Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old Apr 13th, 2014, 10:45 pm Thread Starter
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Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

I became the proud owner of a 2000 LT this weekend. Impeccably maintained and with a full service history. The PO even had the final drive replaced as a preventative measure. I knocked out 980 miles in one day on my return trip home and have never felt so comfortable on a bike. A huge LT fan now!

There is one annoyance with the bike the PO identified to me. The low fuel warning light illuminates when there is half a tank of fuel. I refueled four times on my trip home and each time the light illuminated at the half tank indication on the fuel gauge. The PO had his local dealer attempt to recalibrate the warning indication multiple times with no success. The fuel gauge and the trip computer's distance to empty are accurate.

Is there a procedure to calibrate the low fuel level warning indicator? Will it take BMW centric tools to accomplish the job? Is it a job a somewhat mechanically inclined individual can accomplish?

Thanks for the help,

Rob Lightner
Navarre, FL
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post #2 of 20 Old Apr 13th, 2014, 10:51 pm
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Easy enough to do. You will need to start with an empty tank, then add the amount of fuel you want it to alert on (normal is one gallon). Then find the diagnostic port connector (right side under the sub frame rail near the fender). Turn on the key and short pin 3 (brown/black) and pin 4 (brown) for two seconds.

The tank reserve light should flash quickly. When the flashing ends, the calibration is complete. Probably best to do this with the bike on the center stand.
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John
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2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #3 of 20 Old Apr 13th, 2014, 10:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Sounds easy enough John. Remember I said I was somewhat mechanically inclined. What do you mean by "short" with the pin 3 and pin 4 for two seconds.

Rob
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post #4 of 20 Old Apr 13th, 2014, 11:10 pm
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fun Bobby View Post
Sounds easy enough John. Remember I said I was somewhat mechanically inclined. What do you mean by "short" with the pin 3 and pin 4 for two seconds.

Rob
Welcome to the forum; you're going to love the LT. This place (and especially John Z.) will give you invaluable advice when needed.

"Short" between the pins means to take a small wire (or perhaps paper clip) and bridge the pins together for 2 seconds by touching each end to one pin, and the other simultaneously.

Brian
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post #5 of 20 Old Apr 13th, 2014, 11:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

That's what I thought, but I wasn't going to attempt without a definitive answer. I would hate to make a small problem into a bigger one due to ignorance.

Sounds like a straightforward fix. I wonder why the dealership couldn't calibrate it. Maybe there's more to the problem.

Rob
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post #6 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 7:26 am
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fun Bobby View Post
That's what I thought, but I wasn't going to attempt without a definitive answer. I would hate to make a small problem into a bigger one due to ignorance.

Sounds like a straightforward fix. I wonder why the dealership couldn't calibrate it. Maybe there's more to the problem.

Rob
If a "real" BMW dealer said he could not calibrate, please change dealer ;-)

Of course, he can if he is a BMW dealer as they have the mothership diagnostic computer system (GT1 or Moditec) to do all kind of troubleshooting (error code reading) including the tank calibration.

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post #7 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 10:26 am
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

+1

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post #8 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 1:28 pm
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Thanks for filling in. Here is a picture of where the diagnostic plug is located in case you haven't found it yet.
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John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #9 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 2:14 pm
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Where do you suppose the signal for the low fuel indication comes from?
Function of the Motronic?

Rand & Susan Hawksworth
2000 K1200LT
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post #10 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 8:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Thanks John. Your two photos saved me a minimum of 2000 words on posting. They will be the first two additions to my Clymer's manual. I'll have my first opportunity this weekend to remove the Tupperware. The pin connector appears to be from the left side of the KT. Correct?

As for a dealer, by default my new-to-me LT will be cared for by a different dealer. I hope the shop in Pensacola has a good reputation because the next closest dealer is three hours away in south Louisiana.

Rob
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post #11 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 8:43 pm
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fun Bobby View Post
I became the proud owner of a 2000 LT this weekend. Impeccably maintained and with a full service history. The PO even had the final drive replaced as a preventative measure. I knocked out 980 miles in one day on my return trip home and have never felt so comfortable on a bike. A huge LT fan now!

There is one annoyance with the bike the PO identified to me. The low fuel warning light illuminates when there is half a tank of fuel. I refueled four times on my trip home and each time the light illuminated at the half tank indication on the fuel gauge. The PO had his local dealer attempt to recalibrate the warning indication multiple times with no success. The fuel gauge and the trip computer's distance to empty are accurate.

Thanks for the help,
Rob Lightner
Navarre, FL
I have nothing to add regards calibration
But I was trying to understand you clearly.
Light comes on when gauge indicates 1/2 At that point how much gas do you actually add. 3 gals or there abouts? Or are you adding 5 plus gallons.
Next you said 4 fill-ups to home. Again 4 x 3 gals or 4 x 5+ gals So I am figuring 12 gals total or 20 gals.
Now 980 miles on 20 gals of gas sounds right like 49 mpg.
Whereas the same distance on 12 gals would not compute. Did you mean 1/2 tank to empty or 1/2 gal to empty. Help me here. Hope I read this thread right.
ride safe
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post #12 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 9:10 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

First, let recant my question in my previous post due to a lack of reading comprehension. As pointed out by John Zeiler in his post, the diagnostic port connector is on the right side under the sub frame.

The onboard computer showed an average miles per gallon for the 980 mile return trip as 45.2 MPG. 500 miles were completed on 2-lane roads at 55 MPH and the remaining 480 miles were completed on the interstate at 72 MPH.

I hope that clears up the confusion.

Rob
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post #13 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 9:21 pm
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Rob, no need to remove anything to recalibrate. Just lift the seat, swing the pre-load adjuster up, and snap the diagnostic plug out of the clip. There's enough wire loom on it to do what you need. What John suggests is the best way to get it right. Here's an easy way: Fill it up, siphon five gallons out, reset it. I think total capacity is something like 6.7 so that leaves you with a 1.7 reserve. Also, "full" on an LT is to the bottom of the threads where the filler cap screws in. Filling above that level will likely cause you problems.


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post #14 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 10:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Another top tip. Thanks Dean. I went out to the garage and the diagnostic port was exactly where you said it would be. No removal of Tupperware required.

The siphon recommendation is also a good idea. However, I was thinking of riding the LT until the onboard computer indicated 90 miles to empty and then performing the calibration. The 90 miles to empty number is based upon the 45 MPG average it calculated during my 980 mile trip which would leave me with 2 gallons when it illuminates. Thoughts?
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post #15 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 10:42 pm
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

The miles to empty presented by the board computer (BC) is an average with some input from the Motronic on injector pulse width. It is not necessarily reliable for anything other than a long term average. Unless you reset it periodically then it is fairly accurate.

The BC does have a calibration factor that can be adjusted for accuracy. Best to get the right amount of fuel in the tank and set the warning. The warning is controlled by a stand alone module and is based on a fuel gauge input and a set point. It is not a function of the BC.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #16 of 20 Old Apr 14th, 2014, 10:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Loud and clear. Thanks John.
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post #17 of 20 Old Jun 7th, 2014, 10:36 am Thread Starter
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

The low level fuel indicator calibration worked perfectly. Thanks to JZeiler and the other members for their guidance.

Rob
Navarre, FL
2000 LT
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post #18 of 20 Old Jun 7th, 2014, 11:23 am
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Surprised no one recommended a canisterectomy. 90 miles is too early a reserve to me. I would actually prefer 20 miles or so. There IS a gauge and the trip computer, the light is just another failsafe. Fairly rare to have more than 10 miles between exits here east of the MS. I didn't relize it was so easy to calibrate, I thought you had to have the dealer for it.

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post #19 of 20 Old Jun 7th, 2014, 1:02 pm
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

Again: this place is amazing..doing what a dealer could not or did not want to do! Cheers!
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post #20 of 20 Old Jun 7th, 2014, 9:23 pm
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Re: Low Fuel Warning Indicator Calibration

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Again: this place is amazing..doing what a dealer could not or did not want to do! Cheers!
That was exactly how this board started as a Yahoo Group. When the LT was introduced in 1999 the dealers were clueless. Evidently that has not changed.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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