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Suddenly Buddy won’t start. Need help urgently if possible

 
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phenomenalworld
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Joined: 27 Jul 2018
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Location: Los Angeles, United States
2012 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:16 pm    Post subject: Suddenly Buddy won’t start. Need help urgently if possible Reply with quote

Hi there. My buddy 125 suddenly will not start. At first I thought it was the battery, even though, thinking back, the lights and horn worked fine. So I plugged in my Battery Tender Junior, and it went from a solid red light to a blinking green light. In mid charge, I tried to start it. There was SLIGHTLY more of a “turnover“, but but it failed to start. Then I plugged the charger back in, and since then I can only get a solid red light on the charger, which means that it is actually not charging anymore (there is not enough voltage??). There’s something wrong with the battery PERHAPS. But THE Buddy not starting must not be an issue with the battery, because I then remembered to try to jumpstart it (no working battery required, right?), and it will not jump start at all. Prior to this, the scooter has been running fine for months. It’s gotten colder here in LA in the last month, which I presume is the reason why I would need to let it run and rev it some before riding it lately, otherwise it might conch get out at a red light. There was also this issue that began whereby the first time I tried to start it, there was always just the initial sound of engagement, the turn of some mechanical part, and then nothing. But the second time I would try to start it, it started fine right away. I am explaining all of the above stuff in case it might reveal to the right scooter enthusiast/detective reading this post what may be wrong with the scooter. I have unfortunately rode it to my father’s house, and now I am stuck here without a means to exit. I need my scooter for work, it is my only vehicle, so I’m hoping somebody might have an answer a clue on here soon that might spare me from having to cough up a couple hundred dollars for a mechanic to come out and look at it. Thanks.
,
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johnk
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2012 Stella 4T

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not familiar with the Buddy, but I have a few questions that might help you get an answer:

When you say it won't start, do you mean the starter motor won't turn over, or the engine won't start? If the starter motor doesn't turn while you're pressing the starter button, it's an electrical issue. If the starter motor does turn, but the engine doesn't start, it still might be an electrical issue, but not a dead battery.

How many miles are on the scooter?

In any case, in the interest of eliminating all variables, I'd get the battery fully charged. And when you're trying to get it started, be sure not to leave the key in the "on" position for more than a minute or two, or your battery will die again.

Good luck!
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phenomenalworld
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Location: Los Angeles, United States
2012 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,
Thanks for the words.
When I turn the key, there is the slightest electrical movement (the starter motor?), but even that stops happening by the third time the second or third time I hit the ignition. Certainly the engine doesn’t turn over. So this means it’s electrical? But then why won’t the kick start work either?

This is 2012 Scooter with only 3100 miles on it.

As I write this, the battery tender junior is blinking red (whereas before, for a long time, it was just stuck on red), meaning it’s supposedly charging, but it’s been like that for a few hours, and usually it just took 35 minutes for the whole thing to charge. So maybe this battery has already gone to battery heaven?
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johnk
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2012 Stella 4T

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah—I thought you meant you were jump starting it from another vehicle (or the Battery Tender somehow). I would expect even a scooter with a dead battery to kick-start, but I'm not sure that applies to the Buddy.

The way your starter motor is acting definitely sounds like a low battery. (There might be another issue, too, but let's not worry about that yet.)

As for the Battery Tender, a blinking red light actually means it's not charging. Here's a copy of the manual. Unplug the whole thing and reconnect it. Steady red light means it's charing and low, blinking green light means it's mostly charged (should be good to go), and steady green light means it's full.
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charlie55
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How old is the battery?

If the scoot's cables are connected to the battery, try charging the battery with them disconnected. If there's no difference in how it charges, then most likely it's shot. If it charges normally with the cables disconnected, then you have an electrical problem in the scooter itself.

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phenomenalworld
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2012 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie, I’m a newbie to the world of mechanics. Can you clarify what you mean by the “scooters cables”? Thanks.
Also, John AND Charlie, The fact that the kickstart suddenly won’t work either, wouldn’t that suggest that there is a problem with the starter itself? Even so, that cannot explain why the battery won’t take a charge, right?
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charlie55
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wires/cables that are connected to the battery when it's in the scooter.

And again - how old is the battery???

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phenomenalworld
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2012 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie, sorry, as mentioned the scooter is from 2012 with 3100 miles on it. I bought it used 4 months ago. I can only guess that it’s the original battery.

I see, the wires connected to the battery. Unfortunately I have with me only the cigarette lighter adapter from battery tender Junior. In other words, I don’t have the clip-on chargers to test directly with the battery.


Last edited by phenomenalworld on Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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johnk
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2012 Stella 4T

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best-case scenario, the battery is just low, and charging it will fix this problem.

If your Battery Tender cigarette adapter doesn't have enough juice (I'm not sure how that model works), you can always jump-start a scooter from a car with normal jumper cables. Do not start the car, and connect to the scooter's negative terminal, then the car's negative terminal, then the scooter's positive terminal, then the car's positive terminal. Again, do not start the car! Try the scooter's starter. If you get the scooter running, disconnect the cables in the same order.

Of course, if the battery is just low, or even permanently dead, I would still expect the kickstart to work. But maybe the Buddy can't always be kickstarted with a low/dead battery—can any Buddy expert confirm one way or the other?

Second-best-case scenario, the battery is permanently dead, and just needs to be replaced. But then the same question applies—shouldn't it still kickstart?

Third-best-case scenario, there is a non-battery problem (possibly in addition to a low/dead battery), which could be any number of different things, and you would need advice from someone who knows the Buddy. But, again, let's rule out the best and second-best first.


Last edited by johnk on Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
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RoaringTodd
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to be that guy... but...

Is the kill switch off?

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cummingsjc
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RoaringTodd wrote:
Sorry to be that guy... but...

Is the kill switch off?


+1! I did that the other day. I was going over my Black Cat 50 at night with my 19 year old son who might get into scootering. I had cranked the bike with the key several times and it ran smooth. While reviewing the controls, I demonstrated how the Kill switch works. A few moments later, after talking about the pros and cons of the side stand versus the center stand, I decided to show him how the kickstart works. I tried it about 6 times and nothing happened. I was a bit flustered until I remembered that we had been using the Kill switch. After turning it back on, the bike cranked first kick. Embarassed

I never use it on my scooters, but my wife does at times which has stumped me when I was starting or riding her scoots. Also, I have had a few experiences where I think either well-meaning motorcyclists or pranksters have flicked my Kill switch to "Off" while I was in a store. That is exceedingly irritating to say the least. Livid
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k1dude
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the battery is at least 6 years old, it's likely kaput.

A bad battery can be fully charged and you won't know it's bad without doing a load test. Take it somewhere that can load test it for you.
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johnk
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k1dude: If the battery is permanently dead, would the Buddy still kickstart, assuming nothing else is wrong?
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cummingsjc
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theoretically, the Buddy should be able to be kickstarted even if the battery is bad. I am currently rebuilding a 2006 Buddy 125 and the battery was shot and the starter was bad until I took it apart and cleaned the inside yesterday. Prior to cleaning and reassembling the starter, the only way that I could get it to start was using the kickstart mechanism.
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k1dude
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the 125 can be kickstarted with a bad battery.

If the battery is less than 4 years old, it might still be good. Make sure you use a battery terminal brush to clean both the cable ends and terminals. Often there will be corrosion preventing a solid connection between the cable end and terminals.
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ucandoit
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The scooter should kick start even with a bad battery, but it can be hard sometimes. Make sure your key ignition is "on" and that the kill switch is in the right position. Press down gently on the kick start until you meet resistance, then kick it down hard. You may need to give it a little throttle. Repeat til it starts or doesn't. I find that sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's not.
One easy issue to rule out is good contact between the battery posts and the "terminal" end of the wires (one red, one black) that connect to each post. The terminal ends should be shiny silver but sometimes a dull corrosion builds up. Just to make sure this is not the problem: Use a phillips screwdriver and remove the black (negative) wire from its battery post and then remove the red (positive) wire from its post. Take a piece of sandpaper and shine up those two battery posts AND the ends of the two wires. You want those shiny, too. Then re-attach the red wire to its battery post, then re-attach the black neg. wire to its post, in that order. Make sure the screws are snug.
If you have a Battery Plus store or auto store nearby and can get there, remove the battery and take it to them. They will quickly tell you if the battery is shot or good. If it is good, they may charge it up for you. If not, you can buy a new one.
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dasscooter
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Replace your battery
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phenomenalworld
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2012 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow - thanks for all the input, guys. i been dealing with the chaos around not having a vehicle the past 24 hours thus haven’t been able to respond.
firstly, charlie, thanks much for the suggestion to hook the battery tender straight to the battery with scooter cables detached. i finally got back hone tonight with battery in tow (scooter is still at my father’s place) and plugged it straight into the tender with the clips. lo and behold, it has charged fully! now, according to your logic, this would mean i have an electric problem with the scooter itself. as mentioned before, i was trying to charge it using the cigarette lighter adaptor, which is all i had with me. so there’s the chance that something merely went wrong with that method - that the tender wasn’t able to communicate with the battery via that route. tomorrow i will bring the charged battery back to the scooter and try it out and see what’s what. hopefully it’ll start! but of course the mystery remains - why haven’t i been able to kickstart it?

having taken the battery out, i see it’s an EverStart PowerSport Battery, ES-4LBS, sold exclusively at Walmart, so it’s likely not the original battery….

john, i wasn’t able to organize a jumpstart.

todd and jc, definitely not the kill switch - i learned that lesson a few months already.

k1dude thanks for load test suggestion. today i ordered a new battery, so i’m just gonna install that one when it arrives, regardless of whether the scooter starts with the charged battery. still, i’ll bring the old battery to auto zone and have them give a diagnosis.

ucandoit, thanks for kick start tips. " sometimes it's easy and sometimes it's not.” i know, right? but i tried every which way with it yesterday and there was no signs of life.

i will report back here on what follows in these follies and frustrations and educations once i reinstall the old (charged) battery.
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cummingsjc
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The possibility exists that your starter needs to be taken apart and cleaned. There are some videos of this on YouTube. I am rebuilding a 2006 Buddy 125 that would not start with the key and so I cleaned the starter. The bike is running like a champ now.
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Point37
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this plus youtube on testing a battery...clean your battery terminals...maybe add some dielectric grease to the terminals...try start then try to kick start...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N9QW620/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B8n9arZVyM
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Stanza
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a 125 will kickstart without the battery even being in the bike. You can ride it around, having left the battery on the sidewalk, and all you'll lose is your horn and turn signals. If the bike won't kick start, not even a cough or a sputter, you may have more going on than just a battery concern. Obviously try that first, but you may need to take it in to the nearest shop for a quick check-up
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EricV
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2009 Buddy 150 St. Topez

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's clear you are not mechanically inclined, but that's ok, we are here to try and help.

You need to be a bit more clear when you share things, so that we can better help. Saying something "doesn't work" is not clear.

You said the kick starter "doesn't work". That is very vague.
Does it physically move thru the normal range of movement?

I have a Buddy 150 and am not familiar with the 125, so my responses are based on my knowledge of the 150. Please keep that in mind. I know some things are the same and others are different.

The key switch to on, then apply brake and push the starter button is my routine to start my Buddy. You have to have a brake, front or rear, applied to allow the starter to engage. There are electrical interlocks.

When you press the starter button, what happens? Just a click? Does the starter engage and turn over the engine?

If you are hearing a click or some turning of the starter, it's most likely a battery issue, as has been said. 6 years is a long time for a scooter battery to last, most are only rated for 3 years. Sometimes, with good care, they will last much, much longer.

You really need to charge the battery when it's very low with direct cables to the battery, i.e. with clips that go on the positive and negative posts of the battery. Charging the system thru the cig lighter port is not all that efficient due to the very small wires involved.

Also a note, when you do charge the battery via the cig port, or any other way, let it fully charge! Solid green light before you stop charging. This may take over night.

Pulling it off after only a short while just gave you a partial charge, which will more quickly run down and also damage the battery over time.

That you appear to have been putting the battery charger on in the past tells me the battery was/is weak to begin with. My Buddy will sit for over a month and fire right up w/o being on a battery tender.

Hopefully nothing more than the battery is the problem here, but following a diagnostic process and better describing what is actually happening when you do things will really help us help you.

Don't just throw parts and the scooter!! If by now you suspect the battery is the problem, remove it from the scooter and take it to an auto parts store. Ask them to charge and load test your battery to check if it's good or bad. This is FREE at most auto parts stores.

The Buddy battery is a common size and Auto parts stores, ACE hardware and Walmart will probably have one is stock. Shop around, (call for prices). Try to make sure you get an AGM battery. This is pretty standard now, but it will hold up a little better than older style lead acid batteries. AGM stands for Absorbent Glass Matt, which still has lead and acid, but doesn't slosh around, being absorbed into the glass matt. It is sealed and won't spill if you dump the scooter or lay it on it's side. Stores will know what AGM means in most cases and it will say AGM on the box.

Please report back if you solve your issue. Luck![/u]

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dasscooter
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That battery (4L) is for the 50cc, not the 125cc. The 125cc uses a 7A sized battery.
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k1dude
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'08 Orange Buddy 125

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As dassscooter pointed out, the previous owner put a 50cc battery into your 125cc scooter - probably to save money. It'll work, but you'll only have half the CCA available. So as the battery weakens with use and age, it likely won't have the power to crank the 125.

Your battery may even pass the load test and still not be able to turn over your 125 since it doesn't have enough power.

Buddy owners have been known to put even bigger batteries in their scooters, but never a smaller battery.
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phenomenalworld
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2012 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jc, will go to my father’s place where the scooter is hopefully later today. want to be armed with as much info (and possibly needed tools) before i go. also will take my battery to autozone for testing soon. i looked up clean scooter starter on youtube but actually could not find a straight-up cleaning tutorial - the results were mostly about replacing the starter, or in-depth repair work. if you can point me to cleaning instructional video, that’d be great.

eric, thanks for all yr input. yes, the kickstarter runs the range of normal movements. there is just no action, no hint of engagement. i wouldn’t identify myself as mechanicaly-inclined, but neither say i’m NOT mechanically inclined. have managed to take apart all the scooter's exterior to custom paint the whole scooter, replace various things like mirrors, oil and oil filter, misc headlamp parts in past 5 months of ownership. i definitely know how to start the thing. but when i press the starter, yes, a click, or maybe the beginnings of engagement sound, then pure silence. certainly does not turn over the engine.

classcooter and k1dude, thanks for pointing out that the current battery is for a 50cc. good to know! that wouldn’t be the first part the previous owner short-changed me on. as mentioned, i ordered a new battery, this one here to be specific:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mighty-Max-YTX7A-BS-GEL-Battery-Replacement-for-Buddy-125-Vino-125-People-S/382488248816?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

i don’t know if it’s AGM, eric, but seems like a decent battery with great reviews on amazon.


Last edited by phenomenalworld on Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:45 pm; edited 3 times in total
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EricV
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2009 Buddy 150 St. Topez

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

phenomenalworld wrote:
<snip>but neither say i’m NOT mechanically inclined.

Good to know! Clap Glad you know which end of the screwdriver to put in the screw. I try not to treat anyone poorly, but it helps do know their comfort zone.

<snip>
Quote:
i ordered a new battery, this one here to be specific:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mighty-Max-YTX7A-BS-GEL-Battery-Replacement-for-Buddy-125-Vino-125-People-S/382488248816?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

i don’t know if it’s AGM, eric, but seems like a decent battery with great reviews on amazon.


The seller is calling it a Maintenance Free Gel, but yes, it's an AGM or they wouldn't be able to ship it. True "Gel" batteries are very uncommon now.

Good job on ordering the correct battery for your 125. 105 CCAs will help a lot!

It's troublesome that your kick starter doesn't seem to be engaging. I've read that the 150 kick starters are prone to breakage, but not where they break. I push the magic button myself, so haven't ever kick started mine.

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JettaKnight
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is the PO took off the variator and didn't put back on that toothed ring... thingy.

Thus, the kickstarter isn't connected.

If you're inclined, remove the CVT cover and snap a few pictures for us.
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phenomenalworld
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2012 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jetta, the kickstart worked fine the few times i used it in the past 5 months. it is only when, this week, i couldn't start the scooter by button that the kickstart would neither work.

Eric, glad to know the battery i ordered is AGM. thanks for the encouraging words about it!
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phenomenalworld
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2012 Buddy 125

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so here's what's new and how this ends, almost.
last, in this saga, i reported that the battery successfully charged using the tender clippers.
i then took it to auto zone, where they put their machine on it and said "yep, it's charged fully now, but it's also a bad battery". guess they meant the "load"? but they also said it should still work for a bit.
back at my father's, i reinstalled it, and the scoot started right up, with greater gusto and verve than usual. which was quite a relief.
meanwhile i got the new battery arriving in the mail in 2 days so will replace the old sucker.
and that about ties things up, EXCEPT the kickstart still doesn't work, so i guess that's a separate issue? unless anyway reading this has any die-hard insight or suggestions on that, i will search and read through various threads on here trying to find the issue addressed by someone else.

this site rocks! really appreciate the input, which has mean useful, provided perspective in helping me assess the problem and make decisions thusly. thanks to all!
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jrsjr
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

phenomenalworld wrote:
and that about ties things up, EXCEPT the kickstart still doesn't work, so i guess that's a separate issue? unless anyway reading this has any die-hard insight or suggestions on that, i will search and read through various threads on here trying to find the issue addressed by someone else.

this site rocks! really appreciate the input, which has mean useful, provided perspective in helping me assess the problem and make decisions thusly. thanks to all!

Yes, the kickstarter is a whole separate can of worms. It's not the most robust mechanism in the world and it's located in a place where debris accumulates, so it's almost inevitable that it will eventually need to be taken apart, cleaned, and reassembled. It's not a big job for a mechanic, especially if it just needs cleaning.

In the meantime, Welcome to Modern Buddy! I'm so glad that our members were able to help you out. Thanks for letting us know the outcome!
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phenomenalworld
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jrsjr, it's of some comfort to know that the kickstart is a separate worm can, unrelated to the cup of larva i been dealing with this week, and also to know that if it has failed me, i'd be far from the first owner to suffer its demise, but i do hope to bring it back to life if possible....
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Dooglas
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k1dude wrote:
Buddy owners have been known to put even bigger batteries in their scooters, but never a smaller battery.

Yes! The YTX10S is a direct replacement and offers increased CCA for quick starts.
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