Scooter Troubleshooting Guide
Does Not Work
Sure The Power Switch Is On
Determine that the key switch or power switch is in the on
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.
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.
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
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
defective and should be replaced. Motors that smell burned should be replaced to prevent damage to the speed
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
(Tool Needed: Jumper Wire)
The brake lever switch informs the speed
controller to turn the motor off when the brakes are applied. Most scooters have
normally open brake switches, however, some scooters have normally closed brake
switches. To test for a faulty normally open brake switch, disconnect the brake
lever wire connector from the speed controller and then see if the scooter runs.
If the scooter run when the brake lever switch is disconnected from the speed
controller then the brake lever switch is a normally open type which is faulty.
To test for a faulty normally closed brake lever switch, disconnect the brake
lever wire connector from the speed controller and bridge the two terminals
together in the controller's connector that the brake switch is unplugged from.
If the scooter runs when the controller's brake switch connector terminals are
bridged together then the brake switch is a normally closed type which is
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
(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
(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
rated Voltage then the battery charger is defective.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Battery Pack On A Scooter That Does Not Run
Load Tester) If the scooter is not running, a load test can be performed
on its batteries by removing the battery pack from the scooter and
taking the individual batteries out. The individual
batteries can then be tested with a automotive battery load tester. Most entry
level automotive battery load testers place a 100 Amp load on the battery which
is too high so an adjustable carbon pile battery load tester is required and
should be adjusted to place a 30 Amp load on the batteries.
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
(Tool Needed: Multimeter) Visit our Throttle
Testing Guide page.
Inspect The Speed
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
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
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.