Just as with a car, it's important that the front wheels of your scooter be both pointed in the same direction. If they are not, you could experience premature tire wear and even short battery range. This adjustment is called "toe-in / toe-out" or sometimes just wheel alignment.
Unlike wheel alignment on a car which requires specialized tools, anybody can adjust the alignment on their scooter.
- A straight stick such as a broomstick that's at least 42" long.
- Two adjustable crescent wrenches or wrench set.
- Some WD-40 if your scooter has rust or corrosion underneath.
How to tell if your wheels are aligned
A good way to tell if your front wheels are correctly aligned is to press your straight stick against either side of the scooter so that it stretches from the front edge of the front wheel to the rear edge of the rear wheel on the same side. Swing the steering tiller left or right until the stick is resting flat against the front wheel. Then, without moving the steering tiller move your stick to the wheels on the other side of your scooter and see if the stick is resting flat against that front wheel as you were able to make it do on the first side.
If your stick is resting flat against the front wheel, then your front wheels are in alignment and nothing need be done.
If your stick does not rest flat against the front wheel, then your wheel alignment needs to be adjusted.
How to adjust the wheel alignment
Adjusting the wheel alignment is generally a two-person job; one to raise and hold the scooter and another to make the adjustments.
1. Lower the steering tiller and center it on the scooter.
2. Lift up the front end of the scooter. On some models, if raised high enough, the scooter will appear to stay in the raised position by itself. DO NOT TRUST IT. YOU MUST HAVE A SECOND PERSON TO ENSURE IT REMAINS IN THE RAISED POSITION.
Here is typically what you'll see. Your exact model of scooter may appear slightly different.
3. Decide which wheel, left or right needs to be adjusted.
Here's a close-up where you'll be making the adjustments:
4. Place one crescent wrench on the flat spot on the tie rod and use your other crescent wrench to loosen each lock nut. Note that one of the nuts will be reverse threaded- meaning that you'll turn it clockwise to loosen instead of counter-clockwise as is customary. If the lock nuts won't budge, give them a squirt of WD-40.
5. Once the lock nuts are loosened, Use your crescent wrench on the flat spot to turn the tie rod. One direction will cause it to make the wheel point left and the other direction will cause it to make the wheel point to the right.
6. Once you're satisfied that both wheels are pointed in the right direction, while holding the tie rod in place with your crescent wrench, tighten each of the two lock nuts.