Oil Light comes on ride Riding ?
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Thread: Oil Light comes on ride Riding ?

  1. #1

    Default Oil Light comes on ride Riding ?

    Hello Everyone,

    What would cause your oil light to come on while riding? This happen to me on Friday for about 5 minutes, it eventually went off and I continue my ride home but I checked the bike Saturday morning, that's when I noticed my coolant level was low. I also checked the oil level Saturday and it seems fine.

    Thanks in advance,

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    Very Active Member cbxer55's Avatar
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    These things are known for coolant leaks. They use worm gear clamps on all the fittings and apparently don't tighten them enough. In my case, there is a big T under the left side of the radiator shroud up top. Have to remove the fuel tank and the radiator shroud to get to it. All the clamps were as tight as they could get and it still leaked. Had to put new clamps on it. I had spots all over the starter motor down at the front of the engine. So look for ugly green colored spots. They also leak up between the cylinders. I've always been able to add coolant without disassembling the bike. Just got to sneak your fingers in there and remove the cap, use a large syringe that I bought at Pep Boys with a long hose on it to add the coolant, then sneak the cap back on again. It's a little bit of a pain, but beats taking the bike apart. But if you have it apart to replace the clamps on the T, fill it then.
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    Very Active Member UVATom's Avatar
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    I have never had the oil light come on but yes they do leak coolant from time to time especially if you don't tighten the clamps. I noticed mine leaking out of the cap so I replaced it only for it to leak too. I pressure tested everything and couldn't figure out the issue until I checked the overflow hose. Turns out that the bottle had a blockage. So I flushed the system. No leaks since that I have found but every once in a while I do smell antifreeze for a second at a stop.

    Mine is an 06 so should probably replace all the hoses and have been tempted to get some silicone hoses I saw a couple years ago. Just been putting it off.

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    Very Active Member M109Dreamer's Avatar
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    Im not looking at my bike but I believe the oil and the temp light are one in the same. If you are low on coolant I would suspect the hose clamps as stated before

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  7. #5

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    Thanks for the suggestions fellas. I used a tip from the "How To" Section, to add coolant to the reservoir by only moving the tank back 6 inches. I also checked the "T" connector and tighten a few screws but I didn't see any leaks on the connector but I definitely have a leak somewhere because there are stains on the starter.

    Also, I decided to drain my oil catch can for the first time since last season and noticed, this a milky white substance mixed in with the oil. Does anybody know what this could be?

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  8. #6
    Active Member Stalker's Avatar
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    The oil and coolant temp are the same idiot light.

    If you are low on coolant you want to check it at the radiator cap under the right neck cover and not just at the reservoir.

    If you have a white milky substance in your oil that may explain where you coolant is going.
    This is usually a sign of a bad head gasket, coolant gets mixed with the oil if that is the case.

  9. #7
    Active Member Stalker's Avatar
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    You might want to go ahead and drain your oil into a clean drain pan to have a look at it.

    Measure what amount of fluid you get out as well.

    If it looks white or like chocolate milk or snotty you have coolant mixed with the oil.

    If you get out more than 4 quarts volume out that is also an ominous sign.

  10. #8

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    Hello Stalker,

    OK, I checked the oil dip stick and the oil on the dip stick was clear and normal.... If I have a blown head gasket. Can it be repaired or will I need a new engine?

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    Active Member Stalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTM109R View Post
    Hello Stalker,

    OK, I checked the oil dip stick and the oil on the dip stick was clear and normal.... If I have a blown head gasket. Can it be repaired or will I need a new engine?
    It can be repaired,

    But you should really drain the oil and check to see what comes out.

    Oil floats on top of water so if you suspect you may have water mixed with your oil you need to drain it to really know.

    If you get clean oil then that's good news and it only cost you an oil change.

    But if you get milk or snot then you may save yourself thousands by finding it before you do real damage.

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    Very Active Member UVATom's Avatar
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    I agree you need to check the coolant at the cap and not the overflow before doing anything with the bike again especially if the light came on.

    You can go by an auto parts place and "borrow" a pressure tester. Read the manual for step by step instructions and pressures to check the head gaskets. I agree with Stalker that it might be your problem but this won't cost any money that you don't get back and might help you find your leak too if the gaskets are ok. It should hold pressure or push out coolant where it is leaking. If it's a head gasket leaking internally then I guess you should be able remove the dip stick while under pressure to check for that. Do not go to high with the pressure or you can blow a head gasket so follow the manual. I have also heard of a blown head gasket letting exhaust gases into the coolant system which causes the overflow bottle to fill quickly while reving the bike.

    If it holds pressure and still no leaks then remove the tester and put the cap back on.Crank the bike and let it get up to temp and check that your fan comes on. My leak was the cap but the cap wasn't bad. The overflow bottle was clogged not allowing it the release pressure and pushed it out the cap. You should also check that your thermostat is working correctly.
    Last edited by UVATom; 05-31-2020 at 07:46 AM.

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    Active Member Gary E's Avatar
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    My dodge ram truck gets the same milky colored residue on the bottom of the oil cap. The dealer said its condensation not burning off. When I drive my truck it's only about five miles to work, so it never sustains operating temp for along periods of time.

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    Very Active Member cbxer55's Avatar
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    He said he has drips of coolant on the starter. The usual culprit for that is the bit T under the neck cover on the left. However,m he said it doesn't appear to be leaking.

    Oil, yeah, drain it, then when you put the new oil in, pour the old oil into the bottles. That is an easy way to figure out how much came out. These things do have a tendency to burn some oil, mine is usually down a little. And that's after me keeping it topped off during the 3000 miles. And putting the full four quarts in, which I've been doing for 14 years without any problems whatsoever.
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    Very Active Member M109Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTM109R View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions fellas. I used a tip from the "How To" Section, to add coolant to the reservoir by only moving the tank back 6 inches. I also checked the "T" connector and tighten a few screws but I didn't see any leaks on the connector but I definitely have a leak somewhere because there are stains on the starter.

    Also, I decided to drain my oil catch can for the first time since last season and noticed, this a milky white substance mixed in with the oil. Does anybody know what this could be?

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    If you smell it I bet it smells like fuel. My catch can does the same. I blame it on my FI2000. And I always felt it was rich at the fuel setting. My plugs were always in the dark side as well. I just had my ECU flashed and we will see if the catch can has the same stuff in it

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    Very Active Member UVATom's Avatar
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    Mine was also dripping on the starter from the cap. It would run down the frame and hoses and drop at the lowest point.

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    Very Active Member Frotosride's Avatar
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    The milky looking oil is not unusual at all. There will always be some moisture content that builds in your engine. Doesn't matter if it's your push mower, motorcycle or truck. That's one reason why short trips are so bad on the engine. If you are really interested in if its antifreeze thn do as I taught my wife and taste it. If it is sweet at all its antifreeze. It will be unmistakeable. With that the oil also tents to aerate and take on a frothie nature especially in the PCV system.
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  18. #16

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    Hello M109Dreamer,

    Yes, it does smell like fuel. The other interesting fact, is that, I had rear lowering links installed at the dealership last week and while they had it, I ask them to disconnect the Power commander as I wanted to get the ECU tuned by BCS. I'm thinking about having it towed to the dealership this week because I don't want to ride it and cause any further damage if I have a head gasket issue.

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    Very Active Member UVATom's Avatar
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    If you had them remove your tuner and it smells like fuel then that might be the issue instead of a head gasket.

    You do still need to find out why the light came on. If you don't feel comfortable removing the upper shroud, which is the hardest step, then yes take it to the dealer but most of the diagnosis can be done pretty easily without spending any money. The upper shroud is not that hard to take off but can be a hassle putting it back on. The service manual walks you thru everything step by step and can be downloaded in multiple threads on the forum.

  20. #18

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    Hello UVATom,

    I don't have the mechanical skills to do the pressure test, so unfortunately, I will have to spend the $$ at the dealership but thanks to everyone for their help. I will post an update after I hear from the dealership.

  21. #19
    Very Active Member M109Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HTM109R View Post
    Hello UVATom,

    I don't have the mechanical skills to do the pressure test, so unfortunately, I will have to spend the $$ at the dealership but thanks to everyone for their help. I will post an update after I hear from the dealership.
    Mine has been the same as your for 10 years with a catch can and the yellowish foaming. I believe its just acting like the PCV but doesnt get rerouted like cars, back into the crankcase. Im sti running mine just fine. I dont think you are hurting it and should be fine but its your choice

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  22. #20
    Very Active Member cbxer55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UVATom View Post
    If you had them remove your tuner and it smells like fuel then that might be the issue instead of a head gasket.

    You do still need to find out why the light came on. If you don't feel comfortable removing the upper shroud, which is the hardest step, then yes take it to the dealer but most of the diagnosis can be done pretty easily without spending any money. The upper shroud is not that hard to take off but can be a hassle putting it back on. The service manual walks you thru everything step by step and can be downloaded in multiple threads on the forum.
    I've done so many things to my Nine in the 14 years I've owned it. Never looked at the shop manual once. I have an online version that was forwarder to me years ago. Never even opened it up. I just tear into it, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

    Been like that my whole life, not changing now.
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  23. #21

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    I took it for a couple of spins around my neighborhood, trying to keep it in 2nd or 3rd gear to build up heat. I wanted to see if the temperature light would come on again and after about 20 minutes or so, after I pulled into my driveway to let it idle a bit, the temperature light came on and I could hear it bubbling. I turned it off as antifreeze was flowing out of the overflow tube. I also noticed that the fan didn’t come on at any time during the ride or when I let it idle nor when it started to run hot. So, I suspect that’s one of my problems. BTW, I checked the fan fuse, it looked fine.

  24. #22
    Very Active Member UVATom's Avatar
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    So when moving the fan wouldn't normally come on because of air flow through the radiator but it should have come on way before the light came on. You can get a used fan pretty cheap on ebay to save some money if the fan is bad. The temp sensor seems to be working or the light wouldn't come on but can't rule that out either. It also sounds like your thermostat is working some but probably not enough. It could be stuck partially open but not opening enough to cool the antifreeze through the radiator.

    A quick check of the thermostat is to fill the radiator completely again and start the bike when it's completely cool and keep your hand on the large hose right under the left side of the gas tank. It should be cold for some time probably a couple minutes or so. It should start to get warmer a little bit as minutes go by which is the thermostat slowly opening up. Once it reaches a certain temperature it opens fully and will heat up quickly.

    If that hose starts to heat up very quickly after cranking then your thermostat is stuck open which will cause it to overheat. The thermostat must open and close as needed to regulate the temperature of the bike. Changing out the thermostat is really simple (2 screws) but you need to replace the gasket too.

    If you don't think you can work on the bike then I would not ride it anymore because the motor getting that hot is not good for anything. Hoses could rupture and you will blow a head gasket eventually or worse seize the motor.
    Last edited by UVATom; 06-02-2020 at 11:03 PM.

  25. #23
    Very Active Member StitchsLoft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M109Dreamer View Post
    If you smell it I bet it smells like fuel. My catch can does the same. I blame it on my FI2000. And I always felt it was rich at the fuel setting. My plugs were always in the dark side as well. I just had my ECU flashed and we will see if the catch can has the same stuff in it
    I love my FI2000PwrProBlack it made it a whole new bike but I also noticed after its last trip to the shop its running different... I was going to get it on the Dyno to see the numbers, but have you played with it much to find good settings even after it did its thing? I get feeling its "rich" at times too and get slight backfire on compression down a big hill...
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  26. #24
    Very Active Member M109Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StitchsLoft View Post
    I love my FI2000PwrProBlack it made it a whole new bike but I also noticed after its last trip to the shop its running different... I was going to get it on the Dyno to see the numbers, but have you played with it much to find good settings even after it did its thing? I get feeling its "rich" at times too and get slight backfire on compression down a big hill...
    If you are getting the decel pop. You might need to adjust that fuel pot setting. I havent messed with any of the power pros but the original one had a pot you could adjust. I believe it was the idle trim pot but for sure. You could also block off the pair valve but you really shouldn't have to with the PP Black

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  27. #25

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    Update: I got good news from the dealership yesterday, they say I don't have a head gasket issue, but the fan motor stopped working. So while they are replacing the fan, I'm going to have them replace the thermostat, and all the Radiator hoses with the silicone version from Revo-cycles (https://www.revo-cycles.com/shop/m109r-m1800r-vzr1800/). I ordered the hoses yesterday, and I hope to receive them within the next two weeks. They think the milky white substance is from condensation as others have suggested.

  28. #26
    Very Active Member UVATom's Avatar
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    Definitely good it wasn't a head gasket.

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