Most Common Mechanical Problems With Scooters

by Laura Gianino
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Purchasing a scooter has never been so economically and environmentally friendly. Scooters are reasonably priced and fuel efficient; however, as with all automotive vehicles, there are certain mechanical problems that scooters are susceptible to. Most common mechanical problems with scooters include engine, drive train, motor and gas issues.

Engine: Electric-Power Origin

Common problems with scooters are often associated with the engine. If the engine does not start, this may be the cause of improper storage during the winter, ignition problems, or electrical issues. If your engine will not start, make sure the scooter has gas in the gas tank and that the filter is not plugged or contaminated. Gas may also drip through the air cleaner and flood the engine, in which case the gas will need to be evaporated. An engine that will not stay running affects the scooter by dying soon after starting. This may be caused by water in the gasoline, a loose spark plug, or a clogged air or gas filter. A lagging or slow engine means the engine is low on power, and could indicate a problem with the scooter's air cleaner, throttle cable, chain, tire pressure, or drive belts.

Drive Train: Power Generator

Drive-train problems create common mechanical issues with scooters. The idle may creep when the engine idle is set too high, due to a bad throttle cable or a tight drive chain. Another common drive-train problem causes the scooter to move while the engine is idling, forcing your scooter to take off on its own when the engine has been revved. If this happens, it could mean that the clutch needs to be lubricated. If this persists once it has been lubricated, the clutch will need to be replaced.

Motor: Gas-Power Area

If your scooter has not been used in a while, you may experience common motor problems, which usually reveal themselves through sounds. If you notice rattling in the fender or cowl--a unifying seat extension--or that the motor does not turn to speed and idle smoothly when you turn on the throttle, this is an indication of a problem with the motor. You may also be able to determine motor problems by examining the spark plug closely. A white spark-plug electrode indicates top-end problems, while a black electrode indicates poor jetting--or mixing of the fuel and air. Experiencing any of these problems is proof of a larger problem with the motor, and indicates the need to see a mechanic.

Gas: Troubleshooting

The gas in the tank of a scooter can go stale within 60 days. If that happens, the the scooter is filled with bad gas and may result in the engine not starting. You can tell if gas has gone bad if it starts to have an odor, like the smell of varnish. Bad gas may lead to other problems, such as gum in the jets of the carburetor. If this happens, the carburetor will need to be removed.

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