Oil level and stalling - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    About 2 months ago, I went out for a ride of about 225 miles or so. I was some 30 miles away from home on my way back, when suddenly my engine cut off. This happened about 6 times before I got home - 4 times on the freeway and twice more as I pulled out of traffic light stops. Each time, starting up was not a problem - the engine would fire back on when I hit the ignition button.

    I was one of those who encountered the Idle Actuator Device fault that would cause stalling. That would happen when I was downshifting as I closed the throttle to change gears. This was different. From observation, as I rode back home, I realized the stalls would happen as I was active with the throttle, giving the engine more gas. I thought: "It has got to be the fuel pump!"

    I was just about to hit the submit button on a fuel pump order, when I paused. I had this other thing I wanted to check out first.

    After my last ride, some weeks earlier, I had topped up the engine oil. I'd noted then that I had gone about 4 millimeters over the max mark. I'd thought then that the oil level would find its true level after a ride, once it displaced air pockets. But, now, on checking the level again, I found the level was still high - about where it had been.

    So, I got out a syringe and sucked out about a quarter of a quart of oil, bringing the level to just below the max mark. Then, I took the bike for a short ride with plenty of starts and stops. There were no stalls. The next day, I took the bike on a 75 mile run, this time on the freeway. The bike was fine. I've been on several more rides since. No sign of stalling.

    Glad I paused before ordering another fuel pump. It's more than likely, overfilling the oil caused the stalling. Worth knowing that stalling could be caused by overfilling the oil by a few millimeters. I have overfilled by a millimeter or two before without a problem, but this time it crossed the tolerable limit. I thought this would be useful to pass on.

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  4. #2
    Daboo's Avatar
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    I think you had a coincidence of the two events happening, but not cause and effect.

    Maybe today, I might've filled my oil to the "Max" level. It looked that way, at least. Almost every other time, I've been very careful in filling the oil after a change...and it has ended up like this.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I just turned over 69,000 miles. The bike runs great. Smooth, and it still uses no oil between changes.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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  6. #3
    bmwroadsterca's Avatar
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    HIGHLY unlikely that the oil overfilling caused stalling.

    Sent from my SM-T813 using Tapatalk

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  9. #4
    Points: 3,141, Level: 36

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    My thinking was that the higher oil level resulted in spattering onto the pump effecting its functioning. Though, in fact, the bike ran for almost 200 miles before the stalling began. Maybe a combination of heat and the high oil level together created the conditions for the stalling. I didn't use the bike for several weeks after the incident so that would have allowed all the oil to flow down off the the oil pump leaving it clean again. And, since the excess oil was extracted before I rode the bike again, the higher oil level was no longer a factor when I rode it next. The circumstances led me to conclude excess oil was the likely cause. It may not have been, but what else might have caused it?

    I found this link on the internet - https://oards.com/too-much-oil/ - which lists effects that may result from overfilling oil. It includes stalling.

    Because oil filling is imprecise, going above the max mark probably happens quite often. Up to a point it will not matter, but beyond that it will exceed a tolerance limit. As my bike doesn't consume much oil, my preference will be to err on the lower side of max when topping up, just in case.

  10. #5
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    None of the F800 bikes seem to consume oil. That seems to be a hallmark of the engine, high reliability while being very economical with operating fluids. Little coolant, no oil burning, little fuel burning.
    Next, the bike has a semi dry sump setup, meaning the oil pump is very tolerant of oil levels.
    That said, there are plenty of people who have gone 50k with the oil level above max without stalling once. The issue seems to be rooted in the pre-combustion mechanisms and seals.

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