Wheelchair Basics: Maintenance Guide
Hello everyone, today we’ll be tackling what I call the “Wheelchair Maintenance Guide”. It's relatively a quick guide that will give you some pointers on how to keep your wheelchair in Tip-Top condition. If you can follow these 3 pointers then you can make sure that your ride stays repair free for a long time.
- Front/Rear Wheels
- All other bolts
When it comes to maintenance on the front/rear wheels of your chair, what you really want to be looking out for is the accumulation of hair and dirt. Hair and dirt is a wheel bearing’s worst enemy. I would recommend at the end of every month you should be taking off the wheels and wiping away any hair/dirt that you find and applying a spray of lubricant on the bearings. This will help keep the rust from accumulating quickly and allow for smooth movement.
Now when it comes to maintaining brakes it’s a pretty simple task. All you need to do is regularly (about once a week) make sure that the screws haven’t loosened up. Once those screws have loosened you’ll notice that the brakes don’t firmly lock the wheels anymore. I would HIGHLY recommend to take an allen key and check that those screws are tight, as loose brakes are a safety issue that needs immediate attention.
All other bolts tight
Now this checkpoint depending on the type of wheelchair can be a bit of a daunting task, nonetheless it's definitely a checkpoint that needs attention. Wheelchairs come in varying sizes and because of that some will have a lot more screws/bolts installed on said chair. What you need to be mindful of is always making sure to check on these screws/bolts and making sure that they stay tightened. Now locations that will need to be checked upon regularly are the armrest, you’ll see two screws located on them. They tend to get loose, the back canes have a couple bolts located at the bottom that will loosen up over time as well and the cross frame of the chair which will have 4 bolts under the chair that can be tightened. Essentially to sum it up, anywhere that you see a bolt or screw make sure you’ve taken an allen key or ratchet and tightened it back up.
All in all, if you can follow this checklist you can increase the lifespan of your wheelchair far longer than what it's rated for.