The Ultimate Guide to Electric Wheelchair Repair

Electric wheelchairs have revolutionized the lives of those with mobility impairments, offering them newfound independence. However, like any machinery, they can run into problems over time. 

This guide covers everything you need to know about electric wheelchair repair, from common issues to insurance coverage and service timelines. 

Why Is My Electric Wheelchair Not Working?

While a reliable option, electric wheelchairs can face all sorts of malfunctions. Here are some common reasons why your power wheelchair may not be working:

  • Battery issues - If your wheelchair won’t turn on or loses power quickly, it may be due to depleted, faulty charging, or damaged connections. 

  • Joystick malfunction - An unresponsive or erratic joystick may result from damaged wiring or controller issues. 

  • Motor problems - Difficulty maneuvering or reduced speed could indicate motor problems, such as issues with the gearbox, cables, or actuators. 

  • Electrical system failure - Problems with propulsion, charging, or control can stem from wiring issues, blown fuses, or damaged circuit boards. 

  • Mechanical wear and tear - Mechanical components like tires, casters, arm pads, and supports can wear down over time. However, regular maintenance can help identify these issues early on. 

Does Insurance Cover Electric Wheelchair Repair?

In general, insurance usually covers both power and manual wheelchair repairs with a doctor’s prescription. However, coverage can vary based on your policy and provider. Some plans may cover labor and non-warranty parts, while others have specific repair coverage or need prior authorization.

To get your wheelchairs repairs covered by insurance, follow these steps: 

  1. Get a Prescription 

Ask your doctor to fax a prescription for “Power or (Manual) Wheelchair Repair” with your diagnoses to your wheelchair provider. This helps with insurance coverage, even if parts are under warranty. 

  1. Intake and Eligibility

The wheelchair provider’s Intake Coordinator will contact you after receiving the prescription. They’ll discuss the wheelchair issues, verify your insurance eligibility and benefits, and forward your service request. 

  1. Diagnostic and Repair

A skilled repair technician will come to your home on the scheduled day to diagnose and fix the issues. Minor repairs might happen on the spot, while major ones could require further testing or servicing at the repair center. 

  1. Manufacturer Quote and Insurance Authorization 

If special parts are needed, the technician will prepare a diagnostic report and get a price quote from the manufacturer. Insurance often requires prior authorization, so the repair center will submit the necessary documents for approval. 

  1. Purchasing and Delivery 

Once insurance authorization is obtained, the repair center will order the required parts. A delivery technician will visit to install the new parts, test the equipment, and make adjustments. Delivery timelines may vary depending on the manufacturers involved. 

Insurance authorization can sometimes cause delays because your provider may request additional information. Nevertheless, the repair center will make every effort to overcome any obstacles. 

How Long Does It Take to Repair an Electric Wheelchair?

The time it takes to service or repair an electric wheelchair depends on the problem’s complexity and parts availability. Minor issues are usually fixed during the diagnostic appointment. But major repairs or ordering specific parts might take longer. 

Do Electric Wheelchairs Need Regular Maintenance?

Electric wheelchairs need regular service to maintain performance, safety, and longevity. This includes inspections, maintenance, and repairs to address any issues or wear. 

How Often Should an Electric Wheelchair Be Serviced?

To keep your electric wheelchair in top condition and prevent breakdowns, regular servicing and maintenance are crucial. The frequency of servicing will depend on a few factors, including: 

  • Usage patterns - How often do you use your wheelchair? If you use it heavily, you’ll need to service it more often than if you only take it out occasionally. 

  • Environmental conditions - If you use your wheelchair in harsh environments, such as dusty or wet conditions, you’ll want to service it to prevent corrosion and damage. 

  • Manufacturer recommendations - Your wheelchair’s manufacturer will have specific requirements for how often it should be serviced. 

Here’s a general schedule of maintenance tasks you can perform on your electric wheelchair at home: 

Daily: Check the tire pressure and make sure the tires are properly inflated. 

Weekly: Clean the wheelchair with a damp cloth and mild detergent. 

Monthly: Check the brakes and make sure they’re working. 

Annually: Have the wheelchair serviced by a qualified technician. 

Wheelchair Repair Services in California

Are you looking for wheelchair repair and maintenance services in California? Contact Freedom Mobility Center today! Our skilled technicians are dedicated to assisting you in regaining mobility safely and affordably. 

Call 800-980-5696 today to learn more or schedule a repair service.