Common Problems with Electric Bike Batteries

One of an eBike’s most essential parts is its electric bike batteries. Once the battery stops operating as it should, the motor and many other functionalities are restricted. When something goes wrong with an eBike, many riders immediately try to fix the battery because they believe that doing so will save them money over purchasing a new one.

However, most eBike batteries aren’t worth the trouble of trying to repair, even though it is easy to do so, especially if you only have a minor performance issue. This is especially true if your battery is seriously damaged. You can, however, remedy several problems with ebike batteries.

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What Batteries are Used in eBikes?

Two primary battery types are utilized for e-bikes in the United States and the EU – Lithium Polymer and Lithium-Ion batteries. Lead-acid batteries are the most widely used batteries in China.

Rechargeable batteries are those constructed of lithium-ion materials. You may recharge these batteries without totally discharging them first. They maintain their charge well and can withstand longer charging cycles. A lithium-ion battery can store 150 watts of power instead of a lead-acid battery’s 25 watts maximum.

These batteries do, however, have certain drawbacks. They only last between two and three years, are rather costly, disintegrate quickly if fully discharged, dislike high temperatures, and decay more quickly in higher temperatures.

A soft polymer-coated lithium-ion battery is known as a lithium polymer battery. The soft polymer casing of the battery makes it more pliable. These batteries are becoming more and more common when it comes to electric motorcycles because of their versatility.

A Li-Ion battery enclosed in a supple polymer casing is known as a LiPo battery. The battery may be more flexible thanks to the soft polymer cover. They are increasingly used for electric bike applications because of this. They enable manufacturers to devise strategies that will enable electric bikes to resemble conventional bikes more than e-bikes.

Charging an eBike Battery

We’ll start by issuing a warning regarding charging the battery of your electric bike. Never let your battery charge while it is being used. Therefore, avoid attempting to charge your battery while sleeping at night. Despite the minimal danger, Li-Ion batteries can catch fire. You should always take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Another critical point to remember is that electric bikes must be completely charged before the first ride. If you purchased your e-bike from your neighborhood bike store, they would have hopefully completed this task for you. If they haven’t, it’s possible that their customer service isn’t the best and you should try another business.

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Don’t get overly thrilled, and take your new bike out for a ride right away. Go for a ride after you’ve given it a charge. The battery needs to be completely charged for the first five charging cycles; this might take a while, so be ready.

Low Speed

There are several causes for why your electric bike isn’t moving faster. The proximity switch’s feedback magnets, which are positioned on the pedal crank or the rear wheel hub, are typically dusty. You should be fine to go once you have cleaned them with a rag.

This frequent eBike battery problem is surprisingly frequently misdiagnosed. Most high-quality electric bicycles have switches on the rear and front brakes to stop the drive motor. These switches may fail in specific situations if they become jammed. To attempt to release the switch, apply both brake levers a few times.

However, you might need to completely remove the front or rear brake lever to inspect the limit switch. You shouldn’t leave your eBike in the weather for this additional reason.

Additionally, although it may seem simple, ensure you’re in the correct mode, such as pedal-assist, throttle-only, or pedal-only. I’ve occasionally found myself in the incorrect setting and been perplexed as to why my eBike isn’t accelerating. The drive motor typically has to be running at a certain minimum speed. It’s only there as a safety measure, and the speed is often under 1.8 mph.

Not Holding a Charge

The ability of lithium-ion batteries to maintain a charge is excellent. However, these batteries will gradually deplete like any other battery over time. If you haven’t charged your electric bike in a few months, we advise giving it a fast top-up.

If you charge the battery yet it discharges quickly, there may be a short circuit someplace, or you may be working with a defective battery. You may take the electric bike’s batteries out and charge it on a bench to diagnose the problem. You may test the battery and remove it from the bike after it is fully charged.

If the battery can retain a charge, the issue is with your electric bike, and the short or wiring motor is likely to blame. If the battery loses its ability to retain a charge, there may be a short circuit or a defective lithium-ion cell.

The lifespan of a lithium-ion battery is 700 charge cycles. These batteries typically stop holding a full charge after those 700 cycles; over time, this problem only worsens. However, it should take several years of use before noticing a decrease in the battery’s capacity.

Check out, Electric Bike Front Wheel vs Rear Wheel

Ebike Not Switching on

Make sure that the primary switch is in the “On” position if your e-bike won’t turn on. Next, inspect the battery pack fuse. This fuse, which is often on the side, may blow due to vibrations, overcurrent, short circuits, or aging.

Check the speed controller’s condition if the battery pack is completely charged and the fuse is in excellent working order. The speed controller is the part that transmits signals to turn on the battery pack. If these speed controls are damaged by dropping your bike or letting water inside, they may stop working properly.

To force the speed controller to turn on, press and hold the “On” button on the bike for roughly 10 seconds. You may switch on some speed controls by pushing the “M” button. Once more, it depends on the model of the ebike you own.

Make sure your battery pack has two bars of power or more. By the way, an excessively low battery level might prevent your electric bike from starting. The right connection of the electrical wires is another item to look for here.

When using mountain electric bikes, the cable connections might occasionally get loose on dirt roads. These connections can also be affected by water. Make sure the connection is tight by pulling them apart.

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Ebike Battery Swelling

Some electric motorcycles employ flatpack cells, prone to swelling when damaged. If you observe swelling on the battery pack, turn off the battery’s power and remove it from the electric bike. Since most cities and municipalities have a specific recycle container where batteries may be disposed of, the battery pack can be recycled.

Nevertheless, it is often difficult to detect any swelling because the electric bike’s battery is housed inside the mainframe. You can only drop the lower plate to remove the battery pack and check it. Remember that you must first unplug several cords to complete this task.

Check out, How to Travel with an Electric Bike?

Check the Battery Management System

Your bike’s BMS could malfunction if your charger and battery appear to operate independently. This seems to be the most typical cause for most battery-related e-bike issues, according to numerous e-bike aficionados.

The BMS, or battery management system, controls the balance of the cells while charging and discharging.

Additionally, it controls how much power is sent to the motor and controls the battery’s total temperature to prevent overheating, which might harm the rider or degrade the battery’s quality. The BMS will prevent the charger from activating your battery if it is dead.

In turn, a subpar BMS is responsible for most discharging difficulties. A faulty BMS may be to blame if the battery cycles on your e-bike appear strangely reduced, meaning that the battery is draining abnormally quickly and maybe emptying when the bike is not even in use. It is feasible to replace a BMS, often using off-brand batteries, but you must be skilled. 

Cleaning the Battery

If your battery is detachable, you’ll frequently remove it from your frame to charge it inside. Although this is a fantastic feature, it often leaves essential battery and frame ports exposed.

Then, exposed battery ports gather mud, dirt, and other debris, making it impossible for your battery to be appropriately attached. This is why you can assume that your battery isn’t functioning correctly when the actual problem is a connection failure.

If you don’t believe your batteries are correctly mounted, try cleaning the frame port and the battery connection points to see if it helps. Use a safe or graded cloth to work with electrical components. Use a safe or graded cloth with electrical equipment because you will work with electrical components.

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The charging and battery port are often cleaned with a dry microfiber cloth when it becomes unclean. Even though we avoid spraying anything onto our cleaning cloth, a tiny dab or squirt of a general-purpose cleaner can help with the cleaning process. If you don’t believe that your charger is connected correctly, be sure you adhere to the same instructions.

Read Can You Use An Electric Bike Without A Battery?

How to Jumpstart an eBike Battery?

Your battery’s BMS is there to protect both you and the battery. The issue is that they occasionally err on the side of caution. You’ll have a decent battery and a faulty BMS; to fix this, try giving your battery a jumpstart.

Recall that we warned you not to charge via the discharge port at the very beginning of this post. We’re going to disregard that advice in order to restart our battery. This should only be done for a brief period.

Imagine using a defibrillator on your heart to shock it. Not a complete charge; just a shock is what you’re looking for. You should continue charging your battery as usual after doing this.

It would help if you continued charging your battery as usual after doing this. As a result, it ought to charge and discharge properly after being placed back on your bike.

But always remember that using the discharge port for charging for longer than a minute puts you in danger of many issues. You don’t want a foolish mishap to cause your home to burn down.

What About the Battery’s Lifecycle?

The battery’s condition may also contribute to a battery dying soon. The typical life of a lithium-ion battery is three years, with a range of 300 to 700 charge cycles. Beyond this point, the battery’s performance and quality deteriorate gradually, but occasionally fairly quickly.

It’s likely that the battery has completely died for one cause or another. Due to a tiny problem, such as a dead cell or a minor circuitry issue, this might occasionally be a rapid cure.

Electric Bike Battery Problems
Electric Bike Battery Problems

Many enthusiasts point out that repairing the battery rather than replacing it is the more economical choice; whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, you’re better off having the battery fixed rather than buying a new one.

Electric batteries can occasionally reach a defective, negative, or non-existent charge state, similar to traditional batteries when the battery doesn’t maintain the full charge your display indicates.

One of the most typical issues with eBike batteries is this one. It can occur when you ship your battery, when you only charge it for a short while, when you don’t use your battery for a long time, or even just at random.

Fortunately, this one is one of the easiest problems to resolve with an eBike battery. Simply keep your battery plugged in for roughly 24 hours, and you’re good to go. The continual electrical energy flow removes any erroneous or negative energy that has accumulated in the battery over the course of a day.

Additionally, this aids in the BMS’s (battery management system) cleanup of potential bugs. One of the finest things you can do when your battery isn’t working as well as you’d like it to is to let it charge for 24 hours.

Ending Note

Nothing is worse than spending thousands of dollars on an eBike only to have battery issues. Don’t get me wrong; ebikes are built to last. However, that’s only when they are kept and maintained properly over the course of their lifetime. Hopefully, the aforementioned tips should help you the next time you’re having electric bike battery problems.

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