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April 1, 2010     Posted in: Mobility Equipment Services & Repairs, Personal

Wheelchair Vans Need Fresh Batteries

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A new battery is not cheap ($100+) but…compared to the inconvenience and potential cost of getting stuck somewhere, it can be a real bargain.

Your battery will likely fade gradually and most of the time you do not see evidence of its fading power until it is on the brink of dying. Weak batteries and the resulting poor electrical current they carry can cause malfunctions in your electric wheelchair ramp, lift or seat. One of the first things we do when we have certain problems in wheelchair vans is to check the battery to determine its level of power. It is not uncommon for multiple, intermittent problems to be cured once the vehicle’s battery is replaced.

Of course, when the battery is truly dead, it will go unexpectedly and inevitably could leave you stranded. Murphy’s Law says this will happen in the most inconvenient of situations and/or when you are far from home! Usually, you can get a battery “jump” to give you a limited amount of power. However, once your vehicle has been “jumped,” your first stop should be to your garage to get a new one.

We recommend that you not wait until you see signs of trouble before you replace your battery. Our VCI Service Technicians can check your battery for you when you come in for service!

And remember, as a rule of thumb, you should plan to replace your battery every 4-5 years. If you take a lot of short trips (i.e. less than 10minutess), if you have a lot of equipment in your vehicle (i.e. a lift, a power door etc), or if you accidentally left your interior dome lights or anything else that might drain the battery on, then you may need to replace it even sooner.

Do you have an interesting story about a time/place when your battery died? If so, please feel free to share with us…

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