How do you check your oil level


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Old Wing Man
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How do you check your oil level

Postby Old Wing Man » Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:53 pm



I think I know the answer but anyone know if the oil level is checked with the dipstick screwed in or resting on the threads. I checked it with the bike on the center stand by just inserting it to the threads and removing(didn't screw it in). I thought that it would be better to be a little low than over full.

I found that the oil level is lower on one side that the other also (by about 1/8") but by inserting and turning it 180 degrees the level indicates exactly on the center line on the dipstick.



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Dusty Boots
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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby Dusty Boots » Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:18 pm

On my 1500 ....

I place the bike on a level area on it's centre stand, insert the dipstick so it rests on the threads and then turn the dipstick counter clockwise a few times and then remove dipstick to check oil level

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby Old Wing Man » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:06 am

That is exactly how I did it also. Glad to know that I have been following the same practice as a fellow Goldwing owner.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby joeincalif » Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:10 am

start the engine and let it run for a minute. Allow a minute or so for the oil to drain back into the sump, then check the level with the dipstick. Don't screw the dipstick in. The oil level should be at the upper mark on the first segment of the dipstick,
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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:54 pm

joeincalif wrote:start the engine and let it run for a minute. Allow a minute or so for the oil to drain back into the sump, then check the level with the dipstick. Don't screw the dipstick in. The oil level should be at the upper mark on the first segment of the dipstick,


This is the correct method. Make sure the bike is on the centerstand, and that it is on level ground, or you will get a false reading.

This is actually covered in your owner's manual:

Checking oil
Checking oil

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby dingdong » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:33 am

I know what the book says however I would like to know: Why start the engine first? I don't remember ever hearing this regarding any other vehicle. Seems odd to me.
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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby fixdent » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:14 am

I would suppose that after the engine has been run, a certain (probably small) amount of oil is 'hung-up" in the engine workings. If the engine has been sitting for a long bit of time, that amount of oil would have gravitated to the sump, therefore giving it a bit of a higher reading than wanted.

Personally, I can't see there being any problem. I check my automobile engines without running them all the time.

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Rob98801
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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby Rob98801 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:38 am

So how do I check my oil? OFTEN! I have never had to add oil between changes but If I am out on a long trip I check the level morning and midday. I don't screw the dipstick in.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby gordonv » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:28 pm

fixdent wrote:Personally, I can't see there being any problem. I check my automobile engines without running them all the time.
--
Gordon


So do I. BUT I account for the other issues. I also look for oil on the ground where I park.

Normally I check on a cold engine, to insure I can start the vehicle, and usually only when taking a long trip. So maybe only a few times a year. Lets face it, no oil on the ground, how much oil do I loose?

Then I check some other time when I fill with fuel, when I've gone from a full tank to an empty, again, long trips. Park, fill, and then check the oil. This is the one I use for my true oil level, and add any extra if needed. Usually I have a almost empty 1 liter container from my last oil change. Currently I have dino oil in that one in my saddle bag, as the US jug of Rotella T6 all went in the bike in the spring.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:54 am

fixdent wrote:I would suppose that after the engine has been run, a certain (probably small) amount of oil is 'hung-up" in the engine workings. If the engine has been sitting for a long bit of time, that amount of oil would have gravitated to the sump, therefore giving it a bit of a higher reading than wanted.

Personally, I can't see there being any problem. I check my automobile engines without running them all the time.


The best (most accurate) level check is when the bike has been sitting overnight, and all oil has drained back into the sump. This is what the dipstick is calibrated for. If the engine has been run, it should be left to sit for a few minutes before checking the oil level, to get as much oil as possible back into the sump. The hotter the engine (and therefore the thinner the oil), the faster this will occur.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby k1w1t1m » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:32 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
fixdent wrote:I would suppose that after the engine has been run, a certain (probably small) amount of oil is 'hung-up" in the engine workings. If the engine has been sitting for a long bit of time, that amount of oil would have gravitated to the sump, therefore giving it a bit of a higher reading than wanted.

Personally, I can't see there being any problem. I check my automobile engines without running them all the time.


The best (most accurate) level check is when the bike has been sitting overnight, and all oil has drained back into the sump. This is what the dipstick is calibrated for. If the engine has been run, it should be left to sit for a few minutes before checking the oil level, to get as much oil as possible back into the sump. The hotter the engine (and therefore the thinner the oil), the faster this will occur.


I too prefer to check mine cold.
I see mention of starting the engine. If your going to do this get it up to full operating temperature (like the manual says). If you do it when it's too cold the oil won't drain back to the sump quickly and you will get a low reading on the dipstick.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby Wilcoy02 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:47 pm

I check mine on the side stand. After an oil change and put an the exact amount of oil in the engine ( what the owners manual said to put in.) I then marked the dipstick. The dipstick all the way in or just sit it on top- as long as you do it the same all the time.

So after you change oil then mark your dipstick.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:36 pm

Wilcoy02 wrote:I check mine on the side stand. After an oil change and put an the exact amount of oil in the engine ( what the owners manual said to put in.) I then marked the dipstick. The dipstick all the way in or just sit it on top- as long as you do it the same all the time.

So after you change oil then mark your dipstick.


Keep in mind that putting the "exact amount of oil in the engine" may be too much. When you drain the oil, it doesn't actually drain it all. The inside of the engine and the sump are still coated in oil. Depending on the temperature, you may be leaving a substantial amount of oil left in the engine. If you then put the "exact amount of oil" as specified by the manual (which is what the engine takes if it is absolutely devoid of any oil) you could very well be overfilling the engine. The only way to know for sure is to check the dipstick properly, using the factory marks, when the bike is on the center stand.

That said, if you do check the oil level correctly on the center stand and it shows correct, there is nothing stopping you from then putting the bike on the sidestand, taking the dipstick out and marking the level again, and using that mark as your "full" line.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby Wingsconsin » Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:33 am

When I am preparing to do an oil change I will open the drain bolt and remove the oil filter and let it drain for 2 days .
That way ALL the oil is out from the engine and I can refill it all the way to the top line without over filling it. I check the oil every time I start the bike because it is part of my pre-flight routine. I usually carry an extra quart of my preferred brand of oil for topping off while on trips so I will have a match on hand easily.

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Not really -- just poking fun at you fellas....

I use the larger of the 2 available oil filters (Purolater 14610 vs 14612 at Wal*mart). That filter holds a little extra oil over the short one.
Then I drain all the oil out by removing the drain plug and the filter. I change oil when the engine is warmed up so the oil flows out. I use Synthetic with better flow properties too. I add the full gallon to the engine (realizing that some oil stays in the plastic container) - the 'Wing uses 3.9 gallons for a fill- With the longer filter and the oil staying in the oil container I find the fill to be very nearly perfect. When I check the oil levels ( not regularly :oops:) - I find the oil level has not gone down...

Change often - use a new filter - buy a decent quality oil - ride often - smile much :D




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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby raven41951 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:29 am

Just need to put my two cents worth in for part of this thread. That is when to check the oil. The manual calls for the engine to be at operating temperature. This is because the oil's viscosity changes with temperature AND its density changes as well, therefore the volume changes with temperature (the engine expands with heat too). At operating temperature, the oil drains back to the sump in a reasonable time. The engineers have taken into account how much oil will have drained back into the sump and determined the optimal level. When at operating temperature the oil drains from the engine (sump and filter too) faster and more completely, so when you put in new oil, he old oil is drained as much as possible and will not contaminate the new oil. Logically the best time to check the oil level is AFTER your days ride, not before it. I would still recommend checking it before the ride, just to make sure because seeing is believing. Change it after being warmed up to operating temp to avoid getting burned (been there).

That said, being a retired engineer, I make an appointment, drive my wing to the Honda dealer, and have them change the oil. While they are working on it, I get to look at the new machines on the floor to get ideas on what to upgrade next and I don't have to dispose of the used oil and am contributing to the local economy. Also note that I omitted some details so not to bore you with a lengthy dissertation. As an engineer I am used to those "here he goes looks" so I try to avoid them.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby Wilcoy02 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:10 pm

I just wish that my Honda dealer would touch my bike. They will not touch anything over 15yrs old here.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby redial » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:26 pm

Wilcoy2,
Some places will not touch GW over 10 years old. The reason why they have picked 15 years, as that covers all of the 1800s.

If you check the Vendor database here for vendors that handle older GW in OH, you find two really reputable ones, that are 80 miles away from you. There are lots of resources on this site, but if you think that they are too far away, you could always look for an independent workshop that will work on your GW. You are like me, I live in the 'sticks', and with all of the benefits, there are some downsides, but you learn to take the good with the bad.
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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby bstig60 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:01 am

I check my oil daily before I start the bike. It is done with the bike on the center stand and on level ground with the dipstick just touching the threads....... I change my oil myself so I know it was done right. The only reason a dealer or other shop will get their hands on one of my bikes is if there is tools needed to do the job that I don't have or can't afford to get. Bad experiences with shops......... I find the same problem with my 1500 in regards to shops and their mechanics that I do with my Virago's; the bikes are older than most of the technicians.
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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:32 pm

Wilcoy02 wrote:I just wish that my Honda dealer would touch my bike. They will not touch anything over 15yrs old here.


I can vouch for this guy, he's about an hour and a half north of you, but he does good work on every era of Goldwinging: http://goldwingdocs.com/Vendors/Accurat ... ervice_891

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:17 pm

So basically, with the bike on a level surface, on the center stand, and having sat for at least a good minute (longer is better):

1. Remove the oil dipstick from the engine by turning it counter-clockwise until it comes loose.

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2. Clean the dipstick of oil using a rag.

Image

3. Replace the dipstick into it's hole, but do NOT screw it into place - simply place it into its hole, wait for five seconds, then pull it back out.

Image

4. Look at the oil level on the dipstick. The oil should reach up to the "full" witness line on the dipstick, as shown. This is the correct method to check your oil level, and should be done frequently! During normal use, the oil should always be between the lower and upper witness lines. If the oil is too low, add (a bit) more. If there is too much, you will need to drain some out. Do NOT run an engine with excess oil - you can damage seals and other internal parts!

Image

5. Once you are satisfied with the oil level, screw the dipstick back into place, ensure the oil fill plug is securely screwed into place, and start the engine. Let it run for a minute or so, checking to make sure you do not have any oil leaking from the drain plug or oil filter. Stop the engine, let it sit for a minute, then check the oil level once more. Add oil if required, to bring it up to the correct level and repeat until you are happy with the oil level.

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dummysales
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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby dummysales » Thu Jan 01, 2015 1:35 pm

Uhmmm, I understand that this is a GL1500 discussion, but for those who happen onto the talk and don't realize it, the 1100 Aspencade (mine's an '83) doesn't have a dipstick. It requires putting the bike on the center stand and cleaning off the view window at the bottom of the engine on the right side. There is a "screw slot" for use with a flat blade screwdriver so you can rotate the interior window squeegie to wipe the window. That way the oil level can be seen, but generally only if you have a flashlight because the frame and engine cases tend to block any available sunlight. I have found that, like the Admin says, putting in all the oil the book calls for tends to overfill this girl. When that happens, the oil fills the entire window and it doesn't look like it has any oil because you cannot detect that there is oil either above or below the "full line". just sayin'...

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby FM-USA » Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:55 pm

There's one point missed in this discussion, see [**].
A.) I do the following on a cold motor then recheck on a hot motor and put to memory the levels difference.
B.) Also putting to memory is the difference between unscrewed vs screwed in dipsticks.
.
My habit for checking oil level.
1.) Set bike on center stand, remove covers.
2.) Unscrew dipstick (do not wipe) and place one drop of (cooled) oil on fingertip and hold upright to drain for 5 seconds. Here I look for 3 things. How fast the oil drains on my finger, it's clarity from new but more importantly "IF" there's dirt/soot/metal caught in my fingerprint. Once the oil passed these 3 tests, I'll check for acid in the oil. HOW? (read my signature).
3.) Now I wipe the dipstick and check oil level. (see A, B above)
[**] It's a good habit to check the oil level on BOTH sides of that dipstick. One side can give a false reading from an internal oil drip or by touching the internals of the engine.
4.) Wipe the dipstick and RECHECK the oil level. (better safe than sorry)
5.) Fill or refill and reassemble.
.
ENJOY
(AND don't swallow that dirty oil. Zappa might'a said it)
.
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby yatyas41 » Thu Jan 01, 2015 5:36 pm

Hey how about a Goldwing Trike. Mines a 97 Motortrike and it's heavy as hell to put on the center stand.

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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby redial » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:12 pm

Hey how about a Goldwing Trike. Mines a 97 Motortrike and it's heavy as hell to put on the center stand.


Well Yatyas41, the idea of putting it on the centre stand is so that it doesnt lean one way to give a false reading on the dipstick. With your trike, it should be evenly balanced so that you would not have to worry too much, but try and make sure the ground is level.
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Re: How do you check your oil level

Postby yatyas41 » Fri Jan 02, 2015 5:48 am

You know I kinda hate smart ass replies....




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