Batteries Required

For the past few days I’ve been getting a red light on my power chair go stick box during the late afternoon and evening hours.   This means one thing and one thing only — my batteries are not holding a charge.   So yesterday I decided it was time to do something about it since the red light was putting a cramp in my style, or rather, a limit on how far I could go.

I called someone who I thought could direct me to a place where I could get loaner batteries since I hope to have my new chair within the next four months.   Nope, no such thing, but he did suggest that I go to a battery store, rather than the wheelchair repair shop, so I could get a better price on the batteries.   He told me my chair uses group 24 gel cell batteries, so that is what I should ask for when I call the battery shops.   (These batteries are about the size of a car battery.)

After doing a quick search on the Internet, I called a couple places.   The first place I called was in Phoenix and they quoted a price of $144 per battery but offered no installation.   Then I called another battery store which happened to be a couple of miles from where I live.   They quoted a price of $100 per battery, but they would not install them either.   Then I remembered a place that is down the road from that battery store, which does wheelchair van modifications and sells wheelchairs and sports equipment.   They would have to order batteries since they don’t carry them in stock, but they would be willing to install batteries I have purchased elsewhere.   Okay, that sounds like a good deal.

Then I decided to call one other place I knew of in Scottsdale that sells scooters and wheelchairs.   Yes, they had batteries, but the guy who answered the phone didn’t know if they had what I was looking for, but the other guy who knew would be there at two o’clock.   They would also be able to install them for me.

It was lunchtime so Norm and I decided to eat lunch first and then go to this scooter store which was just down the road from the restaurant where we were going to have lunch.   We got to the scooter store about 1:45 p.m. and sure enough, the guy was there who knew about the batteries.   However, they wanted $190 per battery.   Ouch!   I told him I could get them for $100 apiece at the Sun Belt battery store a few miles away.   He said he couldn’t match the price, so I said I had to go elsewhere.

Norm and I drove around trying to find the Sun Belt battery store because I couldn’t quite remember the address, but I knew the general location.   After a couple of trips up and down the road we finally found Sun Belt battery.   They had the group 24 gel cell batteries I needed so we purchased them and went down the road to Leeden’s.

It was really hot out outside and we didn’t drive far enough for the air conditioner to kick in.   We got to Leeden’s and we were really hot, and it wasn’t very cool inside their very old building.   After a few minutes wait they prepared to install my new batteries.   They pulled the old batteries out and then realized that my new ones were too big to fit in the battery box.   I needed group 22 gel cell batteries, not group 24.   Ugh!   So the very heavy batteries were put back into the van and my batteries were put back into my chair and off we went to Sun Belt batteries.

Forty-five minutes later we have the right batteries, but then we have to get gas because the van is making that “get me gas now” noise and both Norm and I are tired and hot and very thirsty.   So we go to the gas station and then we go to Sonic, which was right next door, and get some drinks.   Then we drive all the way back to Leeden’s.   About half an hour later I have the new batteries installed.   Hooray!   But we are not done yet because we have to take the old batteries (called cores) back to the battery store to get our $5 per battery disposal fee.   I guess the state thinks we might put it in the garbage can in the alley behind our house.

We made it to Sun Belt battery just before they were closing.   Handle the paperwork and then take the cores down to the other end of the warehouse where a nice man comes and gets them out of the car for you.   This is good because these batteries weigh a ton.

Norm and I were so glad to get home to our nice cool house.   It was a very long and very hot afternoon.   We didn’t make it home until 5:30.   I was too tired to go out for my evening stroll even though I had a fully charged battery.   Also, my right arm was really sore all day, and it still hurts today.   I went to the chiropractor today and she said my shoulder blade was misaligned.   After a treatment of adjustments to my neck and shoulders, there has been some improvement.   I’m going to rest my arm for the next couple of days which means I won’t be doing much on the computer since I use my right arm for just about everything.   At least I can dictate to my computer so I don’t have to type this post.

It’s not easy being a gimp girl and it’s also very expensive!


  1. jh
    Aug 4, 2006

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  2. pj
    Aug 4, 2006

    Sounds like the kind of day in which the end is welcome! Glad you got your Batteries and everything works ok. What is status of new wheels?

  3. Vanda
    Aug 7, 2006

    Those are expensive batteries. Glad you got it sorted and are on the go again. Hope the arm feels better by now kiddo.