Why Does My E-bike Keep Shutting off / Cutting Out?

E-bikes are steadily gaining popularity as awareness around net zero societies continues to grow. Electric bikes are a saving grace for many people, but they come with issues.

Electric bikes use electricity from a battery and motor to work. One of the major problems with E-bikes is that they may not always work smoothly. 

Sometimes, your e-bikes may shut off and cut out for seemingly no reason. If this happens to your e-bike, it may be because of loose connections or a battery problem. We will look further into it in the article below.

Possible Reasons for Your E-bike Shutting Down

Electric bikes have endless benefits, so many people continue to use them. However, power cutouts are common in electric bikes if you don’t care for them properly. We have listed some of the reasons that your electric bike may be shutting down below:

Motor Issues 

Motor issues can cause your e-bike to shut down, and you may recognize that you have a problem with your motor if there are weird noises. Coffee grinding-like noises may indicate that your motor bearings are at fault and that you must replace them. 

You must also check the connection between the motor and the battery. A sudden e-bike shutdown may be because of loose connections. 

Other indicators of motor issues are also the smell and color of your motor. If the motor smells or is dark, it may be time for you to replace it because it may have burnt all through. 

Issues with the BMS or Battery Management System 

A failing battery can cause frequent cutting out. If your battery pack fails to work under the current load, it could be because your battery management system is malfunctioning. 

The BMS may also shut down the battery to prevent it from heating up too much. The battery management system cuts the battery when it drains too quickly or is no longer safe. 

Your battery may have trouble picking up the load in your electric bike, so batteries must be managed. The voltage drop could be because the cells in the pack may have gone awry. The cells malfunctioning may be due to battery age or lack of proper battery management. 

Other issues include too many charge cycles, overcharging, or any other defect. With a new bike, you should not face these issues so easily. 

However, if you find that you are, and the bike is still in its warranty stage, then take it to the shop. The manufacturer’s calculations can be inaccurate, so BMS is necessary. 

You can also reduce the load on the batteries by reducing the impact on them by the assist feature on the bikes. Some models also use recycled batteries; thus, the age of these batteries could be greater than expected. 

If you want to check whether the issue is in the battery, try applying a different battery to your bike. If you have had the battery for a long time, it may be just meeting its natural end. 

Sensor Problems 

E-bikes have several sensors to ensure the continuous working of the bike. A failing sensor may be one of the major reasons that the power is cut out.

The battery may be okay, but the sensors may not work as well as you want. The throttle may not function or create the necessary effect due to the lack of sensor function. 

There are special sensors called brake motor inhibitors in your e-bikes. If your e-bike is constantly cutting off, it may be because this sensor is constantly engaged. It may thus restrict the movement of your e-bike in the future. 

It is a safety feature that prevents your bike from being damaged. However, you may want to check that the sensors are not malfunctioning, so that you can ride your bike instead of it shutting down. 

Try unplugging these sensors and see how the motor reacts. If it starts working, then it’s a definite sensor problem. Mid-drive motors also have an additional cut-off switch which prevents your bike from moving forward. 

Thus, you may also want to check if that mid-drive motor is activated. If it isn’t, then you have to check other parameters. 

Check the Controller

The controller is part of your electric bike that helps you accelerate the motor so that you can move forward. However, checking the controller is a smart move if there is an issue with the bike. This component processes the signals from the sensors and then proceeds them toward action.

 It can decide how best to transfer the energy from your battery and proceed. The controller is very sensitive but plays an important role in ensuring the electric bike works as it should. If there’s any electrical issue, check the connections for your controller so you may eliminate this as a probable cause. 

Controllers may not be working due to load imbalances or issues with power distribution. Many recommend that you check the connections to know that everything is connected to what it needs to connect to. These wires are colour-coded, so finding the right connections shouldn’t be a hassle. 

Sometimes the controller may not work, and you may have to check if the power switch is on. Make sure that the fuse or the circuit breaker is working. Sometimes the fuse will be out, and all you can do is check if it’s working as it should. If it isn’t, it may be time to replace it. 

When checking the circuit breaker, check if it’s properly set. If there’s an issue with your circuit breaker, you may have to look at the connections more properly.

Circuit breakers could stop working for several reasons, and it may take a while to understand why it’s tripping. We can say that the circuit breakers indicate the problem more than the problem itself. 

For your controller, you should inspect it overall to assure that it works as it must. Most importantly, you should ensure that it’s not burnt or has any wires that are melted, as that could be much of the reason the controller continues to malfunction.

Pay Attention to Battery Prongs 

Your bike not working may have a lot to do with the battery prongs not being clean or simply disconnecting. The prongs may not be working or may have accumulated rust, which could be why the connection is spotty. 

If you hit any of the bumps or accidentally end up on a rough patch, the battery prongs may disconnect, which is why your electric bike shuts down. You can get new battery prongs or clean your current ones to fix this. 

If the prongs are clean and the problem persists, then you may replace the prongs. If not, check for problems with the charger and the battery overall. 

Throttle Issues 

The throttle is the electric bike part that ensures you can speed up. If the throttle is overused, it may not return to its position immediately and may take too much power from the battery. 

If you put too much pressure on the throttle, then your throttle will stop responding properly, and you may start facing power cutouts. Instead, you can use the throttle by pulling it back as you must. Once you’re done with it, you can release it back into its regular position. 

If you feel like the throttle is loose, you may not be getting as much movement from your electric bikes as you want. You wouldn’t want a loose throttle on your bike as it harms your trajectory and makes it much more jagged. 

The fix is simple; you must replace your throttle. However, you want to be sure that the throttle triggers your disconnection before you replace it. 

Check the Functioning of the Pedal Assist 

Pedal assist is the option that allows you to use both your motor and your strength to get ahead of a hill. If you see that your bike is only pulsating as you drive it, you may face a power cut out and want to fix your pedal assist system. 

If you’ve recently made some mechanical changes to your bike, like replacing the sprockets, pedals, or derailleurs, the pedal assist could have malfunctioned due to any of these replacements. Thus, you may want to recheck the connections for the pedal assist before you take your bike to a professional. 

Concluding Thoughts

If your electric bike is constantly shutting down or not working appropriately, you must ensure it starts again. There’s no point in owning an electric bike that doesn’t serve you. 

Electric bikes are also quite simple, and in demand, so you will find someone who can diagnose the problem eventually, so remain calm. 

It’s also important to remember that when your e-bike is cutting out, very specific components may be at fault. So with the process of elimination, you can get to the root of the problem. It should be a simple fix, like replacing components or adjusting the load of your bike or battery. 

If you’re having trouble, contact someone with more experience in e-bikes; they can greatly help. 

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