A hoverboard, or a hands-free scooter, can be a ton of fun. These devices have gained a ton of popularity lately, as even celebrities have gotten in on the excitement. However, you don’t want to jump on and start riding. As with any other machine—like a dirt bike or a four-wheeler—you must be sure that you know how to care for it before you use it. This way, you can do the proper maintenance so that your hoverboard is always in great working condition, thereby reducing the chances of an accident and extending the life of the board. Please consider the following maintenance tips.
Charge the Battery First
When you first take the board out and get ready to go, you need to make sure that the battery is fully charged. Using it without charging it can damage it, and that’s not a great way to start with a new hoverboard. You may be thinking that you don’t have to charge it if it’s brand new, but experts warn that this isn’t true. The battery will have lost some of its charge while the machine was assembled and shipped to you, so you want to charge it up before that first ride. We know you’re eager to get going, but don’t use it until the battery is full. After you are done, charge it back up before going out again.
One thing that you should note about the batteries is that you don’t want to store them in high temperatures or charge them in areas that are subjected to high temps. You also don’t want to charge the battery for too long, overcharging it. Both can reduce the lifespan of the battery itself. Just charge it in a cool, dry area, and take it off of the charger as soon as it is completely charged.
Double-Check the Tires, Screws, and Wheel Shaft
These parts can become loose with extensive use of the hoverboard. As the board shakes, the screws can work themselves free. If caught in advance, this isn’t much of a problem; you can tighten everything back down again and you’re ready to go. This is the same way that many people care for their ATVs and other off-road vehicles. However, if you don’t check them and the tire comes off entirely, you could be injured. You could also do significant damage to the board in the crash—bending the wheel shaft, for example. It pays to check these at least once every two weeks, to make sure they’re not loose before you ride.
One way that you can check for loose parts is to lightly shake the hoverboard. The wheel is naturally going to move a bit, but you shouldn’t see any movement from the shaft or the screws. If you do, they have to be tightened down. You can also feel when parts are getting loose as you use the board, but you’re better off to find the issue before it gets to that point.
Check the Internal Wires
If your board does stop working, one of the most common reasons is simply that a wire came loose inside. This has been known to happen as a factory defect, so there may be little you can do to prevent it, but it usually happens—as with the issues listed above—because the board shakes when you ride it. This can cause a wire that was not put on tightly enough to come loose.
You may be able to fix this on your own. If you have basic electrical skills—if you’ve ever wired an electrical outlet in your home, for example—then it’s not all that hard or complicated. Just be sure you have the right tools for the job. However, if you’ve never done this type of work before, it may be best left to a professional. Do not do anything if you feel like you’re in over your head, as you don’t want to create a dangerous situation.
When working with wires, you always want to have the board turned off and the battery removed. If you do this, it’s perfectly safe, but it can be quite dangerous if you don’t cut all of the power. Again, think of it like working on an outlet in your home; you wouldn’t do that without turning off the breaker, so don’t work on the board without cutting the power first.
Never Clean with Water
It’s wise to clean your hoverboard, especially after using it outside. You want to get rid of any dirt and grime that have built up, which can impact performance and start causing the moving parts to wear down. In the same way that Jeep enthusiasts always clean their vehicles thoroughly after driving in the mud, you have to clean your board for more than cosmetic reasons.
However, you never want to use a pressure system that sprays the board with water or air, and you don’t want to use a steam cleaning system. The best way to clean the board is simply with a dry cloth. If you use water, it can damage the electronic components. Water can also get trapped inside the hoverboard, under the casing, causing long-term issues. Steam may sound like a viable solution, but even it can cause condensation to build up inside of the casing. Remember, it does not take much for corrosion to start. Once it begins, it’s very hard to stop. If your board does get wet, be sure you wipe it down as soon as you can.
Before using a soft cloth to clean the board, it is usually wise to cut the power, as was noted above in relation to fixing wiring issues. You don’t have to do this in all cases, but it can make the job safer, especially if you’re going to take the casing apart at all to do internal cleaning.