Common E-bike Battery Problems and How to Fix Them
There’s nothing worse than having to spend hundreds or thousands on an eBike only to have problems with its battery. Don’t get me wrong; e-bike batteries are built to last. but they’re still prone to failure if they aren’t adequately taken care of during their lifetime.
What happens if your battery fails?
Well, in this article, I’ve covered some most common eBike battery problems and how to fix them. So, if you’d like to know more. keep scrolling!
Ebike Battery Problems
When it comes to eBike troubleshooting, there are a couple of things that might be causing your battery problems, including:
- eBike battery pack swelling
- eBike battery not charging
- eBike battery not running for very long
- eBike battery pack not holding a charge
- eBike not turning on
- eBike not speeding up
Don’t worry, though. I’ll walk you through each one here!
eBike Battery Pack Swelling
If your eBike battery pack is swelling up, well, you likely have a pretty serious problem with one. or more. of the lithium-ion cells.
Some electric bike models use flat pack cells. and these are known to swell if they suffer some damage. On the other hand, the 18650 lithium-ion cells are far more resistant to swelling and, in turn, more reliable.
If you notice that your eBike’s battery pack has a bulge in it, be sure you turn off the power and carefully remove the battery from your eBike. It’s a good idea to recycle the battery; most cities have a place where you can do this.
Now, some eBike battery packs are positioned inside the bike’s frame. That makes it somewhat harder to notice if you have a swollen battery pack.
The only way to check if the battery is swollen is to drop the lower plate and take out the battery pack. Note that you’ll have to disconnect some cables before you do this.
eBike Battery Not Charging
If your battery isn’t charging, start by checking the following:
- Is the power turned on at the outlet?
- Is the charger working and outputting over 36 Volts?
- Is the battery hot?
- Is the battery charger port full of dirt?
- Has the battery been left discharged for several months?
- Has the fuse blown in either the eBike battery pack or the charger?
eBike Battery Not Running For Very Long
Lithium-ion batteries generally have a life of 700 charge cycles. They usually tend to lose full charge capacity over this mark.
That is entirely normal. and will, unfortunately, only get worse as time goes on.
Still, if you’re charging your bike every few days, you should be able to get many years out of your electric bike before you begin to notice the capacity of your battery is starting to degrade.
If you notice your eBike battery isn’t running as long as it used to, check the following:
- Is the battery pack being charged to 100%?
- Do you have a dragging of a disc brake?
- Is the terrain uphill?
- Are you assisting your battery by peddling?
- Are your eBike’s wheel bearings freely spinning?
- Do you have a short circuit in the battery, wiring, or motor?
Any of the scenarios mentioned above could lead to your battery discharging rather quickly.
eBike Battery Pack Not Holding A Charge
Lithium-ion batteries are good at holding a charge. However, like any other type of battery, they will slowly discharge over time.
If your eBike hasn’t been charged for a more extended period, it would be a good idea to give it a top-up. and see how it goes.
If you notice that you’re charging your battery, but it still discharges quickly without being used, you might have a short circuit somewhere or a faulty battery at your hands.
Here’s a quick test that can detect the problem:
Remove the battery pack from your eBike and charge it up on a bench. Once it’s fully charged, test the battery by leaving it off the bike.
If it holds a charge, the issue will be your electric bike. most likely a short circuit in the bike’s wiring or the motor. However, if it doesn’t hold the charge, your lithium-ion cell is faulty.
How Do I Know If My Bike’s Battery Is Charged?
Your battery charger will probably feature a LED light indicator that changes states depending on the bike’s battery level. It’ll go from red to green when the battery is fully charged in most cases.
However, in some chargers, the LED light will turn off completely when the battery is charged.
Either way, the point remains the same. you’ll have a way to track the progress while charging the battery.
Remember not to leave the battery pack on the charger longer than 24 hours, though.
Lithium-ion batteries don’t prefer being left on the charger. In the short term, this won’t hurt. but after a while, the battery’s capacity will go down.
You’ll also have an indicator of the battery’s current level on the battery pack itself or the speed controller. Some will use a 0-100% range, while others have a series of LED lights, depending on the model.
eBike Not Turning On
Let’s start with the obvious solution:
If your e-bike isn’t turning on, be sure to check if the main switch is in the “On” position.
Next, check the fuse for the battery pack. This fuse is usually located on the side and could blow up because of short circuits, vibrations, over-current, or old age.
If the fuse is in good condition and the battery pack is fully charged, check if the speed controller is in good condition, as well. The speed controller is the component that sends signals to turn on the battery pack.
These speed controllers could malfunction if damaged. either by dropping your bike or allowing water to get into them.
Hold the bike’s “On” button for about 10 seconds to force the speed controller to turn on. Some speed controllers are turned on by pressing the “M” button. Again, it depends on the e-bike model you have.
Be sure to check that your battery pack has at least two bars of power. An extremely low battery power level can lead to your electric bike not turning on, by the way.
Another thing to check here is that the electrical cables are correctly connected. Sometimes, the dirt roads can dislodge the cable connections; this is often the case with mountain electric bikes.
Water can find its way into these connections, too. Pull them apart and ensure the connection is tight.
eBike Not Speeding Up
There are numerous reasons why your electric bike isn’t speeding up.
often than not, the feedback magnets. positioned on the pedal crank or the rear wheel hub. for the proximity switch get dirty. Clean them with a rag, and you should be good to go.
This common eBike battery issue is often wrongly diagnosed.
Most quality electric bikes feature a switch on the back and front brakes to stop the drive motor. In some cases, these switches can get stuck. leading to their failure. Activate both brake levers a couple of times to try and free up the switch.
To check the limit switch, though, you might have to remove the whole rear or front brake lever. That’s another reason why you should avoid leaving your eBike out in the rain.
Also, while it might sound obvious, be sure to check if you’re in the proper mode. for example, pedal-assist, throttle-only, or pedal-only. I’ve sometimes found myself in the wrong mode, and I couldn’t figure out why my eBike isn’t speeding up.
There is typically a minimum speed that will activate the drive motor. That is just a safety feature. and it’s usually around 1.8 mph.
What Speed Are eBikes Limited To?
eBikes are limited to 25 km/h. or 15.5 mph. to conform to the majority of road rules around the globe. Once the motor reaches this speed limit, it will stop providing power further.
Of course, you can still pedal faster than 25 km/h, but you won’t get any assistance from the main motor.
Once the speed controller recognizes that you’re under 25 km/h, the battery management system will again supply power to the main motor. That is a standard component on most electric bikes. and, again, its role is to ensure that you conform to road rules.
Is 250Watts Enough For An eBike?
In most standard cases of use, 250W is more than enough power for you to ride your eBike on asphalt or dirt roads casually. A 250W drive motor is usually limited to 15 mph and can handle up to 240 pounds in rider weight.
If that doesn’t sound impressive, remember that you can always assist the main drive motor by pedaling.
You can always upgrade your bike with a Bafang conversion kit, though!
We can agree that e-bikes have come a long way since their first appearance. Granted, battery problems can occasionally happen, but most can be solved easily and quickly.
Hopefully, the tips I’ve outlined above will help you keep your eBike running fast. and for a long time. And remember:
The most significant danger to batteries of eBikes is excessive heat and low voltage. Make sure you keep your eBike battery topped up. and it will last for a very long time.
Electric Bike Display Keeps Turning Off? How To Fix It
The display on an electric bike is its brain; it shows you the speed, the covered range, the battery level, and the bike’s condition. If this display turns off, you’ll be riding the bicycle cluelessly, not knowing how much speed you’re doing and the distance you’ve covered. The worst is that the battery can suddenly run out without warning.
An electric bike display can turn off due to an empty battery, faulty battery management system configuration, sensor failure, a loose connection, or a motor inhibitor. These factors mean the display needs more power to display information.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss the different reasons your e-bike display may keep turning off. I’ll also provide solutions to this problem. Keep reading!
- Reasons an Electric Bike Display Keeps Turning Off
- An Empty Battery Is Behind Your E-Bike Display Malfunction
- Your Battery Management System Configuration Is Faulty
- Your E-Bike Display Is off Due to Sensor Failure
- Your E-Bike Has a Loose Connection
- Your E-Bike Has Motor Inhibition
- Your Display Turns Off Due to a Blown Fuse
- 1. Charge the Battery
- 2. Check the Battery Management System
- 3. Check Sensor Functionality
- 4. Reattach or Replace Loose Connections
- 5. Check Motor Inhibitor
Reasons an Electric Bike Display Keeps Turning Off
Approximately 1,000 cyclists die in the U.S. annually due to accidents. Most of these accidents result from over-speeding, unsafe lane changes, and turning without looking for other cyclists. A display keeps you aware of your bike’s conditions.
So an e-bike’s display that keeps turning off can be a risky one. The leading causes of this problem are as follows:
An Empty Battery Is Behind Your E-Bike Display Malfunction
The power flow to your e-bike’s display starts from the battery. Therefore, the display will need more power to stay on if the battery is empty.
The good thing about electric bike batteries is that you can determine the battery’s lifespan by looking at the bike’s range. The range refers to how far the bike can go on a single charge. For instance, if your bike’s range is 60 miles (97 kilometers), you can expect the battery to start dying after covering 55 miles (89 kilometers).
Some bikes’ functionalities, including the display, may go off when the battery becomes low.
Your Battery Management System Configuration Is Faulty
The battery management system (BMS) controls and optimizes the flow of electricity in your e-bike’s battery. A wrong configuration may interfere with the power supply to the display, causing it to turn off.
A battery pack that fails under load is a sure way to know that the BMS is the problem. When this happens, the BMS shuts off the system to prevent the pack from overheating.
over, the BMS cuts off the power supply when the battery drains quickly below the set safe levels.
Your E-Bike Display Is off Due to Sensor Failure
Some e-bikes have a sensor that detects your pedaling strength and adjusts the motor’s assistance accordingly. This sensor can affect the power supply for the display if it malfunctions. In this case, the display may turn off whenever you pedal harder or faster.
Your E-Bike Has a Loose Connection
Your e-bike’s display may turn on and off due to a loose connection between the display and the power source. This issue can happen when the connectors are not tightly attached or corrosion in the wires.
In most cases, you may realize that the display turns on when you hit a bump or any other obstacle on the road. The hitting impact completes the circuit, turning on the display at the loose point.
Your E-Bike Has Motor Inhibition
The bike’s brake motor inhibitor (cut-off wires) shuts off the motor when you engage the brakes. This mechanism is a safety feature that prevents the motor from running while you’re braking.
If the inhibitor malfunctions, it may cut off the power supply to the display. In this case, your e-bike’s display will turn on and off whenever you engage or release the brakes.
Your Display Turns Off Due to a Blown Fuse
Electrical components are prone to heating, primarily due to overloading. However, e-bikes have fuses that shut off the power supply when they detect excess current.
A blown fuse creates an open circuit between the power source and the display. As a result, the display won’t receive the power needed to stay on.
Solutions to an Electric Bike Display That Keeps Turning Off
Now that you know why your e-bike’s display keeps turning off, how can you solve the problem? Read on to find out.
Charge the Battery
Most cyclists ignore the battery when troubleshooting an e-bike’s display that keeps turning off. However, it’s worth noting that your battery can run empty without your knowledge. Therefore, the first fix should be to charge the battery to determine the cause.
As a rule of thumb, it’s advisable to have a fully-charged battery before each ride. This process ensures that your display won’t turn off mid-ride.
Check the Battery Management System
If charging the battery doesn’t solve the problem, it’s time to look at the BMS configuration. Ensure all settings are set correctly for optimal power management in your e-bike’s battery pack.
If you’re unsure if BMS configuration is the problem, try using the battery on a different bike with the same configuration as yours. If the battery is to blame, the display should keep turning off.
Check Sensor Functionality
If your e-bike has a pedal assist sensor, check its functionality by engaging and releasing the motor while pedaling at different intensities. If there are any abnormalities or inconsistencies, have a professional mechanic take a look at the sensor.
Fixing the sensor if you don’t have the necessary knowledge can cause more harm than good. Therefore, you should always consult an expert.
Reattach or Replace Loose Connections
You should identify loose, corroded, or bent wires while inspecting each wire splice through the bike. After that, tighten all connections, replace corroded wires, and check if the display turns on. If not, check the controller’s wiring using the procedure below:
- Loosen the controller’s panels and remove them.
- Take a photo of the controller’s wiring to remember the alignment.
- Disconnect the cables and remove the controller from the frame.
- Inspect the controller for damaged connectors and wires.
- Tighten the cables and replace the damaged ones.
- Reinstall the controller and check whether you have fixed the problem.
Check Motor Inhibitor
Engage and release your e-bike’s brakes several times to see if the display turns on.
The motor inhibitor is likely malfunctioning if the display keeps turning off each time you engage the brake.
In this case, you should have a professional mechanic inspect and replace your bike’s brake motor inhibitors to solve the issue.
Your electric bike’s display should be on throughout the ride. The causes may range from a discharged battery to a faulty motor inhibitor if it turns off. The above points should help you diagnose and fix the problem.
If it all fails or if you are not knowledgeable on doing these tests or repairs, you should consult a professional e-bike mechanic for further assistance. Happy riding!
Weatherproofing Your Ebike: The Right Gear in Autumn and Winter
Of course, we also ride our ebikes in autumn and winter, no matter how bad the weather. After all, bikes with electric drives are just as well designed for riding in the rain, cold and dirt. We have some tips for you on how to make your ebike weather-proof and ready for the bad conditions.
Does rain damage my ebike?
No. The sensitive electronics of an ebike are also protected from rain and splash water. However, it goes without saying that you should never immerse the motor or battery in water. It is therefore vital to avoid puddles that are too deep.
If you also want to protect the battery and motor from moisture, you are well advised to use special neoprene covers. These also protect against the cold. They are primarily used for safe transport and storage. Covering motors with a neoprene cover while riding hardly seems advisable. In the case of batteries, however, this is very much an advantage.
A find on this topic on YouTube
Neoprene covers such as those made by Fahrer protect both motors and batteries from splash water and other environmental influences. They can be attached stably with Velcro fasteners and fit smoothly to the components.
Cold temperatures: what happens to my ebike battery?
The battery of an ebike consists of very sensitive components. The energy storage works most effectively in a temperature range of 20 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius. At temperatures as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius, performance can be impaired. The reason for this is the electrochemical processes inside the battery.
The possible loss of energy is related to the electrolyte, a viscous substance in the individual cells of the lithium-ion batteries. When it gets cold, it becomes more viscous, making it harder for the ions to penetrate it. This property is different for each battery, however, because the manufacturers use different materials.
If you are riding your ebike in low temperatures, you should simply put a neoprene cover on the battery. It provides effective thermal protection and keeps out most of the extreme cold.
If an ebike is stored in a cool place for a longer period of time, it is better to remove the battery. A dry room that has been warmed to room temperature is a much better place for it. The charge level should be between 30 and 60 percent. If necessary, check the charge level regularly and recharge the battery in between if it has too little energy. Practical: If you already have a neoprene cover for the battery, you can of course also store it in it.
The contacts for the battery compartment on the ebike also require attention: dirt and splash water can cause serious damage there. To prevent this from happening, manufacturers offer special caps that you can use instead of the battery. Fahrer also offers neoprene covers for this purpose.
Why is Electric Bike Display Not Working
The display on an electric bike is like your dash on a car. It provides essential information about your ride right in front of you.
And when the display doesn’t turn up, it’s like your bike’s brains have shut down.
The bike display can stop working due to a faulty circuit or damaged screen.
But, it happens very often that the display stops functioning because of its own fault. Most of the time, other components of the bike cause display errors.
Reasons your electric bike display not working
Although there are several reasons for a display to stop working but the most common reason is low or no power to the display. This can happen because of loose or faulty connectors or damaged components. or the most basic reason can be a dead battery.
Whatever the problem is, you need to diagnose the bike to identify and fix the problem. Let’s go through the reasons:
- Dead battery: First thing you want to start your diagnosis is your bike’s battery. If the battery runs too low or is empty, the display won’t turn up after switching the bike ON.
- Loose connections: Another common issue is loose connections, There are six or more wires attached to the circuit. The display can stop functioning whenever one or more of them is disconnected or loose.
- Broken parts of connector: Just like the loose connections above, check for the connectors. these connectors connect the wires to the display, check these connectors on both the ends to make sure there is no damage or they arent loose.
- Controller malfunction: Controller is one of the essential parts of the electric bike. You can turn on/off the bike, accelerate or brake with it. If the controller is not working right, this can cause issues with the display.
- Defective Switches: A power button is mounted on the throttle to turn the bike on. The display also has function keys to turn on/off or set/reset itself. If at least one of these buttons is damaged, turning the display on won’t be possible.
- Blown fuse: Because of overload, electrical parts heat a lot or some wire gets shorted causing a blown fuse. Check the fuse and find the cause of the blown fuse.
- Defective IC/screen: In very few cases, the problem is inherent inside the bike computer. It can be a corrupted integrated circuit or a broken screen.
A Quick fix for electric bike display
Before starting the real repair job, you should give it a last try for a quick fix. Most of the time, the display gets fixed with it. So, let’s know what you should try.
- Charge the battery: Make sure there is enough charge in your battery. Before that, check the battery level. You can check it out with the battery level indicator. If your ebike battery doesn’t feature a battery level indicator, use a voltmeter to determine the power. Charge the battery if the power is less than 40% and try to turn the display on again.
- Set-Reset: Sometimes, the display can be fixed with minor adjustments. So, it would help if you tried to fix the display by simply resetting it. Firstly, reset the bike computer. For that, tap and hold the power and function buttons together for 5 seconds. If the display lights up, you are good to go. If this trick fails, reset the connectors. Disconnect all of them and connect again.
How to fix the electric bike display
If you have failed to fix the display with the above tricks, get a pro solution. The below tips can help you to fix the problem. Below are some tools you will need for this job
Basic tools you will need…
- Screwdriver Set: A must-have repair tool to open and get access inside various bike components.
- Soldering Iron Kit: It is necessary to join wires with the connectors. Also, modifying the circuits is not possible without a soldering iron.
- Wire Connectors: Get some compatible wire connectors. You may need them if you find damaged connectors in the controller.
Tip-1: Rectify electrical faults
- Find every wire joint through the bike. Whether it’s of motor, battery throttle, or computer connection. Check for loose connections or damaged connectors. You’ll have to replace the connectors if there is damage and make sure they are all securely connected.
- Take the controller out of the bike frame. It’s situated mostly near the battery management system. First, loosen the face-plate screw and remove it. Then take a picture of the control panel with all the wiring, so you have a picture to refer to when putting this back on. Now, disconnect all the cables and bring the controller off the bike.
- Look for damaged wires and connectors. If you find any, adjust or fix it. Replace them if they are damaged severely or cannot be fixed.
Tip-2: Swap components
- Get some MOSFETs. Generally, 6 or more MOSFET is mounted on a controller. However, you must match the input and output voltage of the new MOSFET with the old one. Also, check the resistance offered by these MOSFETs.
- Replace the damaged MOSFETs. Before that, remove the controller casing and take the circuit out. Now, cut the old MOSFETs with a small Needle Nose Plier. Then, place the new MOSFETs accordingly to the circuit. Finally, join the MOSFETs with soldering.
Tip-3: Replace the bike computer
If the display has a defective IC or screen, an easier way would be to just replace the display. A display can cost anywhere from 150 for a budget one to 300 to 400 for the mid to high-end range.
However, consider the screen size, battery backup, connectivity, and additional features before getting a bike computer.
If you ask me, I suggest Germain Edge 530. It’s one of the best electric bike displays that offers great value for money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are e-bike displays interchangeable?
Yes! Electric bike displays are interchangeable. You may think there can be compatibility issues as you see on smartphones, televisions, or computers. But on electric bike displays, there is no such thing as compatibility issues. If you can connect the display to the controller somehow, it will work.
How do I know if my e-bike controller is working?
As I said before, a defective controller will display an error code. So, you would know if the controller is working or not. A controller is a hub that supplies power to all the bike components with optimal resistance.
A set of MOSFETs does this job. Testing the controller means evaluating the resistance of those MOSFETs. You can measure it with a multimeter. If the resistance is at an optimum level, the controller is okay. However, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to know the optimum resistance level.
You have already learned how essential the electric bike display is. So, when it is dead, it presses upon your nerves.
However, some bike components are associated with the display. These components get damaged most of the time, and the display stops working. Also, the IC or screen can be an issue to display failure.
When the IC or Screen is defective, you can think about getting a new bike computer. But for other faults, it’s easy to get a solution.