A disabled woman with a severe genetic defect in a powered wheelchair.

Maintenance tips for your powered wheelchair or scooter

Whether you use a powered wheelchair or a mobility scooter, knowing how to care for your equipment is important. Regular maintenance means your equipment will perform better, be more reliable, and extend the life of your mobility product. Powered wheelchair user, Shona Louise, has shared her own maintenance guide to help keep your mobility equipment in good condition for longer.

Why is powered wheelchair and scooter maintenance important?

Once you’ve found the right mobility equipment to give you independence, you’ll want it to work well for a long time. Cleaning and maintaining your equipment should help ensure it lasts long and stays in good working condition. Everyone will be able to commit different amounts of time to regular maintenance. We’ve broken down some of the things you can do over the weeks, months and year to keep your mobility aid in great condition. You can choose to do as little or as much as you want.  

Inspecting your equipment often will also mean you can spot potential problems before they get worse. Screws and bolts can often loosen over time, so it’s vital to keep an eye on these things and spot them early. If you privately own your equipment, you can also save yourself money by spotting small problems before they become expensive problems.

Mobility Scheme customers do not have to worry, as general wear and tear repairs are covered in your worry-free lease package, which includes:

  • Insurance
  • Servicing and routine repair costs
  • Breakdown cover
  • Tyre and battery replacements
  • Tax for road legal products

Did you know?

Motability Assist offers breakdown recovery services for scooter and powered wheelchair users under the Motability Scheme. They also provide a smartphone app to assist customers during breakdowns. 

Important tools to have at home


It’s handy to be able to solve minor problems yourself, like loose screws, if you’re happy to. Often, things need tightening up or adjusting slightly, and you or a loved one might be able to do this at home. Here are our recommendations for tools to keep at home:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Allen keys
  • Air pump
  • Tyre pressure gauge

It’s important to remember that your Motability Scheme worry-free lease package covers all repairs, no matter how small. Do not feel that you must carry around tools with you or solve problems yourself if you’re not able or confident in doing so.

Regular maintenance checklist

There are lots of things that can be done on a day-to-day basis to keep your product clean and looking good. There are tasks that can be done less regularly too. Inspecting your mobility product for any small problems means you can get them sorted before they grow into bigger problems which would have a greater impact.

Weekly maintenance 

  • Washing upholstery items like cushion covers
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-use parts like the joystick, wheels, and armrests
  • Inspecting tyres for punctures

Monthly maintenance

  • Checking the frame for cracks
  • Oiling and greasing moving parts
  • Tightening loose parts
  • Cleaning the harder-to-reach areas

Shona’s top tips

Shona Louise is a powered wheelchair user who has shared some of her tips with us.

“Regularly cleaning and maintaining mobility aids can be challenging for a disabled person. I’ve learned some tips and tricks to make it easier.

Fabric sprays designed for cushions and sofas are great for freshening up wheelchair cushions. It’s a quick way to keep everything smelling great, especially if you cannot manage washing the covers at any point. 

Microfibre cloths are also handy for wiping down your mobility equipment. Never be afraid to ask for help with areas that are too difficult to reach, such as low-down parts like the wheels.

Finally, if you use your powered wheelchair or mobility scooter in your home, remember to regularly check the wheels for hair. You’d be surprised at how quickly it can collect in your wheels!”

Seasonal tips

Different weather can present new challenges when travelling with your powered wheelchair or scooter. As we know, the seasons can be unpredictable, and many circumstances are unavoidable due to the weather. It’s helpful to have some simple things to keep in mind as the seasons change: 


Spring showers can mean we get caught in the rain more often. Powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters contain electrical equipment and should avoid getting too wet. Make sure you thoroughly dry your mobility aid as soon as possible after being in the rain. Upholstery items such as cushion covers should also be thoroughly dried to avoid mould developing.


If the UK experiences a heatwave, temperatures can rise quickly. Powered mobility aids should not be exposed to extreme temperatures for too long, so keep them in shaded areas. If your equipment overheats, switch it off for a while if you can and let it cool down.


As the leaves fall in autumn, you might find that your wheels pick them up more. Ensuring your wheels are clear of any debris will keep them moving smoothly. Be sure to check them more often when the pavements are covered with loose leaves and twigs.


While it can be tempting to take your powered wheelchair or mobility scooter out in the snow, it can cause some issues. If your equipment is not designed for more extreme outdoor use, heavy snow can cause the underneath of your mobility aid to become wet quickly. Like rain, this could cause problems with the electrics of your equipment, so ensure you dry it as much as possible if you use it during wintery weather.

Battery care

Taking care of the batteries is one of the most important things to do for your powered wheelchair or mobility scooter. Your batteries will need replacing eventually. This will depend on how often you use your mobility equipment and the environment in which you use it. Your dealer will be able to advise you when your batteries need replacing. 

Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s guidance on how often to charge your batteries to keep them in better condition for longer. You should also keep an eye on how your batteries are performing so you can replace them at the right time and avoid running out of charge during the day. 

Powered wheelchairs and scooters can give you so much independence, but people often worry about battery problems. If you lease your mobility product through the Motability Scheme, you can contact your dealer at any time to report problems, and they will be quickly dealt with.

Read more about what to expect if your equipment needs repairing.

Yearly maintenance 


Some things need to be done yearly to keep your powered wheelchair or mobility scooter running smoothly. 

If you lease your equipment through the Motability Scheme, you’ll be offered a yearly service. This will include checks on your:

  • Steering
  • Battery
  • Tyres
  • Suspension
  • Lights
  • Indicators

If you have a powered wheelchair, your yearly service is also an excellent time to check whether it needs any adjustments. If your needs or lifestyle has changed, it’s crucial that your powered wheelchair changes with it. 

Getting your yearly service done is important, even if your equipment is in good working order. Sometimes, problems cannot be seen, and you can get ahead of any potential issues. These services will keep your powered wheelchair or mobility scooter in good condition for longer.

Use Shona’s guide as a checklist to keep on top of these important tasks. Your powered wheelchair or mobility scooter should be able to live a long, healthy life.

Interested in joining the Scheme?

The Motability Scheme offers an all-inclusive package. If you are in receipt of a qualifying mobility allowance, you can use it to lease a car, scooter, powered wheelchair or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. The Scheme provides flexible and hassle-free access to a brand-new, reliable vehicle of your choice. As well as a great choice of cars, we also provide a wide range of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, scooters and powered wheelchairs.


To join the Scheme, you must be in receipt of one of the following mobility allowances:

  • Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Higher Rate Mobility Component of Child Disability Payment – Scotland
  • War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

You can easily check whether you’re eligible to join the Motability Scheme by using our eligibility checker tool.

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