Electric Scooter Motor Not Running: How to Fix
You are just about to leave for work on your e-scooter when you found out the electric scooter motor not running. What an ungodly time to experience e-scooter problems. Surely you do maintain it at all times, don’t you? You should. E-scooters are generally durable, built to last, and require minimal maintenance. Like consumer electric and motor vehicles, they have parts and components that are sensitive to damage from overuse, overcharging, and stress due to extreme riding activities. Operating your e-scooter without care can cause the parts and components to malfunction, melt, or burn. Your electric motor happens to be a damage sensitive component.
About your electric scooter’s motor
Most e-scooters use a hub motor or an electric motor that is handily incorporated into the hub of either the front or rear wheel, causing no change to the basic design of your device. Since the hub motor is attached to the wheel it is powering, it can move that wheel very efficiently. They are easy to install and access for service and repair. When you turn off your electric scooter to revert to kick mode, the hub functions much like a traditional wheel hub that connects the tire, rim, and spokes to the axle. To prevent electric scooter motor not running, you need to regularly maintain your device.
Hub motors are not without disadvantages. For one, they add additional weight to the wheel they are powering. And since they require extra wiring in order to deliver electricity, truing the wheel and changing tires should be challenging. Given that, you will need to properly maintain your device if it comes with a hub motor or suffer electric scooter motor not running.
Hub motors cones in different designs, and differences between the designs exist:
- Geared hub motor and gearless (direct drive) hub motor – Geared hub motors are smaller and lighter, and they offer increased range but less power. Gearless hub motors are usually big and heavy, but they provide more torque (turning force) and power to the electric scooter. They are more efficient that geared hubs.
- Brushed motors and brushless motors – Brushed motors have more moving parts than brushless ones. Though less efficient, they are reliable, and can withstand stress from most riding activities. On the other hand, brushless motors may be more efficient and have fewer moving parts and are more efficient, but they are more fragile than brushed motors. They tend to fail under tough conditions.
Taking good care of your electric scooter is key to maximize the performance and usability of parts and components, most especially the motor. Should you know what kind of motor your device is running on, you would be more proactive on maintenance and proper use or else risk your electric scooter motor not running.
Troubleshooting your e-scooter’s motor
You spent a few minutes trying to figure out why your electric scooter motor not running. You try to fix whatever problem you see or can think of, but you do not have the faintest idea what is wrong with the motor. You are not sure what to do about it. Here are some solutions for an electric scooter motor not running.
Inspect the motor
Check for any disconnected or loose wires and wire connectors. Gently tighten every wire and wire connector so they would not disconnect nor get loose. Check all wires or wire connectors that connect to the motor. Found something that look like burnt or melted? If yes, this indicates overheating motor. When overheated, the motor could have caused the insulation to melt off the electromagnetic wire winding.
Electric scooter motor not running? Smell the motor, speed controller, and other electrical components. Is there something like a smell of burnt plastic or rubber? If there is, the coils must have been overheated, and there might be damage to the speed controller. If the plastic insulation melts off the magnet winding, they will short circuit and cause the electric scooter motor not running. Replace motor immediately.
Check the battery and charger.
Without the battery, where would the motor source power to start and make the e-scooter run? So if the electric scooter motor not running, check the battery. Is it well-maintained? Do you do stunts or extreme riding activities? Do you ride over water and uneven and unpaved surfaces? Exposure to the elements and stress from riding activities can damage your e-scooter’s battery and your electric scooter motor not running.
Check your charger too. Is it working? Test by plugging it into a power outlet and look for any indicator light that is lit. If indicator light does not lit or just blinks on and off, the charger is defective. You can also test charger’s output voltage by using a multi-meter. The charger’s output voltage should be a few volts above its voltage level (24V, 36V, or 48V). If output voltage is zero or below level, then charger is defective. Electric scooter motor not running due to faulty charger.
Inspect the fuse or circuit breaker.
If your electric scooter uses a fuse, check the inside of the fuse to determine if it is burned out or not. You will need to remove the fuse from the device and hold it under the light. If your electric scooter uses a circuit breaker, you need to push-on or flip it to see if it would reset. Fuses may burn out in where you cannot see it, and circuit breakers will still not work even if they mechanically reset. Determine if they are working or not by using a multi-meter.
Push the e-scooter to start.
Electric scooter motor not running? E-scooters with kick-start motors will not engage from a standing start. You will need it to give it a little push in order to start the motor. Push you device forward with one foot and stand on the deck with your other foot while. Scoot up to 3mph, and engage the throttle.
Test the throttle.
Electric scooter motor not running? Test your device’s throttle with the use of a 4.5-5V DC power source and multimeter. Apply 4.5 through 5 V DC positive(+) to the throttle’s red wire, and apply ground(-) to the black wire. Attach the multimeter set to read DC voltage between the black wire(-) and the blue, green, or white wire(+). Then engage the throttle. As the throttle is engaged, the output voltage should read anywhere between 1 through 4V. If the throttle has less than 4V DC output at full throttle, this indicates throttle is defective, which is why electric scooter motor not running.
Inspect the speed controller.
Electric scooter motor not running? Check the speed controller for any damaged wires or wire connectors and smell of burnt plastic. No sign of damage? No smell? Test all the electrical components around the speed controller. If they all work, but the electric scooter still does not operate, speed controller is deemed defective.
Test brake lever switch.
Electric scooter motor not running? You may need to test your e-scooter’s brake lever switch. This component ‘tells’ the speed controller to turn “off” when the brakes are applied. When the brake level switch wears out, it locks in the “on” position which turns the controller “off”. Disconnect the switch from the controller, and try to operate your e-scooter. If it runs when the brake lever switch is disconnected, then the switch is the problem and another reason why electric scooter motor not running.
Test power switch or key switch.
Electric scooter not running? Move the power switch or key switch between the “on” and “off” position several times. IS the switch loose? Is there an absence of a positive snap-action feel? The switch could be defective. You can also detect if the switch is working or not by using the multi-meter.
If still the electric scooter motor not running, your last resort is to take your scooter to your retailer for service and repair.