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The Most Common Wheelchair Issues & How To Fix Them

Wheelchairs are essential for mobility and independence for many people with disabilities and the elderly. However, like any piece of equipment, they can experience wear and tear over time, leading to various problems.

Let’s discuss the most common wheelchair faults, how to identify them, and how to fix them, ensuring that your or your loved one's wheelchair remains in top shape.


  1. Flat Tyres

One of the most common issues with wheelchairs is flat tyres. Pneumatic tyres can become deflated over time, making it difficult for the user to manoeuvre the wheelchair properly. If you notice that your wheelchair is not rolling smoothly, it's time to check the tyres.

Fix: To fix a flat tyre, you'll need a tyre pump or an air compressor. Make sure to inflate the tyre to the recommended pressure, which can be found in the wheelchair's user manual. If the tyre is punctured, it will need to be replaced.


  1. Worn Out or Damaged Casters

Casters are the small front wheels of a wheelchair that allow for easy turning and steering. Over time, they can wear out or become damaged, causing the wheelchair to pull to one side or become difficult to control.

Fix: Inspect the casters for signs of wear, such as flat spots or damage to the bearings. You can purchase new casters from a medical supply store or online if they need replacing. Remove the bolt holding it to replace the caster, and slide the old caster off the fork. Then, slide the new caster onto the fork and secure it with the bolt.


  1. Loose or Worn Out Brakes

Brakes are crucial for the safety and stability of a wheelchair user. Over time, the brakes can become loose or worn out, making it difficult to secure the wheelchair when stationary.

Fix: First, check the brakes for any visible damage or wear. If they need replacing, consult your wheelchair's user manual for instructions on how to do so. You can tighten the brakes using a wrench or pliers if the brakes are loose. Make sure not to overtighten, as this can cause the brakes to lock up and be difficult to release.


  1. Squeaky or Stiff Joints

As a wheelchair is used, the joints and moving parts can become stiff or squeak, causing discomfort and difficulty in manoeuvring the chair.

Fix: To address squeaky or stiff joints, you'll need to lubricate them. Using a silicone-based lubricant, spray or apply a small amount to the affected joint and then work the joint back and forth to distribute the lubricant evenly. Be sure to wipe away any excess lubricant to avoid attracting dirt and debris.


  1. Damaged or Worn Seat and Backrest

The seat and backrest of a wheelchair can wear out over time, causing discomfort for the user. Damaged upholstery can also lead to pressure sores and other skin issues.

Fix: Inspect the seat and backrest for signs of wear or damage. You can purchase replacement upholstery or cushions from a medical supply store or online. To replace the upholstery, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, which may involve removing the old upholstery and attaching the new one with straps, Velcro, or screws.


  1. Loose or Misaligned Armrests

Loose or misaligned armrests can cause discomfort and make it difficult for the user to maintain proper posture while using the wheelchair.

Fix: First, check the armrests for any visible damage or wear. If they need replacing, consult your wheelchair's user manual for instructions on how to do so. You can tighten the armrests using a wrench or pliers if the armrests are loose or misaligned. Be sure to check that the armrests are properly aligned before tightening them fully.



Regular maintenance and inspections are essential for ensuring the safety and longevity of a wheelchair.

By addressing the most common wheelchair faults and knowing how to fix them, you can ensure that your wheelchair remains in optimal condition, providing comfort and mobility for years to come. If you need help fixing any of these issues, consult a professional for assistance.

If you’re looking for reliable wheelchairs online, we can help you. Mobility2You supplies a wide range of mobility aids and equipment. You can purchase online through our website, over the phone or in-store today! We offer free delivery on certain orders. Shop now!

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