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Thread: BV 350 Bad starter relay solenoid or bad ECU...?

  1. #1
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    BV 350 Bad starter relay solenoid or bad ECU...?

    2019 PIAGGIO BEVERLY BV 350 - 500 MILES.

    Probably some of you can understand the degree of frustration you are in when your local Piaggio dealer/shop cannot figure it out either and your scooter is
    UNDER WARRANTY.

    Here is the deal: When I go to turn on the scooter i get 3 scenarios and I will list them in order of frequency starting from the most frequent.


    1. The starter motor rolls 1/2 a turn to 2 turns and it dies just like if the battery was dead (battery fully charged and replaced later with a new one).
    2. You press the start button and there is absolutely no activity (imagine like if the battery wasn't even there).
    3. You press the start button and the starter spins FULL SPEED and the scooter starts right up.


    IMPORTANT NOTES: if you jump the thick wires (From + battery and to + Starter) on the starter relay, it starts every time with no hesitation whatsoever. The kill switch, side stand and one brake lever are all in the correct position.

    Theoretically things would lead to believe that it could be a bad starter relay but at Piaggio they told me that they couldn't duplicate the problem and that the diagnostics on their computer checks everything OK, off course... when I went there, I started the scooter 5..6... 7... times and it started every time, they told me they did absolutely nothing because the print out showed no problems at all and they were able to start it every time they tried.

    I drove away very happy but very skeptical and sure enough the problem came back (maybe in a milder way) where now after 10 or 15 tries the starter finallY engages full speed and off I go.

    If I (an IT tech) understand the schematic, the + side of the battery feeds the ignition switch then goes trough a closed contact (brake lever) and energizes the positive side of the starter relay coil. When you press the start button you send 12V to pin 5 of the ECU which grounds pin 10 of ECU where the other side of the relay coil is connected, this makes the relay energize the starter motor.

    Am I reading this right....? and if so can anyone suggest a possible "suspect"...?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    Intermittent issues are tough to nail down and they usually won't get warranty authorization if they can't duplicate the problem. It could be a flaky starter button, intermittent fault in the relay or starter or even a loose or corroded fuse or connection.

    Did you call them and tell them the problem still occurs? The dealer should have called the Dealer Support Line to get assistance from Piaggio on this. When I dealt with them they indicated that one point of frustration with some of their dealers is their reluctance to call Dealer Support for assistance in tracking down these types of issues.

    Perhaps its time to call Piaggio directly if after you tell the dealer its still happening they are not willing to check again. You may have to spend the time to demonstrate the issue so that they can witness it failing before you leave the dealership.

  3. #3
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    sorry.... I am new at this and maybe I posted my question in the wrong section.
    Can any MODERATOR intervene letting me know if I am expected to see some responses soon or whether I should post this some place else..?

  4. #4
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    Rocky, thanks for the answer, I did call the dealer and they told me to bring the scooter back when it fails (permanently), in other words they want me to get towed to the shop which is something i'd rather avoid. Can we, the end users, call that Dealer Support Line directly..?

  5. #5
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    Yes you can call the Piaggio customer support center in New York (really the same place as Aprilia) and speak with the same techs as the dealers do by dialing the customer support number listed on Piaggios US website (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm 1-212-380-4433 ) or dropping them an email/web contact message http://webcontact.piaggio.com/contac...=11&country=US
    If your fortunate you may end up dealing with Thierrie (its been a few years but that's the name that pops to mind and hopefully he still works there) who has always treated me very well.

    This is the right section for up to 350cc Aprilia and Piaggio Scooters however the BV350 is not owned by that many members here so you will probably get limited response.

  6. #6
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    The starter operates independently of the ECU so for the starter to operate its important that the brake is engaged ( stop light has to shine) and then the signal that comes from the start button. Sometimes on the new Piaggios i saw that the starter button corodes and the bike behaves exacktly as you described, a no start or barely a crank. Also sometimes the killswitch in the sidestand or a on/off switch on the handlebar can produce the same issue also a wobbly ignition lock can do a lot of trubble. It is easily fixable just you need to know where to look.
    Also a tip: In the model years 2009 and onwoards Piaggio uses a Starter Relay that causes truble, it is to weak and the starter motor tends to fry it. You can easily replace it with a stronger model (i belive the build in is a 35A and the 50A fits as a direct replacement).

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jog View Post
    The starter operates independently of the ECU so for the starter to operate its important that the brake is engaged ( stop light has to shine) and then the signal that comes from the start button. Sometimes on the new Piaggios i saw that the starter button corodes and the bike behaves exacktly as you described, a no start or barely a crank. Also sometimes the killswitch in the sidestand or a on/off switch on the handlebar can produce the same issue also a wobbly ignition lock can do a lot of trubble. It is easily fixable just you need to know where to look.
    Also a tip: In the model years 2009 and onwoards Piaggio uses a Starter Relay that causes truble, it is to weak and the starter motor tends to fry it. You can easily replace it with a stronger model (i belive the build in is a 35A and the 50A fits as a direct replacement).
    Jog, According to the above diagram (if I read it correctly), the starter NEEDS the ECU to ground the coil of the Starter Relay in order for the Starter Motor to get energized, why would you exclude the ECU as a possible source of my trouble...?
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  8. #8
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    While the ECU could be suspect most service manuals agree that unless you shorted it out or reverse wired it that ECU failure is the least frequent cause of problems with these bikes so best to start with the mechanical parts and connectors that are more likely to fail.

    Corrosion inside the starter button or kill switch is a much more frequent issue. You can test the relay by manually energizing it with jumpers to rule it out too however that would be only after the warranty has expired.

    On a 2019 Model Year Bike though unless its sat outside near the beach for an extended period of time you would not expect corrosion of the starter button or kill switch to impact it in such a short time. I would not do anything that might invalidate the warranty since I believe you have at least a 2 year factory parts and labor warranty on the BV350. In reality if they can't fix it after a few attempts they owe you a new bike as long as you don't do any unauthorized tinkering on it. A new BV350 is no small investment for a scooter so you do not want to jeopardize your warranty coverage on that investment.

    Do call the Piaggio Main Office and follow up with an email to get it on record that attempts by their authorized dealer have already been unsuccessful in resolving this issue so there will be no question that this problem occurred under warranty along with track how many unsuccessful attempts have been made so that if it goes to the max you can be able to claim lemon law protection and get a new bike if need be. You really do not want to tinker with it and find yourself potentially loosing the remainder of the warranty and eating the cost of fixing this and all other issues that may occur afterwards.

    Lets not loose track of the fact that this is a new 2019 bike and 2019 is not yet half over.
    Last edited by Rockynv; 05-13-2019 at 11:05 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockynv View Post
    While the ECU could be suspect most service manuals agree that unless you shorted it out or reverse wired it that ECU failure is the least frequent cause of problems with these bikes so best to start with the mechanical parts and connectors that are more likely to fail.

    Corrosion inside the starter button or kill switch is a much more frequent issue. You can test the relay by manually energizing it with jumpers to rule it out too however that would be only after the warranty has expired.

    On a 2019 Model Year Bike though unless its sat outside near the beach for an extended period of time you would not expect corrosion of the starter button or kill switch to impact it in such a short time. I would not do anything that might invalidate the warranty since I believe you have at least a 2 year factory parts and labor warranty on the BV350. In reality if they can't fix it after a few attempts they owe you a new bike as long as you don't do any unauthorized tinkering on it. A new BV350 is no small investment for a scooter so you do not want to jeopardize your warranty coverage on that investment.

    Do call the Piaggio Main Office and follow up with an email to get it on record that attempts by their authorized dealer have already been unsuccessful in resolving this issue so there will be no question that this problem occurred under warranty along with track how many unsuccessful attempts have been made so that if it goes to the max you can be able to claim lemon law protection and get a new bike if need be. You really do not want to tinker with it and find yourself potentially loosing the remainder of the warranty and eating the cost of fixing this and all other issues that may occur afterwards.

    Lets not loose track of the fact that this is a new 2019 bike and 2019 is not yet half over.
    Rocky, thanks for the answer, I think your advise is very wise and your corrosion in the starter button theory kinda checks out since lately the scooter has been starting at first try and probably that could be due to the fact that after hundreds of pushes (15-20 each time) the corrosion has cleaned itself a little from the rubbing of the contacts.
    I bought this scooter 5 months old with 400 miles on it and I don't know where it was kept during that period, it was apparently bought at a dealer in Philadelphia and ended up somehow in Florida where I purchased it.
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  10. #10
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    red start or kill swithces have been issue along all models theyre cheap as shiet any rain riding outside parking especially in salt air corosion is always suspect.. its all china soldering .. ive em laying all over shop . I generally elminate . i use this thing called a key ktso key turned system on ..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by telomostro View Post
    Rocky, thanks for the answer, I think your advise is very wise and your corrosion in the starter button theory kinda checks out since lately the scooter has been starting at first try and probably that could be due to the fact that after hundreds of pushes (15-20 each time) the corrosion has cleaned itself a little from the rubbing of the contacts.
    I bought this scooter 5 months old with 400 miles on it and I don't know where it was kept during that period, it was apparently bought at a dealer in Philadelphia and ended up somehow in Florida where I purchased it.
    Be sure to contact Piaggio and get the warranty transferred to you as the second owner if you haven't already done so. After 2014/2015 the warranty if I understand correctly was bumped to 2 years and made transferable so you want to take advantage of that 1.5 years of remaining protection while its available.

    If you bought it with a loan I would also bump the warranty to cover the duration of the loan too. When things go wrong a single service can end up costing more than the warranty extension especially with shop rates now being in excess of $100 an hour at most authorized dealers.

    In Florida humidity do take a toll on the starter button and kill switch especially when extended periods sitting unused are involved. Your in Miami Beach and if the bike sat parked outside for extended periods of time then those two items are more likely going to act up. I ride in the area around Tampa Bay and make it a point to flick the kill switch on a regular bases since I use the key primarily to shut down the bike and if I don't ride for an extended period tap the start button a few times every now and then along with the button that cycles through the dashboard modes to help keep the contacts free and operational.

    If you did not get the Owners Manual with the bike be sure to download it so you can follow the maintenance schedule listed therein. The run-in services should be done per the schedule such as changing out the engine and gear oil using the specific lubricants listed in the manual, etc. When you hit the two year interval be sure to flush the brakes and coolant too.

    In Florida I very highly recommend Engine Ice or at least adding the Lucas Super Coolant additive. I thought the Engine Ice was Snake Oil however after so many mechanics told me to how great it was I gave it a try and have used nothing else since then. My first ride when roadway temps were hovering at 100 degrees sold me at the first stop light since the cooling fan cycled on for about a minute on my Sport City 250 and then shut down with no perceptible movement of the temperature gauge while before it would stay on many times until I got the bike moving again and you could see the temperature gauge rise and fall with the cycling of the cooling fan. I did not believe that coolant type could make that much of a difference. In my diesel car I have been using the Lucas Super Coolant Additive with similar results.

    Also be sure to check and clean the CVT Air Filter at least twice as often as indicated in the owners manual since our hot roads seem to throw up a ton of fine dust, pollen, bird dander/feathers, etc which can drastically shorten the life of your drive belt so cleaning that filter with a little soapy water using Dawn dish soap every 2,000 miles is really cheap insurance against premature belt failure.
    Last edited by Rockynv; 06-19-2019 at 10:06 AM.

  12. #12
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    Rocky, thank you for taking the time to give me all those great tips, I have visited my local dealer for the 1st (600 miles) service and they fixed (or attempted to fix so far) the fuel gauge indicator (which behaved very erratically) under warranty, so hopefully that indicates that I should not have a problem being covered. I will definitely look into how to remove the air filter because I have heard the same thing you said about cleaning it often. I haven't had much cooling fan action sitting at the light or at drawbridges (I used to be afraid of turning the engine off when I had my starter problem) but then again the temperature in the 90's is coming now so I will consider Engine Ice. Thanks again !
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    if ya rock sw bk n forth a few times it might work adding elec contact cleaner may help twill also not be kind to plastic if heavily used.

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