How to Safely Buy a Used Electric Scooter

How to Safely Buy a Used Electric Scooter

by freshlycharged

Buying anything used can be a daunting process. Buying used scooters can not only be confusing, but they can also be dangerous. Below, I am going to give you a checklist on what to look for so you can be confident on how to purchase a used electric scooter

I’m going to tell you how I got a Kaabo Mantis Pro used for $150 and how it could have ended up in injury. If the seller wasn’t honest with me about the issues, I would have overpaid and could have ended up breaking some bones.

I am glad I was able to get a hold of this scooter because it has helped me learn some major issues to look for when buying a used one.

Sheared Motor Hub Kaabo Mantis
Sheared bolts leaving no tread on the split rim of the used Kaabo Mantis Pro+ I bought.

The Ultimate Checklist to Buying a Used Electric Scooter

  1. Check to see if any bolts are missing especially around the motors and tires – The used Mantis I purchased had three sheared bolts on the split rim that secures the tire in place. The rim had a 3 mm gap in it that it could have popped the tire causing serious injury.
  2. See if the frame is loose or feels tight – A lot of scooters lack Loctite on the Bolts. If the frame bolts get loose it can cause vibrations and rubbing against the wires. Rubbed wires are a leading cause for malfunctioning and damaged lights.
  3. Test the brakes – If there are disc brakes check to see if the rotor is rubbing at all. Also listen for any squeaking. Make sure all brakes work before test driving it especially if there is only one brake.
  4. Check the stem to see if it is creaky or loose – You can tell a lot of how a scooter was treated by the stem. Sometimes they do come misaligned but most of the time a creaky and loose stem is cohesive of the previous owner hitting jumps or dropping curbs. The stem acts like a 3 foot lever so it’s where a lot of force is applied.
  5. Check around the bearings area for corrosion– The bearings is a good indicator if the previous owner was riding it through rain, snow, water, and salt water if you are near the ocean.
  6. Check to see if the bearings move freely – Bearings do go bad and not a deal breaker. However, keep in mind that a bearing change is needed if it doesn’t move freely. Bearing changes can be a tedious job depending on the scooter.
  7. Check the tire pressure – Check to see if the tires have the correct tire pressure. Tires that have low tire pressure can damage the longevity of the tire and cause cracking down the side. If the tire is low when you check, the seller may have unintentionally damaged the tire or rim.
  8. Check the tail lights – Tail lights go out a lot on electric scooters. They are normally cheap to replace but the job can be tedious because you may have to open up the frame or take off a tire.
  9. Check the tire tread – If the tires are not in good condition or they are damaged, a tire change can be a painful thing to do if you are not handy.
  10. Check the battery – Batteries are the toughest thing to check on but is the most expensive part of a scooter.  It is hard to test a battery unless you fully drain it and test the range. There is not a lot of people willing to let you test drive their scooter for 20-40 hour miles, so this is one is a tough one to check.   
  11. Check the motors – If it is a dual motor scooter, check to see if both motors work by toggling the single and dual motor button. A bad motor is typically the second or third most expensive part of a scooter.
  12. Check to the controller – Controllers don’t normally go bad. If a person is selling a broken used scooter due to it acting funny, it may be the controller. A controller is the brain to electronics and tells it what to do like how to accelerate, when to brake, turn on the lights, etc.
  13. Check the suspension – Check see if the suspension is moving freely and not super tight. Non moving suspension may have not been serviced correctly and could be a tedious or costly repair.

This is a quick checklist that will make you confident in buying your next used scooter. Some of the items are just minor but some are extremely major. I’m going to elaborate on the items that I think are the worst issues.

The Worst Used Electric Scooter Issues

Tires – You can always watch Youtube videos on how to change tires but a lot can go wrong if you don’t do it correctly. You can crimp cables, bend rims and brake discs. Worst is that you could install it incorrectly and have it blow when riding.

If you are not handy and the tires are not in great shape, I would make sure you are getting a good enough deal on the used scooter to hire a professional to change the tire.  A ton of Xiaomi M365 scooters are on the market due to how tough the tires are to change.

The cost for a tire change will vary depending on the scooter. Tires are normally $30-$50 so if you can do it yourself, it won’t be too expensive. Cost of tire change by an expert will vary depending on location.

zero10 rear suspension
Changing a tire is no joke. You can bend the rim and brake disc.

Batteries – A replacement Kaabo Wolf battery is $915.00, so its important to check if it works. However, checking a battery is the toughest thing to check and its the most expensive component to replace

You can ask the buyer to charge it fully and you can see if it reaches the max voltage stated. For example if a Wolf Warrior 11+ is fully charged it should reach 67.2 volts. If the seller fully charged it and is stating less than 67.2 volts there may be an issue with the battery.

You can also research and see if the scooter dies before the dead battery voltage. For example, a Kaabo Wolf 11+ dies at 48 volts. If the scooter dies before that, it is typically due to a bad battery cell.

A bad battery cell is the worst because you must know how to rebuild the battery pack or buy a new one. Most electric scooters do not have an app and they do not show individual battery voltage. I’m hoping that one day there will be a easy way to check on this.

zero10 deck
Some repairs require you to take apart the whole deck, keep this in mind when buying a used scooter

Bad Motor – If there is a bad motor it is not the easiest fix. You will have to open up the scooter and disconnect the motor. You will also have to put the old tire on the new motor.

Most electric scooters are so tight with all the wiring, battery, and controller so you will most likely have to pull some things out to switch out the motor. Motors are also expensive so you may not want to buy a used scooter with a motor issue.

WUS 7503 1
Replacing a motor means changing the tire and disconnecting the wire all the way to the controller.

Bad Controller – Changing a controller can be tedious task so tread lightly if you are not handy. You have to disconnect a lot of wires and reconnect them correctly, so make sure to take good notes. Controllers are very expensive so if a seller is saying it is acting funny, you may not want to buy that used scooter.

Electric Scooters are Normally Dependable

These are some things to check on, but overall electric scooters can be extremely dependable. Most used commuter scooters will be fine but when start getting into the higher tiered scooters there is a lot that can go wrong.

I was able to purchase a used Kaabo Mantis Pro for $150 but the motor had sheared bolts around the split rim. I was able to change out the motor but the brake disc was bent from the sheared bolts so I’m going to have to replace that as well.  Still not a terrible deal but if I were not handy, it could be costly.

I was lucky the seller was honest with me because he could have sold the damaged scooter to someone for $1500 since it retailed for $2200. It would not be worth it at that price. If I would have rode it without knowing the issues, the tire could have popped and caused major injury.

It was a great experience buying this used scooter and I learned a ton. I hope this guide can help you in making a smart and safe purchase.

Please support us

If you like our content and are interested in buying a scooter, we would love for you to purchase a scooter through our affiliate links. It helps us greatly to push out more content so you can make an educated decision. Thanks for reading our article and make sure to wear safety gear. Keep on wheeling!

Rev Rides – Save $50 with coupon code: GOTSCOOTER

Voro Motors – Save 7% with coupon code: GOTSCOOTER

Fluid Freerides

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Subscribe for the Latest PEV News

We are Andrew and Jimmy, two guys who love personal electric vehicles, and we hope to share our experiences and reviews to help you find the best next PEV for your needs.

Copyright © 2024 Freshly Charged.