Whether you use a rigid or a folding wheelchair, you should follow the recommended routine maintenance practices for your wheelchair to give you long service and perform optimally. You should not wait until you make inclusive excursions to service your wheelchair. At least once a week, you should check some of the wheelchair parts such as the brakes. Here are the wheelchair routine maintenance practices you should follow.
1. Check Your Brakes
You want to make sure that the brakes are working properly to prevent catastrophic accidents. If you maintain an active lifestyle using a high performance wheelchair to get around, you should always check the brakes to see that they are working perfectly. The good thing is that you will feel when the braking system on your wheelchair is problematic. Brake problems can be caused by low tire pressure, wrongly installed brakes, and wet tires. If you enjoy inclusive excursions and touring places with difficult terrain, your brakes should be working at their best capacity to boost your mobility and accessibility.
2. Tires and Inner Tubes
The two rear wheels of your wheelchair are hugely responsible for your mobility. Typically, most wheelchairs utilize pressure wheels with inner tubes, but there are some with tubeless wheels. If your wheelchair utilizes pressure wheels, you should occasionally check the tire pressure to ensure that it is at the correct level. The manufacturers recommended tire pressure is usually printed on the tire, to guide you.
If you mostly use your wheelchair around town, you may not have deflated tires as much as you would have if you regularly take inclusive excursions. On the other hand, if you inflate the wheelchair tires beyond the recommended pressure, the tires might burst. If you love to tour places with a rough terrain that might work up your wheels more intensely, it is recommended that you install off road wheelchair tires. You should also have the bearings for wheelchairs checked by an experienced mechanic to ascertain when they need replacement or oiling.
3. Check For Wear and Tear
Some parts of your wheelchair may need replacement due to wear and tear. These parts include wheelchair casters, footrests, wheelchair comfort cushions, and wheelchair arm pads. However, some of these parts such as the wheelchair footrests may sometimes outlive your wheelchair because they are long-lasting. Nonetheless, some parts such as the seat and back upholstery will wear out quickly upon regular and continuous use. When riding on your wheelchair, you should listen for any unusual sounds, as it could mean that there are some loose screws that need to be tightened.
4. Oil the Casters and Wheelchair Bearings
Well-oiled wheelchair casters will improve your mobility a great deal. Not only will the wheelchair move with much more ease but also they will not produce annoying sounds due to friction. Well-oiled casters and wheelchair bearings will serve you longer due to the reduced friction. Additionally, you will not have to use much of your energy pushing the wheelchair forward as the wheels will move easily. As a result, you will not have back pains as you can comfortably push your manual wheelchair without much strain.
5. Use OEM’s Parts When Replacing
The quality of your replacement parts are as good as their manufacturers. When you need to replace any parts of your wheelchair due to wear and tear, you should use original parts recommended by the manufacturer. Some of these parts such as wheelchair casters can be pricey if you have to replace them every now and then. That’s why you should go for the original parts so that they give you service for a long time.
Given that the wheelchair takes care of you by improving your mobility, the best thing you would do is maintain it well. In North America, about 3.6 million people above the age of 15 use a wheelchair. If you love inclusive excursions and touring off-road terrains, you would want to service your wheelchair more often -- preferably after one or two trips.