How to change your engine oil


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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How to change your engine oil

Post by WingAdmin »



Changing your engine oil is a very simple task, yet this crucial maintenance item is often neglected by owners. It's cheap and quick, and you will learn more about your motorcycle by performing it! It's most important to change the oil before you put the bike away for the winter. Dirty oil contains acidic contaminants that will eat away at the insides of your engine - not something you want sitting in it all winter long!

You will need oil (more on this below), and a replacement oil filter. There are aftermarket oil filters available that fit, but the OEM Honda Filter can be had for around $10, and is of excellent quality - so in this case, that's what I use. You will also need an oil filter wrench, and a wrench or socket wrench to fit the drain plug.

Lastly, you will need a suitable drain pan to catch the old oil. I like this one, as it has a large area to catch the oil, stores the oil inside, and won't let the drain bolt fall in.

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1. To start, put the bike up on the center stand. It's important that it is on a level surface. Both right-side body panels need to be removed. They are held in place with posts that seat into rubber grommets. Gently pull the post free at the bottom left and right sides of the rearmost panel. Be careful not to angle the panel too much when removing - you want to pull it more or less straight out of the rubber grommet, to avoid snapping the post off.

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2. Gently pull the upper right post free (on this one, the post is on the bike, and the grommet is in the panel, reverse of the other three), then the upper left. Rotate the panel upward slightly to clear the top from the seat, then pull the panel free.

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3. Pull the front panel's post free from the rear of the panel as shown.

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4. Pull the front panel toward the rear of the bike to disengage the front post from its slot grommet, then pull the panel away. You may need to maneuver it around the brake pedal mechanism.

Note: On some bikes with aftermarket footboards, heel/toe shifter and brake pedals, the right footboard and brake pedal mechanism must first be removed before this front panel has enough clearance to be removed from the bike.

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5. Steps 5 through 7 are optional, but this is something that I like to perform once a year, before putting the bike away for the winter. If you want to skip it, go on to step 8. It involves using Seafoam (available at most auto parts stores) to clean your engine. The Seafoam breaks down sludge within your crankcase, and allows it to flow out with the oil.

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6. Remove the oil filler cap on the engine.

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7. Add 6 oz of Seafoam to your crankcase oil. Replace the oil filler cap, then ride the bike for half an hour or so, to ensure the engine is good and warm, and the Seafoam is fully circulated.

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8. The engine (and therefore the oil) should be warm before draining the oil. If it is too cold, the oil won't flow smoothly out the drain hole, and you won't be able to drain all of the old, contaminated oil. You want it to be warm and thin enough to drain quickly, so that it carries all the contaminates out with it. Cold, thick oil that comes out like syrup won't drain all the contaminates out with it, and you'll just end up with new, dirty oil. Start the engine, and hold it up around 2,000 RPM to warm it up.

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9. You want the temperature gauge in the normal operating zone.

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10. Stop the engine, and locate the drain plug on the bottom right hand side of the engine block, underneath the motorcycle.

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11. Position a drain pan under the drain plug. Using a wrench or socket, loosen and remove the plug. Be careful - the oil coming out will be hot, and can burn you. I recommend that you wear nonpermeable gloves such as the blue nitrile gloves I am wearing in these pictures - used motor oil is carcinogenic, and you should avoid skin contact.

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12. Allow all of the oil to drain from the engine. I don't try to catch the drain plug when it comes out - I don't want to get burned. I just let it fall, retrieving it later when the oil has fully drained.

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13. I replaced my original drain plug with a magnetic drain plug (left). It has a small magnet on the end, that will catch any metallic particles that may be floating around inside the engine. In either case, make sure the washer is in good shape, and if not, replace it. Once the oil has fully drained, replace and tighten the drain plug.

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14. Now that the oil has drained and we've replaced the drain plug, it's time to change the oil filter. It's located inside the lower cowl, just behind the front wheel. You can see it from underneath.

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15. If you do not have a Goldwing oil filter wrench, you will need to remove the lower cowl in order to access the filter. This requires removing three screws and pulling the cowl free.

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16. A Goldwing Oil Filter Wrench is a good investment, and makes for much easier and faster oil changes.

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17. An added bonus is that the back end of the oil filter wrench fits over the drain plug.

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18. Move your oil drain pan under the oil filter. Slip the wrench up under the lower cowl, and over the oil filter. Rotate the filter counter-clockwise (filter wrench will be moving from the right side of the bike to the left).

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19. As the filter is loosened, oil will start to leak out of the seal between the filter and the engine block. At this point you can remove the filter wrench, and continue loosening the filter by hand.

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20. Continue turning the filter until it comes off completely.

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21. Remove it from the lower cowl - careful, it will still be full of oil! Turn it with the seal down, to drain the oil into your oil drain pan. Clean the mating surface on the engine block with a rag after the filter has been removed.

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22. Unwrap/unpackage your new oil filter. Careful not to damage the rubber seal.

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23. We will be needing four liters of oil. What brand and type of oil you use is up to you, and is the subject of great controversy and endless argument. I personally find that regular "high mileage" auto Mobil 1 10W-40 provides excellent lubrication, makes my transmission shift extremely smoothly, and works very well with my clutch. You can make your own judgement and choice.

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24. Spread some of the fresh oil over the rubber seal on the new oil filter. This is a critical step! Your filter WILL LEAK if you fail to perform this step.

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25. Spin the filter onto the mount by hand until the rubber seal meets the mating surface. Using the wrench, gently snug the filter against the engine block. You do not want to strong-arm the filter into place - a newly installed filter should be fitted only tight enough that it could still be removed by hand. You want it tight enough so that it doesn't leak, but not so tight that it would require the use of a wrench to remove it.

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26. Remove the filler plug and pour approximately 3.5 quarts of fresh oil into the crankcase.

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

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28. Clean the dipstick of oil using a rag.

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29. 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.

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30. 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!

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31. 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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32. Insert the tab of the front panel into the slot grommet at the front of the bike.

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33. Carefully push the post at the back of the front panel into its grommet.

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34. Tuck the top of the rear panel under the seat, and rotate it down into place. Gently push the top posts into their grommets, followed by the bottom posts.

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35. You're done! Write down the mileage and the date, so that you will know when the next oil change is due to be performed.


purchelli
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by purchelli »

Thanks Wingadmin, great step by step info.
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by OldZX11Rider »

Although I've changed the oil on all of my cycles many times, reading the step by step on a How To, on a new to me 1500, never hurts a thing. :D
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:
mbamberger
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by mbamberger »

Excellent, step by step protocols. Thanks!
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by Uncle Fester »

Simply put, THANK YOU! As always, you did a great job here.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
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Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore,
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Discover!

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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by Bettedavis »

I love this site...thanks :D
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by BENJEE2112 »

I've been thinking about changing to FULL SYNTHETIC. Any Thoughts??? I see you (Wingadmin) do use full synthetic. I (the bike) has 78,000 on it using normal fossil oil. If I do switch. Should I do the seafoam thing first. I guess you don't have to drain some of the oil before adding the Seafoam.(I'm in SW Florida) I'm not (EVER) storing it. Thanks... Ben
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by WingAdmin »

BENJEE2112 wrote: Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:57 am I've been thinking about changing to FULL SYNTHETIC. Any Thoughts??? I see you (Wingadmin) do use full synthetic. I (the bike) has 78,000 on it using normal fossil oil. If I do switch. Should I do the seafoam thing first. I guess you don't have to drain some of the oil before adding the Seafoam.(I'm in SW Florida) I'm not (EVER) storing it. Thanks... Ben
You certainly aren't going to hurt anything (except maybe your wallet). The transmission in particular loves the Mobil 1 synthetic, it shifts MUCH more smoothly and quietly.

Up to you if you flush with Seafoam first - again, it's not going to hurt anything, but it's not a requirement, and can only do good.
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by BENJEE2112 »

Thanks Wingadmin. So I don't need to make room for the Seafoam??? I just ad it-run it for 30 minutes+- Then Change it?
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by WingAdmin »

BENJEE2112 wrote: Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:46 am Thanks Wingadmin. So I don't need to make room for the Seafoam??? I just ad it-run it for 30 minutes+- Then Change it?
The amount of Seafoam put in compared to the overall amount of oil is tiny. If your oil is right at the very top you might consider draining a few ounces, but personally I wouldn't bother.
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by MAC »

How often do you change your Mobil 1? Before storage, X miles or Date?

Daniel
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by WingAdmin »

MAC wrote: Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:17 am How often do you change your Mobil 1? Before storage, X miles or Date?

Daniel
I will usually change it every 3,000 - 4,000 miles, and always change it immediately before I put it away for the winter.
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by MAC »

Thanks for the reply
I change mine same as standard oil also.
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by Jetfighter3 »

WingAdmin wrote: Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:43 am
BENJEE2112 wrote: Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:57 am I've been thinking about changing to FULL SYNTHETIC. Any Thoughts??? I see you (Wingadmin) do use full synthetic. I (the bike) has 78,000 on it using normal fossil oil. If I do switch. Should I do the seafoam thing first. I guess you don't have to drain some of the oil before adding the Seafoam.(I'm in SW Florida) I'm not (EVER) storing it. Thanks... Ben
You certainly aren't going to hurt anything (except maybe your wallet). The transmission in particular loves the Mobil 1 synthetic, it shifts MUCH more smoothly and quietly.

Up to you if you flush with Seafoam first - again, it's not going to hurt anything, but it's not a requirement, and can only do good.
Which mobil 1 synthetic oil do you use? I live in California, mornings are 35-40 degrees and afternoons on the way home 70 to 80 degrees.
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by WingAdmin »

Jetfighter3 wrote: Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:09 pm
WingAdmin wrote: Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:43 am
BENJEE2112 wrote: Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:57 am I've been thinking about changing to FULL SYNTHETIC. Any Thoughts??? I see you (Wingadmin) do use full synthetic. I (the bike) has 78,000 on it using normal fossil oil. If I do switch. Should I do the seafoam thing first. I guess you don't have to drain some of the oil before adding the Seafoam.(I'm in SW Florida) I'm not (EVER) storing it. Thanks... Ben
You certainly aren't going to hurt anything (except maybe your wallet). The transmission in particular loves the Mobil 1 synthetic, it shifts MUCH more smoothly and quietly.

Up to you if you flush with Seafoam first - again, it's not going to hurt anything, but it's not a requirement, and can only do good.
Which mobil 1 synthetic oil do you use? I live in California, mornings are 35-40 degrees and afternoons on the way home 70 to 80 degrees.
It's shown in step 23 in the How To at the beginning of this thread.
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by Jetfighter3 »

Thank you, but I have one more question you might be able to help out with. Last night on YouTube I watched a video comparing mobil 1 high milage, valvoline and Amazon basics high milage motor oil. No contest for Valvoline but
? mobil 1 Amazon's motor oil was practically the same. Amazone did beat out mobil 1 in the cold weather flow test though. The one thing that bothered me was the label. Every one seems agree on the rating label on the bottom half their should be nothing ( blank ) . On Amazon's it says "CONCERVING SN PLUSE " ? What are your thoughts about this if any? Do you think that concerving SN pluse is an issue?
Jetfighter3
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by Jetfighter3 »

Sorry for any spelling errors ,should have re-read before posting 🤔
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by Jetfighter3 »

So, I'm at costco and I found the mobil 1 full synthetic and it has the same rating now as the Amazon does with SN PLUSE? what do you think?
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by WingAdmin »

Jetfighter3 wrote: Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:11 pm So, I'm at costco and I found the mobil 1 full synthetic and it has the same rating now as the Amazon does with SN PLUSE? what do you think?
Do NOT use any oil that says "energy conserving" in the bottom half of the donut. The bottom half of that donut symbol must be BLANK. If it says "energy conserving" in it, that means it has friction modifiers in the oil, and it will cause your clutch to slip.
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by Jetfighter3 »

Thanks for clarification, I suspected so, but all the mobil 1 oils that were full synthetic high milage had that on it so it made me wonder ? I'd like to find some mobil 1 with out the SN pluse to see if my shifting would improve.
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Re: How to change your engine oil

Post by WingAdmin »

Jetfighter3 wrote: Wed Mar 11, 2020 11:20 pm Thanks for clarification, I suspected so, but all the mobil 1 oils that were full synthetic high milage had that on it so it made me wonder ? I'd like to find some mobil 1 with out the SN pluse to see if my shifting would improve.
You can see it here - Have a look at this reference: Automotive Oil in your Motorcycle


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