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Old 09-01-2007, 09:14 AM   #1
German OP
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Pissed I spend more $$ on OIL than on Gas on my 1200 GS - Please Help

I have a 2005 model, 1200 GS with 8700 miles that seems to consume significant amount of oil. BMW recommends oil changes every 6000 miles, but when I checked my oil at 4900 miles, I was 4 liters (four quarts) too low. Yesterday when I was checking my oil level again at 8680 miles, I was low again about 3 liters (three quarts). Is the large consumption of oil normal? I do not have any leaks, nor do I see any excessive burning.

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:58 PM   #2
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Not sure if you are kidding but -

The GS doesn't hold 4 quarts...it's close but it's not 4 quarts. You would have been bone dry.

If you're not checking it but every 4,000 miles you WILL have a problem.

They do burn SOME oil as a part of the cooling process. My '05 GS burned almost 1 quart every 600 miles. Every hexhead I've had since burned less than half of that.

Check it in shorter intervals.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:11 PM   #3
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According to the BMW Manual oil volume is 3.9-4 Liters (4.1223 - 4.228 Quarts) so it does hold four quarts, but if that much oil is lost the bike would be toast.

I think German needs to have a dealer look at it.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:54 PM   #4
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This belongs in GSpot

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Old 09-01-2007, 02:19 PM   #5
configurationspace
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When you say the bike was 4L short of oil, how were you judging? I would assume you looked in the sight glass, and kept on filling up until oil was half-way up the glass?

The problem with that strategy is that it may not be giving you an accurate assessment of how much oil is in the bike. If you have oil half way up the sight glass, it means you have at least 3.75L of oil in the bike. You may very well have MUCH MORE, because the sight glass is only measuring the oil that's in the sump. There's oil throughout the engine that may not have drained into the sump.

What's probably happening in your case is you're seeing less than half a sight glass full, filling up with oil, the extra oil gets pumped into your airbox and into your FI system, and you burn your excess oil off, then repeat...

It's nerve wracking sometimes when you want to get an accurate assessment of the amount of oil right away. People usually park the bike on the side-stand (hot) for 5-10 minutes, then put it on the centrestand for a half an hour. Take the bike out for another ride, do the same. Take the max of the two readings, that's a pretty decent idea of how much oil you've got.

You might want to take a look in your TB tubes to see if they've been blackened from burning oil.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your comments. Before checking the oil level, I put the bike on ht center-stand then started up the bike and let it run for a few minutes. After turning off the bike, then I checked the level and I did not see any oil at all through the glass. By reading you comments, I should have checked the bike after riding and on the SIDE-STAND opposed to the center-stand. I have not ridden the bike today and I am afraid that I may have over-filled with oil. HHHHMMMMMM I guess I will find out tomorrow.

Since I still have warranty on the bike, I would assume that they would cover any issues. The question is: Now that I filled the engine with oil, how do I prove the Service Manager about my dilemma?


I am going ride it and check the oil level and let you know what happens.


German (Maybe I should no longer claim that I am German with such poor craftsmanship by my fellow Germans at BMW)
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:30 PM   #7
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Thumb

I will try to find the Gspot and move it in there
Just kidding - I don't know how to move the thread - HELP!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnjen
This belongs in GSpot

JJ
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:01 PM   #8
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Oil level checking simplified:

1. Run engine to full operating temperature. (not just letting it idle on the stand)

2. Park on a level surface on the side stand.

3. Let sit for 10 minutes or so.

4. Pull bike up onto the center stand and let sit for another 15 minutes or so.

5. Now check the level. Anywhere between half and full on the sightglass is okay.

As mentioned already you can go through the process a second time and see if there is any difference.

I've gotten into the habit of side standing the bike when pulling into the garage and then by the time I get all the gear off and other things done, I then go for the center stand. Once you get to know the way the level reacts you can check the level at anytime after it's been hot and get a pretty good idea of the level.
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by German
Thanks for all your comments. Before checking the oil level, I put the bike on ht center-stand then started up the bike and let it run for a few minutes. After turning off the bike, then I checked the level and I did not see any oil at all through the glass. By reading you comments, I should have checked the bike after riding and on the SIDE-STAND opposed to the center-stand. I have not ridden the bike today and I am afraid that I may have over-filled with oil. HHHHMMMMMM I guess I will find out tomorrow.

Since I still have warranty on the bike, I would assume that they would cover any issues. The question is: Now that I filled the engine with oil, how do I prove the Service Manager about my dilemma?


I am going ride it and check the oil level and let you know what happens.


German (Maybe I should no longer claim that I am German with such poor craftsmanship by my fellow Germans at BMW)

Reading the above, it sounds like you're still confused on the oil check procedure

Bike engine warmed up -- let the bike rest on the side-stand for awhile -- 10 minutes, 15 minutes or a cup of coffee on a terrace, Lift the bike up off the side-stand so that it is straight up and down, plumb -- check oil level in glass- you can put it on the center stand but I find it easier to just lift it and bend over and look at the glass. One way to get a sure method is to explain your dilemma to the dealer service shop. Have them put exactly the right amount of oil in the bike. Now you can play with it seeing what works and what doesn't.

Good luck

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Old 09-01-2007, 05:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by German
Thanks for all your comments. Before checking the oil level, I put the bike on ht center-stand then started up the bike and let it run for a few minutes. After turning off the bike, then I checked the level and I did not see any oil at all through the glass. By reading you comments, I should have checked the bike after riding and on the SIDE-STAND opposed to the center-stand. I have not ridden the bike today and I am afraid that I may have over-filled with oil. HHHHMMMMMM I guess I will find out tomorrow.

Since I still have warranty on the bike, I would assume that they would cover any issues. The question is: Now that I filled the engine with oil, how do I prove the Service Manager about my dilemma?


I am going ride it and check the oil level and let you know what happens.


German (Maybe I should no longer claim that I am German with such poor craftsmanship by my fellow Germans at BMW)
I would start by draining all the recent oil you put into the engine. Do not remove the filter...it is OK.

You have likely severly overfilled the engine which could cause major issues which your BMW dealer may not cover under warranty.

Drain the oil and refill with the correct amount. Then ALWAYS check oil on the center stand after a full hot engine run...not a few minutes running in the garage.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:02 PM   #11
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It should be pointed out that IF you have overfilled the engine with oil, the bike will deal with the excess oil. Your air filter box MAY have a bunch of oil in it.

ALSO, if you overfill or underfill the engine it WILL use oil at a MUCH greater rate than normal.

The 1st thing to do is use a 'proper' oil level checking procedure (read your owners manual for BMW's suggested method), and then figure out what amount of oil your engine is really using. NOT after several thousand miles but check it before (or after) every ride for a while and keep track. Running any engine low on oil is a sure way of ensuring its early demise.

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Old 09-02-2007, 06:04 AM   #12
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Just to emphasize what others have said: running the bike for a few minutes in the garage is no good. It will give you a false low reading. I know this because I sometimes need to run the bike for a few minutes to test one thing or another. Starting off, I know I have the correct amount of oil, but after running it for a few minutes, it appears that there is no oil in the bike at all. It has all been captured in the engine and is not hot enough to quickly flow down to the sight glass. Even a ride of 4 or 5 miles is not enough to bring the oil up to full operating temperature, and will also show no oil in the sight glass.

I also agree with the advice being offered here. Leave your oil filter on, but drain out all of the rest of the oil. Let it drain a really long time to be sure it is all out. Refill with oil per the manual when there is no oil change, and then take a ride. Make it at least an hour, to be on the safe side and then use the techniques described in earlier posts to check the level.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:07 AM   #13
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:46 AM   #14
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Way too complicated.

My God!
Put it on the center stand.
Let it sit a couple of minutes.
Look at the sight glass.
Oil should be between the bulls eye and the top of the glass. Simple.
Don't put your eye out.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeputyTom
My God!
Put it on the center stand.
Let it sit a couple of minutes.
Look at the sight glass.
Oil should be between the bulls eye and the top of the glass. Simple.
Don't put your eye out.

I agree, the process I posted was just to get him used to what the level should be. Once he gets the feel for the level he can switch over to the less complicated method. I can pretty much check my oil anytime now and take into consideration the length of time it has sat since being hot and know what the level is. When I first got mine it seemed that everytime I went to go for a ride I needed to add oil, I rarely add oil now.

BTW German needs to check the oil more frequently than he is.
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