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Problems With Your Electric Bike?

posted on 29 February 2008 | posted in Electric Bikes Maintenance

Problem: There seems to be no power getting to the hub motor?

First, check to see if the key switch is "On". Are the lights on your thumb throttle lit? (Assuming you have a lighted thumb throttle, not an unlighted thumb throttle.) If the lights on your thumb throttle are lit, your battery pack is probably okay. If they are not lit, open your battery pack and make sure the batteries are connected properly - to each other and to the end power supply/charger port wires.

Plug the smart charger into the battery pack charger port. If it goes amber, it means that the batteries are connected and the pack needs to be charged. If the light stays green: either your pack is okay and fully charged, or the battery cables inside the pack have become disconnected. Did you drop the battery pack recently?

Problem: There is a spark when I plug my battery pack into the controller. Is this normal?

Yes. There is a lot of power consumed by the capacitors in the controller. When the battery pack is plugged in, the capacitors refill themselves quickly, drawing a current and causing the spark. However, this spark cannot hurt you. If you find that you cannot live with the spark, you can purchase an optional circuit breaker switch for $15.00, and re-wire your battery pack with this switch in the battery circuit. Turn off the breaker switch before you plug the battery pack into the controller unit - and this will eliminate the spark. After you`ve plugged the battery pack to the controller, and everything else is plugged in (throttle & motor), turn the breaker switch back "on".

Problem: My motor will not shut-off, even when I let go of the throttle.

This could be caused by one of two things: either the throttle is bad, or the timing circuit in the controller has failed, in which case the controller will need to be replaced. Isolate the problem by the following steps: first, put the bike on a stand so that the motor/wheel can spin freely. Next, unplug the throttle from the controller, then plug the battery pack in. If the culprit is the controller, your motor will begin to spin the moment you plug the battery pack in. If it doesn`t spin, your controller is probably okay. Now, verify that the culprit is the throttle by plugging it into the controller. The motor should immediately start spinning, e.g. - you have a bad throttle.

Just Asking!: Is there a way to do an isolation test of the motor only, to make sure it is good?

Yes. You can bypass the controller and throttle and connect your battery directly to the motor. However, this test is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared for a big spark and a strong lurch when the motor jumps to life. If you want to minimize the spark and motor lurch, you can open the battery pack and disconnect two of the three batteries from the circuit, but make sure that your 2-plug battery power supply cable is connected to the positve and negative terminals of your remaining battery. Disconnecting two batteries will reduce the voltage down to 12 volts, and the spark and motor lurch will be greatly reduced when you perform this test. If the motor jumps to life when you touch the battery cable to the motor cable; it`s good.

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