My vehicle engine is running but it does not move - what is wrong?
If you have an automatic transmission (CVT), it usually means that the BELT has broken. It is located in the back, left side of the engine along with the variator and clutch.
The belt MUST be replaced with the exact replacement!
You should also perform other maintenance prior to belt replacement, else the new belt may not last more than a few miles.
What is a solenoid?
The solenoid is an electrical relay that has the capability of passing HIGH CURRENT levels from the battery to the starter. The solenoid is activated either by applying 12 VDC voltage thru the start switch, OR by grounding the opposite side of the relay.
The starter is the most "power hungry" device in a vehicle so an external relay (solenoid) must be used to pass the voltage to the starter while attempting to start, and isolating it at other times.
Does my scooter have transmission fluid?
YES indeed it does.
Most 49.5, 150, and 250cc scooters have the drain and fill bolts inside the transmission cover on the right, rear of the engine.
It probably uses 75W to 85W GEAR LUBE (in the manual it might say 5W or 10W30 but it means METRIC weights so DO NOT use regular oil in the transmission!) It is available from Avantis and typically uses a few ounces in a 49.5cc engine. Fill the top hole until it starts to run over.
How can I improve performance on my scooter, trike, or go-kart?
Most engines are manufactured for median characteristics therefore some performance gains may be made by increasing intake air flow (change filter type) carburetion (increasing jet size), and in the case of CVT (automatic transmissions) by fine tuning the weights in the driven pulley (variator) and possibly by changing to a racing clutch or changing clutch springs. Hi-Performance CDI's can also increase power by not limiting the engine's rpm speed to the factory setting. IN MOST CASES making these changes resultt in minimal (10%) change in speed but typically DO provide smoother power transfer and power across a bigger curve.
What is a CDI?
The CDI is a Capacitive Discharge Ignition box that performs multiple tasks. It is the PRIMARY item that changes the TIMING of your engine as speed increases or decreases. It is sent electronic pulses from the "pulse or pickup" coil upon every revolution of the engine's crankshaft, and in turn, fires the ignition coil to run the spark plug. The CDI also is supplied a charging voltage from the STATOR (magneto) to charge the internal capacitor. The CDI is usually a small "black box" with one or two connectors (or maybe have wire leads coming out). High-Performance CDI boxes are typically programmed for a higher top RPM and a better curve of power. Racing CDIs are typically PROGRAMMABLE by the user for the type of power needed.
What is a STATOR?
The stator is the equivalent to the alternator in your car, except that, while your alternator is turned by a belt, the stator is mounted stationary at one end of the engines crankshaft and a flywheel with magnets turn around the outside of the stator.
Typically, the stator has 2 or 3 coils of wire (windings) and supplies power for the CDI, lights, and to charge the battery. The pulse coil (or coils) is usually located within the stator housing on scooters, quads, and dirt bike but is often on the clutch side of motorcycles.
How do I know if my battery is charging?
With a multimeter on the 20 Volts DC scale, check the battery voltage with the engine running. It should read between 13.6 and 14.2 volts direct current (DC).
IF it reads lower, your stator or voltage regulator is defective or there is a wiring problem (loose connector) OR the FUSE may be blown in the charging circuit.
IF it reads higher, most likely your VOLTAGE REGULATOR is defective.
Failure to correct either problem will lead to battery failure.
Why does my scooter/atv/etc blow out light bulbs?
Most products use one of the stator windings to supply voltage to all the lamps in the system. The lamps keep the stator under load to keep the voltage at about 12-14 Volts AC.
If one bulb burns out, it removes the load and causes the voltage to rise, subsequentally burning out additional bulbs.
Many products have a 7-25 ohm RESISTOR that keeps a load on the stator. Failure of the resistor allows the stator to put out as high as 24-28 volts AC (and burns the bulbs out rapidly).
CHANGE BURNED OUT BULBS IMMEDIATELY to save additional costs and bulb damage.
What kind of oil should I use?
First off, car oil is NOT suitable for use in most recreational vehicles. Today's cars are low compression and run at much lower temperatures (about 195 degrees) than do scotters, atv's, dirt bikes, etc. Car oil is formulated for CARS.
Motorcycle or ATV oil is formulated for higher temperatures, do not produce ashes when the burn, AND are also lubricating your engine as well as the CLUTCHES and often the engine brake and brake discs!
In general motorcycle and atv oil are very similar. Manufacturer brands of oil are no better than off-the-shelf oils by the major suppliers (and you can bet that one of them makes it anyway so save your money).
IF you are racing a 2-stroke engine, you should stick with one of the specialized oils made from castor beans (yes, castor oil) or a high-quality synthetic.
Should I use synthetic oil?
This question craetes a number of additional questions since there are a number of variables.
IN GENERAL it is not advisable to run synthetic oil until your engine is "broken in". The time/miles will vary by how you ride and other factors.
Most engines will benefit from synthetic oil after it is broken in, however, many motorcycles seem to "clatter" more and do not shift as smoothly with synthetic oil.
The best bet is to "try it". Watch for leaks, listen for sounds, and check for smoothness, Theoretically, synthetic oil should provide better lubrication, last longer between changes, and make your engine last longer. Factually, some engines prefer the straight stuff.
My spark plug has no fire-what is wrong?
There are at least 5 items that must all work properly in order to get "spark" in a CDI type ignition sysytem.
The STATOR produces AC voltage to charge the CDI's capacitor, the PULSE COIL provides the electrical timing pulse, the CDI fire the IGNITION COIL which, in turn, supplies > 20,000 volts to the SPARK PLUG.
The stator can be checked (with engine cranking) with a multimeter on the AC scale and typically produces 6-13 volts AC to the CDI. You MIGHT be able to rough-test the pulse coil with an LED test light. The LED should flash. There is no good way for a novice to test the CDI. The ignition coil may be tested for continuity on the OHMS scale of the multimeter (about 10-12,000 ohms from the spark plug lead to the ground side of coil, and 3-6 ohms across input of coil.
Why can I can kick-start my vehicle but the electric start doesn't work?
Kick-starting a vehicle simply by=passes the battery and solenoid relay.
1. Check the battery voltage.
2. If battery OK, locate the solenoid and "short" out the two larger terminals with a screwdriver, making sure it does not get hot and burn you. IF the starter activates, it is either a defective START SWITCH or defective or loose wiring.
3. IF battery voltage drops below 10 VDC while starter is engaged, battery is discharged or defective.