April 3rd, 2007

Orange Vespa Huskyteer

Parts & Labour

I decided when I got my Vespa that I would attempt to do minor servicing jobs on it myself, as it's a reasonably simple machine and long out of warranty.

Yes, this is why it was out of commission yesterday.

All of Sunday, three different adjustable spanners and generous application of WD-40 were not enough to unscrew the oil drain plug, but yesterday's purchase of exactly the right size of combination spanner (24mm), which cost £8.49 and will be useful for this task and this task alone, brought results. Job done, scooter ridden to work this morning and not yet exploded or leaked.

Incidentally, is there really such a thing as 'special air filter oil'? From the way the bloke in Halfords looked at me when I asked for it, I can only infer it's the Haynes manual equivalent of tartan paint.

This is what I have done:

  • Changed oil
  • Checked and cleaned air filter
  • Replaced front brake pads
  • Checked gearbox oil level (OK, this just involves unscrewing a dipstick, but I want credit for it anyway)


  • Paid four visits to three different branches of Halfords in three days
  • Skinned knuckles in two places on bodywork
  • Caught little finger in monkey wrench
  • Left so many oil stains on the road and pavement I'm terrified Bromley Council will come and evict me, or make me clean it up with my tongue or something
  • Spent over £50 on parts, tools, miscellaneous fluids

I also learned what happens when you neglect to replace the oil filler cap before starting the engine. It's a lesson which was absorbed thoroughly by myself, my second-best jeans, my glasses, and the rest of an area approximately one metre in radius.

But next time it will be easy because I'll know how to do it.

(I am, of course, violently opposed to this sort of cheap and lazy sexism, but I laughed anyway.)

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    What Was It You Wanted - Bob Dylan