Need info on wheelchair battery replacement

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Need info on wheelchair battery replacement

Postby betsyann » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:38 pm

Bottom line: I want to know if regular repair shops exist for wheelchairs/batteries. How would I find a local shop? (What do I google for, who do I ask?)
~~~~~
My sister with MS uses an Invacare M50 (or 51) electric wheelchair she got 3 years ago from the same company she always uses, paid 20% and Medicare paid the rest.

Now the battery is dead and since she has switched to a HMO from Medicare, they say they'll come help her as follows: she pays them $400 CASH (not even debit card), they give her a loaner and take the chair to their shop which is about 2 hours away, and will replace battery and bring it back.

Smells fishy to me. I realize batteries cost $160 online and there is travel time and gasoline to consider, but what's with the CASH?

We don't even know how to look for a shop closer to her home, which is a suburb of a metropolitan area, not in the boonies.

Thank you. She is very upset and I'm getting there myself (I live far away from her).
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Re: Need info on wheelchair battery replacement

Postby NHE » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:53 pm

betsyann wrote:Now the battery is dead and since she has switched to a HMO from Medicare, they say they'll come help her as follows: she pays them $400 CASH (not even debit card), they give her a loaner and take the chair to their shop which is about 2 hours away, and will replace battery and bring it back.

Smells fishy to me. I realize batteries cost $160 online and there is travel time and gasoline to consider, but what's with the CASH?


I've never had to deal with wheelchairs or their batteries before, but the cash deal certainly does sound fishy. Since you know the price of the battery, do they provide an estimate of the costs for pick-up and delivery and the actual battery replacement labor? Here's another thought (from someone who worked as a professional auto mechanic for 10 years), how difficult is it to replace the battery? Do you have or can you get a service manual for the wheelchair? It's sometimes amazing what you can find on the internet. I recently found a complete teardown manual for a family member's laptop detailing everything down to every last little screw and plastic clip. Anyways, if you are someone you know has the ability to do the work, then it would certainly save a few dollars by purchasing a battery and replacing it directly. As someone who has rebuilt engines and manual transmissions, I can't imagine that a wheelchair battery should be that difficult. I would think that the owner's/operator's manual might even cover the procedure.

We don't even know how to look for a shop closer to her home, which is a suburb of a metropolitan area, not in the boonies.


Forgive me for mentioning the obvious as sometimes these things get overlooked but have you tried the phone book?

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Postby notasperfectasyou » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:09 am

We needed to get a replacement battery for a Hoveround Scooter a while back. We called the company and they sent out a rep. He got the battery replaced for less than $100. Why not call the manufacturer?
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Postby marcstck » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:56 pm

I do know that wheelchair batteries can be quite expensive, but I'm not sure what to make of the cash request.

There is a very informative website/forum devoted to wheelchair users on the net, and I think you should post your questions there. I'm sure you'll get some very informed responses.

http://www.wheelchairjunkie.com/forums/ubbthreads.php
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