Taking care of your wheelchair 367
• Clean any dirt off the wheelchair frame with a damp cloth.
• Try to keep water and dirt from getting into the bearings in the front and rear
wheels (do not store your wheelchair where it will get wet).
• Check the tires to make sure they are still hard. Use the bicycle pump to add air
if necessary. The tires should be very hard when you press on them.
Be kind to your wheelchair,
and it will be kind to you.
• Check the tires for weak or worn tread and punctures. If there is a nail or tack
stuck in your tire, do not pull it out until you are ready to get the tube fixed.
Change the tire if necessary. If your wheelchair uses bicycle tires, they can be
repaired or replaced in a bicycle shop. It is not very difficult to patch a puncture
in the tube inside the tire. Ask someone in a bicycle shop to show you.
• Check the rear wheels to see if they spin freely. If they wobble or make an
unusual noise, the ball bearings may be worn and might need to be replaced.
Also, tighten any parts that feel loose (you may need to visit a mechanic to
borrow bigger wrenches). After you tighten the nuts, you may have to loosen
them a little bit so that the wheels can spin freely.
• If the front forks do not turn from side to side easily, make sure they are not
bumping into the footrests. If the whole fork wiggles a lot, tighten the top nut
down tight, and then loosen it just enough so that it can turn easily.
• If the front wheels do not spin freely, they may need new bearings. It is best to
have them checked in a wheelchair shop.
• Clean any dirt or hair out of all 4 wheel axle housings using a damp cloth with a
few drops of oil on it.
• Wiggle the spokes in the large back wheels. Use the spoke wrench to tighten any
that are loose. Replace any broken ones.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007