If you’re an electric scooter owner and rider, you know by now that even the best electric scooter for adults can encounter issues. Yes, it is possible. While electric scooters for adults like Mearth premium electric scooters are a low-maintenance transport mode, issue or problems can still occur, especially if owners don’t take good care of their e-scooter. If you have at one point encountered a slow electric scooter, you need to know how to fix such a not so common problem — if it happens.
To find the cause of the malfunction, use the following methods to help you locate the defective component. You can start by checking the root cause of the problem to know what are the possible causes of a slow electric scooter:
1. Faulty, worn out, or old battery
If your e-scooter suddenly runs slowly, the most common cause is a defective or old battery. When a lead-acid battery contains zero to 10 per cent of charge, it will still run but with a significantly low power level. Moreover, when a battery reaches zero per cent of state of charge, most e-scooter speed controllers include an under-voltage protection circuit, which turns off the motor to prevent further damage to the battery.
2. Faulty motor
A faulty motor may also cause an e-scooter to run slowly. However, it is less likely the cause. This issue is often due to the battery, but you may look into the motor if the battery is not the problem. One problem with checking the motor is that it is difficult to diagnose, so it’s best to bring it to a professional if the battery is not the issue.
3. Defective throttle
One rare but possible cause of this issue is a faulty throttle. The magnet inside the throttle may dislodge and move, making the throttle stuck to operating at slow speeds. However, this situation is rare as the throttle will not work at all if the magnet dislodges. Moreover, a throttle magnet will only dislodge if the throttle is physically damaged.
4. Low tyre pressure
A low-pressure tyre deforms and rebounds while riding on the road. As a result, the tyres create resistance, making the e-scooter move slower. Moreover, it takes more motor and battery power to ride with low-pressure tyres, which can overwork your e-scooter.
5. Unadjusted brakes pads
It is unlikely for the brakes to cause a slower e-scooter, but it is also possible. If you use disc brakes, know that it needs occasional adjustment to keep the brake pads away from the rotor. As you use your e-scooter, the brake cable stretches, and the calliper springs soften. When left unchecked, the pad can drag on the rotor, resulting in a slower-moving e-scooter.
6. Faulty speed controllers
If your electric scooter’s speed controller is faulty, it will affect all the other components in your e-scooter as it is the main power regulator of your e-scooter.
Now that you know the possible cause, you need to know, too, how to fix a slow electric scooter using the following methods to troubleshoot your slow e-scooter.
1. You need to deep charge the battery
If the battery has less charge or holds less capacity, troubleshoot by deep charging it. Deep charging lead-acid batteries help equalize the cells and regain their capacity. You can try charging your e-scooter for 48 to 72 hours and then test it on the e-scooter. Next, test the battery voltage. Use a multi-meter to check if the cause is a low battery voltage. Regardless whether the battery was discharged or stored, a working battery pack will have a higher voltage than its rated voltage. So a battery that doesn’t reach its rated voltage level, even when fully charged, means that it is defective or worn out. Solution: replace the battery.
2. Always inspect the motor
Check if there are any burned or melted wires, connectors or parts of the motor. If you see or smell burned plastic on the motor, it means that the coils are overheated. So if the copper windings melted, it likely caused a short circuit, resulting in the motor running slowly or not running at all. You need to replace the motor if you encounter this.
3. Next, inspect the brakes
Place your e-scooter on an elevated surface and spin the wheel. If it doesn’t spin freely, the problem may be the brake pads touching the rotor. Remember that disc brakes need brake pad adjustment or replacement after some time. On the other hand, hydraulic disc brakes adjust on their own, while mechanical discs need no adjustments.
4. Make sure to check the tyre pressure
Check the tyre pressure by kicking or lightly poking the tyre. Does it feel soft or lacks air? It is likely that your tyre has low air pressure. Use a tyre pressure gauge for a more accurate reading. Also, check for any holes that may be causing your tyres to deflate. Be careful to use the correct tyre pressure. Use a tyre pressure gauge for a more accurate reading and adjustment. Then, test your e-scooter if it runs well. If you have a high or low tyre pressure, adjust the tyres according to the recommended tyre pressure for your e-scooter. Riding with the correct tyre pressure should be a staple whenever you ride your e-scooter. This is one of the secrets to maintaining your electric scooter tyres.
5. Check the throttle too
To test the throttle output voltage and signal voltage of the throttle if it is the cause of the malfunction, you need to connect a multimeter to the throttle to check the voltage, as a working throttle has a 4.3V to 5V output. If the throttle or other parts connected to the throttle (e.g. battery, power switch, fuse, wires, connectors, etc.) is faulty, then the throttle is the issue.
6. When to replace the battery or battery charger
If the battery is damaged or no longer functioning, to prevent damaging the controller and other parts of the e-scooter, you need to replace it. Replacing it can be tricky, depending on your e-scooter’s design. This is the best way to fix a slow electric scooter. Go to your trusted mechanic to replace the batteries. Buy only original batteries made for your e-scooter from legitimate and accredited electric scooter retailers like Mearth. Don’t attempt to buy brandless or cheap batteries that don’t have the same specs or the same original brand as it may create more issues in the future for your electric scooter.
7. When to replace the electric scooter motor
As mentioned, replace motors immediately if the coils are overheated to prevent damaging the controller and other parts of the e-scooter. Replacing it can be tricky, depending on your e-scooter’s design. To be sure, let a mechanic replace your motors instead to keep you and your e-scooter safe.
Reality check: If you are inexperienced in tinkering with your e-scooter, best to look for a local mechanic or go to your retailer’s service centre to get a thorough check up and appropriate repair on your e-scooter.