You should change your scooters oil every 1500 to 2000 miles. The manufacturer will have their own recommendation on the frequency of oil changes, so it’s always a good idea to reference the owners manual. This info should be located under the “maintenance schedule” section. Also, if your scooter has sat for an extended period of time, you may want to change the oil regardless of mileage.
What Else You’ll Learn In This Article
I’m a passionate scooter enthusiast. I find any topic related to scooters and moped interesting (yes, even something as “boring” as changing oil). I’m by no means an expert, just simply wanting to share with you some of the best practices I know.
Here’s what I’ll cover:
- The importance of change your scooters oil on a regular basis.
- Compare the prices of doing it yourself or bringing it to a service shop.
- Which type of oil I recommend and why it’s important for your scooters performance.
Benefits Of Regular Oil Changes
Oil changes are probably one of the best things you can do to avoid breakdowns and repairs. Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways to do to extend the life of your scooter and keep it running smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Here are just a few benefits of regular oil changes:
- Get better performance out of your scooter: Scooter motors have a lot of moving parts, and keeping those moving parts clean and lubricated will make your scooter run better.
- Removes buildup of dirt and debris: Small bits of dirt and debris are bound to get in your engine one way or another. If you’ve ever seen the difference in color of the oil being drain and the fresh oil going in you’ll know what I mean.
- Friction kills gas mileage: As you may know, scooters get amazing gas mileage, but if doing something as simple as an oil change gets you even better gas mileage, it’s totally worth it. Plus, engine parts tend to last longer with proper lubrication. This will lead to fewer repairs and ultimately save you money.
- It’s better for the environment: People tend to fall into either one of two camps. Some argue more frequent oil changes lead to more use and oil. The others think a cleaner, more efficient burning engine is better for the environment. I agree with the latter.
Did you know?
Scooters don’t have traditional oil filters like you might find in a car. Rather they use a small metal mesh screen designed to catch larger pieces of debris.
Do-It-Yourself Price vs Service Shop Price
Do-It-Yourself Price Est: $7 -$12 per oil change.
Do-It-Yourself details: Even if you’re not normally a do-it-yourselfer, you’re in luck. Changing the oil on a scooter is very easy. Unlike a car, you don’t have to crawl under the thing to get any work done. Both the drain plug and the location of the oil filter are easily accessible. Plus, you only need a few basic tools to get the job done.
List of one-time purchases (assuming you don’t already own them):
- Low profile oil drip pan – Example: OEMTOOLS 87017 Low Profile Oil Drain Pan 2.8 quart @ $9.99
- Long narrow funnel – Example: CICMOD 9″ Long Neck Oil Filler Funnel @ $8.99
- Basic socket wrench kit
List of per oil change purchases:
- Oil – Example: Maxima Scooter 4T Oil – 10W40 – 1L. 11901 @ $14.99
You’ll notice I’m not including the price of the oil filter here. I’m doing this because it’s a small thimble-shaped metal screen you can easily clean using carb and choke cleaner and reuse.
I found this great and kinda entertaining video on YouTube. He does a great job of explaining everything I talked about above.
Service Shop Price Est: $25 – $45 per oil change.
I called a couple of service shops in my area to get a quote on oil changes. I found the average price to be around $35 to $45. I live in California, so I was thinking this was probably higher than the national average. To see if this was true, I called a few different shops back in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM. Sure enough, they gave me quotes in the $25 – $30 range.
At first, I thought these prices were a little expensive for an oil change. But after chatting with one of the service techs he let me know their service package included more than just an oil change. They also did a front to back safely check. He said they looked at the scooters hardware, suspension, did value adjustments if needed, and made sure all electrical switches were working.
Which Type of Oil You Should Use
Regardless if you choose to do it yourself or bring it into a shop, my recommendation is the same. Buy the best oil you can afford. I personally use a synthetic blend or a full synthetic. While these options may be more expensive than a conventional oil, I think it’s a small price to pay in the long run.
Here is a list of some of the benefits of synthetic oil:
- Fewer impurities: As oil moves through the motor it’s bound to pick up deposits regardless of which type of oil you use. But by using a synthetic oil over conventional oil, you reduce the likelihood of sludge formation.
- Lasts longer: Synthetic oil is better at resisting breakdown from heat and friction.
- Less burn off: This may surprise you, but engine heat can cause oil to “boil” and evaporate. The properties of synthetic oil help prevent this evaporation.
My personal oil selection thought process:
I use different oil weights depending on the time of year. In the summer I use a heavier 10w40 and in the winter I use a lighter 10w30.
Because the 10w40 is a little thicker it helps the oil stick to the internal parts of the engines at higher temperatures. This ensures things stay nice and lubricated on hot summer days.
In the winter I use the 10w30 as it does a better job of lubricating the motor when its cold.
Oil is cheap. Scooters are expensive.
Doing the simple things to extend your scooters life means more fun on the open road!