Things to do before putting the scoot away for the winter
by G. Kunkel
(This article was originally published on Helium.com on November 10, 2008)
The leaves have fallen, the nights are cold, and the days are definitely shorter. If you live in an area with a prolonged winter, there is one essential ritual still to perform. It’s time to winterize the scooter.
No matter what scooter brand you own, performing a few simple things can prevent a spring repair bill. While it may take an afternoon to complete, your scooter will be ready to roll in the spring. You’ll be glad you did it.
These are some simple steps to keep your scooter happy for years to come.
Clean the scooter. Get out the arsenal of toothbrushes, brushes, auto wash, bucket, chrome cleaner, and polish. Clean your entire scooter. Get the bug guts and road grime off the paint job. This will reduce the corrosion to your paint and chrome.
Install a battery tender. This feeds a trickle charge to your battery throughout the winter. It will keep the battery charged and will prolong its life. Most scooterists use a Battery Tender Junior. It comes in a 6V and 12V model.
Change the oil and oil filter. Don’t leave contaminants in your engine all winter. In the spring, your scooter will be ready to go.
Stabilize your fuel. Don’t let your gas turn to varnish in your carburetor. Go to your local auto parts store and buy a can of Sea Foam. Don’t use Sta-bil as most scooter shops claim it will clog your jets. Pour the can into your tank. Fill up the tank with 91 octane gas. Go for a 30 minute ride on your scoot. This will give it a chance to flush through the whole fuel system. You’ve just saved yourself from an expensive repair.
Check for cracked fuel lines. These need to be replaced annually on many scooters. They age, crack, and then you have unwelcome gas leaks. Replacement line can be found in scooter shops and motorcycle shops.
Check for loose parts, screws, and bolts. Tighten everything now and you won’t have to in the spring. Check for lines that have shifted and are in danger of melting or breaking.
Park your scooter in an out of the way place in the garage. Put some mothballs under the seat in you are worried about mice. Cover your scooter with a breathable cover to keep snow and debris off of it.
Don’t take the cover off till they sweep up the winter street gravel. While it provides traction for cars, it’s extremely hazardous to two wheelers.
It’s sad to say farewell to the summer scooting season. Winterizing your scooter will make it less painful come spring. Be kind to your scooter and it will provide reliable transportation for years.
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