I was in the process of refurbishing a donated (Invacare) powerchair for a local client and was unexpectedly "rushed" (client wanted chair before XMAS break).

As it was being loaded onto their pickup, I noticed the "tip" of the joystick came off (easily! intentionally??) leaving the underlying metal rod (stem) exposed. I.e., the flexible "boot" remains but with a metal rod protruding that the "tip" was intended to cover. Note that the tip slides back on just as easily as it came off -- but I'm sure it's just a matter of time before it rolls under a piece of furniture or is otherwise "lost".

Rather than leave the chair to be repaired (and be without it until after the new year), client dismissed the issue as unimportant.

Of course, this will come back to bite me (no good deed goes unpunished).

Questions:
  • why so easy to remove the tip? I.e., is something missing that would have secured it? Or, perhaps the "correct" tip was lost and this is just something that was thrown on it at some time in the past by the donor?
  • how can I instruct the client as to an easy/robust means of repairing it (as I'm sure they won't be keen on bringing the chair back for that fix)? I suspect adhesives will just pose problems down the road (adhering rubber to metal?). Perhaps wrap some electrical tape (or, ideally, friction tape!) around the stem to increase its girth until the tip is a snug fit?