Electric Scooter Maintenance [Comprehensive Guide]

Electric scooters are vehicles with complex mechanisms consisting of many parts. All the parts of the scooter need to work flawlessly so the scooter can ride peacefully and with no trouble.

Neglecting proper maintenance can lead to costly repairs and a decrease in the overall lifespan of your electric scooter.

In this article, we will outline the essential maintenance tasks for keeping your electric scooter in top condition. From checking tire pressure to cleaning and preserving key components, we’ve got you covered.

Electric scooter maintenance includes:

  • taking good care of the main parts of the scooter, like the motor, battery, tires, brakes
  • doing regular preemptive checks on loose parts, screws, or bolts
  • cleaning the scooter

Why is scooter maintenance so important?

Regular maintenance can prolong the life of your electric scooter and ensure it is always ready for your next ride.

Preemptive weekly check-ups are the best way to stop any potential defects and problems, and notice a failing part in time before it becomes completely defunct.

Replacing a faulty brake cable before it wears off can save you from a potential accident if the brakes go bust in the middle of a ride. Old, or uninflated tires, on the other hand, can cause a lot of trouble, especially once their threads wear off.

Additionally, regular preemptive maintenance will come out much cheaper than reactionary servicing in the long run. Faulty parts can put a greater burden on functioning ones, which can lead to more problems overall, and more parts needing a replacement.

You will also get improved performance from a well-preserved scooter, and this is not even a debate. A healthy battery has a much longer range than an overcooked one. New, well-inflated tires are much quicker than old ones. And don’t let us even start with faulty suspensions and the effect they have on the ride quality.

And, at the end of the day, your scooter will look much better if it’s taken care of, cleaned, and in its best shape.

How to maintain your scooter?

Scooter maintenance is a broad topic and can cover any more than a dozen things: electric parts upkeep, tire management, screws and bolts check-ups, and regular cleaning.

Let’s go through all of these and see how to best take care of each part of your scooter.

Maintaining the main parts

The main parts include the central features of the scooter without which it cannot function, and are the ones that wear off the quickest. These include the motor, battery, wheels, tires, and brakes.

Motor

the motor of the Turbowheel Lightning

Preserving your scooter’s motor doesn’t require much work. The best way to do it is to just keep it from any dangers and be on a constant lookout for any signs of malfunction.

The biggest danger to the motor is water. Some water-resistant scooters have great waterproofing for their electric parts, but most don’t, so it’s best to avoid riding your scooter in rain or through puddles. Almost all e-scooter motors today are mounted on the wheel, so the chance of water intake is high whenever you go riding in the rain.

When climbing curbs, or carrying the scooter around in your arms, watch out so you don’t hit the wheels too hard, as that creates the risk of damaging the motor. This is very unlikely if you just bump the wheel into a wall, but hitting it too hard can displace and possibly harm the motor.

The best thing you can do for any scooter part, but especially the motor, is to constantly watch for any weird sounds or performance issues. These are your first sign that something might be wrong with your motor, and that you should take it to the local repair shop.

Battery

Scooter batteries are the second most expandable part of it, besides the tires. The constant charge and discharge of the battery’s cells drain it over time, forcing you to take good care of it and maybe even replace the battery with a new one every few years.

The steps to preserving the battery include:

  • regulate its temperature – do not ride the scooter in freezing or extremely hot weather, as lithium-ion batteries work best between 32° F and 113°F / 0°C and 45°C
  • charge the battery properly – see my guide on how to charge an electric scooter for the exact details
  • use a proper charger – premium chargers from the scooter’s brand do cost a bit more, but they are tailor-made to fit your battery’s needs and manage the charging
  • don’t drain the battery completely – try to finish your ride with at least 15% of battery life instead of emptying it out, as going from 100% to 0% on every charge degrades the battery’s process
  • don’t overcharge the battery – similar to the previous point, overcharging the battery also affects its process and life expectancy, so it’s best to try and keep it between 15% and 90%

If the battery fails, and it needs replacing, it’s always best to let a certified scooter mechanic replace it for you. You might think you could do it yourself by watching a few youtube videos and reading the scooter’s manual, but there are tons of small details in the scooter’s build that you can’t know unless you are an expert.

If the scooter’s warranty is still active, this should get done for free. But even if the warranty is expired, a new battery rarely costs over $200 for budget scooters, and around $500 for premium ones, so it’s a fair price given it will last for another 3-5 years.

Tires

rear wheel of Kugoo M4 Pro electric scooter

Tires wear off the quickest out of all parts on any electric scooter. They are the one part that you’ll be dealing with the most and require the most maintenance.

There are two main types of tires – pneumatic and solid.

If you’re using pneumatic tires, the most important thing is to keep them at the correct tire pressure. An ideal tire pressure for electric scooters is between 40 and 50 psi. Usually, the best pressure range for your tires will be written on their side, right next to the rim.

You can add or subtract some air from them if you prefer a bumpier or smoother ride, and it’s best to check the pressure every 2 or 3 rides.

If you’re using solid tires instead, you are in luck in terms of maintenance, as they require less of it. You still have to check them for damage from time to time. The rubber on the solid tires can wear off after a heavy curb hit, which might damage the sockets inside the tires.

A tire is deemed unusable if it has gone flat, is heavily punctured, or has its threads completely worn off. The threads will wear off over time as you ride the scooter, so it’s good to swap the tires for new ones every year or two, even if they seem healthy.

Swapping an old punctured tire for a new healthy one varies on different models, but in general, the steps are as follows:

  • remove the wheel from the scooter (unscrew it if it uses bolts, or loosen it if uses a latch)
  • remove the tire from the wheel (do it slowly, inch-by-inch, until it has fallen off the rim)
  • place the new tire on the rim (watch so the tire lays properly and place the valve in the valve socket)
  • inflate the tire (if it’s a pneumatic tire)

Below is a video explaining how to change a flat tire with an inner tube, but the process is very similar for any type.

Also, see my detailed guide on scooter flat tires for more information.

Some scooters can only use one type of tire, while others allow you to switch between a pneumatic or solid one. If you are unsure which one to get, make sure to check our solid vs pneumatic tires guide to see which one suits you the best.

Brakes

EMove RoadRunner brakes

Brakes are the most important safety feature of your scooter. They must be in mint condition at all times.

Unfortunately, you can’t do much to prevent brake failure except check them every time you plan on riding. You can do this by pressing the brake while the scooter is standing still, and then pushing the scooter forward to see if it will move or not.

If it stays stuck in place, you are good. If the wheels move, then you need to tighten the brake cable.

The brake cable adjustor is placed on the brake lever, on the steering wheel. You can rotate it to the left to stiffen the brakes, or to the right if you’ve stiffened them too much.

Some newer premium scooters use hydraulic brakes, instead of cables. With these types, there is a chance they run out of fluid requiring you to refill the brake-fluid cartridge.

You can read the manual for your scooter to get better acquainted with the needs of its specific braking system, and you can also visit our comprehensive brakes guide to learn everything there is about electric scooter brakes.

How to bleed the hydraulic brakes on your scooter?

Brake bleeding is an important maintenance step with any hydraulic brakes. It’s the process of removing air stuck in the braking fluid, which causes weakened braking power and may even damage the brake cable in the long run.

There are many different methods for brake bleeding, but the easiest and simplest one is the syringe method. You do this one at home, with a few basic tools anyone has, unlike some of the other methods which require two people and special tools.

For this method, you need an Allen wrench, two plastic syringes, and brake fluid. The steps require to bleed your hydraulic brakes are as follows:

  1. remove the brake caliper from the wheel – brake calipers are usually attached to the center rim of the wheel via two screws you can unscrew with an Allen wrench
  2. remove the bleeding screws from the caliper and from the brake lever on the handlebar – once you’ve removed the caliper, it’s time to open the valve where the brake liquid is stored; the valve is kept closed with one screw called “bleeding screw” that you can also unscrew using the same Allen wrench; you have to do this from both ends of the brake cable, as one is on the caliper and the other is on the lever
  3. connect a half-full syringe with brake fluid to the brake lever on the handlebar – take one of the syringes, fill it with brake fluid roughly to the half, and insert it into the open bleeding valve on the brake lever found on the handlebars; make sure the syringe is tightly placed inside the valve, as it will have to stay upwards by itself
  4. connect another empty syringe to the braking caliper – take the other empty syringe and connect it to the valve on the caliper in the same way
  5. press the half-full syringe first to push the braking fluid through the cable – start the bleeding process by slowly inserting brake fluid into the cable from the brake lever in order to push the brake fluid inside the cable out from the valve on the caliper; you should notice a few air bubbles popping into the empty syringe, meaning the brake fluid was compromised with air
  6. press the other syringe to push the fluid back into the first one – take the syringe connected to the caliper (which will now have a little fluid in it) and press it so the brake fluid flows back into the first syringe; slowly transfer the fluid until you stop seeing air bubbles appearing inside, which is the sign that the brakes are finally clear from the air
  7. remove both syringes, close the valves, and mount the caliper back on the wheel – once the bubbles have stopped, and only clean brake fluid flows through the cable, the brakes are clean from air; you can then remove the syringes, put the screws back on, and put the braking caliper back on the wheel; you might lose a couple of drops of brake fluid during this step, which shouldn’t be a big a deal unless a lot of fluid flows out; in that case, make sure to refill the brakes with fluid before closing the valves

A few notes prior to starting this method of brake bleeding:

  • make sure to position the brake lever on a level with the handlebar, so the syringe can stay upwards at a right angle
  • insert a brake block into the brake caliper to make sure the pads don’t squish together

Here are the guys from VSETT explaining this method in detail for their VSETT 10+ model. The same process is also applicable to any hydraulic brakes found on electric scooters.

Lubricating the rotating parts

WD-40 spray tube usage

One part that suffers a lot on every scooter is the joint where the wheel connects to the frame. This is where a rotating part (the bolt circle of the wheel) meets a non-rotating one (the stable rod that holds the wheel), and over time, the friction between these two parts damages them and wears them off.

You should lubricate these parts quite often, preferably at least once a week.

For this process, you would need a towel and a spray lubricant. You start this by wiping the joints clean and removing any dust, mud, water, or leftover dried lubricant.

Once you’ve cleaned and dried the whole area, you then spray a new layer of lubricant using a can with a small thin spray tube. A WD-40 spray lubricant works best here, but you can use any type that comes in a can and has a tube on the opening.

Minor check-ups

The frame requires less attention than the electric parts, but is still a thing you must look out for.

The whole scooter build is held together by a couple of dozen screws and joints which can go loose over time. It’s best to watch out for these loose ends before every ride, or at least once a week, so you don’t end up with a dismounted steering wheel or stem bar in a middle of a ride.

Key areas to look out for are the joints between the steering wheel and the stem, the stem and the deck, the wheels forks, and the screws that hold the deck sealed.

The steering wheel typically has one or two bolts placed right at the bottom of the wheel, where the stem begins. The stem connects with the bottom part of the frame in a similar fashion, and this part of the scooter also includes the folding mechanism which has a few bolts you should check as well.

The wheels forks use much stronger and more durable bolts that rarely loosen by themselves. However, if you’ve recently changed a tire, or gone on a hard off-road ride that might’ve put a bigger burden on the wheels, it’s good to check if these bolts are as tight as they should be. And they should be tightened up to the maximum. The same goes for the screws on the deck. Having them loose won’t cause any huge danger while riding, but it can lead to water leaks inside the deck, which in turn can damage the battery.

In general, every time you notice a part has become wobbly and loose, you should immediately tighten the screw that holds it attached to the frame.

Cleaning the scooter

Corrosion of the metal frame and dirt stuck in between parts are the two biggest natural enemies of your scooter. That’s why it’s crucial to clean your scooter regularly. You should ideally wipe it down after each ride or two, and do a deep clean once every month.

It’s best to check out my detailed 19-step checklist for cleaning your scooter, but here is a quick rundown of the whole process.

Before we start with cleaning tips, you must first check your scooter’s IP rating to see how waterproof it is. Waterproof ratings are expressed with two digits, where the first digit is the dust and particle protection, while the second digit is the scooter’s liquid protection.

The second digit should be at least a 5 if you want to spray your scooter with a water hose. A scooter with an IP rating of IPX4, IP54, or less, can suffer serious damage if you spray it with jet streams.

Now, if your scooter has a solid IP rating, cleaning it is an easy task. You can clean it with a water hose, or a wet cloth of any type, where you just scrub the whole thing, going from the top down, until you’ve covered every inch. You can also use a sponge with soap once every few weeks to do a deep clean.

But if the scooter isn’t well protected from water intake, then you must abide by a few rules:

  • never use a water hose or any other pressure item that sprays jets of water
  • use only a slightly wet fiber cloth with no soap, and carefully scrub the metal parts of the scooter
  • never touch any wires or open electric parts (battery, controller, charging port, etc…) with the wet cloth

Cleaning your scooter in the summer is easy. You can wipe it off quickly and let it dry off out on the balcony or in your garden for 10-15 minutes.

In winter, however, you will have to dry the scooter off with a dry cloth right after you’ve used a wet one. Leaving it wet in cold humid weather creates risks for corrosion problems and damage to the metal parts.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most frequent questions about maintaining your electric scooter.

What tools do you need for electric scooter maintenance?

You don’t need a whole trunk of tools to properly maintain your scooter. For the screws and frame check-ups, you would need:

  • a set of Allen keys
  • two screwdrivers, one with a slot head and one with a Philips head
  • a set of wrench tools (most scooters use screws with sizes 8mm – 19mm)
  • pliers, as they often come in handy

For cleaning, it’s best to always have a dry microfiber towel that you use for your scooter only. Wash this towel at least once a week, as it will collect a lot of dirt on it, and use it gently. If you do a soap wash, you can use any type of sponge with a metal cleaning solution.

Where should you store your electric scooter?

The best places to store your scooter are closed dry storage rooms, like a pantry, a closed garage, or a well-isolated attic.

Leaving your scooter outside, especially in the winter, can lead to corrosion from the humidity in the weather, and a lot of dirt and dust intake from all the wind.

If you don’t have the option to keep your scooter indoors, you can leave it out on the balcony and cover it whole. You can use any nylon cover, or you can buy a specialized zipped bag that can fit your scooter folded inside (see my guide on the best electric scooter accessories for some cool ideas and products).

How often should you check up on your electric scooter?

Check-ups for loose bolts and screws should be done once every one or two weeks. You should also test the brakes before each ride so you know they function well before you ride at high speeds.

Light scooter cleaning should be done after each ride in the winter, and at least once every two rides in the summer. A deep clean, on the other hand, is best done every month or two, or as many times as your schedule allows.

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t bind yourself to these timetables too much. If you notice any dirt stuck in the wheels, or on the deck, just take your towel and scrub it off.

What is the lifespan of an electric scooter?

The main part that affects the scooter’s lifespan is the battery. On average, a li-ion battery will last between 2 and 3 years, or 300 to 500 full charge cycles. After that, you would need to buy a new battery, unless you are okay with one-half of the initial range.

The rest of the parts can last for a decade if you take good care of them.

How to prolong your electric scooter battery life?

The three best ways to prolong your scooter’s battery life are to:

  • use appropriate charger
  • try to keep the battery between 15% and 90%
  • don’t use the scooter in extreme weather conditions (below 0°C, or above 45°C)

Should you charge your scooter after every use?

charger for the OKAI Beetle

It’s okay to charge your scooter every time its battery level drops below 40%.

If you have an older scooter and you’ve just ridden for a few miles and have spent only 20% of the battery, then it’s best not to recharge it to full again. It may lead to overcharging and decrease the battery’s lifespan.


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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
I love electric scooters, so I decided to make a blog about them. I like doing a lot of research on various models and brands, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience.