Oil. Should I worry? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old Dec 4th, 2005, 8:12 pm
Rich_in_Tampa
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Oil. Should I worry?

Before I left for a quick trip from Tampa to Orlando (spectacular weather), I noticed a small (maybe a teaspoon spread over a 6 inch irregular area) slick of OIL on the slab of my garage, more or less midline or maybe a bit forward right under the engine of my bike. A quick visual showed no obvious problems.

I checked all the levels (AOK), went about my business. After 175 miles, no heat build-up, levels still normal.

So, what the heck is going on. Worry? Normal? Keep an eye on it? Trip to the dealer? I am hopelessly mechanically impaired myself.
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post #2 of 20 Old Dec 4th, 2005, 8:20 pm
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Definitely not normal. I would say a trip to the dealer. Based on what you're describing it could be a leak from the timing chain cover on the front of the motor. If so the warranty will cover repairs.

David Taylor
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post #3 of 20 Old Dec 4th, 2005, 11:49 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
more or less midline or maybe a bit forward right under the engine of my bike. A quick visual showed no obvious problems.
Did you look at the point under the bike where the front of the tranmission meets the rear of the engine (actooly, the rear of the intermediate housing between the engine and the tranny)? If it's wet there, bad news -- you have a problem that needs immediate attention. Very likely a leaking clutch slave cylinder, which will lead to a wetted (and slipping/useless) clutch; could also be a leaking engine rear main seal, or a tranny front (input shaft) seal. Any of these will require major surgery to correct.

I'd suggest grabbing a small flashlight and crawling under the bike to positively ID the location from which the oil is leaking. With this info, we can start to be more specific (instead of guessing like I just did )

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #4 of 20 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 5:08 pm
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smell it

Put your finger in the oil and smell it, that will tell you if it is gear oil or engine oil.


Hans
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post #5 of 20 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 6:20 pm
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBuffalo
Put your finger in the oil and smell it, that will tell you if it is gear oil or engine oil.
Uh.. that might tell you whether it is gear or engine oil. It would just smell like oil to me. Might clear my sinuses, though .

I'll post back here once I sort this out. Thanks for the tips.
post #6 of 20 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 6:25 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mneblett
Did you look at the point under the bike where the front of the tranmission meets the rear of the engine (actooly, the rear of the intermediate housing between the engine and the tranny)? If it's wet there, bad news -- you have a problem that needs immediate attention. )
Boy 0oh Boy, that is something you really don't want.
Mark is right on the money location and smell. They had to evac the shop in Reno when they opened it up.

Good Luck,
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post #7 of 20 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 7:21 pm
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Disc brake cleaner seems to do a great job removing oil.

Bob
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post #8 of 20 Old Dec 5th, 2005, 9:19 pm
 
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Rich,
Sounds like you and I went to the same mechanic's school. I feel so helpless when these guys start talking "shop". Oh well, I say if it cranks and you have brakes, Ride It. And maybe we should keep newer bikes and try to keep them under warranty. Good Luck.
Leon
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post #9 of 20 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 1:15 am
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Typically, you always go to the furthest point forward that you find oil. The wind blows the oil to the rear so use a flashlight and look for the location of the dry spot and right behind it is usually your leak spot. Good luck!

Paul S.
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post #10 of 20 Old Dec 6th, 2005, 11:31 am
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ooh that smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Uh.. that might tell you whether it is gear or engine oil. It would just smell like oil to me. Might clear my sinuses, though .

.
Rich
Not as technical as it sounds,
gear oil has a very distinct smell,
where-as motor oil well just smells like oil.
I don't know what it will do for your sinuses but I hear it's a great laxative.


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post #11 of 20 Old Dec 7th, 2005, 5:41 pm
 
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Long live warranties

Quote:
Originally Posted by RideIt
Rich,
Sounds like you and I went to the same mechanic's school. I feel so helpless when these guys start talking "shop". Oh well, I say if it cranks and you have brakes, Ride It. And maybe we should keep newer bikes and try to keep them under warranty. Good Luck.
Leon
Being magnificently challenged mechanically I enjoy keeping my ride under warranty, which means three years and out. Reading the posts from our mechanic brothers is as close as I need to get to a wrench.

Ride often, live well.
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post #12 of 20 Old Dec 7th, 2005, 6:21 pm
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You might consider an extended warranty. Sometimes you might really like the bike you have and would like to keep it longer than three years. I bought a used '01 and the extended warranty is good until '07. Just a thought.

Adversity builds character.

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post #13 of 20 Old Dec 7th, 2005, 9:20 pm
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Unless the underside of the bike has oil widely distributed, it really sounds like you have a little gasket leak that puts down a few drops when you park. It does not sound serious. Check out what Paul Sayegh said about looking for the leak. The evidence on the floor sounds like a few drops after each ride. Most likely it's an engine gasket or seal. Exercise your warranty and have the dealer fix it. But, don't feel that you need to rush in if the fluids are staying up.

Paul Browne
Reston, VA

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post #14 of 20 Old Dec 7th, 2005, 9:31 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulcbrowne
Unless the underside of the bike has oil widely distributed, it really sounds like you have a little gasket leak that puts down a few drops when you park. It does not sound serious. Check out what Paul Sayegh said about looking for the leak. The evidence on the floor sounds like a few drops after each ride. Most likely it's an engine gasket or seal. Exercise your warranty and have the dealer fix it. But, don't feel that you need to rush in if the fluids are staying up.
Reassuring. I put down a clean paper towel beneath the leak and am noticing about two DROPS of oil a day, levels, indicators and performance all picture perfect.

Guess I'll take it in. There goes another half-Saturday . I'll post the diagnosis if and when...
post #15 of 20 Old Dec 17th, 2005, 12:13 pm
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Oil answer

Well, I finally had my slow oil leak checked out by the dealer. He says it was just above the "inspection plate" - that is, by the o-ring near the oil filter. He says it was a "bad o-ring" and "fixed it" within a few minutes. Since this started just after my 12K servicing, I figure they crimped the ring when they tightened things up.

Same dealer at the 12K service overfilled the oil requiring me to make a trip back since I could no longer read the oil level (i.e. it was over the top of the indicator ring).

So, problem solved. Bike is perfect. Dealer service confidence level a bit tarnished.
post #16 of 20 Old Dec 17th, 2005, 12:42 pm
 
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Rich,
It sounds like you need to catch Dave or Lynn's next tech session and start doing your own work or find another dealer. Kinda scary that you had problems with two simple tasks. What would/will they mess-up on a major repair/service? Ft. Myers to the south or Miller's to the north may make a good day trip next time.


Jack
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post #17 of 20 Old Dec 17th, 2005, 12:51 pm
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Oil Leak continued

Rich,
Not required to name names on this site, if you dont want to. I live in FL also, what dealer did your services so I can avoid.

You can PM me if you wish.


Jack Haughn
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Last edited by icycler; Dec 17th, 2005 at 12:52 pm. Reason: forgot something
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post #18 of 20 Old Dec 17th, 2005, 1:26 pm
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I'll help you

Rich, I live in Temple Terrace and have changed my own oil the last 4 times and would be happy to show you / help you on your next. Got all the tools and plenty of room and cat litter. Dave D. taught me how to change all of the fluids two years ago at my first change. Call any time.

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

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post #19 of 20 Old Dec 17th, 2005, 2:22 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandiver
Rich, I live in Temple Terrace and have changed my own oil the last 4 times and would be happy to show you / help you on your next. Got all the tools and plenty of room and cat litter. Dave D. taught me how to change all of the fluids two years ago at my first change. Call any time.
Hey, Dan. Thanks - appreciate your offer. I will definitely give you a call next time I am tempted to change the oil myself, maybe synthetic next time. Better yet, let's get together for a ride after the holidays.

I have only been in Tampa 2 years and I am sure you have loads of trip-tips to share. Live in south Tampa, work at Moffitt.

Happy holidays.
post #20 of 20 Old Dec 17th, 2005, 2:24 pm
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You're right - I should do more of this myself. My problem is free time (not enough of it), so when I can I'd rather ride than tool. Still, these simple tasks may actually be quicker to do myself than hassle with the dealer.

Happy holidays.
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