The Xiaomi M365 is a hugely popular electric scooter with plenty of custom modifications available for purchase and a large online fanbase ready to help each other with just about anything related to it. First introduced to the market in 2017, the Xiaomi M365 won several awards for design and was picked by several ride share companies as their choice for their fleets.
Needless to say, if you are looking for an electric scooter that is popular and has an enormous selection of spare parts available online, then the Xiaomi M365 is a choice for you.
Having already presented my positive opinion of the M365, I must also say that the scooter also comes with some issues, which may or may not affect you as a user. Having used the M365 for nearly two years, I’d like to discuss the most common problems affecting the M365. As you will see, most of them are minor issues that can be fixed relatively easily. Nonetheless, I feel that they should be addressed.
Folding Mechanism Latch
The Xiaomi M365 has been designed for easy portability. One of its main characteristics is the folding mechanism which allows the user to quickly and easily fold the scooter for carrying. This folding mechanism contains a latch located in the front of the steering column which may suddenly break. This may lead to a dangerous situation should this occur while you’re riding the scooter.
The initial M365s contained an aluminum latch which caused the problems. Later models of the M365 were equipped with a ferromagnetic latch, which appears to be stronger. However, in order to be extra safe, I recommend buying a heavy duty latch online. These heavy duty latches are about twice as thick as the original part the scooter came with from the factory.
I’ve listed this problem first, because it is a safety hazard that should be corrected as soon as possible. I have followed several M365 forums, and came to a conclusion that there really is no set time frame when these latches tend to break. The latch may break within weeks of first using the scooter, or may occur much later, no one really knows. Adding to the seriousness of the situation is the fact that it is virtually impossible to visually inspect the latch for any damage. In most cases it looks perfectly fine…until it snaps.
Loose/Wobbly Steering Column
With time, the vast majority of M365s develop wobbling of the steering column. It is less noticeable in some and more pronounced in others. There is really no rule to that. My steering column is also loose to some extent, but it has no impact on my riding whatsoever. I can’t even pinpoint a time when it first started.
Fortunately there are easy fixes to this problem. First, you can try adjusting/tightening the nuts within the latching mechanism. This does help initially, but with time you will need to get custom designed plastic spacers that are placed inside the latching mechanism. They usually come in packs containing various sizes, so that you can quickly and easily find one that works best.
Power Button Water Damage
The Xiaomi M365 is rated IP54 waterproof. This means that it should handle light rain and occasional splash of water here and there, just fine. However, a more intense rain or a stream of water directed at the scooter may result in more serious damage.
One of the most susceptible areas of the M365 is the power button located within the dashboard at the top of the steering column. Water tends to collect within its groove and may drain inside – directly onto the dashboard circuitry. If that happens, the power button may stop working completely.
An easy fix to that is a custom designed plastic cover or a transparent sticker that is placed over the dashboard. Both options work relatively well. Just keep in mind that the plastic cover makes the dashboard LEDs a little harder to see, while the sticker may need replacing after some time.
Loose Charging Port Cap/Cover
The tiny red cap covering the charging port is supposed to protect it from the elements, such as water and dust. It is made of rubber and tends to break easily. In my case, the rubber cap broke off within a few weeks. I think it was the first issue that I’ve had with my M365 since purchase.
More durable replacements are available. I purchased mine online for a few dollars. In order to install it, all you have to do is loosen two screws, place the cap lining in place and tighten the screws back in. Easy fix.
Learn how to upgrade to M365 Pro magnetic charging port.
The rear fender of the M365 is prone to breaking. Most people assume that the fender breaks when accidentally stepped on. There are even custom-designed fender supports that are supposed to prevent damage that may occur if you accidentally step on it. I’ve had those supports installed, but in my case, the fender broke anyway. This is because there is a design flaw. The fender, more specifically a hook installed on it, plays an important role when carrying a folded scooter. This is because the steering column attaches to this hook allowing you to carry the scooter in your hand. This process produces forces that act on the fender, ultimately resulting in breakage.
As I mentioned, fender supports may minimize the risk of damage, but they will not eliminate it, as in my case.
Broken Rear Light
The rear taillight tends to break by two mechanisms. First one is oxidation. This is because the wire connecting the light to the battery runs on the inside of the fender. By this design it is prone to getting wet whenever riding in rain. Prolonged exposure to water leads to oxidation and ultimately damage to the circuit.
The second mechanism by which the rear light tends to break is broken fender. Since the wire running to the rear light is attached to it, any displacement of the fender will result in a snapped wire.
Rear light replacements are readily available and inexpensive. Oxidation damage can be easily fixed by simply replacing the rear light with the attached wire. However, in case of a broken wire the process may be a bit more time-consuming in the event that the wire breaks in a difficult to reach space. In some cases, it may even require removal of the rear tire.
Rubbing Rear Brakes
Xiaomi M365 has a rear disc brake which may need adjustment from time to time. In most cases this is an easy fix that can be done by adjusting two hex nuts located at the top of the brake calipers.
In rare cases, brake rubbing may be caused by damaged brake pads. If that’s the case, the brake will need to be removed in order to install new brake pads. Brake pads on the Xiaomi M365 are about the size of a penny, so they will eventually need replacing.
Inflatable tires on the M365 make for a relatively comfortable ride. Unfortunately, the tubes installed inside the tires are prone to damage. Nearly every M365 rider that I know had experienced at least one tire puncture in the lifetime of their scooter.
Replacing tires can be moderately complicated and time-consuming. The most difficult part is removing the tires and putting them back on. But it is doable.
There are various options designed to help prevent flat tires on the M365. They include anti-puncture tape, slime and replacement with solid rubber tires. Replacing an inflatable tire with a solid rubber one is in my opinion the most difficult repair on the M365. These solid rubber tires must fit very tightly on the rim. Putting them on the rim is a challenge that may take hours to complete. But again, it is not a complex process, just a time-consuming one.
Battery Losing Power
Xiaomi M365 comes with a 36 volt rechargeable Li-ion battery. Initially the battery will hold enough charge for a 25-30 km range of travel. However, as is the case with batteries in most devices, in the M365 the battery does tend to get weaker with time.
I still have the original battery, it is nearly two years old and has had 134 complete charge cycles. Unfortunately, it had lost considerable amount of capacity. My current range on a fully charged battery is about 15 km, this is about half of what it used to be. With such a short range of travel it is a big nuisance and disappointment for me.
Most of the replacement parts for common problems with the Xiaomi M365 are relatively inexpensive. However, the battery is an exception because replacements tends to cost about 25-30% of the initial price of the scooter. Because of that, I am now strongly considering dropping in a few more dollars and upgrading to the Xiaomi M365 Pro, instead of investing in a new battery for my old M365.
Here’s my post on everything you need to know about the Xiaomi M365 battery.
The Xiaomi M365 is an excellent electric scooter that can be fun and practical at the same time. It has great classy looks, decent power and range of travel, plenty of replacement parts, as well as a huge community of fellow riders ready to help with any issues that you may have. Despite the various issues commonly encountered in the M365, I must admit that it has been one of the best purchases that I have ever made.