Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Common Problems and Complaints of Modern Vespa & Piaggio Scooters. RECALLS too!
The LX150 was somewhat problematic at first due to frequent dead batteries, fuel gauge never reading accurately and to a much lesser extent, fouled spark plugs. When the LX150 came out, it had a "small" YB9B battery installed, this battery was later replaced by the much more powerful YTX12BS. Which fixed the problem. If you have an early LX150 and the battery has been replaced MAKE SURE you have the correct plastic battery tray underneath to avoid the battery squashing or rubbing through wiring insulation. The wrong wire touching the frame can cause the wiring harness to melt, catch fire. Inaccurate fuel gauges upset MANY customers but Vespa never issued a fix and left the explaining to the dealership or, in my former employers case, left the explaining to the mechanic (me). Anyway, develop a relationship with your LX150, pick a day, once a week, to top off the tank, record the mileage, record how much fuel it takes to fill the tank and you'll soon figure out if you're refilling too soon/late. If that's too complicated for you, rely on the low fuel light, when it starts to flicker start thinking about finding a gas station, when it is on solid, GET TO A GAS STATION! Fouled spark plugs are a rare problem caused by shipping LX's originally destined for hot climates to cold climates. If you live in a cooler climate you want to have a Champion RG6YC. Hot climates use an NGK. The "clicking" front brake is a non issue, caused by the holes drilled in the rotor. Still, new Vespa owners are often concerned about this noisy brake. Finally, here in San Francisco, we occasionally have noisy, groaning clutches (driven pulley assembly) caused by getting overheated going up our very steep hills at a slow speed or in stop and start uphill traffic. Again, this is not a safety or reliability issue. An annoyance yes, but nothing to be concerned about. Customers often ask me what the fix for this is. I tell them the clutch pucks and drum can be de-glazed but the noise will come back as soon as the clutch gets hot again. I used to tell them to avoid steep hills but it's near impossible here in San Francisco.
The GT250 has had issues with the fuel pump but the most common problem is the voltage regulator. A healthy charging system puts out 13v-15v. When the voltage regulator fails, the voltage can spike to 26v. This will cook the battery, cause bulbs to blow and the fuel pump to knock loudly inside the gas tank. It's an expensive fix and a fairly common one. There was a recall on SOME GTS250's. It replaced the exhaust manifold. Some GTS's developed exhaust leaks and hot exhaust gasses would melt the rear brake hose. Contact a dealer to see if your GTS250 needs the recall performed. "Recall 07V-253 GTS250ie Exhaust System Repair" This recall affected less than 3000 GTS scooters.
The GTS300 had an early fix because of incorrect fuel pump wiring harnesses. So far, the 300 is proving to be another bulletproof Vespa.
The PIAGGIO FLY is actually a very well built scooter, the only problems I have encountered on FLY's are problematic carburetors and premature leakage from the front suspension. Other than that the FLY is a solid well built scooter.
Posted by t.c. at 11:17 AM