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decrago
6th May 2006, 19:41
Hi Everyone!

I just bought my 2001 Sportster 1200 a week ago and performed an oil change on it a few minutes ago (it has 7500 miles on it). I followed all instructions that I have found on this forum and in the owners manual (don't have a service manual yet, it's on order) and I have a question about the oil light.

After the oil change, I checked the oil level and it is halfway up the dipstick but when I started the bike up, the oil light was still on. I shut the bike off after 15 seconds because I don't know if this is normal or not or how long it takes for the light to go out.

I looked in the oil tank and it does look like it circulated when I started it up but the oil light has me worried.

I did change it after riding, but the bike wasn't 'hot' still, since I spent almost an hour looking for an oil filter wrench before getting around to actually changing it.

Also, out of 3 quarts, I have 24 ounces left. I let the bike drain until it hardly dripped, put 4oz of oil in the new filter, and took the air out of the oil line after filling up the tank.

How long is does it usually take for the oil light to turn off? I don't want to run it until I make sure I didn't do anything wrong.

Thanks,

Dan

P.S. I used genuine 20-50 HD non-synthetic oil for the change.

1200 Custom
6th May 2006, 20:53
Sounds like you did everything right... On my 02 1200 custom ,i've never timed it, but i think i would start it agian and see if the light goes off this time.. My 2 ccents worth....

You did'nt pull the oil sending unit wire off ????

decrago
6th May 2006, 21:30
I just checked the sending unit wire and it's still connected. I did start it up on the kickstand. Should I try it with the bike straight up? I'm wondering if there is an air pocket at the oil filter still and maybe the sending unit is only getting air because the bike is tilted.

OldFenderGuy
6th May 2006, 21:53
Also, out of 3 quarts, I have 24 ounces left. I let the bike drain until it hardly dripped, put 4oz of oil in the new filter, and took the air out of the oil line after filling up the tank.

It only took a little over 2 quarts with filter change?

Did you check the oil level (with the bike on it's stand) after starting the engine and letting the oil circulate for a short period of time?

When I change oil and filter I put in 3 quarts (including the oil in the new filter) and it puts the level between the 1/2 and 3/4 level.

decrago
6th May 2006, 22:03
That's just the thing, the light didn't go out after about 15 seconds of running (on its stand) and I don't know how long I should let it run with the light on before causing damage to the engine. I'm sure once it warms up, I will have to add some more oil because I'm sure some air bubbles are in the engine somewhere.

Am I just a chicken @#$@ to not let it run for awhile? I've changed the oil in many cars and my previous Yamaha bikes, but none of them had a dry-sump system, that I am unfamiliar with. Also, all the bikes and cars I've changed the oil in, the oil light has gone out after 5 seconds or so.

When the bike is on its stand cold, right now, the oil is in the middle of the dipstick, right on the line. When I stand the bike up straight, cold, the oil is just above the half line of the dipstick.

Moved On
6th May 2006, 22:47
Take a look in your oil tank. If you see foamy bubbles the oil is circulating.

Gazza

decrago
7th May 2006, 00:19
Update:

No one told me not to start it up, so I went ahead and started it up and the light went out after a couple of seconds. I warmed it up for a bit and the oil level went down. I then was able to put the last 24 oz of oil in the tank.

Thanks everyone for your help! I really love my bike after a week of riding it (650 miles so far) and I didn't want to do anything to mess it up!

Dan

dashadow
7th May 2006, 00:30
Did you pre-load the filter? Pour about 4 ounces of oil into the filter and let it soak in before mounting it. Not doing that may cause the filter to soak up the first bit of oil it gets. No harm done, looks like you've got it solved.

torxster
7th May 2006, 00:45
Did you pre-load the filter? Pour about 4 ounces of oil into the filter and let it soak in before mounting it. Not doing that may cause the filter to soak up the first bit of oil it gets. No harm done, looks like you've got it solved.

Yep. I think this was your problem. You need to put some oil in the filter, otherwise it takes a little while to fill the filter before you get some pressure and cause the light to go out.

decrago
7th May 2006, 00:50
Yep. I think this was your problem. You need to put some oil in the filter, otherwise it takes a little while to fill the filter before you get some pressure and cause the light to go out.

Yeah, I put oil in the filter but didn't let it soak in. If I would have, I bet I could have added more to the filter. I put it on immediately after putting oil in it. I will do it right next time for sure!

Thanks for all the feedback!

OldFenderGuy
7th May 2006, 01:18
Sounds to me like you had some type of temporary air lock in the system, especially if it read halfway up on the dipstick after adding only slightly more than 2 quarts of oil.

Even though you should, I don't let oil 'pre-soak' into the new filter before it is installed. I just pour some oil in the new filter, put a thin layer of oil on the filter gasket, and screw it on.

I also pull the oil drain line and clear the air out of the line before starting, and after running the engine for a minute or so I'll pull the oil drain line again to check for any air.

Final step would be to check the oil level in the tank, and also to check the new filter and oil drain line to make sure nothing is leaking.

(I also add about 4 ounces of Lucas Oil Stabilizer at each oil change. I've used it for years in all the bikes and high performance vehicles I own, and although some might disagree it's a product that I'll continue to use). :)

sportysrock
17th May 2006, 22:37
Yeah, I put oil in the filter but didn't let it soak in. If I would have, I bet I could have added more to the filter. I put it on immediately after putting oil in it. I will do it right next time for sure!

Thanks for all the feedback!

I let it soak for a few minutes while doing other stuff. That way it is primed and hardly spills any oil when adding the filter. Also keeping the revs up around 1100 will help build pressure versus loping below 1000 RPM.

decrago
29th May 2006, 17:02
So, is everyone saying that I did something wrong, what happened was a fluke, or I was just paranoid? I already have 1500 miles on that oil change and that's with the bad weather that we've been having. Now it's in the 80's and 90's, so I would imagine I will be changing the oil again soon. I thought I did everything that has been suggested correctly except the darn light stayed on longer than I would have liked.

I'm sure the bike is fine because I haven't seen the light on since and the oil level has not dropped a bit in 1500 miles.

chrishajer
29th May 2006, 17:06
You did something wrong: you need to let the oil soak into the filter, then add a bit more, and let that soak, then install.

Doesn't matter if the bike is on the sidestand when you start it. 15 seconds is not a long time for the light to stay on, if you put the filter on 'dry' essentially. Nothing harmed, nothing lost.

Just let the filter soak more next time, than add a bit more oil to it. Then after the bike is running, be sure to top off the oil in the tank.

--Chris

Jason's Sporty
29th May 2006, 17:12
had that happen to me once too. the filter must have a airbubble or something in it. but anyway now, the light will go out when I crank the bike over before 3-4 revs before it starts.

decrago
1st July 2006, 15:47
Update:

Changed oil again. Did it exactly as I did before, which I believe to be the correct way. Started the bike up, it ran for over a minute, oil light on, full of oil. I even popped the oil cap and the oil was moving around in there. So, I shut off the bike, let it set for a minute, started it back up. Ran for another minute, oil light on and oil still circulating in the tank. Shut the bike off, let it set for about 5 minutes, started it up and oil light went out immediately.

Sounds like the sending unit is sensitive to a little bit of air or something. Either way, I'm good for another 3,000 miles.

clarkg1124
15th July 2006, 11:58
Have you checked the oil pressure switch and wiring?You may have a problem with a loose connection or a hole in the wiring's insulation.
Clark

decrago
16th July 2006, 00:44
Have you checked the oil pressure switch and wiring?You may have a problem with a loose connection or a hole in the wiring's insulation.
Clark

Yeah, the only time it has happened is when I change the oil. There has to be some air in there because I can't add the rest of the oil until I start up the bike. I'm not gonna worry about it anymore. :tour

Matt
16th July 2006, 02:32
To be super safe pull the plugs, gnd the ign leads and crank until light's out.
You get a look at the plugs as well.
Matt

decrago
19th August 2006, 00:27
Well, I think I found the cure for this problem. I had a "mishap" today where I had to change oil and oil filter. Different kind of oil filter and synthetic oil this time around. Guess what? Oil light would NOT go off again. I drained oil from the drain hose until it came out clear, so I know there were NO air bubbles in it. Also, I filled the oil filter TO THE TOP and LET IT SOAK. Nothing worked. Let the bike idle for about 10 seconds before I shut it off, oil light still on.

So, I got a brainstorm. I sat on the bike, straightened it up so it wasn't leaning on the jiffy stand, and started it up. The oil light flashed for a second and went out!

I'm thinking standing the bike up straight helped the oil circulate through the oil filter better. If you look at the oil filter while the bike is on its stand, it does seem that straightening the bike up would allow the oil from the filter to "backfill" into the bike.

Either way, it works this time and I'm considering this thread as SOLVED. Next time I change my oil (probably next year as the weather isn't as good as it was) I'll try this trick first and see what happens. I'm sure everything will be OK the next time around. :D

trout31
26th December 2006, 23:39
I had a similar problem with the oil light staying on one time. Not related to an oil change though. I had dropped the bike an an intersection (don't ask). I hit the kill switch and picked it up almost instantly. It could not have been laying down for more than about 10 seconds. (amazing how fast you can move in this situation). Started it back up and the oil light stayed on. Let it run for about a minute and it still would not go out. Pulled out of the road and shut it down. Inspected all over for about ten minutes. Looked for damage, wires etc. Could not find any reason for an oil pressure problem. Started it up again. Light still on after a minute or two. Shut it down. Inspected again. Pondered and cussed for about five minutes. Started it back up. This time the oil light went out. Has never happend again. I figured the cussing fixed it. Should have done that in the first place.