How to Oil Your Wheelchair Effectively

how to oil a wheelchair

The regular maintenance of your wheelchair will help prevent rust and ensure the smooth running of the moving parts.

Wheelchairs manufacturers advise that you use lubricant spray to lubricate the moving parts, including the axles because increased friction between moving parts can lead to rapid wear and tear.

They also advise that you oil your wheelchair at least twice per year. And if you can’t do this because of your schedule and energy level, you can get your wheelchair serviced by a professional at least once a year or twice a year if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions.

The most important parts of your wheelchair to regularly lubricate are the folding mechanism, the front casters, and any exposed hinges. Read on for details on how to oil these parts effectively.

Table of Contents

How to Lubricate Your Wheelchair

Oil the wheels

The wheels are an important part of the wheelchair. They are the primary means of propulsion. So, it would be best if you oiled the wheels regularly to avoid rust and prevent creaking.

Lubricating the wheels also helps the parts move smoothly, reducing the friction that can accelerate the wear of the moving parts.

You can apply the lubricant to the front casters, the tires, and the wheels. Use a rag to wipe off excess lubricant to get the best results. The wheels themselves should be professionally serviced twice a year and cleaned regularly.

Note that poor lubrication can cause uneven wear and increase the amount of effort required by the wheelchair user to direct and propel themselves. The first thing you need to do before you oil the wheels is to clean them. You can do this using a mild detergent.

However, you must avoid cleaning the upholstering and exposed bearing points. Make sure to rinse and dry them before using the lubricant.

It would also help if you wash the cushions and backrest with soap and water. After washing, apply oil to the modular parts. You can apply it every two months or whenever you hear any creaking sound. If it’s been a while since you oiled it, make an appointment with a service center to do the job for you.

Check the brakes in addition to checking the tires. You can apply silicone lubricant spray to the brakes.

Related: How to Ship a Wheelchair

Oil the folding mechanism

how to lubricate a wheelchair

Once the wheels have been cleaned, you can now oil the folding mechanism. This is important because it keeps them from rusting and prevents the wheels from tipping.

The folding mechanism must be greased for the wheels to move freely. The wheelchair will not work correctly if they are not properly lubricated. You should contact a professional repair shop for repairs, if necessary.

When you’re applying lubricant to the folding mechanism, ensure that the spokes are tightly wound and tensioned to a specific torque range. You can do this with a handheld PSI gauge or pinching the tire walls. The tires should be firm to the touch with little slack.

In addition to the tire fill level, check the tread and replace the wheels if they are cracked, bulging, or worn.

Use a portable PSI gauge or pinch the tire walls to check the fill level. The walls should be firm but should have some slack. Replace the tires if you feel any slack or cracking in the tread. Contact an authorized wheelchair repair shop if there are rust spots.

Also, check the frame for rust and cracks regularly. And check the caster bearings and wheel axles.

Oil the exposed hinge

Ensure that all exposed parts are equal in tension. Incorrectly lubricated exposed hinges can squeak and make it harder for the wheelchair to propel. Start by removing the ball bearings, wiping the parts with a damp cloth, and then applying car wax to the frame.

When it comes to oiling a wheelchair, you need to check the upholstery for cracks and tears. It’s also important to check the brakes periodically.

Make sure to adjust the wheel’s angle or adjust the play of the caster if you see that one of them has a problem. If you find cracks, it’s time to visit an authorized repair shop.

You can also inspect and clean the frame and other parts of the wheelchair to make it easier to lubricate. Follow the steps below to maintain the wheelchair If you’re unsure how to do this.

Related: How to Clean & Disinfect Your Wheelchair Like a Pro

How to Maintain Your Wheelchair

how to oil a wheelchair

Poorly-maintained wheelchairs can affect mobility and comfort. But the interesting thing is that you can maintain your wheelchair to last longer, regardless of the type or brand you use.

Before I share with you the tips on how you can maintain your wheelchair, check out the tools you will need for the job.

Required Tools

  • A wrench
  • Screwdrivers
  • Allen wrenches
  • Lubricants
  • Tire repair kits

Wheelchair Maintenance Procedures

Clean the cushions regularly

Clean the seat cushions and other moving parts of the wheelchair. Ensure that the fabric is not torn where it screws through. You should also check for proper support and padding.

Cleaning the cushions regularly is essential to prevent infections and identify any issues with the equipment. Once these parts are clean, you can oil the wheels and the exposed hinge of the chair. And don’t forget to take care of the rest of the components of your wheelchair.

Related: List of Where to Sell Wheelchairs

Check the nipples and spokes

Make sure to check the nipples and spokes when cleaning the wheelchair. If they’re loose, the wheels may wobble or collapse. Unbalanced wheels may make it harder for you to propel your wheelchair.

It’s also possible that one or two of the spokes is loose. You can also replace the spokes and tighten them. Then, use a spoke wrench to replace them and tighten them. You can ask a qualified mechanic for advice if you can’t tell which one is loose.

Properly maintained wheel nipples and powerchair tires will ensure long-term use. They can be checked monthly and adjusted to achieve an optimal balance.

Remove dirt and debris

Remove any dust, dirt, or debris on the surface of your wheelchair when cleaning. This will prevent the spread of germs and bacteria that cause infections. In addition, inspect the frame for cracks or other damage.

Lastly, check that all bolts are properly tightened and are easily removable. Consider getting them repaired if they’re not. You can always hire a professional if you cannot do it yourself.

How to Oil Your Wheelchair Effectively


My love for the disabled community started when I helped a blind man cross the road at around age 6. Fast forward to decades later, I became the caregiver of my grandma, who lost her ability to speak in her 90s. This blog helps me to produce helpful content that aligns with my passion.

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