So, you’re thinking about buying an e-scooter? They’re a great choice for urban commuters looking for eco-friendly ways to travel. Plus they’re affordable too – no hefty fuel prices to worry about! As with any vehicle, though, there are some common electric scooter problems you’ll need to be mindful of so that you’re well-prepared if you ever encounter an issue while out and about.
If you take good care of your scooter and are proactive about proper maintenance, it’s rare that you’ll experience many faults. When you do though, depending on the problem, you’ll likely be able to solve most minor issues yourself. If you’re ever unsure though, a tune-up with a qualified technician is your best bet. (If you’re planning on purchasing a Nought.One, you’ll be able to send your scooter off to our dedicated UK based warehouse if you need any support).
In this article, we’ll talk you through some of the common faults you might run into and how to troubleshoot these ‘bumps in the road’...
Electric scooter problems and solutions in this article
- Error codes
- The scooter battery dies
- The e-scooter is slowing down or stopping
- The battery charger is defective
- The motor is overheating
- The controller is faulty
- A flat tyre
- Brake problems
- A fuse blow
- Frequently asked questions
It’s a good idea to get familiar with your scooters error codes to start. Most scooters have their own inbuilt diagnostics codes which will help you narrow down any issues. The error codes will show on the dash/screen of the scooter. While they will not tell you exactly what is wrong, they will point you in the right direction i.e. if it is a motor issue, battery problem or an issue with the controller. Each manufacturer has slightly different error codes so we recommend consulting the user manual to find these before continuing.
The scooter battery dies
When it comes to an e-scooter, most of your problems will likely be related to the battery pack. It’s what powers the motor and you won’t get very far without a fully-functioning battery pack. So, what do you do when your electric scooter battery is dead? First off, let’s clarify what that means.
A low battery means you can probably turn the scooter on, but can’t get it running (because there’s not enough power) whereas a dead battery will not respond at all (it won’t even turn on). This can happen for a variety of reasons:
- a defective battery
- improper charging
- extremely hot or cold temperatures
- storing the battery without charging for more than 2 weeks
- a slowly degrading battery capacity
To fix a dead battery, your first port of call is to charge it. If it was fully drained after its last use, it’s going to take longer to reach full charge. This is why you should always charge the battery after each use and never allow it to completely run out of charge.
The e-scooter is slowing down or stopping
If your electric scooter is feeling a little sluggish while riding and slowing down or stopping after a short period, the most likely cause is an old or worn-out battery pack. As your battery wears down, you might notice that your range on a single charge keeps decreasing and the battery charge runs down faster than usual.
There’s no real ‘fix’ for this electric scooter problem, unfortunately, except to replace your battery with a new one because it’s reached the end of its lifespan. When this happens, the battery holds less charge. Of course, it’s natural for a scooter to slow down on an uphill, but if it’s happening while travelling on flat ground, no amount of charging is going to restore your battery to its former glory.
On the other hand, if your e-scooter is brand new, the battery pack may be faulty – you’ll need to speak to a technician or specialist to diagnose the issue.
The battery charger is defective
If your e-scooter battery isn’t charging, you may have a problem with a defective charger. Check the battery charger port for loose, frayed, or damaged wire connections. Try plugging the charger into another outlet and check the indicator lights to make sure the scooter is actually charging – most brands will indicate red when they’re charging.
If the lights don’t illuminate, it may not be receiving electricity and you’ll likely need a new charger. You could also invest in a voltmeter to check your charger’s output and verify whether your battery pack is charging or not. As mentioned above, you may have an old or worn-out battery which needs to be replaced.
Lastly, always ensure you’re using the original charger supplied by the manufacturer – the incorrect voltage could damage your scooter’s battery. The outlet voltage of your home should also be compatible with your scooter battery and charger. A charger can be damaged if a socket has a higher or lower power voltage than what it’s built for.
The motor is overheating
If you notice that your e-scooter’s motor is heating up too quickly, or overheating, the first thing you want to do is turn off the scooter and let it cool down before doing anything else. Overheating can damage both your battery and your motor. It’ can be caused by riding when the temperature outside is extremely hot or if the scooter is overloaded and drawing too much power.
Once the motor has cooled down, check for any damaged fuses or wiring problems, or get in touch with a specialist for support. A fault in the scooter’s electrical system could result in the motor running too hot. While it may still work, you could be doing irreversible damage to your scooter, so it’s best to avoid riding it until you can get it to a technician for repair.
The controller is faulty
The controller is effectively the brain of the scooter. It translates the actions you make, such as pushing the accelerator, into telling the motor to spin and moving the scooter. It also automatically regulates the speed of your electric scooter, keeping it within a certain range. It’s an important piece of equipment, as you can imagine. A faulty controller can cause the scooter to suddenly accelerate (which could cause an accident), or you might experience little to no acceleration at all. This maybe something you can try to fix yourself.
The first thing you need to do is dismantle the controller and check for loose or damaged wiring. Tighten loose wires and replace any damaged wires that you see. Once you’ve done this, reassemble the controller and test the e-scooter to see if the acceleration issue has been resolved. You shouldn’t have to go far to see if the problem is fixed or not.
If the electrical wiring isn’t the cause of the malfunction, you may need to check the circuit breaker and fuse. If in doubt, consult a technician.
A flat tyre
Another common electric scooter problem is a flat tyre. A flat tyre is inevitable – if you notice that you’re struggling to increase speed, decreasing tyre pressure could be the culprit. Look out for punctures from sharp objects and leaky valves that might need tightening or replacing, and make sure you carry tyre sealant for pneumatic (air-filled) tyres so that you can make repairs on the go.
If you find your tyre is going flat quite frequently, you could have a problem with the way the tyre is fitted. Inflate the tyre to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure and test to see how long it remains inflated. Under-inflated tyres are more prone to punctures, so you don’t want to ride around with the incorrect pressure for too long.
You can also minimise the chance of punctures by choosing a scooter with air-filled tubeless tyres, which are much more durable and more puncture-resistant. Without an inner tube, they don’t need to be checked as regularly and are therefore much lower maintenance. They also give you more flexibility as they can run at either a higher pressure for better performance, or a lower pressure for more comfort. Currently, only the Nought.One and a few other high-end e-scooters feature these tyres but it’s worth it for the advantages.
Things can go wrong with an electric scooter’s brakes, which is a concern when you’re travelling at speed. That’s why it’s so important to do your research and make sure you choose a well-designed e-scooter from a good brand. Here are the most common issues you might encounter when it comes to your brakes and what to do about them:
- extreme wear and tear
- loose wiring
- a faulty brake cable
- the brake lever switch is turned on
- a leaky fluid reservoir
- forgetting to top up the brake fluid
- worn-out brake pads
Make sure your brake pads & disc (if applicable) are in good condition and replace them if they’re not. Check the brake fluid reservoir (hydraulic systems only) for any leaks and keep an eye out for loose wires (reconnect them if you can). The brake levers have built sensors within them, when you apply the brakes, this cuts power to the motor. If these sensors take a knock, they can become faulty. If this is the case, it’s likely an error code will show, and they need replacing.
If you suspect a problem with your brake cable, try tightening it to see if that helps, otherwise, get it to a professional as soon as you can to be replaced and avoid riding until the problem is resolved. Don’t ever risk going out on the road if your brakes aren’t working properly.
A fuse blow
If your electric scooter keeps shutting down or cutting out while riding, you’ve most likely blown a fuse or tripped the circuit breaker. This usually happens due to overloading – going up steep inclines or riding through mud, for example.
When your e-scooter cuts out, wait for a few seconds and then try starting it again. If it won’t start or doesn’t respond, you’ll need to check the fuse or circuit breaker. If you notice any loose wires, try to secure them back in place. Then check to see if any of the fuses are broken. If the motor still doesn’t start, you’ve probably blown a fuse, which will need to be replaced by a professional.
This is where choosing an e-scooter brand with local servicing and support makes a difference – you won’t have to be without your scooter for long if you do need to send it off.
Electric scooter problems and solutions - FAQs
Why is my electric scooter turning on but not moving?
To troubleshoot why your e-scooter isn’t moving, work through the following checks to get to the bottom of the problem:
- Test the battery using a voltmeter, which will tell you the status of the battery and its charge. A depleted battery is your most likely offender when your scooter won’t move.
- Make sure that the charging port is working and that the battery is being charged. If the battery is fine, the charging port might be malfunctioning. You can try tightening the charging port’s connections if they seem loose.
- If this is your first time riding an electric scooter, it may be a kick-to-start model, which means you’ll need to get the scooter moving before the throttle can engage, usually 3mph. You can turn this feature off on some models, we advise keeping it on for safety.
- If you’re pressing the throttle but the front wheel isn’t moving, there may be an issue with your motor. If you suspect a motor problem, you’ll need to take the e-scooter to a professional to replace the motor.
How do I reset my e-scooter?
At the end of the day, an e-scooter is an electric vehicle, which means you may run into electrical problems. Fortunately, just like other electrical devices, most makes and models of electric scooters have a reset feature when your scooter isn’t operating as it should. Have you tried turning it on and off again?
Most scooters will come equipped with a reset button which you can press and hold for a few seconds to restart the scooter. Or there might be an option to do this from the display. Other electric scooters might require you to hold the power button at the same time as the throttle and brake lever to reset. Check your manufacturer’s guide for specific instructions on how to reset your specific make and model of e-scooter.
Your last resort is to do a factory reset by disconnecting the battery or the controller from the body of the scooter, although you should always check that this won’t void your warranty before you mess with the scooter’s hardware. If you remove the battery, give it a few minutes before you reconnect and restart your scooter. If that doesn’t work, disconnecting and reconnecting the controller would be your next step. If your scooter is still giving you issues, it’s time to see a technician!
What happens if you overcharge an electric scooter?
Overcharging is one of the leading causes of a battery’s shortened lifespan. Many riders will charge the battery overnight to have it ready to go in the morning, but it’s important to remember to unplug it as soon as you wake. The indicator light will turn green when you need to disconnect from the outlet.
It takes around 5–8 hours for scooter batteries to fully charge if the battery was totally depleted, but your manufacturer’s guide will provide a recommended charging time to follow. After reaching full charge, overcharging can damage the battery’s capacity to retain a charge, causing it to degrade faster than usual and become unstable.
Lithium-ion batteries should not be kept at 100% capacity for too long as it puts stress on the battery cells. Overcharging can also cause the battery to overheat, causing further damage.
Most electric scooters do come equipped with a charge control mechanism to prevent overcharging though – they will cut off charging once the battery is fully charged. Check to see if your scooter is equipped with this feature or you risk permanent damage to your battery.
Electric scooter problems
E-scooters are a great way to get around, but as with any vehicle, there are always some ‘bumps in the road’. The best thing you can do for your scooter is take good care of it, get it regularly serviced and if possible, choose an electric scooter with local warehouses and servicing so that you’ve got professionals on hand to help.
Most electric scooter models nowadays will come with a detailed manual and troubleshooting guide. While there’s a lot you can do yourself to fix these common problems, when in doubt, it’s always best to consult an expert or the manufacture.