Jason Leeman
Electric Scooter Troubleshooting

Electric scooters are generally designed to be able to withstand some of the roughest riding conditions. However, like every other utility, their components are subject to wear and tear.

If you own an electric scooter, chances are you've experienced periods where your device's motor completely stops working or times when the entire system just trips off. If you're not familiar with how to troubleshoot an electric scooter, you might end up paying someone to fix something you could have easily done yourself or worse, scrap the e-scooter all together because of a simple fault.

In this article, we'll cover some of the most common issues e-scooter riders usually experience especially after putting a few miles on it. We'll also suggest a few fixes that'll get your electric scooter running again.

What Are the Common Issues With Electric Scooters?

What Are the Common Issues With Electric Scooters?

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1) Slow Acceleration or an Overall Bog Down in Performance

Riders will often experience a drop in performance as their battery loses charge. Some electric scooters will even shut down all motor functions when their battery voltage drops below a certain level.

This is not a serious problem as it can easily be fixed by charging the electric scooter's battery. However, it's always a good idea to monitor how much charge you have left on your battery so you're not left stranded with a 40-pound plus electric scooter. 

2) A Blown Fuse or Circuit Breaker

A fuse limits the flow of current in an electrical circuit. In electric scooters, they prevent the battery from overloading other electronic components.

If an e-scooter's fuse receives excessive current from the battery, the metal wire inside it will burn (or melt). This in turn cuts the flow of power to other electrical components in the system (for example, the motor). 

Signs that your e-scooter's fuse is burnt

  • You can smell burnt plastic
  • The motor and other accessories are unresponsive
  • You're unable to turn your electric scooter on.
What Are the Common Issues With Electric Scooters?

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3) Flat Tires

The thing about flat tires is that, for the most part, they can be prevented. You can't control the quality of the surface(s) you ride your electric scooter on. Almost every road has potholes, however, you can control how frequently you inflate your e-scooter's tires.

One of the major causes of flats is under-inflated tires. A tire with low air pressure is at a higher risk of getting punctured than one that's well inflated. 

As a rule of thumb, ensure your tire pressure sits somewhere between 35 and 45 PSI. If you do get a flat, you might need to repair the tube (blocking off the areas where the leaks are) before fixing it back on the wheel.

4) Deteriorating Batteries

If you start to notice your electric scooter take longer to charge and shorter to completely discharge, then you might be dealing with a degraded battery pack. Deteriorating in Lithium-ion batteries (or LiB) is a normal phenomenon. It's usually a slow process that occurs as the battery ages and undergoes several charge cycles

The only thing a rider can do to slow this inevitable process down is to take proper care of their e-scooter battery. In the event that an e-bike's battery eventually becomes fully dysfunctional, a replacement would be needed to restore the entire system to full functionality.

What Are the Common Issues With Electric Scooters?

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5) Unresponsive Mechanical Disc Brakes

The cables in a mechanical system are what transfer the force from the levers to the brake pads. Over time these cables might get slack, making it harder for the rider to engage the brake pads. 

If you find out that your brake levers aren't as efficient as they used to be, get your cables tightened. The process isn't difficult and can be done by anyone with the right tools. 

Troubleshooting a brake issue on your electric scooter is very important. It's very dangerous to ride an electric scooter with an unresponsive mechanical disc brake. 

How Do I Reset My Electric Scooter

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to resetting electric scooters. Some electric scooters can be reset using the power button on their display device. These switches act as multi-function keys — like the ones on smartphones — allowing riders to power and reset the e-scooter from the same button. 

However, not all electric scooters have this functionality. For instance, to reset the Xiaomi Mi, one must hold down the brake lever, throttle, and power button simultaneously for a few seconds while the electric scooter is powered-down. 

Resetting another electric scooter might require a different combination, so it's best to revert to your e-scooter's manual for help on how to restart your device. 

Electric Scooter Troubleshooting

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Why Is My Electric Scooter Not Moving

There are a couple possible reasons why your electric scooter has refused to budge. In most cases, it's due to an electrical fault, however, riders are known to unknowingly flip switches that render their electric scooters immobile. 

We have compiled a few possible causes for your e-scooter's immobility, check them out below.

  • A low battery. You know we mentioned earlier that some electric scooters shut off motor functions immediately after their batteries drop below a certain level. Well, if yours is like that, you might need to charge it before it'll start moving.
  • A blown fuse
  • Ensure the power switch is properly turned on. Like every e-scooter component, the on/off switch can develop faults. If you notice the switch doesn't snap on every flip, it might be defective.
  • Your motor might be shot

How Do You Know if Your Electric Scooter Motor Is Bad

If you see or smell smoke coming from your e-scooter's wheel(s), it might be a sign that the motor is burnt. In many such cases, the electric scooter will still power on, but the wheels won't spin.

Electric Scooter Troubleshooting

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Electric Scooter Fuse Location

In most cases, an electric scooter's fuse(s) will be located inside the deck close to the battery. Be careful when trying to access the fuse though, you don't want to void the e-scooter's warranty.

Why Won't My Electric Scooter Turn on

The most common cause for an electric scooter not switching on is a dead battery. You can try to charge the battery for 8 hours or more and if it still doesn't power on, check the fuse.

Electric Scooter Shuts Off While Riding

Overloading an electric scooter might cause it to trip off while in use. Ensure you're not exceeding the e-scooter's rated weight limit or pushing the motor to its limits.

Electric Scooter Won't Accelerate

This could be due to a couple of reasons, but the most common is a short in the controller, resulting in the throttle not being able to engage the motor.

Electric Scooter Troubleshooting

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How Do You Check an Electric Scooter Battery

Plugging your charger into your scooter is the simplest way to determine if the battery is still operative. Most e-scooter chargers come with indicator lights that turn on immediately they are plugged into the scooter's charging port. 

Another way to inspect your e-scooter battery is by visually examining the pack for burns, dents, or leaks. This process is easier on electric scooters with detachable battery packs than it is on e-scooter's with integrated batteries.

Why Doesn’t My Scooter Battery Run for Longer Periods Than Usual?

The main reason your electric scooter's battery doesn't hold as much energy as it used to is degradation. The more charge cycles a lithium-ion battery undergoes, the weaker it becomes. 

Also, extreme heat and higher temperatures can temporarily cause an electric scooter's battery to discharge quicker.  

Where Can I Repair My Electric Scooter?

If you're unable to troubleshoot your electric scooter's fault (or just don't want to do it yourself), you might need to take it to an experienced technician to get it back on the road. The problem, however, is finding a place to repair the electric scooter. 

Electric scooters are a relatively new kind of technology. Most of their components are not repairable and finding replacements for these parts isn't usually easy. Nevertheless, there are a few options available to e-scooter riders looking to restore their devices. 

You can;

  • Return the electric scooter to the distributor.
  • Search online for local personal electric vehicle (PEV) repair shops in your area.
  • Take it to a bike-repair shop.
  • Seek help on an electric scooter forum.

About the author 

Jason Leeman

Jason Leeman is an engineer, tech geek and personal electric vehicle enthusiast. He loves testing the latest in urban personal transportation and sharing his love of wheels with his kids and his blog readers.