BMW Luxury Touring Community banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went for a 250/k ride today, to Michigan to see my in-laws, Cool weather about 40/f When waiting to clear customs to get back into Ontario (Windsor) at the bridge, a yellow flashing on light went on. I as thinking....WTH. :mad:
So I revved up the motor slightly and the light went out. A few seconds latter the light came back..... and now the temp is rising... This went on for a few minutes and finally got through customs and pulled over and shut off the motor and set the bike on the center stand. I checked the oil level and it was good. I can not figure out what just happened..
What" s your thoughts on this matter :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Define "good". My light comes on when the level gets to the lower third of the sight glass. FWIW, 330 highway miles in 45-60 degree weather today and my oil level dropped from 2/3 to 1/2 in the sight glass.

I'm not pleased with the oil consumption. It's unacceptable that I can't go 500 miles without having to add oil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
05Train said:
Define "good". My light comes on when the level gets to the lower third of the sight glass. FWIW, 330 highway miles in 45-60 degree weather today and my oil level dropped from 2/3 to 1/2 in the sight glass.

I'm not pleased with the oil consumption. It's unacceptable that I can't go 500 miles without having to add oil.
Are you burning more oil than you've indicated above?
Top to bottom of the circle is roughly 1/2 quart. Using the info you've posted above, you used about 1/6 of a quart today in 330 miles. So you're burning 1 quart approximately every 2,000 miles.
If the above is the case, then you're within BMW's 1 quart every 1,000 miles allowable burn rate.

Two other questions:

1. Are you going from the top of the circle to the bottom of the circle in 500 miles? If not, then you don't have to add oil. Oil anywhere in the circle is fine for operating the engine.
2. How many miles are on your bike? Until you've got 12,000+ miles, your oil consumption will be higher than it will be once the engine has broken in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,957 Posts
There were some issues with bikes of your era with the level indicator float. Tell tale is the oil level is good. Copied from Max parts fiche, RT 05-09. That's the bad news, the good news, it is not serious. Ask, there may even be a recall on this. As I remember it was just the float, not sure though.
13 627673502 OIL LEVEL WARNING $93.06

19 13627697763 FLOAT $19.77
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
Were you sitting on a slope while you were waiting for customs? It would effect the oil level slightly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,697 Posts
@ doof... you have posted on your oil consumption in other threads. I recall your bike is not nearly broken in yet. Your oil consumption is normal.

@beech. The soil sensor situation you refer to was not "bikes of that era" but only the early '05's- like mine. There was no recall. There was a Tech Bulletin. I installed the $20 revised float myself in about 20 minutes. I chose not to do the software update that is referred to in the bulletin. My (erroneous) oil level signal was not a yellow light, but the < ! > symbol on the RID.

You say the temperature was rising... was this the ambient air temp or your engine temperature bar? How long were you at idle with the motor running? IMO if you saw a decent level of oil that was not the problem.

When you say yellow light... where was it? Have you looked at your owner's manual? It is pretty good in explaining the RID behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
hopz said:
@ doof... you have posted on your oil consumption in other threads. I recall your bike is not nearly broken in yet. Your oil consumption is normal.
Sorry, you'll not convince me that a modern engine isn't broken in after 6,000 miles and that this sort of oil consumption is normal. "They all do that" is a poor excuse. These bikes are sold for touring, and it is simply unacceptable that I'd have to carry oil with me on a trip. I've never had to do that in the past with Hondas, Yamahas, Kawasakis, and Harleys.

It may be the way that it is, but that's a huge black mark against the bike and the brand if that's the case.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
906 Posts
05Train said:
Define "good". My light comes on when the level gets to the lower third of the sight glass. FWIW, 330 highway miles in 45-60 degree weather today and my oil level dropped from 2/3 to 1/2 in the sight glass.

I'm not pleased with the oil consumption. It's unacceptable that I can't go 500 miles without having to add oil.
It is pretty clear to me that you aren't understanding your bike and it's engine design.

First, if you're adding oil after *properly* checking your oil level in the sight glass when it's at the 1/2 dot, you're adding oil when you shouldn't be adding oil. If there is oil showing in the sight glass, when checked *properly* you have enough. To learn how to check your oil *properly* - read the manual. I'm not going to repeat what you already have printed information on.

How many miles are on this machine? BMW twin engines have very hard cylinder walls and rings. Regardless of your opinion, they do take significantly more miles to thoroughly seat and get oil consumption to it's normal rate, than other engines. If you don't have between 15,000 and 20,000 miles on the bike - it is definitely not completely broken in. I've been riding BMW twins since 1956 - this isn't news.

Like others, I've been seeing your comments on this issue and have just blown them off but seriously, how many times does this have to be explained to you by different BMW knowledgeable folks - trying to help you get it - before you do?

If you don't want to pay attention to the help you're receiving here - why are you here? Not trying to be a horses butt, but it is what it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
steveaikens said:
It is pretty clear to me that you aren't understanding your bike and it's engine design.

First, if you're adding oil after *properly* checking your oil level in the sight glass when it's at the 1/2 dot, you're adding oil when you shouldn't be adding oil. If there is oil showing in the sight glass, when checked *properly* you have enough. To learn how to check your oil *properly* - read the manual. I'm not going to repeat what you already have printed information on.

How many miles are on this machine? BMW twin engines have very hard cylinder walls and rings. Regardless of your opinion, they do take significantly more miles to thoroughly seat and get oil consumption to it's normal rate, than other engines. If you don't have between 15,000 and 20,000 miles on the bike - it is definitely not completely broken in. I've been riding BMW twins since 1956 - this isn't news.

Like others, I've been seeing your comments on this issue and have just blown them off but seriously, how many times does this have to be explained to you by different BMW knowledgeable folks - trying to help you get it - before you do?

If you don't want to pay attention to the help you're receiving here - why are you here? Not trying to be a horses butt, but it is what it is.
Apparently you don't need to try. With respect, you would do well to remember that not everyone has been riding BMW twins for 56 years; some of us have been riding modern motorcycles that don't have these sorts of foibles.

I didn't say I was adding oil when the level was halfway down the sight glass, did I? No, I did not. I can't speak about your bike, but on mine, the oil warning light comes on when the level is at 1/3 of the sight glass. According to the manual, oil needs to be added then. Don't agree with that? Argue your point with the engineers in Germany.

I'm not doubting that for whatever reason BMW Boxers burn a ton of oil, as I'm watching my bike do exactly that. Given the plethora of apologists for that behavior on this and other forums, I'm aware that this is par for the course. That doesn't mean I have to like it, nor does that make it acceptable. It's a shortcoming, especially in this day and age. I can either deal with it or sell the bike. I'm choosing to deal with it, but let's face it, a motor that burns (or otherwise loses) a quart of oil every thousand miles is way outside of the norm now.

Everyone says it'll stabilize at some point between 6,000 and 20,000 miles. I believe that, and I appreciate the constructive comments and help about it. But you might want to get out a bit more if you get defensive about someone questioning that sort of oil use when it isn't normal for anything other than a Boxer twin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
05Train said:
I didn't say I was adding oil when the level was halfway down the sight glass, did I? No, I did not. I can't speak about your bike, but on mine, the oil warning light comes on when the level is at 1/3 of the sight glass. According to the manual, oil needs to be added then. Don't agree with that? Argue your point with the engineers in Germany.
The manual doesn't say to add oil when the oil warning light comes on. It says to check the oil at the next stop, and if it's low, add oil. If it's not low, it suggests that possibly the oil low level switch is bad.


I've included the applicable section of the manual below:

Engine-oil level too low
Oil appears on the display.
Oil-level symbol appears on
the display.
Possible cause:
The electronic oil-level sensor
has registered an excessively low
oil level. Check the engine-oil
level at the oil-level indicator the
next time you stop to refuel
:
Checking engine oil level
( 109).
If the oil level is too low: Top up the engine oil ( 110).
Possible cause:
The oil sensor might be defective
if the "Check oil level" message
appears even though a check at
the oil sight glass reveals that the
oil level is correct.

Seek the advice of a specialist
workshop, preferably an authorised
BMW Motorrad dealer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
SPXDR said:
The manual doesn't say to add oil when the oil warning light comes on. It says to check the oil at the next stop, and if it's low, add oil. If it's not low, it suggests that possibly the oil low level switch is bad.
Thank you. I apparently am putting too much faith in my new bike and assuming that the electronics are functioning properly. I'll have the dealer check the oil level sensor when I have it in for them to reset the service warning light.

Out of curiosity, to what level are you refilling? I've been going to (roughly) 2/3, but not for any particular reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Anyway, Risky, If the indicator light looks like this <!> but yellow it is indicating low oil.
As noted if the level is full then it would indicate a fault with the sensor system. When at operating temp you can add oil to the top of the sight glass.

As far as the temp gauge rising, if you were holding the RPM's above idle when not moving that would be normal and should of dropped once you started moving.

I don't think they're related.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
I believe there are two oil warnings that are possible; one for oil level, and one for oil pressure. I had an 05 RT without the "computer", and I don't believe it had a low oil level warning indicator. As far as I know, all bikes have an oil pressure sensor and warning.

On one occasion, when the ambient air was about 95 degrees (F), sitting in traffic without moving very often, the oil pressure light came on at idle. If I revved the engine just a little above idle, the light went off, but would flicker on and off at idle. Engine temperature was one mark above normal.

The oil level was full; it was running Mobil 1 15W50 and the engine had about 40K miles on it. It did not use any oil between changes.

That was the only time it happened, even though I had similar times when I was stuck in traffic before and after that instance.

My point in bringing this up is to wonder if it's a low pressure warning instead of oil level warning?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
siman00 said:
I believe there are two oil warnings that are possible; one for oil level, and one for oil pressure. I had an 05 RT without the "computer", and I don't believe it had a low oil level warning indicator. As far as I know, all bikes have an oil pressure sensor and warning.

On one occasion, when the ambient air was about 95 degrees (F), sitting in traffic without moving very often, the oil pressure light came on at idle. If I revved the engine just a little above idle, the light went off, but would flicker on and off at idle. Engine temperature was one mark above normal.

The oil level was full; it was running Mobil 1 15W50 and the engine had about 40K miles on it. It did not use any oil between changes.

That was the only time it happened, even though I had similar times when I was stuck in traffic before and after that instance.

My point in bringing this up is to wonder if it's a low pressure warning instead of oil level warning?
Risky noted a yellow warning light, that would go with a level issue. Yellow would indicate a concern but not critical.
Oil pressure warning lights are most often red and indicate immediate attention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
05Train said:
Thank you. I apparently am putting too much faith in my new bike and assuming that the electronics are functioning properly. I'll have the dealer check the oil level sensor when I have it in for them to reset the service warning light.

Out of curiosity, to what level are you refilling? I've been going to (roughly) 2/3, but not for any particular reason.
Your bike may be functioning properly, even though the level warning is appearing with the oil level OK. For example, if you are stopped on an incline when the level warning appears, that may be considered normal. If the ground is level when it appears, that may be abnormal. It's really something for the dealer to diagnose and determine whether it is working as designed or not.

I run my oil level between 2/3 and the top of the circle.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,697 Posts
Originally Posted by hopz
@ doof... you have posted on your oil consumption in other threads. I recall your bike is not nearly broken in yet. Your oil consumption is normal.

Doof said: Sorry, you'll not convince me that a modern engine isn't broken in after 6,000 miles and that this sort of oil consumption is normal. "They all do that" is a poor excuse. These bikes are sold for touring, and it is simply unacceptable that I'd have to carry oil with me on a trip. I've never had to do that in the past with Hondas, Yamahas, Kawasakis, and Harleys.

It may be the way that it is, but that's a huge black mark against the bike and the brand if that's the case.
__________________

I never said "they all do that". I said mine did and many others have had the same experience. I'll wager you have never seen the cylinder wall of a BMW Nikisil cylinder.
This is one from a BMW bike with 139k miles


I would also wager a beer or two that if you switched to conventional oil for your 6k and 12k services at 18 k miles you will notice the improvement of the after-break in motor. As for carrying oil... I have had a quart in my side case since 5k miles. I have had the occasion to add a little here and there, but none/nada/zip since 18k miles. I still carry it in case one of my brothers needs it.

But to be clear... I am not trying to convince you of anything. I know that some other guy will find this information useful and comforting.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
FWIW Hopz, the 2011 manual states that it's fine to switch to synthetic at 6,000 miles.

I've seen plenty of cylinders during assembly and after the fact, and I doubt BMW is doing anything seriously different (Nikasil has been used in everything from Harleys to Porsches).



What is frustrating to me is that I have never had oil usage like this in anything else. Well, since a '72 Triumph TR6, but that was expected.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
906 Posts
I said earlier:
BMW twin engines have very hard cylinder walls and rings. Regardless of your opinion, they do take significantly more miles to thoroughly seat and get oil consumption to it's normal rate, than other engines.
Thanks for posting that shot hopz. I was looking for a shot of the cylinder out of Rob Lentini's R11RS when we busted a piston in LA on our 50CC. I believe his had 180,000 on it then - and the cross hatched pattern was about what you posted then.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,697 Posts
05Train said:
What is frustrating to me is that I have never had oil usage like this in anything else. Well, since a '72 Triumph TR6, but that was expected.
Sorry about your oil loss. Re: the TR6... I did a frame up engine totally tear down restoration on a '72 500cc Triumph Daytona T100. You can bet that the cylinder walls had more wear than that. I'll bet you wished you still had that TR6.

And... I had a BMW 735 with the Nickasil engine that had the entire motor replaced under warranty... when BMW discovered that the high sulfur content of our fuel did not play well with their new motor.

I know you are disappointed about your oil usage. The good news is that it will improve.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top