How to maintain a scooter
Maintaining a scooter may not be as much fun as riding it, but a regular maintenance schedule will extend its lifespan. Many scooter maintenance items require minimal time, tools, and mechanical ablitily.
Much like cars scooters have mechanical parts that require lubrication, consume fluids, or just wear out. By keeping a regular scooter maintenance schedule, it’s possible to prevent expensive major repairs or get stranded alongside the road.
Find your scooters owner’s manual and then buy a copy of the scooter’s service manual. They will have the fluid recommendations, fluid specifications, and diagrams. A service maintenance schedule can then be determined for your make and scooter model.
Regularly check the engine oil level. Two-stroke scooters have an oil tank that needs refilling every few trips to the gas station. On four-stroke scooters, check the engine oil dipstick every other trip. Change the oil and oil filter annually or every 2000 miles.
Check the gearbox oil level every few trips. The gearbox oil should be changed every two years or 3000 miles on most scooters. Check occasionally to make sure your dipstick hasn’t been stolen.
Check your tire pressure every few trips, especially during cold weather. Underinflated tires result in very poor gas mileage and reduced lifespan. Check the tires for wear and wear patterns. Scooter tires rarely last more than 3000 miles and will need to be replaced. Scooter tires can also have manufacturing defects. Visually check the tires for strange wear.
Loose screws and bolts
Nuts, bolts, and screws do shake loose on scooters. Check the scooter every spring and fall for loose ones. Nuts on aftermarket products tend to shake loose most often.
Cracked fuel line
Today’s ethanol fuel blends wreak havoc on scooter gas lines. If the gas line runs over any hot scooter parts, change the fuel line annually. The most common cause of pools of gasoline on the garage floor is a cracked fuel line.
Keep your carburetor happy by putting some carburetor cleaner in the gasoline tank every few tankfulls. Use fuel stabilizer if the scooter is to be stored to prevent clogged jets in the carburetor. Seafoam comes highly recommended.
Two-stroke scooters need to have their spark plug changed every few months. Four-stroke scooters need to have their spark plug changed annually. Check the spark plug wires every few months. They tend to shake loose and can lead to scooter stalls.
Drive belt and rollers
The drive belt makes the scooter move and the rollers are part of the automatic gear shifting mechansim. The drive belt and rollers do eventually wear out on scooters. Replace the drive belt and rollers every 5000 miles.
Check the air filter annually. Clean or replace it if it is dirty. A dirty air filter will result in poor gas mileage and hard starts.
If the scooter is stored during the winter months, be sure to winterize the scooter. By winterizing the scooter, you’ll prevent an expensive repair bill in the spring.
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