Your Motorcycle is not starting after a wash, is it?
Well, for starters, you are not the only one. It is a common occurrence that many people have faced and will face this issue with their motorcycles.
The most common reason why your motorcycle is not starting after a wash is that water has entered the electric components of your bike.
A simple solution is to give sufficient time for your motorcycle to dry off.
However, if the problem still persists, carefully examine for any wet connections in the motorcycle and address them.
Let’s first look into the possible reasons why your bike/motorcycle is not starting after a wash.
Reasons for not starting
The first and foremost possible reason your bike is not starting after a good wash is because the water has entered the circuit of the ignition system.
The most notable of them is the spark plug.
The spark plug is wet. And hence, it is not able to ignite the fuel in the engine.
Second possible reason, water is getting into your engine through the air filters.
Have you protected that open filter from water during your washing?
If not, then it is highly likely that you are getting your air filter wet.
Once the water enters the air filters, you are essentially starving the oxygen to the engine. And since we are starving oxygen going through the filter, the bike is facing problems with starting and running.
Third possible reason, water has entered your bike’s starter system.
The starting electrical system is wet due to all the bike washing. Too much water in the system may sometimes cause it to hydro-lock.
The engine will not start if the system is hydro-locked and will also cause wear and tear in the pistons and bore.
Last possible reason.
The water has come in contact with some of the other electrical components like battery terminals or their joining parts.
So, to sum up, these are the main reasons why your motorcycle is not starting after a wash.
- Water has entered the electrics of the ignition system. Mainly the spark plug.
- Water is getting into your engine through air filters.
- The starter system is wet.
- Contact with other electrical components like battery terminals.
Now that we have some idea on why the bike/ motorcycle is not starting after a wash, let’s look into what we can do about it.
#1. Dry It Off
The simplest solution is to wait for the water to dry off. Give it an hour or two. Or much better, give it a day. Let the drying process run naturally.
If, even after giving it a reasonable time to dry off, your bike is not starting it is time to look into the matter seriously.
#2. Inspect the Wet Electric Connections
First, start with the battery terminals.
Open the motorcycle seat to check if the battery terminals are in good condition.
Next, you need to carefully examine all the electric wiring coming and going from the battery.
Look for any wet connections, loose connections, arcing connections, bare wires, and wires with cracks in the insulation.
If there are any bare wires or cracks in the insulation you have to take the motorcycle to your mechanic, unless, well, you are the mechanic of your bike.
Another cause can be the wet connections themselves. If you have found them, we can try a few things to dry them off.
If the water has entered the electrical components of the ignition system, we can use maintenance sprays.
However, if the wet connection is near to the spark plug, avoid spraying directly into the spark plug.
If you have a drier or a blower, you can use them as well to dry off the wet connection.
Dryers are effective specifically for spark plugs and coil wires. They speed up the drying process of the wiring. Locate the wet area and use your dryer or blower to dry off.
#3. Look for Water entering the Engine
If you suspect water has gotten into your engine through the air intake, try pulling the spark plugs and see if the water gets pushed out.
If yes, there might be hydrolocking.
Take out the spark plug. And let the motorcycle dry for a long time. We are talking 7-8 hours here.
You need to give it more time to dry out.
#4. Examine the Spark Plug
Lastly, check the spark plug condition.
Water might have entered the spark plug cavities.
So dry them out thoroughly.
Next, look at the spark plug tip. Is it in good condition?
Once thorough and dried out, you can refit the spark plug back to ignite the fuel mixture.
#5. Dry the Air Filter
Water might have soaked the air filter.
If the air filter gets wet, the water gets mixed with the dirt on the filter material to prevent air entry into the engine.
As a result, the engine is deprived of oxygen. Which in turn prevents it to burn the fuel.
So take out the air filter.
If the air filter is soaking wet, dry it out.
Also, check the condition. If it’s too dirty or blackened, the air filter will clog easily.
So either clean it or replace it with a new air filter.
Now that you have got your bike in running condition, we need to be mindful of a few things while washing your bike for the next time.
- Cover the plugs and filter with alum foils, a towel, or even a grocery bag to prevent the water from entering the system.
- If the air filter gets consistently wet, consider covering it up with a rain sock.
- If you are using a water hose to wash your bike, keep the pressure low, especially while watering the top parts of your bike.
- After the wash, use a dryer to get the standing water out of all the nooks and crannies of the motorcycle.
Let’s wrap up this post.
- The main reasons why your motorcycle is not starting after washing are – water has entered the electrical components of the ignition system; or into the engine through filters; or has come in contact with other electrical components like battery terminals; or your starter system is wet.
- What do you need to do? Firstly, give sufficient time for your motorcycle to dry off.
- Carefully examine your bike for wet connections next. Use an air hose, dryer or a blower to dry off the connection. Maintenance sprays work too if the problem is not the spark plugs.
- If you suspect water has gotten into your engine, pull out the spark plugs and dry them out.
- Here are the preventive measures you need to take while washing your bike the next time. Cover the plugs and filter with alum foils, a towel, or even a grocery bag to prevent water from entering the system. After the wash, use a dryer to get the standing water out of all the nooks and crannies of your bike.
Before you go…
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