We know that our clients have busy lives, which is why it’s important for your power wheelchair to be as reliable as possible. However, like your vehicle, your wheelchair will eventually experience a mechanical issue. If you notice that your wheelchair isn’t driving properly, or that it won’t drive at all, your joystick might be having trouble communicating with the motors. While this is just one example, the following is a short list of the most common problems that power wheelchair users can experience:

  • A joystick that won’t work and has blinking lights
  • A dead battery
  • An issue with one or both of the motors

If any of these problems occur, and before you do anything else, somebody will need to disengage the motors of your wheelchair. Doing so will put your power wheelchair into “Free Wheel” mode, which will allow somebody else to push you to a safe place.


Disengaging your motors, and putting them into “Free Wheel” mode, means that your wheelchair will have NO BREAKS. Before attempting to switch your chair to Free Wheel, make sure that the power wheelchair is in a secure location, is turned off, AND is on level ground. (You should only perform this action as a last resort. Custom Mobility isn’t liable for anything that happens to your equipment during this time.)

The following list of motor types are divided by manufacturer and include the most popular motor configurations.If the make and model of your wheelchair isn’t listed, please follow instructions for the motor that looks closest to yours.

Quickie Electric Motor PDFQuickie

If you need to disengage the motors of your Quickie power wheelchair, the process is quick and easy. Whether your motors have red switches or black levers, a simple twist or flip is all that it takes.

Click on the image or here for detailed instructions.


Permobil Power Wheelchair Motors PDFPermobil

To disengage the motors of your Permobil power wheelchair, you will have one of four switch types. Though they may look slightly different, all four of these function the same way. What’s nice about these switches, is that you only need to pull one switch to disengage both motors.

Click on the image or here for detailed instructions.


Quantum Power Chair Motor InstructionsQuantum

For Quantum power wheelchair users, disengaging the motors is quick and simple. Bright yellow in color, these switches and levers are both easy to find and operate.

Click on the image or here for detailed instructions.


Pride Power Wheelchairs Motor InstructionsPride

Disengaging the motors on a Pride power wheelchair may seem a bit different. You’ll find the disengaging switches colored in yellow, located at the front of the wheelchair’s frame, behind the footplate. 

Click on the image or here for detailed instructions.