It is fair to say that for many who use a fold-up wheelchair, this mobility aid is an essential piece of equipment and something that they rely on to keep their independence and get from A to B without any hassle. For this reason, it is incredibly important to ensure that your wheelchair is kept in the best possible condition all year round and that you’re undertaking regular preventative maintenance to help avoid costly repairs/replacements.
Of course, the maintenance required for a wheelchair will depend on the type of chair as well as the make and model, but there are some general things that all fold-up wheelchair users can do to help keep their chair in good working condition. To help anyone who uses a fold-up wheelchair on a regular basis, our team here at Karma Mobility have put together a list of some of their top maintenance tips.
Regularly check your tyres for wear and tear
Ideally, this is something you should do weekly and it is undeniably important to keep an eye on your tyres. You should inspect for things such as cracks and punctures to ensure that they don’t catch you off guard at an inconvenient time. If you do find any issues with your tyres, it is worthwhile repairing or replacing them as soon as possible.
Try to keep your wheelchair clean
When you have an active lifestyle and are moving across various different terrains, you should ensure that you’re keeping your wheelchair clean. Things like mud and grit can cause problems, especially when folding your chair, so general cleaning is an essential part of your regular maintenance routine. Simply using warm soapy water should do the job.
Ensure you lubricate all moving parts
For all fold-up wheelchairs, this is undeniably important and you can guarantee that it will greatly impact the ease of use of this type of chair. Use an all-purpose lubricant spray or some oil and ensure that you clean, dry and lubricate all of the moving parts of your chair. Not only will this help to reduce the wear caused by the increased friction between these moving parts, but it will also make your chair easier to fold as well.
Check the alignment of your chair
This is something that is often overlooked, yet it is incredibly beneficial to do. Whether you have an attendant-propelled or a self-propelled fold-up wheelchair checking the wheel alignment is something you should do on a monthly basis. Misalignment can make it much harder for the user to keep the wheelchair travelling on a straight path.
Keep upholstery in good condition
Whilst you may think that the condition of your upholstery only affects the aesthetics of the chair, this isn’t the case for a fold-up wheelchair. Often, these chairs have slightly less padding on both the backrest and the seat itself, so if your upholstery isn’t in a good condition and has rips or tears then you may be unable to use your chair until they’re fixed.
Take care when folding your wheelchair
This isn’t necessarily a maintenance tip, but it is definitely something you should do every time you use your chair, so it is worthwhile noting. Every time you collapse your fold-up wheelchair, ensure that you’re doing so carefully and correctly. Misuse is one of the most common reasons why you will require repairs and replacement parts.
Keeping on top of fold-up wheelchair maintenance
Hopefully, the tips above will be helpful for any fold-up wheelchair users and when taking into account everything mentioned above, you can ensure that you never have to go without your wheelchair. If you’re ever unsure what maintenance your specific make and model of wheelchair requires, don’t be afraid to reach out to the manufacturer or the place where you purchased from, they should be able to assist you further.
Here at Karma Mobility, we supply lightweight folding wheelchairs to many different mobility stores in the UK, all of which will be happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding maintenance for your wheelchair. We also supply a range of spare parts for wheelchairs too, so should you ever need to undertake repairs and/or replacements on your fold-up wheelchair, you will easily be able to get hold of the parts required.