Scooter Ignition Problems

Written by tom lutzenberger
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Scooter Ignition Problems
Vintage scooters frequently have problems with starting because many used a non-electronic ignition system. (scooter image by Oleg Tarasov from

Scooter ignition problems frequently are caused by an interruption in the basic combustion process of the engine. The basic ingredients of ignition include fuel, oxygen and a spark. If one of the ingredients is missing, deficient or blocked, ignition won't occur. However, a few basic areas can be checked to help solve the problem.

Fuel Flow

Fuel on a scooter gets blocked or restricted in a few key areas. Without proper flow, the engine won't run because it won't have an energy source. Possible problem areas include a kinked or blocked fuel hose, sediment stuck in the carburettor that blocks jets or valves, or a gummed up fuel valve in the gas tank.

Bad Spark

Ignition spark on a scooter occurs via a spark plug. As spark occurs, it creates a small, short-term electrical arc inside the cylinder chamber. Combined with air and fuel, this turns into combustion. An oily or sooty plug tip, stained from burnt carbon, performs poorly. Replacement is cheap and easy.

Dirty Air Filter

Similar to fuel and spark, air provides the last critical ingredient to the scooter ignition. If the air filter remains gummed up, less than necessary air is available to the engine. It results is the presence of too much fuel, and the scooter engine floods. The spark plug gets fouled and can't ignite.

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