Riders out there, it’s not time to let your guard down just yet. As of the last update, local volcanologists have warned that a hazardous explosive eruption of Taal Volcano is imminent, so be extra cautious and avoid going out altogether, especially in the affected areas of Batangas, Laguna, and Rizal.
Even Metro Manila was not spared from the ashfall following the volcano’s phreatic eruption on January 12, 2020, and we still see a lot of motorcycle riders moving around in the affected areas amid the thick layer of dust and dirt, unmindful of the hazards of the ash not only on their health but also on their bikes.
If you cannot avoid using your motorcycle during these critical times, take note of these easy-to-follow maintenance tips for bikes that have been exposed to ashfall, to ensure your steed will be able to take you home safe and sound. Here’s your checklist of parts that need immediate cleaning after exposure to volcanic ash:
Your fuel supply may have escaped the harmful effects of volcanic ash, but if you ignore the presence of ash on the lid, the particles might find their way into the tank when you refuel later on. And for sure, you don’t want specks of ash to contaminate your fuel supply.
Volcanic ash can mix with water and form a thick sludge that could cause corrosion. Make sure you wash this component thoroughly. Dry it completely, then put lubricant.
Like the fuel-tank lid, ignition holes are also capable of collecting dirt and debris, which could lead to problems in the long run. Use a cotton bud to get ash out of the tight spots.
Use running water to loosen the accumulated volcanic ash from these components and make it easier to wash off. This would also avoid damaging the lenses of your lighting units.
Do not forget to clean the air filter of a motorbike that has been exposed to heavy ashfall. Failing to do so could allow the particles to get inside the fuel system, and this may lead to engine knock.
Moving parts such as these will require more effort to operate when the volcanic debris has already found its way onto screws and bolts and into the cables. It could also lead to corrosion.
Be careful when cleaning these sensitive components. Do not use pressurized water when ridding a sensor of volcanic particles. In case the ‘engine check’ warning lights up after you clean the sensors, just ride your bike to your dealership to have a system reset using a diagnostics box.
We hope these simple tips would be of help to you. Always remember: Take care of your motorbike so it will also take care of you.