controller Replacement Help page.

 

Make Sure The Power Switch Is On
Determine that the key switch or power switch is in the on position.

 

Check The Fuse Or Circuit Breaker
If the scooters uses a fuse, look at the inside of the fuse to see if it is burned-out. The fuse may need to be removed from the scooter and held up to a source of light to determine if it is burned-out or not. For scooters that use a circuit breaker, push-on or flip the circuit breaker to see if it will reset.

 

Try Pushing The Scooter To Start
Electric scooters with single speed throttles will sometimes need to be pushed forward in order to run. Stand on the scooter with one foot and push it forward with your other foot while fully engaging the throttle. Once the scooter reaches walking speed and the throttle is engaged the scooter should run until the throttle is released or the brake is used.

 

Inspect By Sight, Touch, And Smell
Remove the footplate or wiring cover and look for any burned or melted wires, wire connectors, or electrical components. Also look for loose, disconnected, or damaged wires or wire connectors. Pull and push on all of the individual wires and wire connectors to make sure they are not loose or disconnected. Get your nose close to the speed controller and motor and smell them. Any components that look burned or melted, or that smell like burned plastic are almost always defective and should be replaced. Motors that smell burned should be replaced to prevent damage to the speed controller.

 

Test The Other Components Connected To Speed Controller
Electric scooter speed controllers are too complex to easily test. Testing the other components that are connected to the speed controller and using the process of elimination is the best method to determine if the speed controller is working or not. If all of the other components that are connected to the speed controller test good then the speed controller has to be the problem.

 

Test The Fuse Or Circuit Breaker
(Tool Needed: Multimeter) Sometimes fuses burn-out in a place where you can't see it, and sometimes circuit breakers will mechanically reset but they are worn-out and still will not work. Checking the continuity of the fuse or circuit breaker with a multimeter is the best way to determine if they are working or not.

 

Test The Brake Lever Switch
(No Tools Needed) The brake lever switch informs the speed controller to turn off when the brakes are applied. When this switch wears-out it usually locks in the on position which turns the speed controller off. An easy way to test this switch is to disconnect it from the speed controller and then try to run the scooter. If the switch is the problem the scooter will run only when the brake lever switch is disconnected.

 

Test The Key Switch Or Power Switch
(No Tools Needed) Test the key switch or power switch for proper mechanical operation by moving it from the off position to the on position several times. The switch should snap into both positions. If the switch feels loose, or if it does not have a positive snap-action feel to it when switched between the on and off position then it may be defective.

(Tool Needed: Multimeter) Sometimes the key switch or power switch will feel good and have a positive snap-action feel to it when switched between the on and off positions but it will still be defective. Testing the continuity of the key switch or power switch with a multimeter is the best way to determine if it is working or not.

 

Test The Battery Charger
(No Tools Needed) 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.

(Tool Needed: Multimeter) If you have a multimeter you can test the battery chargers output Voltage. Its Voltage should be a few Volts above the battery chargers rated Voltage (24V, 36V, 48V, etc.). If the battery chargers output Voltage is zero, or if it is below the battery chargers rated Voltage then the battery charger is defective.

 

Test The Battery Charger Port
(No Tools Needed) If the battery charger is plugged into the wall, unplug it. 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 illuminates when the charger is plugged into the scooter then the wiring and wiring connectors going to the charger port are good and the charger port itself is good.

(Tool Needed: Multimeter) If you have a multimeter the battery charger ports Voltage can be tested. The Voltage level present at the charging port should be the same as at the battery pack.

 

Test The Battery Pack On A Scooter That Runs
(No Tools Needed) If the scooter is running, a battery test can be performed on it by fully charging the battery pack and then riding the scooter at full throttle on flat ground and seeing how long the battery pack lasts. On flat ground most electric scooters will have a range of around 30-45 minutes. If the battery pack lasts less then 30 minutes then it is most likely worn-out and may need to be replaced. If the battery pack last less than 20 minutes then it is moderately worn-out and should be replaced. Severely worn-out battery packs will only last 5-10 minutes or less.

(No Tools Needed) If the scooter is running and has a headlight, a load test can be performed on the battery pack by taping an arch-shaped piece of cardboard over the headlight so you can see the headlights beam shining on it when you are riding. Then fully charge the battery pack and ride the scooter with the headlight on, keeping an eye on the headlights beam shining on the paper. If the battery pack is good the headlight will only dim a little when you give the scooter full throttle. If the battery pack is worn-out then the headlights beam will severely dim when the scooter is given full throttle.

(Tool Needed: Multimeter) If you have a multimeter and the scooter is running, a battery pack load test can be performed by fully charging the battery pack. Then jack up the rear wheel, connect a multimeter to the battery pack, and give the scooter full throttle while engaging but not locking up the rear brake. When you engage the rear brake the battery pack will experience a "load" and you can then read its Voltage to determine how much it drops. If the battery pack is good the Voltage will only drop by a few Volts, however if the battery pack is worn-out the Voltage will drop more severely.

 

Test The Battery Pack On A Scooter That Does Not Run
(Tool Needed: Load Tester) If the scooter is not running, a load test can be performed on it by removing the battery pack from the scooter and taking the individual batteries out. The individual batteries can be tested with a 12 Volt automotive battery load tester. If you do not have a load tester all auto parts stores sell load testers and most auto parts stores will load test electric scooter batteries for free.

 

Test The Voltage Of The Battery Pack
(Tool Needed: Multimeter) If you have a multimeter the battery packs Voltage can be tested to determine its condition. A good battery packs Voltage will be above its rated Voltage level even if it has been fully discharged and allows to sit a few minutes, or if it has been in storage. If a battery packs Voltage does not bounce back to above its rated Voltage level within a few minutes after being discharged that points towards a defective or worn-out battery pack. When a battery pack has been fully charged and its Voltage is below its rated Voltage level that also points towards a defective or worn-out battery pack. Good scooter battery packs will bounce back to above their rated Voltage level within a few minutes after the scooter has been driven.

 

Test The Throttle
(Tools Needed: 4.5-5V DC Power Source, Multimeter) Testing a hall-effect throttle requires a 4.5-5 Volt DC power source (3 AA batteries will work) and a multimeter. Apply 4.5 through 5 Volts DC positive(+) to the throttles red wire, and apply ground(-) to the throttles black wire. Attach a multimeter set to read DC Voltage between the black wire(-) and the green, blue, or white wire(+) and engage the throttle. The output Voltage should vary between 1 through 4 Volts DC as the throttle is fully engaged. If the throttle has under 4 Volts DC output at full throttle that indicates that the throttle is defective.

 

Inspect The Speed Controller
Look for any burned or melted wires or wire connectors on the speed controller. If any wires are burned or melted then the speed controller may be defective.
Smell the speed controller for any burned plastic smells. If the speed controller smells burned then it is almost always defective.
If the speed controller has no burned or melted wires and it does not smell like burned plastic then it still could be defective. Test all of the other components of the electrical system around the speed controller and use the process of elimination to detect if the speed controller is working or not.

Speed controllers are too complex to easily test. Using inspection and the process of elimination is the best way to determine if a speed controller is working or not. If all of the other components of the electrical system test good but the scooter does not operate that indicates a defective speed controller.

 

Inspect The Motor
Look for any burned or melted wires or wire connectors attached to the motor. Burned or melted wires or wire connectors indicate overheating of the motor which may cause the plastic insulation to melt off the motors electromagnetic copper wire windings.

If the insulation melts off the copper windings they will short circuit and cause the motor to not run or to run slowly. Short circuited motor windings can also burn-out the speed controller by giving it too much resistance which makes it work too hard and overheat.

 

If the speed controller is defective and needs to be replaced
visit the
Speed Controller Replacement Help page.

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