A car is unlikely to be a luxury item if you also own a mobility scooter. That might be a bit of an assumption but it works in many cases. Both these vehicles come with 12-volt batteries. So, the question arises, can the same charger be used for both? The answer, quite simply, is yes. But there are a few other things you need to know before you walk into your garage.
You can use a car battery to charge a mobility scooter although it’s an option most experts don’t recommend. This is because a car battery is meant to power a much bigger machine (like the car) and it carries a lot more charge than a scooter can handle. There are precautions you must take. Check the amperage and do the math to calculate how long you must charge it.
While that is the simple answer, it is not without ifs and buts. There are a variety of specifications with regards to both the car and scooter batteries that you must factor in before you get started on the charging procedure. Let’s take a look at what those are.
Table of Contents
- Can You Charge a Mobility Scooter Battery with a Car Charger?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Charge a Mobility Scooter Battery with a Car Charger?
As mentioned before, both vehicles operate on batteries with the same voltage. But the difference is that both vehicles have different capacities. You will notice the temp amp-hour pop up a few times in this conversation. So, it is good to know what that is.
Car batteries come in a variety of amp-hours. The battery of a traditional small car is at about 48 amp-hours but that of a scooter is about 10 amp-hours. See the difference? Now, you can still use a car charger but there is quite a bit of risk and if you want to avoid it, there are a few things you need to know. Even after that, it is actually preferred that you don’t do it. We’ll tell you why.
Can I Charge My Mobility Scooter from My Car
Now, a car battery, as we have established, has a lot more power in it simply because it is built for a bigger machine that needs that much supply. So, consider this question and the subsequent scenario.
How much charge does your scooter need?
When a scooter is thirsty for more charge, it needs a bigger battery and more amps, right? But when it doesn’t and you use a car charger for your mobility scooter, you are putting the other parts of your scooter at risk.
This is a situation where bigger is not better. If you have no choice but to use a car charger, well, you need to make some adjustments. A car charger will have a 12-volt marking somewhere on it. Locate that. Now, look at its amperage.
Typically, when you get a 1-amp output, you will be charging the vehicle at the rate of 1 amp-hour per hour. Your scooter battery has a range of 10 amp hours, right? So, if you have a 1-amp charger, you will be able to charge the scooter to its maximum capacity in 10 hours.
Now, if you find a 3-amp charger, the recharging gets done in a little over three hours. But when you are using a car charger, there is always the risk of overcharging. And with its high capacity, if you overcharge your scooter with a car charger, you will cause significant damage to your scooter’s battery.
There is also the risk of overheating. The input current from a car charger will be quite rapid and it produces a lot more heat than what your scooter can handle. This also causes significant and irreversible damage to the scooter’s battery.
Now, that is why many experts make the argument that you should not use a car charger for a mobility scooter. They say that because of its size and weight, the plates of a car charger contain more electrolytes which are meant for an engine with higher capacity. They are not wrong.
A scooter’s engine is quite lightweight and is not meant to handle as much load. Now, if you replace the scooter’s battery with a car battery, you might be setting up your scooter’s engine for an explosion.
Is there a In Car Battery Charger for Mobility Scooters
None that we could find. But you can use a portable car jumper to get your scooter started. These jumpers have batteries that can be used to charge your vehicle for about 20 minutes or so depending on the batteries you are using right now.
You can also get other power supplies from any hardware store. But before using them, make sure you adjust the output voltage to match your scooter’s battery. Also, note that the current is about 3 percent of your scooter battery’s amp hour rating.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Jump Start a Scooter with a Car?
It should not be anyone’s go-to choice but tell you what, sometimes you don’t have an option. In those cases, you can try to jumpstart your scooter with a car but with precautions.
If your scooter runs on a six-volt battery, however, this is not an option. That’s too much power surging through the cable. And even for 12-volt scooters, make sure the engine of the car is not on. When you do, here’s how you go about it.
Spot the battery which is under the seat or footrest. Check the instruction manual for the precise location. Access the battery and identify the positive and negative terminals on the scooter. Red is the positive terminal and black is negative. Attach the jumper cables to the dead battery while the car is turned off.
Its battery has enough and more power. Start the scooter and once it does remove the cables, negative terminals first and then the positives. If you keep them attached for too long, that can damage the electrical system of your scooter.
Can I Use a Car Battery on a Mobility Scooter?
As mentioned before, this is a bad idea. A car battery has too much capacity and will end up damaging your mobility scooter. The best you can do is use it to start your scooter and then get to the nearest charging point.
How Can I Charge My Scooter Battery Without a Charger?
A: There are quite a few practical and easy ways to do this. Here are a few steps you should follow to do this safely.
- 1Remove the battery from the scooter to avoid a build-up of excessive heat.
- 2Remove the screws of the battery that hold it in place and access the battery.
- 3Disconnect it by removing the connectors carefully.
- 4Place the battery in a dry place.
After this, you can use a portable jumper cable to connect it to your car (with its engine switched off) and start the scooter. You can also use a universal power adapter to get the job done. Here’s how you do that.
- 1Connect the negative terminals first and then the positives.
- 2Set the voltage to 4.20 volts per cell to recharge the scooter. Contact the manufacturer if you are not sure about the battery in your scooter.
- 3Set the energy to 20 percent of the capacity of your scooter battery. So, if you have a 9-amp hour battery, your output current must be set to 1.8 A. This ensures that your battery is safe from too much charge.
- 4Wait for the battery to be full which is at 3 percent of the amp-hour capacity of your scooter’s battery.
- 5Disconnect the adapter.
You can also use a jump pack to recharge your scooter’s battery. If you have one, here are the steps you should follow.
- 1Identify the terminals on the scooter.
- 2Set the battery pack to 12 volts and connect it to the scooter.
- 3Attach the pack to the scooter, negative terminals first and then the positives.
- 4Try to start the scooter and when it does, disconnect the negative terminals first and then the positives. Same order as the attaching process.
You should be good to go.