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So You Want to Keep Your Wheelchair in the Best Shape Possible...

Maintaining your manual wheelchair can be easy if you have some information on how to keep your wheelchair in top shape. This article includes pointers on how to maintain your wheelchair when you receive it, how to maintain it on a daily basis, a weekly checklist, and monthly list, and also a list of things to keep in mind on yearly basis regarding your manual wheelchair.

When You Receive Your Wheelchair You Should...

  • Store your owner's manual in a safe place for future reference.
  • Use a car wax on the chair frame to make future cleaning easier. Store tools in a pouch, bag or container on your chair for use in a maintenance emergency.
  • Purchase a tube of "touch-up" paint to cover scratches and chipped paint.
  • Learn how to change your tires.
  • Purchase a tire "patch" kit and carry it with you.
  • Purchase a hand-pump to inflate tires and carry it with you.
  • Learn how to change your tires.

On a Daily Basis You should...

  • Wipe chair down with clean damp rag.
  • Lift the footplates up before getting in or out of the chair.
  • Keep loose objects or lap cover away from the wheel spokes.
  • It’s a good practice to always lock the brakes before getting in and out of the wheelchairs

Every Week You Should...

  • Inspect wheels to ensure spokes from the axle to the rim are intact, and that rims are not bent.
  • Inspect front casters for wobbling, excessive play and alignment.
  • Clean axle housings of any debris.
  • Check tire pressure.
  • Check that wheel locks/brakes are secured tightly to the frame and are easily activated.

On a Monthly Basis You Should...

  • After a thorough cleaning, use a car wax on the frame to make the next cleaning easier.
  • Check for loose nuts and bolts.
  • Check your wheel alignment.
  • Check for easy release and replacement of removable legrests, footrests, armrests and backrests.
  • Inspect chair frame for cracks.
  • Check that quick-release axles remove quickly.

Every Year You Should...

  • Check that folding chairs open and fold easily. Lubricate folding mechanism.
  • Lubricate all pivot points.
  • Lubricate ball bearings.

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