Having a non-responsive electric bike is quite an unsettling experience. An e-bike has some electro-mechanical components that require attention and regular maintenance, otherwise, they may shut down. However, often you can solve the problem yourself after a thorough checkup of the e-bike’s various electric components.
Why Won’t My Electric Bike Turn On
Your e-bike is a bicycle with a motor that makes it easier for you to pedal. When an e-bike does not work, it is because one, or several of the contributing components, is malfunctioning and needs to be identified and fixed or replaced.
Use a step-by-step method to assess the non-responsive e-bike. Follow the process that would typically get your electric bike up and running: you switch the motor on using the display, mount the bike, and start pedaling, which notifies the battery to power the motor and get it started. Things may need to be corrected along the process.
Follow this investigation with a close look at the motor itself, starting with the battery and its ability to power the motor, the on/off switch, the various connectors linked to the display, the controller, and the wiring harness.
6 Things To Check When Electric Bike Won’t Turn On
A systematic investigation of the non-functioning electric bike considers six possible component failings. These electro-mechanical devices are the display and battery, the controller, the connectors, and the system’s water resistance facilities.
Make Sure to Start The e-Bike Properly
Sometimes the problem is as easy as checking the first things you do to start your e-bike, beginning with the battery. You know which type of battery it uses and take removable batteries out to be charged or left attached to the frame and charged with a cable. Make sure the battery is correctly inserted and locked. Turn the key to lock the battery in place and turn the battery on.
Non-removable batteries use a power button or switch to turn the battery on and off. Next, you use the display on the handlebar to turn the motor on. If the battery is inserted correctly and switched on, and if the motor is also on, move on to check the display.
Check The Display To Make Sure It is Working
The electric bike’s control system is shown on your handlebar’s display, which is clearly visible and easily accessible. There are simple, basic displays that resemble old digital watches and full-color LCDs. The display shows relevant stats related to your ride and switching various functions, including the motor, on and off.
The display alerts you when it encounters a problem during the electric bike action. Some error codes are brand specific, and you can find them in your user manual. Other codes are universal. They point to general, non-brand-specific types of problems. Universal errors start with the letter E and cover the range of E01-E49 and an additional code, E99.
Use your display to indicate which part of the bike is not functioning correctly and requires attention. If the display is not working, it will likely point to an undercharged or flat battery.
Check The Battery To Make Sure It is Not Dead
If the display does not display an error code saying otherwise, your first and most likely culprit is the battery. E-bikes are designed to be sturdy and resilient, so while there may be an issue with the bike’s electric system, the battery is more likely to be flat or undercharged.
While the particulars change in various e-bike brands, battery chargers have a simple two-color light indicator, with one (usually red) signaling that the battery is charging and another (usually green) indicating that the battery is charged.
Read Also: E-bike Battery Charging Tips
Most e-bike batteries have a fuse, either inside or outside the battery, to protect the unit from a faulty input charge. Plug the charger into the battery. If the red light is on, the input fuse is working. Leave the battery to charge overnight. If the green charger light is on, it means that the battery is charged, that the charger is faulty, or that the input fuse is blown. If your battery includes an input fuse, you can replace the fuse with a new one.
Two points of warning: firstly, fuses are there to protect the battery and the device, or devices, powered by the battery. Replacing the fuse without checking the reason it blew may endanger the e-bike’s motor and pose a risk to you and those around you. You should consider consulting a technician if you suspect a fuse is blown and have no electrical qualifications.
Secondly, opening the battery may void your warranty and your insurance if you have one. Make sure to check this before opening the battery.
Check The Controller to Make Sure is Working
The controller is a small computer that connects all your bike’s power-using devices, like the motor, the display, the throttle, and, of course, the battery. In addition, e-bikes use various sensors to measure speed, pedal force, and rotation, so the bike helps you work less for the same results.
The controller also oversees the general operation of the devices it controls. It protects the motor from the voltage supplied by the battery in case it is too high or too low. The controller switches the motor off when you brake. It does the same if the motor’s temperature is too high.
You can test your controller using an e-bike tester, which is simple to use and can be used to test, all the components of your e-bike, such as the motor, throttle, brake, etc. The e-boke tester will notify you if the part you test is working fine or if you need to replace it.
Check The Connectors to Make Sure They are Connected
Connectors link the wires from the e-bike’s devices, such as the motor, throttle, battery, and display, to the controller. An e-bike has three main connectors. You should checked to ensure they are not faulty, as this may cause the e-bike to malfunction.
- Display Connector
Non-waterproof display connectors are plugged directly into the controller. These are standard connectors, like Japanese manufacturers’ JST non-waterproof SM connectors. These connectors are also used for e-bike motors, throttle, brakes, and Pedal Assist Systems (PAS).
Waterproof display connectors require a harness cable (discussed below.)
- Battery Connector
Battery connectors link the battery to the motor and other e-bike components via the controller. Battery connectors are especially vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Extra humidity and moisture may also rust and damage the battery connectors. Each of these occurrences may cause the e-bike to malfunction.
- Wiring Harness Connector
A wire harness bundles several wires together to help the electric bike’s various systems connect in an orderly manner. It also ensures that wires are connected correctly – usually using color schemes and specialized adapters. For example, wires are bound together and coated with silicone, caulk, or Flex Seal to create a waterproof bundled wiring harness.
Check wiring harnesses for signs of breaks, tears, rust, and corrosion, as these may interrupt battery power from reaching the motor.
Make Sure There is No Water in The Battery or Motor
E-bikes are generally designed to be water-resistant. If some water splashes on the frame, the motor, and the battery, it will not likely cause damage. Suppose you plan to ride in heavier weather conditions. In that case, you may need to check the electrical wiring and motor battery covers to see if additional water-resistant means should be considered.
E-bikes are designed to offer reliable, sturdy, and robust means of transport on various terrains and surfaces. If the e-bike does not start, you will likely find that an uncharged battery, a faulty wire, a fuse, or a bad connector is to blame.