A week before Christmas 2015, I hear a faint grinding noise coming from the right rear of my Permobil M300 electric wheelchair. My first though was that it was caused by a damaged bearing in the rear caster wheel. Over a day or so it progressively got worse as it now produced a ratcheting noise and the chair struggled to turn to the right and back up.
I call up my current service provider who send out a technician. The problem was diagnosed as a damaged drive motor.
Damaged Drive Motor
Well, it is near Christmas and nothing moves quickly. The part is not stocked and has to be acquired from Tennessee in the U.S. Even placing a 'rush order' means it must be shipped and probably will not arrive until the new year. Quite a time to wait without a chair that I am so dependent upon.
While the wheelchair still drives on one motor, I have to be alert to only making left turns. When a signal is sent to the damaged motor, it grinds and binds up. My fear is that the added strain may damage the good motor but I persist in using it. I have never acquired the skill of carrying a hot cup of coffee while wheeling a manual chair with two hands.
I get a phone call with the estimate. Parts and labour will exceed $1100 CND.
I will continue to use the powerchair minimally and as gingerly as I possibly am able until the repairs can be carried out some time in the new year. If it fails altogether, I will fall back on the manual chair.
So I have had this Permobil chair now for just about three full years. In that time,
- The battery has died
- The arms have fallen off
- The seat post broke off from the frame ($560+ CND)
- The right side motor had died ($1100+ CND)
- A myriad of other screws, clips, and end-caps falling off
January 28th, 2016 - Update: To see what the repair finally cost to to:
* * *