Blinking lights that don’t make sense. A joystick that’s stuck. Batteries that just went dead even though you charged them all night long.
Owning a power wheelchair can be frustrating at times. While your chair is your key to freedom when it’s fully functional, when your wheelchair isn’t working like you expect it to your entire life can come to a standstill.
We know because our clients depend on their chairs for many, if not all, aspects of their daily routines. Our mantra is, “get to know your chair” — many small fixes can be made by the user or a family member. Also there are tons of helpful videos online and certainly there is the user manual that came with your chair (like these guides from Pride Mobility).
Many of our clients are Do It Yourself (DIY) repair junkies. They like a good challenge or they just like knowing that they’re able to fix their own wheelchair repair issues by themselves.
Also, your chair may still be under it’s original warranty or extended warranty. Getting repair services is sometimes easier when you’re still under warranty. The manufacturer has an obligation to fix your wheelchair.
However, if you feel that you’re still helpless and cannot find a way to solve the problem you’re having with your electric wheelchair on your own, the first thing you should do is to track down the manufacturer website and to search for certified technician. Most manufacturer websites have a service provider locator on their website where you can enter your zip code and find a certified technician to service your product (or they should). This is the first step you should take when attempting to find the best power wheelchair repairman.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. We’ve tried it before with little success. And then trying to decide which company to call when you do find someone can be complicated — you have to ask yourself why it’s not easier (although we think contacting our wheelchair service department is easiest — especially with both in-home and phone support available on repairs).
If you plan to be a long time user or owner of a power wheelchair, it’s best to find a wheelchair repair service company that you can create a long term relationship with. Warranties on most chairs are short. Batteries generally last only a year or two depending on use. An normal wear and tear on something you use everyday will eventually have an impact.
**Note: Anytime you call for repair services, it’s important to know the manufacturer brand, the model and even the serial number for your chair. For example, you may own a Pride Mobility Elite HD. Often, the serial number is found on the main frame of the power chair near the batteries. It may also be found on the seat post if the unit features a clover leaf style. While it’s not the easiest thing to find, perhaps a family member can help. Otherwise, you’ll still be able to get service. If you can’t find it easily, it’s ok.