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Vespa GTV250ie
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Hi there,

I was riding home and all the sudden my speed dropped from 80km/h to 50km/h. Then I noticed with throttle my exhaust sounded loud like a lawnmower. I pulled over and I smelled like burning. No smoke. I tried to start my Vespa and it won't start.

Any suggestions what it might be? I noticed the low oil light is on for the last 100km if that helps.
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Did you check the oil level? If not, I'd check it now. Let us know.
Miguel
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How do I check the oil? If it's empty, what do I need to use exactly to fill it? I'm not a mechanic. Could an empty tank result in it not starting like an empty gas tank?
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@miguel avatar
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To check the oil, go to this video, skip to 6:43.He just changed the oil and is checking the level. The oil dip stick is on the left side of the bike, just in front of the rear wheel. You'll see it. Do you have oil on the dip stick? If so that's good. If not, that could mean bad.Oil lubricates the engine parts. Without oil, the friction between the part is pretty high and will heat up quickly. When it gets too hot, some of the parts begin to warp and can cause severe, perhaps fatal damage to the engine.

Do your lights some on when you turn the key to on? If no, you have an electrical problem. When you say, the engine won't start, does it sound like its cranking and turning and just not catching or not cranking at all. I'd stop trying to start the bike till you get a little further down the trroubleshooting path.

Also, when you turn the key to the on position and before hitting the starter button, do you hear a quiet hum for about 1 second? That's the fuel pump. If you don't hear that, then there's something wrong with the fuel system. You do have gas in the tank, right?

Miguel
⚠️ Last edited by Miguel on UTC; edited 1 time
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Re: Vespa GTV250 problem
jsinger21 wrote:
Any suggestions what it might be? I noticed the low oil light is on for the last 100km if that helps.
I guess I'll have to say it. It's likely your piston seized. If you don't know how to check the oil, you probably need to take the safety course. If you do, write down all your questions and address them at the class.
Hope I'm wrong about the engine seize.
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Headache emoticon

That may be an expensive lesson....
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Here is what I know. There is a full tank of gas. The lights turn on. When I push the ignition, it makes a click and tries to fire for 1 second and stops. I cannot do it again. There is a click now.

I cannot check or locate where the oil stick is. What sort of damage am I looking at? Can this type of stuff be fixed? I assume I'm out of motor oil since the light was on. What does it require if my piston is damaged?

The closest mechanic is 2km away.
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Re: Vespa GTV250 problem
jsinger21 wrote:
I noticed the low oil light is on for the last 100km if that helps.
That is NOT a low oil quantity light - it's a low oil PRESSURE light. If it goes on, you have such low oil pressure that a seized engine will happen shortly after. To manage to go 1km, let alone 100, is quite an achievement!

Your symptoms sound very expensive.
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Oil dipstick is on the left side of my GTS 250. Unscrew it, wipe it clean, screw it back in and unscrew it and check to see if it's in the hash marks.

Sounds like you ran it out of oil and seized the engine. Going to have to rebuild the motor or swap in another motor. Adding oil now probably won't fix it.

Pic of where the dipstick is.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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Unfreaking believable
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(Edit: yikes no I don't think this is a troll post.)
⚠️ Last edited by Juan_ORhea on UTC; edited 2 times
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Changed the oil and no change. My Vespa is over 12 years old. I do not know if financially it makes sense to rebuild the engine or buy a replacement Vespa? Will there be any value for a trade in?

The engine makes a click if that helps.
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The closest mechanic is 2km away? From your home, or your scooter?

Could you talk to that mechanic about what's wrong with your scooter? Perhaps push the scooter over there if it's only 2km?

Even if the mechanic is not a Vespa dealer/service they could probably diagnose a seized engine.

Good luck!
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@miguel avatar
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Jsinger: Others here are probably right about you "seizing" (said seez-ing) your engine. I thought that too when I first read your post but thought it worthwhile doing a bit more troubleshooting before going down that path. What "seize" means is that without enough oil to lubricate all the parts that have relatively high friction build up heat to such high temperature that they warped and the parts no longer fit together. This prevents the parts from moving. So when you tried to start the engine, it couldn't move. There are different parts of the engine that could have seized. I'm not sure you can tell without taking it apart.

As JimC said, the oil light is really an oil pressure light. The oil pressure from the oil pump pushes oil into areas of the engine that need lubrication. Low oil pressure is caused by not having enough oil in the engine or a failed oil pump. Either way you will cause damage if you keep running the engine. The action you should take when the oil light comes on, is get out of traffic ASAP and shut off the engine as quickly as possible, even if you are just a block from you house. Time is critical. Then you need to check the oil level and, if low, add oil before running again. If the oil is not low, you need more knowledge to figure out the problem but whatever you do, don't run the engine. Many of us check the oil level before going out for a ride or weekly.

Meanwhile, if you asked us if you should change the oil to see if it would start, we'd have told you not to. It wouldn't make any difference at this point. We could have saved you that step. All the evidence we've gotten from you implies that your engine is "cooked". You'll have to ask the dealer or other mechanic how much it will cost to fix the engine or replace it and make a decision between that and buying new/used bike.

Meanwhile, it would be worthwhile for you to watch some videos to understand how internal combustion engines work so you have a better sense of vehicle maintenance in the future. Its information you'll carry with you the rest of your life.

I hope that helps. Please feel free to post back here is we can offer more help. Ignore the negative/unhelpful comments above. It is the Internet after all.

Best
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I think a pre ride check list is in order for the OP.

Especially if the machine is not used daily, even then a few simple checks would be a start.

As it is now it could be any number of things . From the sound of the OP's post he/she needs to get the machine to a competent mechanic before any more damage is done.
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DandyDoug wrote:
I think a pre ride check list is in order for the OP.

Great suggestion!! Here's a thread on a pre-ride checklist
from 11 years ago.

Miguel
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Re: Vespa GTV250 problem
jsinger21 wrote:
Hi there,

I was riding home and all the sudden my speed dropped from 80km/h to 50km/h. Then I noticed with throttle my exhaust sounded loud like a lawnmower. I pulled over and I smelled like burning. No smoke. I tried to start my Vespa and it won't start.

Any suggestions what it might be? I noticed the low oil light is on for the last 100km if that helps.
Not saying it's not a seize, but a little more info is needed. 80/50/loud noise/smell/tried to start, wait a minute-what? When did it stop?
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Re: Vespa GTV250 problem
jsinger21 wrote:
Hi there,

I was riding home and all the sudden my speed dropped from 80km/h to 50km/h. Then I noticed with throttle my exhaust sounded loud like a lawnmower. I pulled over and I smelled like burning. No smoke. I tried to start my Vespa and it won't start.

Any suggestions what it might be? I noticed the low oil light is on for the last 100km if that helps.
Jsinger, I'm sorry to hear you have an engine problem. As the guys are saying, it's likely to be bad damage to your engine. Strongly suggest a trained mechanic checks the bike over for you to ascertain how much damage you have done to your engine.

My questions is: When you saw the oil light on why didn't you stop and check the oil level? That light is not an oil level light, it indicates if the oil pressure is good or bad. If it's on it means something is wrong. Had you stopped as soon as the light came on your engine would probably still be good. You could most likely have just topped up the oil and everything would be ok.

As the rider/owner of the machine it's vital you know the basics of how to look after your bike. Not knowing something as basic as checking the oil level and what the red light on the dash means is pretty dangerous to you and those around you. It may not feel like it but you have been lucky not to have had an accident. Please do study your owners manual on basic bike checks BEFORE you ride again. I wish you well and lots of luck. If the forum can help you, it will.
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how does one know how to post here but not use google or youtube to find a dipstick,

Dipstick on that bike you are riding is near the seat possibly on the seat but more than likely down by the engine below the seat behind your left leg if you had a passenger on the bike near where you would find the passengers ankle , behind the ankle. A little black or grey looking thing that you twist to open.
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I'm not surprised changing the oil didn't fix it. I am surprised that nobody has said Seafoam might...

Just so you know, there is nothing you can add to the oil or gas that is going to fix it.

Before you start tearing into it, get someone who knows what they are doing to put some sort of penetrating oil into the spark plug hole, then try to break the engine loose at the variator. If you can get it to spin again, let it turn over about thirty seconds with the spark plug out. But stop if it sounds like the parts inside are hitting one another. Then put the plug back in. It might actually run, sometimes for a surprisingly long time, even though it's probably going to be a bit noisier, and a lot slower than before.
If you can get it to run, you might be able to hear whether or not the bottom end is damaged. If the bottom end is fine, you might be able to repair it with used parts fairly cheaply, depending on what seized.
⚠️ Last edited by Motovista on UTC; edited 1 time
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huntbchsocal wrote:
how does one know how to post here but not use google or youtube to find a dipstick,

Dipstick on that bike you are riding is near the seat possibly on the seat but more than likely down by the engine below the seat behind your left leg if you had a passenger on the bike near where you would find the passengers ankle , behind the ankle. A little black or grey looking thing that you twist to open.
If Piaggio had put that information in the owner's manual, this could have been avoided.
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Motovista wrote:
huntbchsocal wrote:
how does one know how to post here but not use google or youtube to find a dipstick,

Dipstick on that bike you are riding is near the seat possibly on the seat but more than likely down by the engine below the seat behind your left leg if you had a passenger on the bike near where you would find the passengers ankle , behind the ankle. A little black or grey looking thing that you twist to open.
If Piaggio had put that information in the owner's manual, this could have been avoided.
It may have been in the manual. The manual for my Primavera has detailed instructions for checking the oil. I suspect the OP got the GTV 250 used, without a manual.

MV'ers, when we sell a scooter how about we ask the buyer if they know the basic maintenance routine, and whether they know about pertinent laws, safety courses etc.? 8)
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Go
Na, Once you have the money why should you care ?

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I sleep better at night knowing I have done my best to help answer any questions a buyer of my machines might ask.

I always convey a folder with every maintenance and service repair order , a copy of any accessories I have added. Also any magazine articles pertaining to the machine that I have thought relevant .

I'm happy to report that I have never had a buyer come back with any complaints that I took advantage of them.
Have also met up with some down the road and was pleased with what they did to the machine to make it theirs.

What goes around comes around .
Motorcycling , scootering, and collector cars all revolve in a small world .
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Dot
I'm being quite flippant but I'm not sure that it's the sellers responsibility to enlighten the new owner how to check the oil, check the tyres and fluids etc.

By all means hand over the history but the rest ?

Bill x
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I've sold a few scooters. If the buyer is knowledgeable I'll talk about the bike's history; if they're new I'll point out the basics. Like DandyDoug, I sleep better.
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Re: Dot
Bill Dog wrote:
I'm being quite flippant but I'm not sure that it's the sellers responsibility to enlighten the new owner how to check the oil, check the tyres and fluids etc.

By all means hand over the history but the rest ?

Bill x
No, but I think you have a moral obligation to ensure that the purchaser has a rudimentary understanding of basic maintenance. You know straightaway if an interested buyer has knowledge or not of simple bike mechanics.

I would like to think that if my son was considering buying a motorcycle off a stranger without me being there to guide him, that the seller would provide him with a little bit of their wisdom.

Like DandyDoug and JKJ-FZ6, I have a conscience.
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Re: Dot
Touring300 wrote:
Bill Dog wrote:
I'm being quite flippant but I'm not sure that it's the sellers responsibility to enlighten the new owner how to check the oil, check the tyres and fluids etc.

By all means hand over the history but the rest ?

Bill x
No, but I think you have a moral obligation to ensure that the purchaser has a rudimentary understanding of basic maintenance. You know straightaway if an interested buyer has knowledge or not of simple bike mechanics.

I would like to think that if my son was considering buying a motorcycle off a stranger without me being there to guide him, that the seller would provide him with a little bit of their wisdom.

Like DandyDoug and JKJ-FZ6, I have a conscience.
Personally I disagree. If someone is buying a vehicle off of Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or similar, from a private party, the seller has NO obligation to ensure anything related to how the buyer will use it.

That's what dealers are for. And really, with regard to maintenance, even a dealer would be reasonable in saying 'just bring it to us at the recommended times and mileages and we'll take care of you'.

Seriously, how many sellers are ignorant of these things?
If you want a warranty, buy new from a dealer.
If you want a deal, buy used from private party.

PS: I also have a conscience, but I also acknowledge that I don't know what the other guy doesn't know.
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A horse to water.

When I tried to sell my Honda, I included me doing the next two services. I'm glad I didn't sell it and I've done 4 services on it since then. Some of the questions Craigslist buyers ask are very comical
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I am completely upfront and honest about a vehicle when I sell it. I wouldn't screw someone who knows where I live. THAT'S what trading in to a dealer is for. Razz emoticon
But It's really none of my business as a seller to interrogate a buyer and try to figure out what they do not know. If someone asks me some questions, I'll go down that road and do my best to answer those questions. I don't want to be in a situation where I explain a half dozen things to the buyer and a month later a seventh thing breaks, and he comes back complaining I didn't explain "everything" to him. I've had one or two buyers who I felt didn't know a whole heck of a lot about scooters but they were also not the chatty type and they just wanted to get on their way. So I then advised them to thoroughly read the manual and also recommended they buy a Haynes or Clymer book.
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