Wednesday, April 1, 2020

COVID-19: DIY Wheelchair Maintenance, Tips, and Quick Fixes

At the time of this article, COVID-19 has made life complicated. As a result, and to practice social distancing, companies are changing the ways that they conduct business. Custom Mobility is considered an “essential business,” meaning that we are open as usual. During this crucial time, we recognize that you may like to perform simple maintenance on your own, rather than having to wait on us. In order to help you maintain social distancing, and to make sure that your mobility devices remain in tip-top shape, here is a small list of simple fixes that you can perform at home.

If you are unable to perform any of these quick-fixes, or you need us to perform a complex repair, please schedule all appointments by either calling us at (727)539-8119, or by using our online portal located throughout our website.

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Please note: consult your owner’s manual before attempting any quick fixes. Avoid attempting complex repairs, or any action that may void manufacturer warranties.


My wheelchair is on, but it won’t move…
  • Start by checking the motor to determine if it is engaged.
  • If the motor is engaged but your wheelchair still won’t move, check to make sure that the joystick and battery wires are properly connected. 
  • Our clients often have issues with their batteries. Please check your battery level to make sure that it is charged.
  • If it isn’t charging, make sure the charger is plugged into both your wheelchair and a wall outlet.
  • Before leaving your wheelchair to charge, double-check that the charger is on.
  • Be careful not to overcharge your wheelchair’s battery
  • Doing so will shorten the lifespan of your battery, which is expensive to replace.
  • If you use your wheelchair every day, it’s best to charge it every night.
  • If you don’t use your wheelchair often, try to plug it in once-a-week.
  • When your wheelchair is finished charging, don’t forget to unplug it. If you charge your chair for more than one night, it could cause permanent damage. 
Casters

  • In our industry, when referring to your wheelchair’s front wheels, we use the term “casters.” It’s wise to perform regular checks of your casters, just in case pet hair or debris begin to gunk up your bearings.

Tires


  • The first step to fixing tire-related issues, is to determine the type of tires that are on your wheelchair.
  • If your tires are solid, they won’t have air. The easiest way to figure this out, is to check whether they have air valves.
  • If your tires are Pneumatic, it means that they must be inflated with air. You can tell whether a tire is Pneumatic by checking it for an air valve. Never inflated a tire? No problem! Click here to watch a helpful video.
  • Remember, if you need physical assistance to fill a tire with air, be sure to ask a caregiver, family member, or friend.
  • To be inflated, some tires require special valves. Schrader valves are more common and do not require an adapter. Presta valves require special adapters or air pumps that fit this valve. You can find these adapters at a bike shop or online. If you don’t have a pump, there’s a good chance that a friend or family member will. To learn more, check out this helpful video.

Armrests/Footrests


  • To prevent your armrests and/or footrests from getting too loose, perform regular checks of your hardware’s tightness.
  • Many of these components can be easily tightened with an allen wrench or screwdriver. If you are unable to do this yourself, ask your caregiver for assistance.
Even though these are difficult times, our Custom Mobility team will continue to provide you with the support that you need. If you are experiencing an issue that hasn’t been addressed in this article, please call us at (727)539-8119 or use our online portal located throughout our website.

Authors:
Mary Carol Peterson















Kyle Romano















Edited by:
Kyle Romano and Luis Rodriguez

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