Overheating problems and steps taken so far
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  1. #1

    Default Overheating problems and steps taken so far

    Hello everyone. Just recently bought my 2013 M109R LE, with only 2,000 miles. Since the first day I've owned it, it overheats after 25-30 minutes of riding. I'm looking for further inputs, experience, and possible solutions to my issue.
    The first issue is that the cooling fan wasn't running. I resolved that issue, but the problem persisted. Even if I run the fan on a manual switch for my entire ride, it'll still light up the dash with an overheating light after hitting a couple of red lights. I've verified that it's not the head gasket, after changing the oil and looking for coolant. Also replaced the radiator cap today, as recommended from threads I found while searching on here.
    Coolant level also reads full on the overflow.

    Does anyone have any further suggestions on where to wrench next? I prefer doing my own work, but at this point I've had the bike for a month and unable to ride it. It's frustrating to the point that I want to take it to a shop, but I'd really rather not if I can avoid it.

    Thanks in advance for any info!

    -Andy

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    Are you certain it's actually overheating? Faulty temp sensor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bairdo View Post
    Hello everyone. Just recently bought my 2013 M109R LE, with only 2,000 miles. Since the first day I've owned it, it overheats after 25-30 minutes of riding. I'm looking for further inputs, experience, and possible solutions to my issue.
    The first issue is that the cooling fan wasn't running. I resolved that issue, but the problem persisted. Even if I run the fan on a manual switch for my entire ride, it'll still light up the dash with an overheating light after hitting a couple of red lights. I've verified that it's not the head gasket, after changing the oil and looking for coolant. Also replaced the radiator cap today, as recommended from threads I found while searching on here.
    Coolant level also reads full on the overflow.

    Does anyone have any further suggestions on where to wrench next? I prefer doing my own work, but at this point I've had the bike for a month and unable to ride it. It's frustrating to the point that I want to take it to a shop, but I'd really rather not if I can avoid it.

    Thanks in advance for any info!

    -Andy
    2009 M109R LE
    2015 Boss tins, Custom speedo and tach faces and LEDs. ISO Grips. Brake Away Cruise control. Cobra Swepts. Debeavered, Fi200R Fuel management, polished risers and trees, SS Brake lines, ATRE, Custom forward controls. HID kit. Ultimate seat and backrest. Dunlop E3s, 250 rear, Plastidipped rims, cobra solo rack

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    Very Active Member FlyingCircus's Avatar
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    This spring I flushed my rad. I ran it on idle and I could smell the coolant. I rode it and could still smell it while riding. It was obviously a vapor lock. I took off the cap and brought coolant lever to the top again and added to the overflow at F level. It's been perfect ever since. We had a hot day in the 30s Celsius so 90 Fahrenheit and no more smell and when I got home into garage the fan was running. Ever since I ride when I get home I look at reservoir and it's above Full line but after an hour or so it's back right on the Full line. Been that way for months now

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    Radio Active Member rynosback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bairdo View Post
    Hello everyone. Just recently bought my 2013 M109R LE, with only 2,000 miles. Since the first day I've owned it, it overheats after 25-30 minutes of riding. I'm looking for further inputs, experience, and possible solutions to my issue.
    The first issue is that the cooling fan wasn't running. I resolved that issue, but the problem persisted. Even if I run the fan on a manual switch for my entire ride, it'll still light up the dash with an overheating light after hitting a couple of red lights. I've verified that it's not the head gasket, after changing the oil and looking for coolant. Also replaced the radiator cap today, as recommended from threads I found while searching on here.
    Coolant level also reads full on the overflow.

    Does anyone have any further suggestions on where to wrench next? I prefer doing my own work, but at this point I've had the bike for a month and unable to ride it. It's frustrating to the point that I want to take it to a shop, but I'd really rather not if I can avoid it.

    Thanks in advance for any info!

    -Andy
    Head gaskets can be bad in several different ways. Because your oil is not milky does not completely eliminate it. You could have air in the system. When cold, pull the cap off and let it run until the thermostat opens and allows the hot coolant to get through the radiator. If the hot coolant does not get to the radiator and you get the warning light. Your thermostat is more then likely bad. With lack of circulation the water pumps impeller could be detached from the shaft causing it to over heat. Do you have an inferred temp gun? A handy tool to know what the temps are and where in the system. Like the hot antifreeze is getting to the radiator but the other half of it remains much cooler. That means that your radiator has a restriction. It would need to be repaired or replaced. It is all a process of elimination confirming something is good and then moving on. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by rynosback; 06-23-2019 at 10:28 PM.
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    Very Active Member UVATom's Avatar
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    Check your thermostat. One way to do this is to crank the bike and keep feeling the big hose on the left side right in front of the air filter. It should start out cold and should get hot after the thermostat opens. If it doesn't get hot after 10 minutes then that's your problem. If it does then check the small hose at the cap. You can feel that as well when the bike is hot. If that hose stays relatively cool then take the clamp off and try blowing air through the line. If you can't then check the hose and bottle for blockage. To check the water pump, wait until the bike is cold and take the cap off and crank the bike. This will make a mess if the pump is working so be ready to cut the bike off. You can go to Advanced Auto and they will loan you a pressure test to check the head gaskets, radiator, and hoses. Just follow the instructions in the service manual. There are a number places in the forum where people have provided a link to download it if you don't have one.

    Edit: The overflow hose won't cause the overheating. With that low of miles on a 13 means it has been sitting somewhere. I would say the thermostat is stuck either closed or partially open or you have a bad sensor.
    Last edited by UVATom; 06-24-2019 at 07:14 AM.

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    Thanks for the input everyone.
    I'll be checking out the thermostat and trying the top off as suggested.
    Any further suggestions are welcome! Never know when someone else could use the info as well.

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    Very Active Member UVATom's Avatar
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    I actually have a temp gauge on mine. This evening in 92° heat it didn't get hot enough to open the thermostat completely until after riding for about 12 mins or 8 miles in town which is around 65° to 70° C. Mine typically hovers at 85° to 88° C when riding down the road. If stock the fan should come on at 105° and cut back off at 95° C. I don't know what temp the light comes on.
    Last edited by UVATom; 06-24-2019 at 06:50 PM.

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    Radio Active Member rynosback's Avatar
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    I think my fan only came on a handful of times in 10 years.
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    Very Active Member FlyingCircus's Avatar
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    I only noticed mine come on once and that was a couple weeks ago when it was mid 30s Celsius so in 90s Fahrenheit

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    Based on everyone you noted in your original post, it definitely sounds like a thermostat.
    Manually having the fan run constantly won't help if the thermostat is stuck closed...since the coolant isn't circulating through the system.
    For what it's worth, throwing a new thermostat in won't cost much money or time.
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    M109 is well known for running well even in really hot temps.
    I developed a hole in my rad and ran low on coolant and still had decent temps before i got it fixed.

    Fan should only come on when still...

    When filling my bike back with coolant after fixing the rad, there was an air block that was a bitch to get out and caused it to run hot....you have to bring it up to temp and add the fluid bit at a time.

    I also concur with the thermostat, its easy to change and not expensive....
    Maybe also flush and replace coolant...

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    If you are low, your resevoir will be empty, just fill up that. If it sucks it all out when up to full temp, you are definitely low.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UVATom View Post
    If stock the fan should come on at 105° and cut back off at 95° C.
    Stock settings in the ECU for the cooling fan are 105 cut in / 100 cut out.

    BCS

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingCircus View Post
    I only noticed mine come on once and that was a couple weeks ago when it was mid 30s Celsius so in 90s Fahrenheit
    Your fan cut in / cut out temp has been lowered to 100 cut in / 95 cut out.

    Must not be very hot in the great white north.......my fan cuts on pretty regularly if stopped at a light or idling here in Florida during the summer.

    BCS

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bering_C_Sparky View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by UVATom View Post
    If stock the fan should come on at 105° and cut back off at 95° C.
    Stock settings in the ECU for the cooling fan are 105 cut in / 100 cut out.

    BCS
    You are correct. Not sure why I said 95°. It's been more than a few years since I replaced the fan. Mine started making noise.

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    My thermostat froze over the winter a few years ago and it blew the o-rings for the cylinder lines. Not a fun fix. So much easier to keep an eye on and replace the thermostat. Not a big fan of removing the air box and throttle body to replace two little o-rings.

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    Very Active Member FlyingCircus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bering_C_Sparky View Post
    Your fan cut in / cut out temp has been lowered to 100 cut in / 95 cut out.

    Must not be very hot in the great white north.......my fan cuts on pretty regularly if stopped at a light or idling here in Florida during the summer.

    BCS
    That was the hottest day we've had so far. Was the first time I've noticed it. We get into high 90s some 100s June July August September. That day I could feel the heat of the engine on my legs so I was looking at the fan regularly and it was coming on

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    Very Active Member FlyingCircus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UVATom View Post
    My thermostat froze over the winter a few years ago and it blew the o-rings for the cylinder lines. Not a fun fix. So much easier to keep an eye on and replace the thermostat. Not a big fan of removing the air box and throttle body to replace two little o-rings.
    Do you use antifreeze or another product?

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    Very Active Member UVATom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingCircus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by UVATom View Post
    My thermostat froze over the winter a few years ago and it blew the o-rings for the cylinder lines. Not a fun fix. So much easier to keep an eye on and replace the thermostat. Not a big fan of removing the air box and throttle body to replace two little o-rings.
    Do you use antifreeze or another product?

    Sent from my LG-H933 using Tapatalk
    Antifreeze. Might have been a poor choice of words when I said froze especially when referring to the cooling system and winter. I just meant the thermostat was stuck just a 1/4 way open and on one warm Dec day I took it for a ride. Just so happens it had snowed a few days before so with all the snow melting I didn't hear it get hot and blow the o-rings with all the puddles and wet roads. Didn't find out until the first day riding the next spring what had happened.

    One thing to keep in mind is if there is no coolant in the engine then the light doesn't work and I had been having issues with the gauge which I discovered to be a short later. Everything lined up perfect to make me fight putting the throttle body and air box back together. Easy taking it apart but not so much the other way around.
    Last edited by UVATom; 06-25-2019 at 08:57 PM.

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    Update.. Had a new thermostat on hand already, and replaced just for the sake of it. Old one tested fine and didn't fix the issue. Guess it's time to flush coolant and refill per the manual. Hoping there's just a vapor lock or air stuck in somewhere.
    Thanks for all of the supporting information so far!

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    Very Active Member Sasnuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bairdo View Post
    Update.. Had a new thermostat on hand already, and replaced just for the sake of it. Old one tested fine and didn't fix the issue. Guess it's time to flush coolant and refill per the manual. Hoping there's just a vapor lock or air stuck in somewhere.
    Thanks for all of the supporting information so far!
    When you replaced the thermostat, and filled the system, and had the bike running, did you wait for it to heat up and the thermostat to open?
    At that point you would have seen the coolant flowing through the radiator cap opening. If the coolant was just sitting there stagnant, then the thermostat didn't open, or, it did open but the waterpump wasn't moving the coolant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rynosback View Post
    Head gaskets can be bad in several different ways. Because your oil is not milky does not completely eliminate it. You could have air in the system. When cold, pull the cap off and let it run until the thermostat opens and allows the hot coolant to get through the radiator. If the hot coolant does not get to the radiator and you get the warning light. Your thermostat is more then likely bad. With lack of circulation the water pumps impeller could be detached from the shaft causing it to over heat. Do you have an inferred temp gun? A handy tool to know what the temps are and where in the system. Like the hot antifreeze is getting to the radiator but the other half of it remains much cooler. That means that your radiator has a restriction. It would need to be repaired or replaced. It is all a process of elimination confirming something is good and then moving on. Hope this helps.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bairdo View Post
    Update.. Had a new thermostat on hand already, and replaced just for the sake of it. Old one tested fine and didn't fix the issue. Guess it's time to flush coolant and refill per the manual. Hoping there's just a vapor lock or air stuck in somewhere.
    Thanks for all of the supporting information so far!
    Once you have drained and filled the system. Let it run until the thermostat opens, the hot coolant goes through the radiator and the fan cycles, turns on. This is all with the radiator cap off. This insures that that the air has been purged out of the system. Then top the system off and place the cap on. I would also pull the over flow reservoir and clean it out. This way all of your antifreeze is clean and fresh.
    It is important to change your antifreeze per the manual. As antifreeze over time becomes acidic it can damage sensors and eat head gaskets just to name a few things.
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    Update and solution. In my particular case, the solution was a full radiator flush. Drained old coolant, removed thermostat to circulate without having to wait for the bike to get up to high temps, sealed the system back up, and circulated a 50/50 mix of distilled water and distilled white vinegar through the system, for roughly five minutes. Then let the bike cool down.
    After that, flushed again and ran straight distilled water through for 5 minutes. Cooled off and flushed again.
    Then sealed everything back up, put the thermostat back in, and filled up the coolant. Even after a slow pour, I had a LOT of air to burp out of the system. Instead of making a mess of coolant every time air tried to release, I found an alternate way.
    After topping off with coolant and filling the reservoir, I used a funnel I have with an extended flex tube attachment. The tip of the flex tube is tapered a bit. So I left the radiator cap off and put the end of the funnel flex tube into the inlet. Then started the bike while firmly holding it into the inlet. Left some paper towels lodged underneath in case of minor leakage.
    Every time the bike wanted to burp out air and coolant would want to come out with it, it went up into the funnel instead of out onto the ground. The funnel got nearly half full of coolant, and then sucked it back down when the thermostat opened up. After a couple more minutes, I shut down and topped off the coolant very slowly. Replaced radiator cap and all was well again.

    I'm sure there are plenty of solutions like this here in the forums, but I thought I'd write an explanation as it may help someone else in the future. Thanks to everyone for their inputs!

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    Very Active Member UVATom's Avatar
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    Glad you got it fixed and it wasn't anything major.

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    Radio Active Member rynosback's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that you are back up and cooling correctly.
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