How Long Does a Wheelchair Last?

How Long Does a Wheelchair Last?

A properly-working wheelchair can be a lifesaver for someone with limited mobility. So, when a wheelchair stops working, it can negatively impact a person’s life in many important ways. It helps to learn how long you can expect a wheelchair and its accompanying components to last to prevent being in this situation.

How Long Does a Wheelchair Last?

Manual Wheelchairs

Manual wheelchairs are common, and for the most part, they all look similar. But, there are definitely some differences you need to know about before you choose the best wheelchair for your needs. One of the biggest differences in manual wheelchairs is the material from which they are made.

Here are some tips to keep in mind about wheelchair construction:

  • Steel chairs are cheap and strong. These chairs are mostly found as rentals in public places and are not generally sold for personal use, as they are heavy and hard to maneuver.
  • Aluminum chairs are cheap and light. Aluminum chairs can get heavy over time. They also rust easily and can get brittle and crack.
  • Titanium chairs are strong and light. They are built to last longer than aluminum chairs; the material is resilient and does not crack or break easily.
  • Carbon fiber chairs are strong and light. These chairs are light but hard to adapt or customize. They are also quite expensive.

Manual wheelchairs made of anything by aluminum are long-lasting and reliable, but do learn about the type of wheelchair you have or are planning to buy to ensure you take care of it as needed and know how long it can feasibly last.

Power Wheelchairs

Power wheelchairs are commonly used today. Due to their mechanical nature, they are more likely to break down than manual ones are. But, with some general maintenance and care, they should last for a long time. Here are some guidelines to follow to get the most use out of your mechanical wheelchair.


A power wheelchair cannot operate if the battery does not work, so it is vital to keep it in good working order.

Here are some tips to ensure your power wheelchair battery stays functional.

  • Keep it fully charged
  • Only drain a new battery by 30% the first 10 days
  • Charge the battery every night
  • Do not deplete the battery beyond 80%
  • Only use the charger that came with the wheelchair battery.

Wheelchair battery life varies and is dependent on several different factors. But, if you take good care of it, and follow the guidelines above, the battery should last for at least five years.

Servicing your power wheelchair

Your power wheelchair should be professionally serviced at least once a year. Between tune-ups, perform regular maintenance checks on your wheelchair to ensure it stays in good working order. Check for loose parts and remove any built-up dust.  Also, if you use your wheelchair outside often, make sure you wipe it down after it has been in the rain or snow so it does not rust.

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