How to | Troubleshoot Common Electric Bike Problems
What happens when you didn’t consider the available warranty or brand quality before purchasing an electric bike? You will most likely encounter certain electric bike breakdown. The good news is that this guide provides detailed information about how to troubleshoot common electric bike problems. The guide is also useful for individuals who own quality e-bikes but caused a problem based upon n negligence or ignorance. As you read on, you shall discover more vital information.
Troubleshooting Electric Bike Battery
A battery is a critical component of an electric bike, and any slight malfunction from it will generally affect the electric bike. Thus, always check the battery first, when an electric bike does not respond. This will save you a lot of trouble. However, there is various aspect of an electric bike battery you want to focus on.
The Battery Voltage
When the battery voltage is not charged or properly operating, the LED on the control panel will refuse to light up. You may also use a voltmeter to check the voltage level of the battery, through the positive and negative poles. If the voltage reading is low, it could also mean the electric bicycle has not been charged for a long time. Thus, you should immediately plug in the battery. If there is no positive change, you most likely need to replace the battery.
You should also pay attention to the duration it takes to fully charge a battery. If your battery charges more than the typical duration or loses power quickly, you also need to get a replacement. Most e-bikes can be fully charged for between 3-5 hours. Even though your electric bike battery requires extra charging time, do not leave the battery plugged into a power source for more than 12 hours.
The Battery Cells and Connections
If the electric bike battery has individual cells, check each cell’s voltage. If one or more cells have a significantly lower voltage than the others, the battery may need to be replaced. You also need to check if the battery is properly and securely connected to the electric bike. If the connections are loose, it can cause an issue with the electric bike.
The Battery Charger
You can easily detect if your battery charger is working or not, without needing a detection tool. You may also choose to use a voltmeter, but confirm if the reading is higher or lower than the battery’s rated voltage. In worst cases, the voltage may also read zero. In this case, you will need to get another charger as soon as you can. This is why you need to prioritize electric bike brands that are easily accessible, or within your vicinity.
The Battery Charger Port
Sometimes, your electric bike may fail to charge even after plugging it into a power source. If this is the case, confirm the state of the battery charger port. If the charger fails to illuminate when connected to the electric bike, it means the wire connections are most likely not working. You may also check the voltage of your electric bike charger to confirm its power level.
Maintaining Your Electric Bike Battery
Proper maintenance of your electric bike battery will reduce troubleshooting issues, and extend its longevity. Thus, the common battery maintenance tips are highlighted below.
- Store the battery under the right temperature:If you wouldn't be using your electric bike battery for a long time, make sure to store it under proper condition. Avoid storing under extreme temperatures, as it could reduce the battery’s capacity.
- Use the right charger: The best advice is to charge your electric bike battery with the brand’s charger type. If you often charge your bike battery with the wrong charger, it will affect its durability.
- Charge the battery properly: Even when you don't use your battery for a long time, make sure the power doesn't drain down to zero. At the same time, make sure you don't overcharge or undercharge your electric bike’s battery.
- Cleaning the battery: Make sure to clean your electric bike with a damp cloth, to remove dirt and debris. This is highly important if you have stored the battery for a long time.
Troubleshooting Electric Bike Motor
A motor system is another integral part of an electric bike, but the common problem is associated with the wire connections. If you are using a rear hub motor system, make sure the wires connected to it are neither loose nor burnt. If the wires are in extremely bad condition, you will need to get a new one.
If the wire connections in your electric bike motor are disconnected or burnt, it means the motor is overheated. In this case, you will need to prevent further damage to the bike controller. You should check your motor system as soon as you notice any slight interruption with the bike’s power flow.
The Motor Pedal Assist System
The pedal assists feature is built differently on several electric bicycles, which differs by location. Some pedals are located at the sprocket region, while others are placed at the bottom bracket. Whatever the location, if your e-bike experiences a power cut-off, the pedal assist has probably shifted from its location. You can fix it back into its initial position using a flathead screwdriver. More so, bear in mind that the bike’s sprocket sensor often changes position when it's dirty or knocked around. Thus, you should properly maintain your electric bike motor.
The Motor Throttle
Some electric bicycles only have a throttle feature, instead of a pedal-assist system. Foremost, using the throttle feature excessively will cause the system to get stuck in a particular position. The throttle may refuse to retire to its initial position after being pulled. Once the throttle loses its functionality, you will most likely experience frequent power cut-offs while riding. Thus, avoid being too hasty with using the throttle feature. Gently return it to the initial position after every application.
Troubleshooting the Brake System
A brake system is vital in determining the ride condition of your electric bicycle and the safety level. Before you take out your electric bike for a ride, make sure the handlebars and brake lever are well fixed. If you also notice the motor inhibitor switch is stuck in a single position, it means the brake lever is faulty and needs to be fixed.
Another vital part of the brake you should check is the brake pads and brake cable. If the brake cable tension is extremely high or low, make sure to adjust it according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. You should also check the brake pads for any sign of wear and tear, and get a replacement immediately if it's non-repairable.
Make sure you don't mess with any part of the brake system, that could expose the controller to damage. Carefully tighten the brake cable and brake cable stopper. Do not rush to get the right tension, but patiently tighten the knots.
Troubleshooting the Controller
A controller is often regarded as an electric bike’s operating system processor. It is mostly responsible for a non-functioning electric bike, alongside batteries. The controller is a sensitive component of an electric bike that receives a signal from all sensors and transfers them to the electric bike motor. Any slight disconnection or damage to the controller’s wire will negatively affect the e-bike's function. Thus, reset the circuit breaker, to check if it will solve the problem.
Investing in quality electric bikes will save you the stress of fixing and repairing electric bike components frequently. When you buy from reputable e-bike brands, you will be provided a warranty. This warranty is proof you are being sold a quality electric bike. Also, the manufacturing company will be responsible for any technical damage that surfaces during the warranty period. Typically, Honbike and many other reputable brands, offer an average warranty of two years.
Most manufacturers provide user manuals or guides that allow riders to easily detect problems in their electric bikes. Pay attention to the information in your user guideline, including ways to properly maintain your electric bike. You must also be careful not to cause further damage to your electric bike while troubleshooting it. Consult a technician or bike expert to fix complex problems.
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