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How to Install an Ignition Switch on a Scooter

Updated March 23, 2017

Installing a new scooter ignition switch can be particularly helpful if your old unit is starting to wiggle around, or if your key is worn down. Additionally, most new switches typically come with multiple key copies. So if your old unit is down to the last key, a replacement might be a good idea. The switch-out process is not hard. It can be done in 10 to 15 minutes with the right tools.

Refer to the wiring diagrams and reference manuals for your model scooter. Confirm whether your scooter uses a 4-pole or 8-pole ignition switch in its electrical system. Purchase the correct replacement switch for your scooter from a scooter dealer or parts shop.

Use a screwdriver to either remove the screws holding the top cover of your scooter headset on, or to release the headlight frame to access the headset inside (it depends on your scooter design). Remove the securing screws and carefully remove the headset top or headlight frame. Disconnect any electrical wiring, making sure to remember what colour goes to what connection.

Locate the ignition switch by where it sits in relation to where you insert your ignition key to start the scooter. Carefully disconnect the wiring that goes to the old switch. If you pull too hard, you might strip wires from the connectors. Firmly grab the retaining cap on the outside of the headset attached to the switch. Try to unscrew it by hand.

Use an adjustable wrench and towel if the retaining cap will not unscrew. Hold the switch body with your other hand to keep it still while turning the cap. Pull the cap off when it is loose. Pull the ignition switch into the internal headset cavity, then pull it out.

Remove the retaining cap from your new ignition switch and insert the new switch where the old one was installed. Secure it with the new retaining cap and twist it tight. Reconnect the wiring by colour and position to the new switch. Refer to your wiring diagrams if you forgot the correction connections.

Reconnect the headset or headlight assembly and secure them with screws again, using the Phillips screwdriver. Insert the ignition key into the new switch and test that it works properly, connecting electrical circuits and then allowing the scooter engine to start.

Tip

If you can't remember the wiring position and you don't have a wiring diagram handy, try finding your model scooter's wiring on the Internet.

Warning

Do not tighten the securing cap too far. Most switches are made of plastic, which can strip if over-tightened.

Things You'll Need

  • Wiring diagrams for your model scooter
  • Replacement ignition switch
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Adjustable pliers
  • Shop rag
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About the Author

Since 2009 Tom Lutzenberger has written for various websites, covering topics ranging from finance to automotive history. Lutzenberger works in public finance and policy and consults on a variety of analytical services. His education includes a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science from Saint Mary's College and a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from California State University, Sacramento.