Fuel Level Warning Light - not! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 20 Old Oct 4th, 2006, 2:55 pm Thread Starter
Member
 
bmwtwisty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Johnstown, PA,
Posts: 33
Fuel Level Warning Light - not!

I knew I'd need gas soon but the low-fuel warning light still hadn't come on and the BC indicated 101 miles left. The thing is I already had 264 miles on the odometer (257 acording to the GPS) and the gauge wasn't in the red. The BC indicated 45.5 mpg which puts me in fill-up territory. So I left for work this morning. As I was heading down a 2-mile hill the bike started to act as if it were out of fuel. At the bottom of the hill I pulled into a parking lot and tried to rev the engine. Wouldn't happen and I knew I was definitely out of gas. But the low-fuel warning light still hadn't come on. I called my sister-in-law, who was staying with us, and she brought down some gas - about 1/2 gallon. Enough to get me to the station 2 miles down the road where I put in 5.9 more gallons.

Any idea why the light didn't come on and why the BC showed so many miles remaining? At this point, after having ridden the bike to work the BC is showing 207 remaining - moving up from the original 110 as previously indicated.

Thanks

Rick
bmwtwisty is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old Oct 4th, 2006, 3:06 pm
Senior Member
 
strsout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Loma Linda, CA, USA
Posts: 2,364
Could be few things, like did you work on the tank recently? (change gas filter?)
the gas gauger inside the tank could be damage or just stucked in a position.
If you have an old bike, it could have gone south and it's not measuring any more.
Is the neddle went up when you fill the tank?

--------------------------------
Elton 'StrsOut' Marks '02 Silver-Member #337 (or 287?)

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

2002 LT - 62,394 miles as of 08/05/2007
2003 GS - 20,960 miles as of 07/11/2008
Loma Linda - CA
IBA#14,458 - AMA


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
strsout is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old Oct 4th, 2006, 3:11 pm
Senior Member
 
Lost_but_Happy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Coralville, IA, USA
Posts: 148
Have you done a canisterectomy on the bike? If the tank collapsed (from the procedure not being done), it could have bent and affected the fuel level float..

AJ
2013 K1600GTL (not yet named)
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Lost_but_Happy is offline  
 
post #4 of 20 Old Oct 4th, 2006, 4:21 pm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: 878
Did you hear a whoosh sound when you removed the gas cap? If so, then you definitely need to do a canisterectomy. The canister has become clogged and is not allowing the tank to vent. When this happens it sucks in the side of the tank and bends the float assembly. The tank should return to its' normal shape when you remove the gas cap. Usually the gas gauge will indicated about 1/3 of a tank when empty if this has happened. Several people have been able to repair the float assembly and not had to replace it.

Res ipsa loquitur, sed quid in infernos dicet?

Alan Stuber
2003 K1200 LTC Titan Silver
Austin, Texas



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
astuber is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old Oct 4th, 2006, 4:47 pm
Senior Member
 
vernvernvern's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: King City, Missouri, USA
Posts: 812
Thumbs up Could be several things wrong!

Frankly, I just ignore all those fancy things.....IE fuel gauge, BC, etc.

I just fill up when I've gone between 200 and 225 miles. I figure, why push the envelope. I like riding, not walking/calling for gas. Shucks, I've even stopped to put in just 3 gallons. But, my coffee cup was about empty so I filled it up too.

Just my .02 worth.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
====
Bought used K1200LT number 3. This one is green/teal with 31,369(now 7/29/2018 54,143) miles and is an '02. The first 2 bikes made it to near 150,000 miles.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Due to heart health, the Dr says not to ride under 40 degree air temp. Ugh! Now it is harder to get my 18000 miles a year in just in the summer. Guess that stopped my 20 degree rides now.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


78 years young!
04 Honda Reflex.....Hers (it mostly sits)
Converted HD rider.
Love this LT bike and still waiting for my first speeding ticket. LOL
Vern
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

=====
vernvernvern is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old Oct 4th, 2006, 6:33 pm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Bergen County, NJ, USA
Posts: 715
So, you travelled 264 miles... and didn't feel you needed gas? Mmmm....
George_S is offline  
post #7 of 20 Old Oct 4th, 2006, 7:09 pm Thread Starter
Member
 
bmwtwisty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Johnstown, PA,
Posts: 33
re: Fuel Level Warning Light - Not

Quote:
Originally Posted by astuber
Did you hear a whoosh sound when you removed the gas cap? If so, then you definitely need to do a canisterectomy. The canister has become clogged and is not allowing the tank to vent. When this happens it sucks in the side of the tank and bends the float assembly. The tank should return to its' normal shape when you remove the gas cap. Usually the gas gauge will indicated about 1/3 of a tank when empty if this has happened. Several people have been able to repair the float assembly and not had to replace it.
Here's a bit more background (I'm trying to think of anything that might be relevant). The LT is a 2004 with 8100 miles on it. Saturday I rode to Cass, WV with a friend. Got there, rode over to Snowshow then headed back to the motel and filled up at a gas station across the street. I put in 4.65 gals, the odometer read 228 miles, the BC showed 138 rem. mi. and the indicated MPG was 45.1 (do the math and the actual mpg should be 49.03 - hmmm). The low-fuel light wasn't on at that time. I think there may have been a bit of a whoosh when I removed the gas cap but . I can't be certain. FWIW, my GPS showed 220 miles and that translates to 47.3 mpg.

The next day we did some riding then headed home. I rode to work this morning and ran out of gas. Oh yeah, the warning light does come on with the ignition so the bulb isn't burned out.

I called my dealer, Eurpoean Motors of PGH, and told them about it. They suggested what I'd planned on doing: burn up another tank and see what happens. The bike is still under warranty so it ought to be covered.

Since the fillup this morning I've ridden 27 miles, the BC shows 41MPG and 236 Rem Mi. (increased from the 110 at the fillup even though I reset the BC then). As I mentioned, I put in just a bit more than 6 gallons this morning so I guess the tank isn't deformed.

The bike has seemed to run a bit rough lately at low idle (at stop signs/lights), in fact it stalled a couple times on me today. Don't know if that's related. I had used a few tanks of regular - from good gas stations - and today I put in 89 octane.

Thanks for the tips. I'll eventually do a cannisterectomy but I'll wait until the bike is out of warranty.

Rick
bmwtwisty is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old Oct 4th, 2006, 7:12 pm Thread Starter
Member
 
bmwtwisty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Johnstown, PA,
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by George_S
So, you travelled 264 miles... and didn't feel you needed gas? Mmmm....
Optimistic? Greedy? Fair question! I guess I didn't think about the actual mileage and made the mistake of believing the BC Rem Miles indicator. Yeah, I'll go with the mileage next time.
bmwtwisty is offline  
post #9 of 20 Old Oct 4th, 2006, 7:20 pm
Senior Member
 
lenny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: wallingford, CT, USA
Posts: 716
somewhere in here is the procedure for recalibrating the mpg in the bc. i did mine and its now dead on,,, i got 285 on a tank once took 6.3 to fill
lenny is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old Oct 5th, 2006, 7:02 am
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: , ,
Posts: 558
Whatever the gauge says you need to consider your actual mileage. At 264 miles I wouldn't be too concerned normally. I have gone up to 311 miles and then my 99 only took 5 gallon.
ATFLT is offline  
post #11 of 20 Old Oct 5th, 2006, 9:49 am
Gold Supporter
 
Lonewuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Magnolia, TX, USA
Posts: 3,872
Sounds like the same problem I had on my ride to Phoenix last week. The dealership checked it and found my Sending Unit was bad. My gas tank showed I had a half tank, with over 140 miles DTE. I looked at my milage and realized that was impossible, so I pulled in for gas. Took 5.94 gallons to fill it. I was in the desert of New Mexico at the time and there wasn't another gas station for over 30 miles. I contacted my home dealership and they are going to replace it (warranty).

Jerry
Look in the wolf's eyes and what do you see--A guardian spirit or fierce enemy?
2008 FLHTCU White Pearl

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Lonewuff is offline  
post #12 of 20 Old Oct 5th, 2006, 10:03 am
Senior Member
 
Dochatley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dallas, TX, USA
Posts: 531
The bike has seemed to run a bit rough lately at low idle (at stop signs/lights), in fact it stalled a couple times on me today. Don't know if that's related. I had used a few tanks of regular - from good gas stations - and today I put in 89 octane.

Rick,
This is sorta off the subject but also check the battery. If it is going out on you the bike can sometimes perform at less than optimal. At stops when you require more juice to operate the ABS system, if it is not there the bike will die on you. I'm not saying this is what is causing your fuel gauge problems but it may be contributing to the rough idle and dying at stops. Also check fuel filter.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans

Jerry P. Hatley
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


2007 R1200RT (Betty Lou)
2009 Harley Roadglide (sold)
2007 Goldwing (sold)
1999 BMW K1200LT (sold)
2004 Harley Ultra Classic (sold)
2002 Harley Ultra Classic (sold)
1998 Harley Roadking Classic (sold)
Dochatley is offline  
post #13 of 20 Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:51 am
Senior Member
 
UncleRock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Alexandria, PA, USA
Posts: 1,633
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwtwisty
Here's a bit more background (I'm trying to think of anything that might be relevant). The LT is a 2004 with 8100 miles on it. Saturday I rode to Cass, WV with a friend. Got there, rode over to Snowshow then headed back to the motel and filled up at a gas station across the street. I put in 4.65 gals, the odometer read 228 miles, the BC showed 138 rem. mi. and the indicated MPG was 45.1 (do the math and the actual mpg should be 49.03 - hmmm). The low-fuel light wasn't on at that time. I think there may have been a bit of a whoosh when I removed the gas cap but . I can't be certain. FWIW, my GPS showed 220 miles and that translates to 47.3 mpg.

The next day we did some riding then headed home. I rode to work this morning and ran out of gas. Oh yeah, the warning light does come on with the ignition so the bulb isn't burned out.

I called my dealer, Eurpoean Motors of PGH, and told them about it. They suggested what I'd planned on doing: burn up another tank and see what happens. The bike is still under warranty so it ought to be covered.

Since the fillup this morning I've ridden 27 miles, the BC shows 41MPG and 236 Rem Mi. (increased from the 110 at the fillup even though I reset the BC then). As I mentioned, I put in just a bit more than 6 gallons this morning so I guess the tank isn't deformed.

The bike has seemed to run a bit rough lately at low idle (at stop signs/lights), in fact it stalled a couple times on me today. Don't know if that's related. I had used a few tanks of regular - from good gas stations - and today I put in 89 octane.

Thanks for the tips. I'll eventually do a cannisterectomy but I'll wait until the bike is out of warranty.

Rick
You been doing any heavy rain riding??
Rock
UncleRock is offline  
post #14 of 20 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 11:37 am Thread Starter
Member
 
bmwtwisty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Johnstown, PA,
Posts: 33
Just a followup on my gas gauge and BC problems. Since I last posted I filled the tank and rode 264 miles. Since this was about where I ran out last time so I figgered the problem was still there. The BC showd 110 miles remaining and the gas gauge was just barely at around a quarrter tank left. I did recalibrate the BC conmputer a while back to try to get more accurate readings. This time the LT said I got 43.7 mpg and the actual was 44.77. I put in 5.89 gallons of 90 octane (same as last time).

When I called Eurpoean Motors of Pgh (formerly BMW of PGH) they suggested the fuels sending unit may have crapped out and to run through another tank to see what happens. Same thing! I'm guessing this will be a warranty issue but I still have to waste a day at the dealer (nice folks, don't get me wrong, but I could be riding on the day off!)
bmwtwisty is offline  
post #15 of 20 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 11:45 am Thread Starter
Member
 
bmwtwisty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Johnstown, PA,
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dochatley
[color=purple]This is sorta off the subject but also check the battery. If it is going out on you the bike can sometimes perform at less than optimal. At stops when you require more juice to operate the ABS system, if it is not there the bike will die on you. I'm not saying this is what is causing your fuel gauge problems but it may be contributing to the rough idle and dying at stops. Also check fuel filter.
Funny you should mention that. I recently realized my Beltroncs RX65 Pro has a voltmeter function. I started using that and actually do increase the idle a bit at stop lights to bring the voltage up to 12.3 - I think it might go down to 11.9 otherwise. So I am now conscious of this. I will ask the dealer if the fuel filter could be a problem, If they're into the bike tat far I guess they might check it. Thanks for the tip!

Rick
bmwtwisty is offline  
post #16 of 20 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 12:04 pm Thread Starter
Member
 
bmwtwisty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Johnstown, PA,
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleRock
You been doing any heavy rain riding??
Rock
Yer a perceptive bunch! Yeah, as a matter of fact the day I went to WV we rode nearly two hours in the rain - not a gully-washer, but pretty steady or intermittent rain. The bikes got wet. We made the remainder of the ride to WV relatively rain-free and since the weather had cleared we went for a ride after we got there, came back to the motel and filled the tanks. The BC showed about 18 miles remaining This is where I may have heard some "wooshing" when I removed the gas canp but I can't be absolutely certain. The fillup at this point (261 miles/5.98 gals) is the one that I ran dry a few days later, and the problem persists.
bmwtwisty is offline  
post #17 of 20 Old Oct 9th, 2006, 2:52 pm
Senior Member
 
mneblett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Fairfax, VA, USA
Posts: 5,406
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwtwisty
Yer a perceptive bunch! Yeah, as a matter of fact the day I went to WV we rode nearly two hours in the rain - not a gully-washer, but pretty steady or intermittent rain. The bikes got wet. We made the remainder of the ride to WV relatively rain-free and since the weather had cleared we went for a ride after we got there, came back to the motel and filled the tanks. The BC showed about 18 miles remaining This is where I may have heard some "wooshing" when I removed the gas canp but I can't be absolutely certain. The fillup at this point (261 miles/5.98 gals) is the one that I ran dry a few days later, and the problem persists.
The crappy running is another symptom of a blocked tank vent line (the line to the likely clogged canister).

As the fuel is sucked out of the tank by the fuel pump, a vacuum builds in the tank (this is what caused the sides of the tank to be sucked inward, denting the fuel level sensor tube, preventing the float from going below about 1/4, and also preventing the BC computer from knowing that there's less than the sensor-reported 1/4 tank, and thus less than the calculated (XX mpg x YY gal. = ZZ miles to empty) fuel range).

At some point the vacuum gets high enough that the fuel pump starts having problems overcoming the vacuum to extract fuel from the tank. This results in abnormally low fuel pressure at the fuel rail and thus insufficient fuel injection into the cylinders -- causing stumbling and ultimately stalling. If you open the gas cap at this point, the bike will start running normally for a while -- proof of the existence of a tank vent issue.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
mneblett is offline  
post #18 of 20 Old Oct 24th, 2006, 9:23 am Thread Starter
Member
 
bmwtwisty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Johnstown, PA,
Posts: 33
Fuel Leve Warning Light - resolution

Hi folks. Well I took my bike to European Motors (BMW of Pgh) last Tuesday. They took it apart and found the float inside the little tube to be semi-stuck and not moving freely. The mechanic worked with the tube and basically freed the float so that it should function normally now. I haven't gotten close to emptying the tank yet (it's been snowing here in western PA for the past couple days so I'm caging it - ). He did say if the problem recurred to come back and he'd just replace the tube. This was a warranty fix.

FWIW, the tube wasn't bent nor was the gas tank deformed as some folks suggested. When I brought up the topic the mechanic said he'd never seen any deformed gas tank as a result of a vacuum but thought it'd have to be pretty severe to deform the tank or bend the float tube.

Thanks for the suggestions and ideas. Hopefully this is the end of the problem!

Rick
bmwtwisty is offline  
post #19 of 20 Old Oct 24th, 2006, 1:43 pm
IBR# 366
 
meese's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: West Linn, OR
Posts: 16,411
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwtwisty
When I brought up the topic the mechanic said he'd never seen any deformed gas tank as a result of a vacuum but thought it'd have to be pretty severe to deform the tank or bend the float tube.
That's Ok, we've seen plenty around here. Glad they took care of you.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by meese; Oct 24th, 2006 at 1:58 pm.
meese is offline  
post #20 of 20 Old Oct 24th, 2006, 3:09 pm
Member
 
Velocityguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA
Posts: 44
Smile

I use the odometer all the time. My rule (keeps me from walking!) is if I've ridden at speeds averaging greater than 80 mph for more than 200 miles, it's time to fill up. My LT's gas consumption drops to +/- 39 - 42 mpg at this sustained velocity.

If I use up the tank puttering around in an urban environment (45-55 mph) then I know I can push 270 miles before a fill up. My mileage goes up to around 47 - 49 mpg then.
Velocityguy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the BMW Luxury Touring Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WARNING: Check bolts for rear light assy. tumbleweed K1200LT 3 Oct 9th, 2006 8:06 am
Fuel Level Warning Light Issue darkey K1200LT 8 Aug 11th, 2006 3:27 pm
warning light of fuel giokas Other Stuff 1 Mar 31st, 2006 1:41 pm
How many of us does it take to change a light bulb?! Bruce_Yates Humor 4 Mar 1st, 2006 8:03 am
Triple BBG-Ride Report murray Ride Tales 8 Nov 20th, 2005 6:34 pm

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome