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Motor Oil Guide for Mopeds & Scooters


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The right motor oil and regular oil changes is key to keeping your scooter or moped engine in good condition. 

Proper oil changes and maintenance will ensure your scooter runs better and lasts longer. 

This page will provide you with the steps to change your scooter oil, give you an estimate of how much oil a 50cc engine requires, and provide some information about choosing the right type of oil for your moped or scooter. 

How to Change Oil on a Scooter

Changing the engine and transmission oil for your scooter or moped is a quick and easy process. In most cases, you’ll be done in less than 20 minutes. 

First, here’s what you’ll need:

  • An oil drain pan for the old oil.
  • A small funnel to pour in your new oil. 
  • A socket wrench to remove the oil drain plug. 
  • Gloves and a shop rag to clean up any spills. 

Follow the steps below to change your scooter’s oil. 

Step 1: Warm up the Engine

Place the scooter on its center stand to level the engine. 

Turn it on and start the engine. Allow it to run for about 5 to 10 minutes so that oil can warm up. 

It only needs to be warmed, be sure not to burn yourself if the engine is too hot. 

Step 2: Drain the Oil

Place your oil catch pan underneath the drain plug. 

Locate the oil drain plug near the bottom of your engine. It will look like a medium-sized bolt with a flange. 

Unscrew the oil drain plug and allow the old oil to drain completely.

It’s typically a good idea to loosen the drain plug with your wrench first, and finish by hand to better control the flow.

Keep an eye out for any excessive metal shavings or debris – this could indicate a larger problem within the engine. 

When the oil has finished draining, clean up the threads and around the drain hole, and reinstall the oil drain plug. 

Be sure that the washers, o-rings, spring, and filter are all intact and in good condition. Replace the oil filter if necessary. 

Be gentle and precise when reinstalling the oil drain plug to avoid cross-threading it or stripping the threads. 

Start by slowly tightening it by hand to ensure the threads are lined up. 

Refer to your owner’s manual for the proper torque. Most scooters require about 10 ft. lbs. 

Step 3: Add new Oil 

Now, you’re ready to add the new oil.

Unscrew the oil cap/dipstick and insert your funnel. 

Pour in the proper amount of oil (usually .7 to .9 quarts or .7 to .9 liters). 

Check the oil level on the sight guide or via the dipstick to ensure you’ve added the proper amount. 

Once you’re finished, tighten the oil cap back up, and you’re ready to ride again.

Changing Transmission Oil

Changing your scooter’s transmission oil follows the same process as above. 

Locate the transmission drain plug on the left side of the engine. 

Only about 100 to 200cc of transmission oil is typically used in a small moped engine. Tighten the drain plug when complete.

Once the old oil is drained, squirt in a fresh 100-200cc or 80w-90 gear oil (or whatever is recommended by the manufacturer).

After changing the oil, run the engine for a bit to make sure the levels are correct and that there are no leaks.  

How Often Should You Change Oil in your Scooter or Moped?

Your scooter’s service manual will provide you with the recommended oil change frequency. 

In general, the recommended oil change is:

  • Every 1,000 miles for the engine oil. 
  • Every 2,000 miles for the transmission oil. 

Changing your scooter’s oil is cheap and easy, and doing so at the proper intervals will maximize the life of the engine and your bike’s performance. 

How Much Oil Does a 50cc Scooter Take?

Your scooter’s service manual will tell you exactly how much oil you’ll need to use in your engine. 

You may also find this information near the oil cap, dipstick, or fill line on the engine. 

It’s important to use the proper amount of oil in your scooter’s engine. Too much or too little will affect performance and may damage your engine. 

Obviously, the smaller the engine, the less oil you’ll need to use. 

For the most part, a 50cc scooter engine will need about .75 quarts of oil. 

What Kind of Oil does a Moped/Scooter Take?

Can you use car oil in a scooter or motorcycle?

When choosing the right oil for your moped or scooter, your best bet is to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

The type and quantity of motor oil recommended for your particular scooter or moped can often be found in the owner’s manual, or sometimes listed near the dipstick or oil cap. 

In general, it is best to use scooter-specific oil for your scooter or moped. These are designed to work with automatic clutches and the higher RPMs of a small engine. 

Again, the type of oil you’ll need to use depends on the specific scooter or moped you have. Some common types of engine oil for scooters include:

  • 10w40.
  • 15w40.
  • 10w30.
  • 5w30.

If your scooter has a separate transmission oil, like many 50cc Chinese mopeds, you’ll typically need to use 80w-90 gear oil. 

Depending on whether your scooter or moped is 2 stroke or 4 stroke, you’ll need to look for the proper oil for that too (4T vs 2T). 2 stroke engines will mix the gasoline with oil. 

For more information on the topic of motor oil, check out our guide to oil for motorcycles.

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