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Hi my partner bought her Scout new in 2016 because she thought it was pretty! It has not been ridden much since that day and has only 1600ish miles on the clock. A couple of years ago while we were out riding it started to misfire and the pipes were glowing red so she had to be recovered. It was a faulty exhaust sensor. Her bike has been mothballed for at least a year, if not more and I have started it a few times - just to make sure it still works! Last week I started it and it was ticking over smoothly for a while and then it started to run erratically and seemed to be running on one cylinder - either that or poorly on two. I have brought it out into the sunshine today to investigate.
It starts, runs smoothly for perhaps 30 seconds, then starts to misfire and backfire and run very erratically.

Bearing in mind it has been hibernating for a good while and started fine on the occasions I tried it, can anyone suggest what the problem is? Is it likely to be one of the exhaust sensors again (i hope not)? If so why? Is it a known problem. Could it be stale fuel? But then it runs fine for some seconds. Ditto for spark plugs. (how do you access the plugs?)

The dealer is nearly 50 miles away, with severe cost implications to get it there and the warranty is probably out now - is it 3 or 5 years?

Any help would be gratefully received.

Cheers John ( a Guzzi owner!)
 

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warranty should be 5 yrs for a '16 in UK, but that is for engine, there's a sliding time on various components (or at least that's what my dealer told me)- so if it's electrical you might be out of luck.
Might be an idea to phone/email dealer to find out what is problem (covid shutdown might be a prob for some- I know mine is 'open', but by appointment only- and it's also 50 miles away)

One thing I'd try is the old 'spit on the headers' trick- if it's one cylinder cutting out and see if one is cooler than the other.
Any 'check engine' light coming on?- if so there should be a code thrown (check rider's manual for procedure)- might help isolate problem and would be useful to know before contacting dealer. No check light would suggest it's not electrical/electronic or too serious- but canbus is 'witchcraft' to me.
Stale fuel/condensation would certainly be one of the first things to check.
Spark plugs means taking tank off- clips on fuel pipes are reputedly a bit 'interesting' the first time.
If you need to go this far pm me with an email address and I can send you a pdf. service manual- or check the scout 'how to' section.

That's what I've got for now.
Hope it helps, and good luck(y)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
warranty should be 5 yrs for a '16 in UK, but that is for engine, there's a sliding time on various components (or at least that's what my dealer told me)- so if it's electrical you might be out of luck.
Might be an idea to phone/email dealer to find out what is problem (covid shutdown might be a prob for some- I know mine is 'open', but by appointment only- and it's also 50 miles away)

One thing I'd try is the old 'spit on the headers' trick- if it's one cylinder cutting out and see if one is cooler than the other.
Any 'check engine' light coming on?- if so there should be a code thrown (check rider's manual for procedure)- might help isolate problem and would be useful to know before contacting dealer. No check light would suggest it's not electrical/electronic or too serious- but canbus is 'witchcraft' to me.
Stale fuel/condensation would certainly be one of the first things to check.
Spark plugs means taking tank off- clips on fuel pipes are reputedly a bit 'interesting' the first time.
If you need to go this far pm me with an email address and I can send you a pdf. service manual- or check the scout 'how to' section.

That's what I've got for now.
Hope it helps, and good luck(y)
Thanks for your reply you have given me hope! I was hoping it was fuel or a plug. There is no light on the dash. Does the dash show up an error message or does it need plugging in? I can't remember what happened last time! Cheers John.
 

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My first approach would be to change the fuel. Drain the tank and refill, don't just top it up.

Aligned with that is the injectors. Old fuel can deteriorate and form a varnish-like coating and if it gums up an injector the bike won't like it. The easiest thing to try for this is some good quality fuel system cleaner, not the cheapest you can buy. This needs to be run through the motor over time for it to clean things up, but sometimes a workshop has to do an injector service or replacement if it won't clear.

Plugs don't usually deteriorate with sitting idle but it's worth checking the leads to make sure there are no cracks that might be sparking to something.

You say that it runs OK for thirty seconds and then starts to misfire. Does it do that repeatedly when it's warmed up? If so, it might be a fuel pump problem and that 30 seconds drains the fuel in the lines but the pump can't keep up the delivery. When you re-start the bike the pump has time to resupply the lines for another 30 seconds worth. That suggests a blocked filter.

The fuel pump and filter are inside the tank as a single component. They are removed from the underside so it means taking the tank off the bike. as Bri UK has said, the fuel line clip under the tank needs care when removing it as the plastic clips are easily broken. You'll find youtube videos on it.

A failed oxy sensor won't cause misfire. It either fails completely and the check engine light will come on, or it gets out of whack and the motor runs too rich or too lean, the problem that leads to overheating.
 

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Thanks for your reply you have given me hope! I was hoping it was fuel or a plug. There is no light on the dash. Does the dash show up an error message or does it need plugging in? I can't remember what happened last time! Cheers John.
No light on dash is a good start (amber engine shaped light on rhs of speedo). Error codes will appear in the odometer window if they are 'thrown' by the bikes onboard computer.

Fuel is hopefully the problem, follow Dr Shifty's advice.
Also when switch on, listen for a 'whine' as the fuel pump 'primes' for a couple of seconds before starting.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My first approach would be to change the fuel. Drain the tank and refill, don't just top it up.

Aligned with that is the injectors. Old fuel can deteriorate and form a varnish-like coating and if it gums up an injector the bike won't like it. The easiest thing to try for this is some good quality fuel system cleaner, not the cheapest you can buy. This needs to be run through the motor over time for it to clean things up, but sometimes a workshop has to do an injector service or replacement if it won't clear.

Plugs don't usually deteriorate with sitting idle but it's worth checking the leads to make sure there are no cracks that might be sparking to something.

You say that it runs OK for thirty seconds and then starts to misfire. Does it do that repeatedly when it's warmed up? If so, it might be a fuel pump problem and that 30 seconds drains the fuel in the lines but the pump can't keep up the delivery. When you re-start the bike the pump has time to resupply the lines for another 30 seconds worth. That suggests a blocked filter.

The fuel pump and filter are inside the tank as a single component. They are removed from the underside so it means taking the tank off the bike. as Bri UK has said, the fuel line clip under the tank needs care when removing it as the plastic clips are easily broken. You'll find youtube videos on it.

A failed oxy sensor won't cause misfire. It either fails completely and the check engine light will come on, or it gets out of whack and the motor runs too rich or too lean, the problem that leads to overheating.
Thanks for your reply. Is there any way of draining the fuel tank without removing it? I can't see a way. I agree draining the fuel is the first step. Without the engine running correctly there is no way I can run an injector cleaner through. I can't leave it running, it is backfiring every few seconds and scares the hell out of my dog as well as sounding terrible!
 

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Thanks for your reply. Is there any way of draining the fuel tank without removing it? I can't see a way. I agree draining the fuel is the first step. Without the engine running correctly there is no way I can run an injector cleaner through. I can't leave it running, it is backfiring every few seconds and scares the hell out of my dog as well as sounding terrible!
There are two ways to drain the tank. The first is a siphon as has been suggested. That will get right to the bottom of the tank, which is sufficient.

The second is to release the fuel line clip that sits on the right side above the centre 1901 cover. The valve is self closing so you then open the valve by hand to drain the fuel. I'd go for the siphon tube.

And a note about the backfiring every few seconds. That is a serious level of problem and suggests a rich fuel/air mix (oxy sensor gone again) or lots of unburnt fuel (no spark) which is exploding in the pipe when it gets hot enough. Does it come from one pipe more than the other? That will allow you to focus on one cylinder.

If you hose the pipe and header down does the backfiring lessen?

If you stick a rag into the offending pipe you can probably calm down the noise of backfiring.
 

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This almost sounds like a loose or faulty spark plug/ wire. It will be interesting to know what the cause is in the end.
 

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Thanks Dr. Shifty, that is useful to know. I am pretty sure it is one cylinder. It
 

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Well, I have learned a few things at least.
It is virtually impossible to siphon petrol from a Scout tank!
I have a plastic siphon thing - no good, there's not enough room between the tunnel and tank side to fit it in.
Plastic tube, less than a centimeter, fairs little better but at least gets wet.
I decide taking the tank off was too much effort until I had tried adding a decent quantity of fresh fuel.
Fuel added and a good shake and the bike fired up and with no backfiring. It still had a few stumbles, but a whiz down the road is now required too.
I did realise that there was little fuel in the tank, so adding a decent slosh of new petrol was the way to go.
So my conclusion is that there was either a bit of water involved, or a bit of muck or lack of fuel to one cylinder.

I can either blame ethanol or my stupidity!

I still have to give it a test ride, but I am hopeful we're good to go.

Thanks to all who replied.
 

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Glad it's running(y)
A good blatt down the road sounds like a plan, ideally run a tankful through her (fuel cleaner would still be a good idea as has been stood for a while)
Also,withought wishing to teach grandma to suck eggs, check brakes for binding, tyres for cracking etc (presume mot is also due?)
 
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