How to Test the Starter in a Scooterby Nathan Fisher
Your scooter's starter operates via two components: an electric motor that spins a shaft, and a solenoid (electrical switch) that engages the shaft against the flywheel of the engine. When your scooter's starter fails to operate, it may be due to either a short in the motor or the solenoid. You can test your starter with a pair of jumper cables.
Remove the battery cover of the scooter and disconnect the black (negative) battery cable with a socket wrench. Depending on your scooter's make and model, the battery cover may be designed to be pulled off with your hands, or you may need to remove a few mounting screws with a screwdriver.
Remove the seat from your scooter and locate the starter. If the seat is not designed with a quick-release latch, remove the mounting bolts with a socket wrench. Disconnect the large red (positive) power cable from the motor using a socket wrench. Disconnect the black ground wire and red "starter" wire from the solenoid with a socket wrench. Remove the two mounting bolts from the starter housing with a socket wrench. Pull the starter off the scooter and set it on a towel.
Connect one of the red clamps of your jumper cables to the positive (+) terminal of the starter solenoid and the other red clamp of the jumper cables to the positive (+) terminal of the scooter battery. Attach one of the black clamps of the vehicle jumper cables to the metal casing of the starter and the other black clamp of the jumper cables to the negative (-) terminal of the battery.
Attach one of the clamps of the small jumper wire to the positive jumper cable clamp attached to the positive terminal of the starter solenoid. Fold the towel over the starter to absorb vibrations and hold the starter firmly while touching the other end of the small jumper wire to the starter terminal of the solenoid. The starter terminal is the smallest terminal on the solenoid and what "triggers" the solenoid when power is applied. The armature in the solenoid should engage and the starter should spin. If this not occur, you should have your starter rebuilt or replaced.
- Do not allow the starter run too long during testing or you will drain your scooter's battery.
Items you will need
- Socket wrench set
- Phillips screwdriver
- Jumper cables
- Jumper wire
- "Vespa Scooters Owners Workshop Manual"; John Haynes; 1997
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