My scooter won't start in the rain

Anyone elses scooter do this? Why does this happen with every scooter I own. Anyone know?

It happened with mine before…I took it to the shop and they added a ‘piece’ to the battery (between the post and the wire)…

The first possible culprit might be that your battery connections are wet. You need to clean them, tighten them and smear them with a good layer of thick grease. When you can’t use your electric starter, does your kick starter work?
I’m sure there’s a thread on this up in the vroomvroom forum.

This happens to me all the time also.

A wet spark plug could also be a problem. Try covering up your scooter if you have to leave it outside.

A common scenario is for water to travel up/down the spark plug wire, sneak in between the spark plug boot and render you sparkless.

Insulating your battery with grease is spot on. You may also have corrosion on your terminals which can easily be disolved with…A can of Coke.

If you can’t use your electric starter but can kick-start, then your problem most likely lies with the battery or the starter itself. If you can neither kick-start or use your starter, then the culprit is either the battery or the spark plug boot… Both are easy to check at home.

My RZX used to to do this on occasion, but I took care of it by borrowing some ‘special insulating tape’ from one of the cable company repairmen doing an installation in my area. I simply wrapped the tape around the spark plug wire where it meets the boot…Problem solved.

It’s one of a scooter’s main weak points…The engine and electrical system lie too low to avoid these water issues. You’ll need to go through the primary electrical system and find the areas where water can wire-trickle to a connection. Offer to pay your mechanic a few more bucks to ‘water proof’ your scooter.

Spark plug. Wet. New plug and cap required.

If the battery terminals are knackered your lights and starter motor probably wont work.

Get the grease monkey to spray some WD40 round the plug and cap when he changes them.

Alternatively, buy my scooter for NT$15,000. :slight_smile:

Some great tips on this thread and I intend to put them into practice – thanks people. My little scoot’s kept outside at the moment though I’m thinking of paying a bit extra to bring it in out of the cold.

After the extremely heavy rains a few weeks ago, it stopped working. After a vigorous 20 minutes’ kickstarting, I got it to idle. But as soon as I gave it any gas, it would die again. The carburettor had been on the way out anyway but for some reason the heavy rains had finished it off (no part of the bike had been submerged, though). Any idea why this would have been? A new carburettor sorted everything out and now it starts on the first press of the starter most days.

As the OP’s starting problems are only when it’s raining, though, I concur with posters above and say that his problem is something to do with the electrics, such as the spark plug.

Thanks, everyone lots of great advice. I just changed the battery and got my spark plug cleaned (not replaced). I noticed the mechanic put some grease one it but not sure if he put enough. But it still does not start properly. It is both equally difficult to start with kick and button. I think I will do that, take it to a mechanic and ask him to waterproof it. The funny think is that even when I keep it sheltered during those rainy days it still does this. On sunny days, it’s practically fine (1-3 tries).

Or it could be the points are dirty
May not evn be the electricals but something is sluggish or blocked or worn in that engine that the rain brings out more

I would take it to Jeremy or someone you could trust… I would be worried that otehr mechanics are just shoot gunning the problem… they change this then this and after something else until they find the problem

Or it could be the points are dirty[/quote]

And the Texaco beacon burns on,
The steel-belted attendant with a ‘Ring and Valve Special’…
Cryin’ “Fill’er up and check that oil”
“You know it could be a distributor and it could be a coil.”

(The Ghosts of Saturday Night, Tom Waits)

I’ve seen this issue on both cars and motorcycles. It’s generally the spark plug wires, sometimes distributor cap and coil. Low-quality parts (that is, poorly-insulated wires) are a pretty common theme here.


[quote=“TNT”]I would take it to Jeremy or someone you could trust… I would be worried that otehr mechanics are just shoot gunning the problem… they change this then this and after something else until they find the problem[/quote]Taking it to a good mechanic such as Jeremy is an excellent idea.

I have to point out though that there are some problems that will have any mechanic scratching his/her head and trying out various things until they find the problem. That doesn’t necessarily make him/her a bad mechanic.

I used to have a Honda C50 step-thru. A very reliable and tough bike, but it had this problem. After running for half-an-hour or so, it would slow right down to a walking pace. If the engine was turned off for five minutes, the problem would stop, only to recur again later.

My dad tried various different things. All the usual such as new spark plug and cleaning the carburettor. Eventually he figured out that it was something to do with the alternator heating up – I can’t remember exactly. Anyway he changed the alternator and all was fine thereafter, but it took a while to get to that point.

If a new carburetor fixed your problem - start but cannot rev - it could well be water in the carburetor bowl - can happen in humid places, without rain or immersion. Since getting the bowl off can be a difficult job - one test is to use a spray can of “engine starter” and spray it into the engine air intake. If it fires and runs first time, water in bowl is major possibility.

Thanks Rian. Carb. had been on the way out for months anyway so needed a new one, but will bear your comments in mind if it happens again.

Bound to be electrical. All those parts will be cheap - I don’t know about your bike but carbs for mine are expensive, and there’s two of them. I had them cleaned for NT$800.

Cheap HT leads are a bugger, as someone said above. Bikefarm will sort you out, no doubt.