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Author Topic: Oil usage (again)  (Read 1996 times)

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Yeowow

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Oil usage (again)
« on: April 05, 2012, 01:41:28 AM »

Hi all,

I've been having an ongoing saga with my dealer with a 2009/2010 FXDFSE (yellow), and I'd like to get a feeling for what other people's usage is to get a baseline of what's normal

I've been experiencing what I believe to be excessive oil usage or consumption for the past year I've owned the bike (I purchased it with 1000km/600mi on clock)

Current stats are for every 1000km (600mi), I'm using approximately 400ml(almost half a quart) of oil

The dealer has performed compression tests on the engine and said there are no issues here, but state the usage is normal and expected. (which then makes me wonder why they were doing compression tests if it was normal?)


do other people out there believe this is expected usage? What do you experience on these?
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Twolanerider

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 01:48:16 AM »

That's usage of almost a quart every thousand miles.  If it's actually using that much through the engine it is agreed that it's too much by everyone but Mother Harley.

With modern standards it is too much.  Harley is likely to put you off with a quart-per-thousand specification and say it's ok.

However....  You're describing adding at half quart increments.  Are you filling it to the full mark on the dipstick?  If so you may not have an issue at all.  It is very common that "full" on the dipstick is, in practice, too much.  And if filled to there the engines blow a half quart or so out the top end past the breathers.

If you're filling it to the full mark try leaving at about a half quart low on a cold engine.  See if the loss continues.  If it does continue at the pace you're describing and the shop says a compression test is ok ask them to do a leak down test.  It's a more thorough version of an engine pressurization test and give some insight as to where the oil might be going.
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lilcoot

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 02:48:31 AM »

Yeowow,

With my vast experience and knowledge  :confused5: regarding Harley Davidson (all 7700 miles of it), I think Twolane may have guessed correctly.   :o 

I'm on my 3rd oil change on my first Harley, which I bought new - 1st oil change at about 30 miles, next at 1000 miles, and next at 5000 miles.  Using the flawless logic that more is always better, I filled the oil level to full each time, and noticed the oil level (on the cheapass digital temp/oil level gauge I bought from HD) seemed to drop pretty dramatically until it read "low" when cold.  At that point, the oil loss would stop.

I initially thought it was burning oil, even though there was no discolored exhaust, and the oil pressure gauge always read in the normal range.  But when I cleaned the air filter, there was a lot of oil in the filter and the base of the intake housing.  The owner's manual explains the oil levels are read differently when the oil is hot vs when it's cold.

I know it's hard to do, but before you tangle with your dealer again, let the oil level on the dipstick drop, and see if the oil loss stops.  Just make sure the oil pressure doesn't drop.   :'(   Also, check your air filter to see if there is any motor oil there or in the bottom of the intake tube of the Heavy Breather.

Don't know if this is your first Harley, but this newbie is finding that there's a steep learning curve with these bikes.  Hope this helps!

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muddypaws

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 07:51:15 AM »

My 2012 uses almost NO oil in 5000 miles. So little I never add oil. Your bike has a major problem. Find another dealer. I sell my bikes when they reach 50,000 miles and have never had an oil problem. Lots of other problems.
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Bill

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 08:41:32 AM »


First, Twolanerider gave you some very good advice.  Leave the oil level at least a pint below the full mark on the dipstick and see if that doesn't help - it has for many people including me.

Second, if you continue to experience that much oil loss even after lowering the level in the tank, you need better diagnostics by someone a little more qualified than that dealership.  A compression test is not a definitive test for oil consumption.  You can have excellent compression and be pumping oil past the oil rings or valves all day long; the oil will help seal the compression rings.  In fact that is one way to help diagnose low compression problems, by adding oil through the spark plug hole to see if the compression improves.  A very common source of oil consumption on a Harley is the valve stem seals.  A compression test won't tell you a thing about those.  In other words, there is a lot more involved than just a simple compression test.

Find a better dealer, and good luck.


Jerry

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Yeowow

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 08:49:33 PM »

Thanks for the informative answers, I should have clarified that this usage is as reported by the dealer (they are doing the checking and filling)

I originally took it to them because after riding around 3000km my oil light came on. None of my previous harleys had done this, but this is also my first CVO.

By the dealers logic (and they confirmed when I asked them) that I would need to do multiple top ups between service intervals of 8000km, which I find hard to accept.

The dealer said the oil usage is normal for SE engines and CVOs, so perhaps I should look at having it looked at by another dealer or an independant.


I did notice a few hits on my Google searches of people mentioning issues with the valve guide seals, but there wasn't much conclusive I could point to which is why I came here to reach out to other owners :)
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sadunbar

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 09:14:21 PM »


The dealer said the oil usage is normal for SE engines and CVOs, so perhaps I should look at having it looked at by another dealer or an independant.


You've just confirmed that there are incompetent dealer technicians all over the world - on every continent! 

You're heading the right direction by looking around for another dealer...   :2vrolijk_21:
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kiwihog

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 11:15:54 PM »

mine sits at 1/2 litre low all the time never have to add oil between changes on either bike 07 Deuce or 2011 R/glide CVO
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Vyscera

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2012, 09:45:57 AM »

on my '10 FXDFSE3 I had engine oil leaking into the primary through a "hard seal." Motor was dangerously low on oil, but showed no signs of burning or leaking oil, until he drained everything and came up with the correct amount of SYN3 in the pan. I hadnt heard of this, but he service tech seemed familiar with the problem.
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ryr8828dj

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 05:46:01 PM »

I'm in agreement with everyone on this one.  The manual for my '09 FXDFSE says 3 quarts with filter change.  If you put anymore than 2 1/3 quarts in mine it will blow it out the breather. I change oil and filter every 3,000 miles never have to add any at all between changes.  However, if the dealer changes the oil they'll put 3 quarts in it everytime and the 2/3 quart will be gone in no time. Bet you'll find what they're all telling you to be true. Change the oil and filter. Put in 2 1/3 quarts and problem solved... I hope...worked for me.
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Yeowow

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 06:11:33 PM »

Quote
If you put anymore than 2 1/3 quarts in mine it will blow it out the breather. I change oil and filter every 3,000 miles never have to add any at all between changes.  However, if the dealer changes the oil they'll put 3 quarts in it everytime and the 2/3 quart will be gone in no time. Bet you'll find what they're all telling you to be true. Change the oil and filter. Put in 2 1/3 quarts and problem solved... I hope...worked for me.

I had already tried this myself prior to handing it over to the dealer. It resulted in another oil light coming on between 2000km and 3000km.

Going to take it to another dealer next week to give them a crack at it.  ;D
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Jui

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Re: Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2012, 05:52:16 PM »

I experience similar oil consumption with my 2009 FXDFSE. I got it with 9100km and had a service with oil change done. Now, with 11.600 km I heard a ticking noise when the bike was hot and idle which came from the valve hydros and finally the reason for this "sound" was low oil level. Oil warning bulb did not yet come up.
I filled in 1.25 Liter (which is slightly more whan a quart) to full hot and I will now see what happens the next 1.000km.

Any news on oil consumption from the thread owner?
Is it worth to buy one of these digital oil sticks (are they accurate?)

Jui


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Yeowow

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Re: Oil usage (again)
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2019, 04:16:19 AM »

I know it's an old thread, but I thought I'd come in to say FINALLY the oil issue got resolved after trying a number of different shops. It's been around 9 months and 5000km now, and I haven't had to top up at all.

I mentioned to the mechanic at Northern Beaches Harley in Sydney about what was going on - and he asked a couple of other questions about starting reliability, he recommended replacing the ACRs as he thought it might not be sealing correctly..

And with that, no more topping up oil  :nixweiss: ;D
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