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Troubl reading oil level after change - GPX 250

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' at netrider.net.au started by Samboss260, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. As per my other thread, I changed the oil and filter last night. After dropping the oil and filter, I put the new filter in and did up the drain bolts.

    Now the bike was on the centre stand at the time, and after one 1 ltr bottle, I could see the oil coming up on the oil sight glass. Popped 3/4's of the next 1 ltr bottle. Then as the manual says, I started the bike up to get the oil circulating before topping up again. I also took the bike off the centre stand and left it on the side stand, so that it was level. Now I couldn't see any oil in the sight.

    Pretty much put all of the next bottle, so a touch under 2 ltrs went in. Manual says 1.9 ltrs. Started the bike again, and still cant' see any pil in the sight. Bike starts fine, no oil light and sounds ok.

    I put the old oil in the empty containers, and it was pretty much 2 ltrs, black as, but around 2 ltrs.

    So where has my oil gone? What is the best and most accurate way to check the oil?
  2. I'd suggest putting your bike back on the centre stand, then let it sit for awhile, then check your sight glass. Add oil as required. then give it a run to ensure the oil is throughout the engine, then once again, let it sit, before a final check.

    With the bike on the side stand, it is very easy to get a false reading.

    Overfilling your machine can cause all sorts of problems in itself.
    you can blow valve seals, even get oil forced into the airfilter box.

    As for seeing oil on the sight glass when you filled the 1st litre, this is just the way the oil runs down the side of the casing, giving you a false reading.
  3. so your bike currently has 3L of oil in it?

    regardless of what your sight glass says i would drain it immediately and not run the bike until it had around 2L put in, dont forget that oil will be coating everything in the engine, so in reality you probably want a bit less then 2L.

    Overfilling your bike can do serious damage to valves and the engine as a whole.

    unless there are oil leaks, which you would be able to notice, your oil isnt going anywhere and must be in your engine regardless of what your sight glass says. there is a reason most manufacturers dont use sight glasses, they are shit.
  4. You will not see any oil in ther sight glass with the engine running and it will take a minute or two for it to drain down into the sump after shutdown.

    Put the bike on the centrestand on level ground, leave it for five minutes and then have another look. Make sure that you can tell the difference between the sight glass showing empty and being full of clean oil. Get your eye down level with the glass to eliminate parallax error and, if necessary, use a torch to get a bit of light on the subject.

    Actually, the only major manufacturer I can think of who doesn't is Honda, who favour dipsticks, which are much more awkward, requiring you to (a) open your engine to potential contamination and (b) find something to wipe the stick with in order to simply check your oil. Given Honda's 40 year record of serial design idiocy, I wouldn't take them as a shining example of the best way to do things :wink:.

    Sight glasses are fine provided you use the bike so as to eliminate any condensation and give the outside an occasional wipe with a gloved finger.
  5. I have a bit less than 2 ltrs of oil in it, as I only bought 2 x 1ltr bottles of oil.
  6. Is it best to check and validate oil level when bike is cold or after running (ie warm).
  7. Depends what your handbook says.

    However, in my (extensive) experience, cold or hot makes about half a poofteenth of difference to the reading so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    There is a substantial margin designed into your bike between "correct" and "will damage your engine" because the manufacturers recognise that inspections will often be cursory and under less than ideal conditions. Micronic precision is unnecessary. As long as you keep the level somewhere close to the upper mark you'll be fine.

    My own trick for ensuring the bike is level is to lift it off the sidestand (no centrestand on mine) and balance it upright with as little force input as I can. With practice, this allows you to get it (and keep it) level to within the accuracy of most DIY store spirit levels, which is more than good enough for oil level checking. Something else you can't do with a dipstick without help :D.
  8. Thanks Pat. Owners manual does not specify cold or warm. It only says to warm the bike up when changing the oil.

    Will check it out tonight, on the side stand but will stand the bike more upright. I'll check it cold and after a short ride. I know there is 2 ltrs of oil in there and it hasn't leaked anywhere, so it can't be bad.

    It's just that I appear to be getting false readings.
  9. Have you put the bike up level an straight?. If your trying to read the level while it on the side stand it will now be visible through the sight glass.

    Just put the bike up straight while sitting on the ground and that's should work mate. If you have put in what you took out then it should be fine.. The oils not gunna disappear anywhere.
  10. :WStupid:
    Centre stand.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Re the manual saying to warm the engine up before changing the oil ..
    Warm/Hot oil runs easier allowing quicker emptying etc.

    As Pat said with the engine running your going to get a false reading in the sight glass, engine off for at least 5mins or so and use the center stand or like most bikes these days with no center stand, the self balance is best [ once your comfortable you can do it by yourself... if not sure [ phone a friend ] to give you a hand.
  12. um its not level on the side stand. you need to hold it on the balance point so its level then look.
    triumph also have dipsticks and a bizarre procedure where you run the engine for 5 min then let it rest for 3 minutes then get it level to measure the level. pita.
  13. I have an '89 gpx 250 and I changed its oil first time last night, I thought I had the same problem. But the bike being on the centrestand does not give the accurate oil level, if possible, check the sight glass with it is upright on two wheels, that showed the right reading for me.

    The bike is slightly leaning forward on the centrestand, enough to move the oil out of the sight glass
  14. I find it a bit awkward holding my VTR250 completely upright while looking at the sight glass (sort of involves holding a handlebar and part of the frame) but the sight glasses are definitely calibrated the be read this way.

    People adjust side stands or might even replace them, but perpendicular to the ground and balancing with as little force as possible (like Pat8) said) is always the same, so it does make sense for a sight glass to be calibrated like that!