By far and away the most common reason for a scooter malfunction is low battery voltage. ALL Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery packs contain two 12 volt batteries inside that are wired in series to generate between 24 and 26 volts required to power the scooter. Most scooters with lithium ion battery packs are set up the same way and produce the same voltage output but for those battery packs, have a look at the label or sticker on the battery pack so you'll know for sure.
A low battery pack is known to cause a range of behaviors on scooter including:
1. The scooter moves under its own power for just a few feet and then stops. But turning the key off and back on causes the scooter to again, move just a few feet before stopping.
2. While the scooter seems to operate, only the last light on the battery gauge is illuminated or for needle style gauges, the needle is solidly in the red.
3. The scooter operates but only very slowly or sluggishly.
4. Many or all of the lights on the battery gauge are dim or flickering off and on.
One good way to see if there's a problem with the battery pack is to use a voltage tester, also referred to as a multimeter or multi-tester. It's a handy device to have and you can get one from Living Well Stores here: https://www.livingwellstores.com/multitester
You cannot get a shock testing a scooter battery pack.
How to test a scooter battery pack
Most multimeters look like this and have connectors labeled like this one:
1. Plug the probe plugs into the tester with the black one into the socket labeled COM and the red one into the socket NOT labeled 10A, 10 AMP, etc. Don't worry if you make a mistake here and use the wrong socket. You won't break anything and you can't be shocked. You just will not get a good reading.
2. Remove the battery pack from the scooter.
3. Next, locate the charging port on your battery pack. It will look like this:
It will consist of three holes and they may be numbered, 1, 2 and 3. Numbered or not, insert the probes into the two outer holes, ignoring the middle one. Do not allow the probes to touch each other. This could cause a short that would likely cause the fuse inside the battery pack to blow and it would need to be replaced.
The voltmeter should now be reading the current voltage of your battery pack.
Ideally a fully charged battery pack should read about 25.2 volts. Anything lower than about 18 volts indicates your battery pack should be charged but the scooter should run. Below about 18 volts the scooter is going to operate erratically. Anything below about 12 volts and the scooter is unlikely to operate at all. We use the word "about" in all cases as they are just approximations.