Bringing Your Scooter Back To Life This Spring

If your scooter was properly winterized, starting it back up in the spring shouldn’t be a big deal. If you removed the battery and kept it charged all winter you’ll need to reinstall it in the scooter. If you drained the gas, you’ll need to fill the tank with fresh gas. If you plugged the exhaust (to keep out the mice) be sure to remove the plug before trying to start the engine. With luck, after cranking the engine a few times, it should start right up without a problem.

If the scooter doesn’t start, you may need battery help. If your battery is old, it may have lost some capacity. And even if it is fully charged, it may run down before the scooter starts. It is not safe to jump start using the battery in your car. Be sure to use a 12 volt battery charger and check the instructions before charging.

Don’t crank the engine for long periods at a time. Crank for a few seconds, then let things stand for a few seconds, then crank for a few seconds. The starter motor is not intended to be run continuously and if you do crank it continuously for a minute, it may overheat and possibly damage the wiring.

If you drained the fuel and the carburetor, note that many fuel systems require a vacuum to open the fuel supply valve, so you may have to crank for a while to get fuel to flow into the carburetor and fill the bowl before it gets to the engine and the scooter can start.

If you left fuel in the tank and in the carburetor, you may have two problems. The gas may be stale which will make it difficult to start. It may also have gummed up the carburetor which means you’ll have to take it apart and clean it. Make sure the jets are clean.

Don’t be surprised if you have to crank the engine 5, 10 or even 20 times before it bursts into life. Just take things slow and easy. Starting problems are almost certainly due to carburetor and/or fuel delivery.

Check your tires and be sure to inflate them to their correct pressure before riding the scooter. Also check that your lights are working – headlights, indicator lights and brake lights. Test your brakes at slow speed before venturing out into the road. You should not have lost any brake fluid, but it doesn’t hurt to check the level. The same applies to the oil level. Make sure that none has leaked out while the scooter has been in storage.

Once the scooter is started and you’ve made all the safety checks, take it for a 10-20 minute ride to make sure it gets fully warmed up. Just starting it up for a minute or two won’t get it hot enough to drive off any moisture that’s accumulated in the engine and muffler system. You want to get everything up to normal operating temperature for at least 10 minutes.

You’ve probably gotten a little rusty over the winter, just like your scooter. Remember to take things slow. And enjoy!

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