HOW TO TREAT YOUR MOTORBIKE POST-FLOOD
A flood incident is any vehicle owner’s nightmare. Water may submerge your car or motorbike and cause damage, whether mild or severe.
Flood may also significantly compromise the value of your vehicle. To protect yourself and your vehicle, especially when on the road, always be mindful of road conditions when raining. Look for a different route if you encounter a flooded area. Never force your vehicle to go through the flood, as the risk far outweighs the benefit.
But if your vehicle does experience flooding, know what to do and which key components to check afterwards.
1. Do not start your vehicle
Never start your vehicle in the middle of flooding. If the water completely submerges your motorbike’s engine and exhaust pipe, chances are the water also soaks the combustion chamber and spark plugs. Starting the engine may cause water hammer and your connecting rod to bend, resulting in even more severe damages.
2. Spark plugs
Soaked spark plugs causes problems. After flooding, remove the spark plugs using a special wrench, clean them, and leave them to dry. Next, try to kick start your motorbike without the sparkplugs to avoid electrical damage. Before you put the spark plugs back, make sure the running coil has been placed properly.
READ ALSO: 6 STEPS FOR AT-HOME OIL REPLACEMENT
3. Air filter
Always make sure the air filter is dry to prevent water being sucked to the combustion chamber. If possible, the air filter is ideally replaced to maintain its optimal function.
The next component to check after flooding is the motorbike’s oil. There is a risk that water seeps and mixes with the oil. Simply check the oil’s color – milky color indicates the presence of water, which will compromise the oil’s lubrication property and cause engine components to experience wear quicker they are expected to. To solve this problem, flush or drain the oil and perform full oil replacement.
5. Braking system
In motorbikes that use drum brakes especially, water may lock the braking system. You may notice this from the sharp squealing noise when you force to ride your motorbike. Also check your drum pads – dry drum pads will harden and lost their performance.
For motorbikes with disc brakes, immediate cleaning and drying are important, and so does checking other components of the system – from brake cables, brake levers, the master cylinder, to brake fluid.
Although modern electrical wires use waterproof materials, electrical problems may still happen especially in cable joints and sockets, which may cause short circuiting. If your motorbike has been inundated, always dry the cables using a clean cloth.
7. The frame
To avoid premature rust and corrosion, you will need to clean all parts of your motorbike – frame and engine included. Take a small cleaning brush to make sure you get the farthest-reaching and smallest areas cleaned and use gasoline to remove mud build-up because of flood. Use water in the second round of cleaning and wipe your motorbike until completely dry.