Schwinn S600

So i have added to my fleet of scooters. i bought a schwinn s600 on craigslist for $75 that has batteries less than 6 months old. The problem is that the scooter on a full charge goes about 100 feet then cuts out. You have to shut the power off and turn it back on but once again only go about 100 feet. on the work bench i was able to run the back wheel for a long time but as soon as its being rode its goes back to the way it was. I looked for wiring shorts and the wiring looked good. the controller isnt getting hot either. I had read that the s600 has some sort of diagnostics? Idk. Any help would be great. thank you

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e-doggies's picture

Most controllers have a Low Voltage Cutoff (LVC) that shutdowns the controller when it reaches a certain voltage. Just because your batteries are only 6 months old, doesn't mean they are holding a charge. One or more of the batteries could be bad. If they have sat around in a discharged state for awhile, they are probably sulfated. Your charger may not be working properly, either. You need to make sure each battery is fully charged and then do a load test. Use a voltmeter to measure the charge and then apply a load and measure the voltage drop. I bet you see it go quickly to around 31.5V which is about when the LVC should kick in (~10.5V per battery). You probably need to replace the batteries.

The "diagnostics" are the three LED's on the throttle control. When you are riding it those 100 feet, do you notice that the lights change and then go to "empty"?

Harlow

Thats exactly what those lights do. The guy gave me two chargers with the scooter. one was a 24v charger and the other was a 36v charger. i used the 36v (or maybe it was like a 44v i dont remember right now) I will put the batteries on a volt/amp meter and see what i get. another question would be why he replaced the batteries in the first place. could there be a more underlying issue here? something eating the batteries?

e-doggies's picture

My S600 has (3) 12V 10Ah batteries, so I assumed yours did too. The 36V charger would be the correct choice. Not sure why he gave you the 24V charger.

S600's have been out of production for at least a couple years. The original lead-acid batteries would need to be replaced by now anyway. Repeated re-charging in series (36V) will likely result in an out-of-balance condition in the pack. Some batteries get overcharged, and some under. This can greatly reduce the available capacity and shorten the useful life. Also, allowing them to sit in a discharged state will kill them. The S600 I bought last September was on it's second set of batteries (they were dead, too) and it had been ridden for maybe 2 miles in 2 years (hadn't even worn the little rubber hairs off the face of the tires yet). My point is, to get the most from your lead batteries, you need to keep them charged and the pack balanced.

If it's possible, remove all batteries and check the voltage for each one and record it. Then charge each battery separately with a 12V charger but no faster than 2 Amps. Check voltage again. Now connect a load of 20+ Amps on each battery and watch the voltage. Note how low it gets within a specific period of time. Repeat for each battery. You may find one (or more) that drops much faster than the others. If that's true, you will need to replace them. Best to replace all batteries at the same time.

However, if you buy new ones, and continue to use your series (string) charger, you will be well on your way to "eating" another pack. I have not used a series charger on any of my small scooters for 6 months. I re-wired to accept bank charging in parallel with one 12V charger. It requires a bit of work up-front, but I'm still running 2 of the "dead" batteries I removed from the S600 when I bought it, and they have been getting daily use in my S750 which gets bank charged after every use. No sign of losing range at this point.

Let us know the results of your battery testing.

Harlow

so you charge up the batteries seperatly? would i wire them in series rather than in parellel for that? or? my other scooter (schwinn missle) could use new batteries as well. I live about 3 miles from a crown battery factory in fremont ohio. its a name brand of a battery. i checked their web site and they sell a few types of batteries that i think would work for the scooters. their web site doesnt list prices but im hoping that if i go straight to the sorce and pick them up myself i can avoid the middle man and shipping charges as well. Im hoping that once i get a chance to tear apart the s600 battery pack that i might be able to salvage two of three dead batteries for a back up pack for the missle. idk. thank you for your help. im new to all this but im very mechanicial incline and extremely interested in electric vehicles. the scooters are just a start for what i hope can lead to bigger and better things...i have weird dreams of configuring a gearing system on a scooter or home made vehicle. thanks for letting me ramble, lol

e-doggies's picture

You won't have to rewire anything to test the batteries. But, you will need access to each battery's positive and negative terminal. Attach a 12V charger to each battery separately. You do not need to disconnect each battery from the pack. Charge at a low rate, <2Amps.

After each battery is fully charged, you should perform a load test. I'd try to load them with at least 25Amps while you measure the voltage and record the time. When you have collected that data for each battery, post your results here, and we can help you determine next steps.

Harlow

Hi, i also have a s 600 and im 14 and i tow a trailer with it, i haul a lawn mower weed wacker and a blower. maybe weights 100-150, i weight 140, i can only go about 1 mile with out it being dead, so i took the batteries out and there is a crack in the center batterie. they have been replaced a year ago, the warranty just ended so im screwed, any suggestions, thanks.

e-doggies's picture

Joey,

Your range is being affected by the lack of sufficient battery capacity to support the load you are asking your scooter to pull.

You should replace the cracked battery, of course, but you should replace all three together or they will be unbalanced and just get worse over time until another fails. So you should always replace the entire set with batteries that are the same size (Amp Hours), same mfg, same date code and lot number. That would give you the best chance of success for longer battery life.

Also, the 36V series (string) chargers that come with these scooters are not the best way to recharge. And, you need to recharge after every ride and every couple weeks or so if you don't ride.

Since you are pulling a trailer, you could add larger capacity batteries in the trailer and route wires to your controller on the scooter. You might even consider adding a motor to drive the trailer, as well.

If you ride the scooter without the trailer, I'd have a good set of (3) 12V 10Ah batteries in the scooter tray (same as stock), and (3) 12V 20Ah batteries and controller and motor on the trailer. You would need to run a throttle wire from the handlebars to the controller on the trailer. If you did all that, you'd have much better range and you'd get to the next job faster. Bottom line is that you simply need larger batteries to get more range.

One thing you might try for now: If you have access to a regular 12V automotve charger that puts out no more than about 2 Amps, you could connect it to each battery separately and charge them all and then take a ride. If you go more than the mile you've been going, it will prove that you have a capacity issue. If you have a voltmeter, you should check each battery's voltage before and after the 12V charge, and again after the ride. Record all the voltages in case we need to analyze.

Let us know if you need any more help.

Oh ok, i will replace all three, then on my throttle even when the batteries are dead, the 3 lights are still up like its fully charged. heres a list of parts that have been replaced, batteries, throttle, controller, switch, charging port, rear sprocket, rear disc brake pads. i dont know what else to replace, if i did get 2 sets of batteries for the trailer where would i get the wires, where would i get it done?

e-doggies's picture

On my Schwinn scooters, when I have a full charge, there is only a green light lit on the throttle. If all three lights are on, I believe it is identifiying a "fault". When you twist the throttle with all three lights lit, does the scooter run?

You've replace a lot of stuff already! Was that all to try to fix your range problem? How long have you had this scooter?

You can get 12AWG (12 gauge) wire in red and black in spools at Radio Shack. Automotive parts stores may also have some in the electrical dept.

Doubtful that you will find anyone that will do this for you at a shop. But if you've already replaced all those components, I bet you could also wire-in an additional battery pack.

ohh ok, yea and i had a couple problems, but couldnt i burn up the motor with all those volts from the tray and batterty in the trailer?

e-doggies's picture

Larger (more Amp Hours) batteries will NOT burn out your motor since you will still be using 36V. The size of the battery mostly determines how long you can run (range). Have you ever felt the temperature of your motor when you had been running it as hard as you can (full throttle with loaded trailer)? Thaose are pretty tough motors. I've run my stock 600 motor on 48V continuously, and haven't had any problems.

Here's a simple wiring diagram of two battery packs that can be connected and disconnected separately from the scooter's controller/motor. Let me know if you have any questions. I think it would be simplest if you replaced your small batteries in the scooter and also added a larger set on the trailer that you could plug-in in place of the pack in the battery tray. So, one pack or the other at a time. If you find a connector that matches the one already on your existing pack, it should be fairly easy to modify.

TwoBatteryPacks.JPG

hmmm... what my dad just showed me is that i would buy the 12 volt 18 ah and put 2 in the tray, then one on top of the suspension and back tire, but how much more range does the 18 have to the 10??

e-doggies's picture

I did the exact same thing on a Schwinn Stealth (same size battery tray). You will find that batteries with the same physical dimensions will be rated anywhere from 17 - 22 Ah.

To get the most from your new pack, I'd suggest you charge them each separately with a 12V charger every so often to keep them balanced (all the same voltage). Series chargers (36V) won't keep your batteries equalized and then one will fail prematurely.

I can't comment on your range. It depends a lot on riding conditions, how fast you go, how much load is on the trailer, tire pressure, ambient temperature, and other factors. It should be a very noticeable improvement, though.

That is what im going to do, but its adding weight to the whole scooter compared to the 10 Ah and 18 AH. is there a website that you prefer parts?

e-doggies's picture

I would just google for batteries and look for the best price. You may find some locally that would be cheaper (with tax), than ones online that you have to pay for shipping.

hippidave's picture

I'm having a similar issue. My batteries fail my home load test but pass at Advance auto. Under load of the motor it drops to 34v; individually at advance they drop to 12.2 and shoot back up under load. I'm thinking it is my motor drawing too much and have a new one in route--I'll let you know if that works. My batteries are just under a year old; my throttle light is the top light, but it is a yellow instead of green, Then after a short ride it jumps through the regular yellow setting to red, then flashing/off. I've seen here my top light should be green so I wonder if it is a sign it thinks my batteries are dead. They start at 39.5v and when the light is flashing red they still have 37.7v. Does the controller tell my throttle how much power is there? At the charger port I only get 10.5v--we had to separate the wire to motor a little to get a 39.5v reading (or hot side of fuse to a battery). Hopefully the new motor will fix this issue; my batteries lose warranty this week and I cannot send them evidence of being dead like they want for replacements. Had this same issue last year and batteries seemed to fix it for a short while. My s600 is also pulling a GT shockwave welded to it on the right, no motor, just frame and wheels, the front rolling backwards in zero-turn fashion (and space for extra batteries).

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