Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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jgifford06
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Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby jgifford06 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:37 pm



I have a 1985 GL1200LTD and the engine sometimes runs pretty hot when I'm at high speeds for a while. Recently when this happens my fuel system light comes on. Not sure what the connection is here... Any help would be appreciated!



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WingAdmin
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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:48 am

The low fuel light on the GL1200 lights up when the fuel level sensor is near the bottom. It has a delay, so it won't come on from fuel sloshing around momentarily.

The fuel level sensor has a resistor on it, which increases resistance the less fuel there is in the tank. When the tank is full, there's virtually no resistance. When the tank is empty, it's over 100 ohms.

If there is a bad connection between the sensor and the instrument cluster, increasing the resistance seen by the instrument cluster, the fuel gauge will read low, and the low fuel light will turn on early. It's possible that when your bike heats up, it causes enough expansion in a dirty connector somewhere to increase resistance enough to light that light up. I would suspect that your fuel gauge is also reading quite low at the same time.

If that's not the case, then there may be an electronic problem inside your instrument cluster itself.

jgifford06
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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby jgifford06 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:09 am

The low fuel light works just fine and only comes on when the tank reaches 1/2 gallon. It's the fuel system light that comes on. It comes on when it's hot outside in the afternoon when I've been riding for about 30 minutes or so at 50-60 mph speeds or quicker if I'm on the highway at speeds over 70 mph. The engine temp also has been getting too high but by changing oil, air filter, and putting new coolant in the tank it's running better. It still overheats sometimes at high speeds but unlike before it cools off as soon as I get off the highway. The fuel system light came on the first time when the engine temp guage read 100% (or 9 bars) but now it comes on at 7 or 8 bars. Also, last time this happened I lost almost all resistance in the clutch. It still worked but it didn't move anything until it was 1/2" from the handlebar. Hopefully this better description can help someone to give some advise. I have been able to fix things that happen but diagnosis sometimes elude me and I haven't been able to find a similar problem on any message boards...

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WingAdmin
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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:30 am

jgifford06 wrote:The low fuel light works just fine and only comes on when the tank reaches 1/2 gallon. It's the fuel system light that comes on. It comes on when it's hot outside in the afternoon when I've been riding for about 30 minutes or so at 50-60 mph speeds or quicker if I'm on the highway at speeds over 70 mph. The engine temp also has been getting too high but by changing oil, air filter, and putting new coolant in the tank it's running better. It still overheats sometimes at high speeds but unlike before it cools off as soon as I get off the highway. The fuel system light came on the first time when the engine temp guage read 100% (or 9 bars) but now it comes on at 7 or 8 bars. Also, last time this happened I lost almost all resistance in the clutch. It still worked but it didn't move anything until it was 1/2" from the handlebar. Hopefully this better description can help someone to give some advise. I have been able to fix things that happen but diagnosis sometimes elude me and I haven't been able to find a similar problem on any message boards...


Ah, fuel SYSTEM light - just realized you have a fuel injected 1200. I can offer very little help, outside of the diagnostic lights on the side of the ECU, which, if the fuel system light is on, should be blinking a code to tell you what the fault is (see below).

As for the spongy clutch when hot - this is normally an indication of moisture in the clutch fluid. When it gets hot enough to boil the moisture, it turns into steam, which is compressible. I would flush the clutch with fresh fluid.

ECU Diagnostic lights
ECU Diagnostic lights

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virgilmobile
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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:41 am

My initial thought.
Get the engine temp under control before you go any further.
The engine may be overheating if its running lean so pull and look at your spark plugs.
There's a "how to read your spark plugs" here too.
Inspect the impellers on the water pump,replace the thermostat.
remove the radiator and get it cleaned(inside and out),replace the radiator cap.
Check the overflow tank and hose.

It's starting to sound like your problems are related to the engine overheating.

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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby hunter27h » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:52 am

I have never seen my ltd get over 7 bars, and that was running flat out for a while and sitting in idling traffic, definitely check for engine over heating problems, and check the diagnostic lights when the fuel system light is on, you cannot see all of the lights when the unit is installed under the trunk. I would definitely look at coolant, water pump, oil, anything to get the temp down, hard to believe, and can't explain it, but my bike ran 1 bar hotter using amsoil that it does with valvoline, and as I said I have never seen it over 7 bars. Good luck!

jgifford06
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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby jgifford06 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:31 pm

Well I've got the cooling system all cleaned out and some of the hoses and seals replaced. Cooling system should run well now and did for a bit but now it appears that I've blown a head gasket... My Haynes repair manual is very vague on the repair process (wish I had bought the Clymer!) Anyone have any good tips on replacing the gaskets? Should I replace both Gaskets? Any other seals I'll need to replace? I don't like getting into something and realizing that I've missed something I should have ordered...

hunter27h
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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby hunter27h » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:35 pm

What are you seeing that leads to diagnose a blown head gasket?

jgifford06
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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby jgifford06 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:45 pm

I rode it out to test it after I had everything put back together. I rode it for about 30 minutes on the highway and gave it plenty of time to overheat like it was doing. The engine ran within normal ranges of heat the whole time. I stopped at a gas station and let it sit for a couple minutes and when I started it back up sweet smelling white smoke came pouring out of the exhaust pipes. I ran it home and it didn't smoke while the bike was moving but would start smoking again when the bike idled and it stalled out both times I stopped. I was only a few minutes from home so I took the chance on riding home... I also see coolant in the oil which I've been told is a pretty good indication that the head gaskets are blown. I haven't looked at the spark plugs yet because I can't find my spark plug wrench but I plan on getting another one in the next couple days and I'll check in there as well. I explained these symptoms to a local mechanic and he suggested that it was probably a blown gasket as well but I don't have the money to pay someone to fix my bike. I'd rather learn myself anyway!

hunter27h
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1989 GL1500
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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby hunter27h » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:58 pm

Well, sure sounds like "maybe" it's just a gasket, if you look at one of the parts site, such as Hondaline or bike bandit, they will have blowups of the engine and you can determine the parts that you need from there, and I'm sure if you search under 1200 headgasket on here or on one of the other forums, you will find a "how to", just keep in mind that some parts are different for our LTD's, I'm sure sorry to hear about the gasket, I thought the LTDS were bulletproof

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SilverDave
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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby SilverDave » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:24 pm

Well... almost bulletproof.... but its been 27 + years and thats a long time for a head gasket ...

When my 27 year old head gasket was "blown", and clearly leaking , the old one just fell apart, when the head came off for repairs:
just crumpled into many pieces !!

and so both were replaced to keep anything from happening on the other side ..

SilverDave

jgifford06
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Re: Fuel system light comes on when engine gets hot

Postby jgifford06 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:33 am

Thanks for the advice everyone. If there's anything else I should know please let me know. I'm going to order parts today and hopefully be back up and running in a couple weeks...




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