Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Care Guide

Wheelchair accessible vehicles allow physically disabled passengers or drivers independence and access to the outside world.  A well cared for wheelchair accessible vehicle keeps the user safe, helps prevent expensive repairs, extends the vehicle's life and preserves its value.

While it is always recommended to follow the owner's manual for the specific care instructions, our guide will provide general tips to keep your vehicle in top shape. 


Standard Upkeep 

The following list covers items that apply to the standard upkeep of all vehicles.


  • Keep the exterior clean to preserve the paint and prevent rust. Waxing the vehicle once a month can add another layer of protection to the paint.

  • Check all exterior lights monthly: headlights, turn signals, brake, and parking lights.

  • Check tire pressure and depth of the treads every month. Note in colder months tire pressure drops one pound with every 10-degree decrease in pressure. Rotate your tires to extend the service life by more evenly balancing the tread wear. Well-maintained tires are integral to a safe, fuel-efficient ride. Many shops will check and fill your tires to the appropriate PSI for free while you're there for an oil change. 

  • Replace windshield wipers about once every year, or when effectiveness is compromised. Pull wipers away from the window during winter to prevent ice buildup.


  • Clean the interior regularly to preserve upholstery, and remove dust and dirt from all surfaces. This will help get the best resell value and a clean car just feels nice to be in! 

  • Keep baking soda in the car to remove moisture and odors. Replace as needed. 


  • The motor oil in your vehicle’s engine lubricates moving parts, helps act as a sealant against debris, cools the engine, reduces wear and tear, and helps prevent engine corrosion. Keeping it clean is vital for good engine health. Depending on your vehicle and oil you’re using, you may need to change both the oil & oil filter as much as every 3 months or 3000 miles. Many newer vehicles owners’ manuals will recommend changing your oil less frequently – often in between 5,000 and 10,000 miles. Check your vehicle owner’s manual and consult with a professional to be certain what is appropriate for your vehicle. 

  • Your engine’s air filter regulates the air that flows into your engine and helps keep out debris and particulate. A properly flowing air filter improves fuel efficiency, decreases emissions, and helps ensure the life of your engine. This can be done easily at home, so check your owner’s manual for instructions and how often it needs to be changed.
  • Check coolant levels in your radiator to keep your radiator or engine components from freezing. A 50/50 mix of antifreeze to water is generally recommended, check owner's manual or with a professional to be certain.

  • Check on battery performance seasonally, extreme temperatures affect the performance of the battery. You can ask for a battery check while getting your oil changed or at an auto shop typically free of charge. 

  • Review your owners manual to determine maintenance schedules for the transmission fluid, serpentine belt, front and/or rear differentials, spark plugs, transfer case fluid, shocks and struts.


Upkeep Unique to Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

This list covers some of the important items that apply specifically to the upkeep of a wheelchair accessible vehicle. 

Wheelchair Ramp & Sliding Door

  • Since the ramp is what allows a wheelchair user access to the vehicle it is very important to pay attention to the area where the ramp is stowed and deployed from. Keep this area clean and clear of debris. Keep the track of the power sliding door clean as well. Obstructions can eventually lead to a malfunction of the power sliding door and/or ramp system. 


  • Converted vehicles will draw more electricity from the battery so it is important to keep an eye out for any changes in ramp speed and other electronic features or if the vehicle has difficulty starting. This can indicate a weak battery which should be addressed immediately. 

Tracks for Tie-Down Straps

  • Most wheelchair accessible vehicles come with a track system for securing the wheelchair. Check these tracks regularly to make sure they are wiped clean of dust and debris.

Conversion Software Updates

  • Conversion manufacturers release software updates to the conversion systems periodically. If your conversion isn't operating properly and nothing seems to be wrong mechanically it could indicate there is a software update available.  This can be taken care of by your local wheelchair accessible vehicle company. 

Conversion Specific Maintenance

  • It is recommended to have operational maintenance be performed at least twice a year. Newer vehicles may need maintenance less often but ask a professional for their opinion. 


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