Troubleshooting broken scooter lift

Having your scooter lift suddenly stop working when loading or un-loading from your vehicle can be very frustrating.  In many cases with minimal mechanical skills you will be able to fix the broken scooter lift to get the scooter loaded back into the vehicle and home safely.  BLVD.com provides a guide to help you troubleshoot broken scooter lifts no matter the make or model.  It's very important to note that even though this guide will help fix and repair the broken scooter lift we will always recommend you have the scooter lift serviced by the authorized dealer to ensure the scooter lift is working correctly and will remain to be reliable.

Determine Which type of Scooter Lift Troubleshooting Guide

First to help you determine which steps you should take to troubleshoot the broken scooter lift it needs to be determined which type of scooter lift you have to fix or repair.  Listed below is the common three types of scooter lifts, determine which is best describing your scooter lift.  Once this is determined you can locate the guide to troubleshoot the broken scooter lift below.

  • Crane or Hoist Design - This lift will be mounted are the rear of the vehicle and resemble a crane design.  To operate the lift you will use a hand pendant and will lower a docking device to connect to the scooter.  It will require you to connect the docking device to the scooter, raising the scooter vertically in the air and rotate it into the vehicle.
  • Platform Lift -  Operated from a hand pendant, this lift will require the rear lift-gate or doors to be open.  When you press the button on the hand pendant the platform will move towards the rear bumper and lower itself vertical down to the ground. Once on the ground, you can load the scooter from either the driver or passenger side directly on to the center of the platform.  This is the easiest scooter lift to operate and will not require you to hook up any docking devices to load or un-load from the vehicle.
  • Out-Side Scooter lift-  These lifts will mount directly into the vehicle hitch.  Compatible with both 1 1/4'' & 2'' receivers.  Operated from a hand pendant fixed to the lift and has power once the key is inserted and turned to  the "on" position.  Commonly installed in many types of trucks, Suv's and vans and will be exposed to the elements outside.

General Troubleshooting Guide For  Repairs For Broken Scooter Lift

No matter which type of broken scooter lift you need to fix these first steps in fixing your broken scooter lift are the same.  First things first, make sure the hand pendant is turned on, for many brands the on/off switch will be on the hand pendant, mounted directly to the vertical tower on the lift or activated with a key when inserted and turned to the on position.  Check and see that the the power switch is turned on, if this is  turned off, turn the lift on and check to see if it will operate.  If you have it turned on and you still have a broken scooter lift needing repair, check the additional basic troubleshooting guide steps below.  If none of them help fix the broken scooter lift you can proceed to the advanced troubleshooting guide to hopefully repair and fix your broken scooter lift.

  • Check all fuse at the vehicle battery, make sure the fuse is not blown.  If blown, replace and schedule appointment at certified dealer.  Blown fuse are commonly caused from broken or pinched wire causing a short.
  • Power wire is typically hardwired to vehicle battery and has connection from power wire to lift directly at the lift.  Verify both power and ground connections have not slightly became un-connected.  Press hard on both connections and make sure they are both plugged in snugly.
  • Make sure the hand pendant is connect to lift, pull slightly on both ends to make sure they are not lose.  If they appear to be in place move on to the next step.  Look over the entire hand pendant cord and look for pinched or damaged areas.  If you locate one press the button and wiggle the cord in suspected area.  If the lift begins to work and stops you have blown the fuse from the short in the hand pendant cord.    Further hand pendant diagnosing will be completed below in the advanced troubleshooting guide.
  • Locate door open limit switch at the door where the scooter lift comes in and out.  This is typical a small magnetic switch with the side mount to the door opening.  Two pieces are mounted to the door opening, one will have small wires  running to it and the other will just be a magnetic.  Make sure they have not become lose and are stuck together.  If they are separate them and the broken scooter lift should work.  If not inspect the wiring and make sure no damage has cause the switch to stop reading the door is fully open.
  • Start the vehicle , make sure the vehicles battery is charged and properly working.

Advanced Troubleshooting Scooter Lift Guide Crane/Hoist Design

Often repairs for broken scooter lifts can be more complicated.  Continue on reading to learn more about repairs or fixes that can be troubleshot when your scooter lift stops working or is broken.  In order to complete these you we recommend you to have ability to use a multi-meter.  Even if you have found the solution to fix the scooter lift, this is to only get out of an emergency situation to get the scooter lift to your local authorized dealer to fully service the broke scooter lift.

  • First we want to check the connection at the battery, check and make sure that both the positive and negative connections on the battery or tight with good crimps, inspect the wire, fuse and fuse holder.  If all of these appear to be in good condition we want to locate where the power wire will connect to the broken scooter lift.  Go back to where the scooter lift is mounted, near the bottom of the scooter lift base you want to locate where the power is connect to the scooter lift.  Un-plug the power connection, with a multi-meter check the side of the power cable that is coming from the battery back, you want to see 12 Volts on the meter when checking this.  If it's below this charge the battery or start the vehicle.  If you are reading that you have the voltage necessary plug the power connection back in.  Inspect the ground connection is properly connect to the ground connection at the lift, inspect wire connector crimps.
  • Locate the hand pendant and remove the screws holding the pendant controller together, inspect wiring connections to each switch on the pendant, if they all look to be secure take a photo of the connections to make hooking them back up with no questions.  With the connections removed, carefully remove the button from the pendant box, with a multi-meter test the switch to make sure the broken scooter lift is not from a bad or broken switch.  If it has multiple switches repeat this process for each switch.  If you find defective switch locate replacement switch and re assemble the hand pendant to start using the scooter lift again.
  • If the steps above leave you still with a broken scooter lift your next step would be to remove any covers on the base of the lift to gain access underneath the shrouds protecting the lift.  Identify where the board for the lift is, check all connections going to the board.  Next or near the board will be multiple limit switches that operate the function of swinging the lift In & Out, make sure they have not come out of adjustment, wires are still connected and the switch is operating correctly.  If all looks well you can test the power lead going to the board and verify it has 12 Volts going to it.  Trace where power is coming out of the board going to the motors and re-check for the 12 Volts coming out of the board going to the motors.  Start with the lowest motor and trace power wires going to remaining motors.  Check each motor for the 12 Volts going to each motor.  If power is going in to the motor and it's not operating is could be the motor has gone bad.  It's never recommended to have the motors re-built as it could be near the same coast to replace with new.  Work with your local authorized dealer to locate parts or have the broken scooter lift continued troubleshooting completed.

Advanced Troubleshooting Scooter Lift Guide Platform Lift

To repair broken platform lifts can many times be a easy and simple fix for your broken scooter lift.  If you have completed the basic troubleshooting guide for broken scooter lifts the guide below will be more advanced troubleshooting and will require more mechanical skills, including the ability to read and use a multi-meter.  Attempt each step below and hopefully at the end you will find the fix and or repair for your broken scooter lift.

  •  Mounted to the floor of the vehicle you will commonly see a track or gear that the platform scooter lift will ride in and out on.  Inspect this track and make sure no large debris or water bottle caps are stuck in this area, many of the platform lifts will have safety limit switch plates that when operating the lift if activated will stop the progress of the lift thinking a person hand or foot could be the the way of the lift.  At this time you will also be able follow the track back to where the lift has stopped at, near the bottom of the lift near the track you will be able to locate the plate that is cover this safety switch.  If the hand pendant has an on/off switch turn it off and back on.  If this safety limit switch was activated and the debris is removed it will re-set the scooter lift.  If these steps have been completed and the scooter lift is still broken please continue with steps below.
  • Next we want to check the connection at the battery, check and make sure that both the positive and negative connections on the battery or tight with good crimps, inspect the wire, fuse and fuse holder.  If all of these appear to be in good condition we want to locate where the power wire will connect to the broken scooter lift.  Go back to where the scooter lift is mounted, near the bottom of the scooter lift base you want to locate where the power is connect to the scooter lift.  Un-plug the power connection, with a multi-meter check the side of the power cable that is coming from the battery back, you want to see 12 Volts on the meter when checking this.  If it's below this charge the battery or start the vehicle.  If you are reading that you have the voltage necessary plug the power connection back in.  Inspect the ground connection is properly connect to the ground connection at the lift, inspect wire connector crimps.
  • Locate the hand pendant and remove the screws holding the pendant controller together, inspect wiring connections to each switch on the pendant, if they all look to be secure take a photo of the connections to make hooking them back up with no questions.  With the connections removed, carefully remove the button from the pendant box, with a multi-meter test the switch to make sure the broken scooter lift is not from a bad or broken switch.  If it has multiple switches repeat this process for each switch.  If you find defective switch locate replacement switch and re assemble the hand pendant to start using the scooter lift again.
  • Platform scooter lifts will have multiple limit switches, when the lift stops one motion and starts using a different motor on the lift it was a limit switch that told the scooter lift to perform the next step of the loading or un-loading process.  These limit switches can be very difficult to locate and get to without disassembling many pieces of the lift.  If the scooter lift works to a certain point and stops it most certainly could be a bad switch.  You can look over the platform lift and attempt to locate the switch, if located you will need to remove the switch and test the switch for both open and close.  Be careful when re-installing because if the switch is not adjusted correctly you can break the existing switch or new one when not adjusted correctly.  This repair would be most certainly recommended to be completed at your local authorized dealer.  For a sticky switch you can tap the switch and spray it will a little lubricate to free the switch up.

Advanced Troubleshooting Scooter Lift Guide Out-Side Lift

Broken Out Side scooter lifts in many cases will have issues with the power getting to the lift.  Un-like other scooter lifts, the power cable and entire scooter lift is exposed to the outside elements.  Electricity and moisture go together like a toaster and a bath tub, the two do not get along very well.  At the time of installation it is always best to put some grease on the connections and this will help repel water and not allow corrosion to build up on connections.  Below is the advanced guide to troubleshooting your broken out side scooter lift.

  • Check the vehicle's battery and the scooter lift power connections on the negative and positive terminals.  If excessive corrosion is built up, clean the terminals and re-attach.  Inspect the crimps and make sure the power wire is not green, if you see green cut the wire back and re-connect new connections.  
  • Trace the power back to the scooter lift.  At the scooter lift you will see a sealed connection, un-plug this connection and inspect for green corrosion built up in the plug.  Clean both sides of the power cable plug and test for voltage at the power cable end coming off the vehicle battery.  You should read 12 volts, if you do not have this reading go back to the battery and re-inspect the connections and the inline fuse.  With the power cable and fuse working correctly you will have the 12 volts needed.  
  • With 12 Volts power going to the lift you will want to next check the key switch you turn on and off for the power.  Insert the key and turn power on.  Push the up or down button, if nothing happens you will remove the cover over the key slot and inspect for broken wires and excessive corrosion built up.  If you locate broken wires you will need to re-connect them.  If all appears to in proper working order turn the key switch on and perform the next step.
  • With the key turned on locate the red wire going into the up/down actuator.  With the multi-meter check to see if you have power going to the actuator? If you have power going to the up/down actuator it could be a bad up/down switch or the actuator has gone bad.  To test the button and actuator please perform the steps below.

*Testing The Actuator*

When testing the actuator we will be sending direct power to the motor.  Doing this we can test the actuator with bypassing any switches or other connections that could be bad.  To test it, locate the black and red wires coming directly off the actuator, trace them to where they can be un-plugged. once you have them un-plugged you will need a jump back or other source capable of providing 12 volts of power.  Connect a wire to both the power and negative side of the power supply you are using, connect one of the wires to the wire leads coming of the actuator, turn the power supply on and touch the other wire on from the power supply to the other wire on the actuator/motor.  When you touch the 2nd wire you should hear and see the motor turn on, if you reverse the connections the motor will turn the opposite way.  If this is successful you will now know that the issue is further back in the lift.  Start at this point back tracking and repeating the steps listed above and you will be able to isolate the exact issues causing the broken scooter lift.

*Testing On/Off Switch*

Remove the cover for the on/off switch.  Inspect the wiring to see if any are not clipped in all the way, green corrosion built up or a broke wire.  If all have been determined to not be the cause un-connect the wires from the switch.  With a multi-meter test the switch for proper working function.  If it has stopped working you can locate the replacement switch from you local authorized dealer.  Before calling the dealer it will always be best to have the lift Serial Number.  This will help ensure you get the correct switch for your exact broken scooter lift.

Fix Broken Scooter Lift At Authorized Dealer

This guide to troubleshoot broken scooter lifts is not to replace the certified dealer tech that should always be the final inspection point.  This comprehensive guide to repair/fix your broken scooter lift is for emergency situations.  If you have found the reason why the scooter lift has stopped working it is always recommended you have the correct dealer and trained staff make sure the fix is correct and safe for future use.  We hope this troubleshooting guide for broken scooter lifts can help when you or your loved ones suddenly have their scooter lift stop working.

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