Saturday, 28 June 2014


The Permobil M300 Powerchair Squeak!!!

Update (21/08/15):  The Squeak was due to a broken seat post weld which held the seat to the chassis frame.  This poor weld broke early in my possession of the chair.  The problem was not discovered until the post broke completely off and the seat swiveled around as well as tilted in all directions, balanced but not secured on the post.  A new whatever?  Post, chassis, frame was installed and the chair no longer squeaks but at a cost of $560+ CND.  This seems to have been a manufacturing defect and if caught when it should have been, the repair would have been covered under the warranty.

 So I purchased this Permobil M300 Powerchair which sells for the price approaching that of a compact car.  In my possession for just over a year, I begin to notice an annoying squeak coming from beneath the seat.  Okay service people, what gives?  They tighten some bolt which reduced the noise for a couple of weeks -that's all that can be done!...once!  Now it sounds as if someone is choking a duck directly beneath my seat!  Its the sound of an old wooden ship, beams groaning in a typhoon!  The angry, rebellious sounds escaping an old man's stomach after been fed far too much fiber!!  Give it a listen yourself in the short video clip below.

Pictured in the short video clip above is the rear view of the Permobil M300 Power Wheelchair.  The central (and only) chrome post can be seen center-left in the bottom third of the frame.

Now, some may say that I'm exaggerating my motion to produce the sound,  NO!!!  Secured in a disability transit  bus, the chair made such noise that the driver stopped driving and came back to examine the restraints holding my chair to the floor.  Thought that something was wrong.  With every acceleration or deceleration, with ever change of angular momentum (turns & curves), with every bump in the road, the chair sounds as if will shortly self destruct!

At work, every time I reach for something to my left or right, I squeek worse than the Wizard of Oz's Tin Man after a rainstorm!  It is just plain annoying for me and for those around me. 

Heads turn when I enter a theater or auditorium.  Don't dare attending church, but then again, maybe I could get the chair exorcised!  Sounds like something evil lives below!

I've become the butt of jokes -"Here's Squeaky!"  "Need some oil?", "You're arthritis sounds bad today"  blah, blah, blah - hah, hah, hah...   And then there is the concerned bystander "are you all right? - can I call someone?"

Now, if this was your year and a half old car, would you put up with it?  Or would you have this down at the dealer demanding it be fixed or exchanged?  If this were your living room chair at a fraction of the price, would you not complain if when your guests shifted in their seats, the noise would try to drown out the conversation?

This is just another poor design feature of the Permobil M300 chair.  (more on the others later)  There is one central pillar or post on which the seat is mounted to the chassis.  Rather than a frame or posts in the corners, one post will do for this company.  There are millions upon millions of desk chairs and stools found in offices around the world, yet they don't squeak.  Why does the Permobil M300?

So this is normal, I'm told.  Live with it fool, you bought it!

Update -August 21st 2015
It took the seat post weld to totally break off from the frame to realize this squeak was not normal by Permobil standards, but was because of a poor weld which was present when I first bought the new Permobil wheelchair and developed to its final annoying loudness a few months later.

The seat post, holding the seat plate and cushion snapped right off from the base of the wheelchair frame which allowed me to spin in my seat while the wheelchair operated in a straight line.  The broken seat post, which should never have passed quality control, cost me $560.00 Cnd to fix.

You can read all about that nightmare and see another short video showing the issue at my post entitled:  'More Permobil M300 Problems (Seat Post) - Another installment to my Continuing Saga of my Permobil M300 Woes'
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