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Thread: Fuel gauge problem? 06 R1200RT

  1. #1
    Rodney Aiken Ctrod's Avatar
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    Fuel gauge problem? 06 R1200RT

    Sorry to start another fuel gauge thread.

    I have an 06 R1200RT. Riding along the fuel gauge will just drop to empty and the warning light comes on, then after a could of minutes the gauge goes back to where is was and the light goes out. The miles to empty doesn't change and as far as I can tell none of the other calculations change.
    I would think if it was the float in the tank the miles to empty would change.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Probably the fuel strip - I would take it to your dealer for them to diagnose or recalibrate.

    Please note that this is not sure fire cure and may require an additional round of calibration.
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    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    BMW is replacing them;

    No recalibrate I've seen. Twice on my GSA1200'07, its been replaced. I'm at 40000m now. It is a lengthy proceedure, because they do have to calibrate the new strip somehow, as its hooked up to the computer. Randy

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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    Same thing happened to me on my '05.

    It's the fuel strip......gone bad.

    Take it in for a replacement (hopefully you're still under warranty), along with about an hour of software reprogramming.

    New RT's rumored to have gone back to the mechanical float mechanism.
    Last edited by Greenwald; 08-11-2009 at 02:29 PM.
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  5. #5
    Rodney Aiken Ctrod's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input everyone. I called the dealer and they agree. I don't have a lot of confidence in them so its nice to get a second opinion. They're great people, but it might be time to change dealers.

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    Fuel gauge

    I have a 07 R1200RT with 12k and have had the fuel gauge reading fail four times. Two fuel strips replaced and an additional two recalibrations. Fortunately it's still under warranty. If fuel strip fails after warranty part is covered but not the labor.....small comfort!! I expected more quality from BMW. I called BMW and they were unaware of any problems, I doubt it as many others have had a similar issue.

  7. #7
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Labor is included!

    I just had it done a couple weeks ago, out of the warantee period at 37000+. No questions, all paid by BMW at their dealer(Morton's). It was my second, the first job was only 4 months prior(at another BMW dealer) and that means BMW stands up for two more years on that specific work....No labor costs. Randy

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    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenwald View Post
    Same thing happened to me on my '05.

    It's the fuel strip......gone bad.

    Take it in for a replacement (hopefully you're still under warranty), along with about an hour of software reprogramming.

    New RT's rumored to have gone back to the mechanical float mechanism.
    The '09 K bikes have gone back to the float, but the '09 R bikes still have the strip according to the parts fiche. Maybe next year.
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  9. #9
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by cjack View Post
    The '09 K bikes have gone back to the float, but the '09 R bikes still have the strip according to the parts fiche. Maybe next year.
    Thanks for the clarification.
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  10. #10
    Nutfarm
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    I had two K100's a 84 and a 91, the 84 had a thermister that measured the temp of the fuel or lack there of to turn on the low fuel lights, it was replaced twice and never did work correctly. The 91 had a float system, worked perfect every time, and was acurate. Mabe they will get it right one day.


    Ken G.

  11. #11
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47512 View Post
    I had two K100's a 84 and a 91, the 84 had a thermister that measured the temp of the fuel or lack there of to turn on the low fuel lights, it was replaced twice and never did work correctly. The 91 had a float system, worked perfect every time, and was acurate. Mabe they will get it right one day.

    Ken G.
    Yeah - I had one of those. The new system basically works the same way.

    I guess the engineer who designed the K bike fuel warning lights back in '83 finally retired, and didn't leave a big "DON'T DO THIS!" warning to his successor.
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  12. #12
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    On the other hand, I have a friend who has an Aprilia scooter that uses a solid-state fuel level sensor strip (I know because I did the wrenching when it needed a new fuel tank), and it works perfectly. I'm sure that many other vehicles use them too. I think it's more a BMW problem than a general technology problem.
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  13. #13
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    I think it's BMW being a technology leader again. Sometimes that puts you ahead of the leading edge.

    Sort of like using this same technology for oil level and eliminating a dip-stick (they've done this on the cars - and gotten universally slammed for it - but I also haven't heard of a lot of problems..)

    I imagine in 10 years everything with a level gauge (gage) is going to use this sort of technology - it's really old hat stuff, we used it 30 years ago at Bell Labs to check the level of liquid nitrogen in a nitrogen dewar (think big thermos bottle)..

    What is interesting is reverting back to the float assembly. It's pretty much an admission they can't make it reliable. I'm making a WAG because the strip is bent a bit during installation, and it probably fails at the bend points. The oil level ones are a simple rod type device with the resistive elements in the rod, and it sticks up into the oil sump. No bending required (or desired..)

    FWIW - mine is still working fine on my '07 R12R at 30,000 miles.. so some of them DO work, and I haven't heard of a bunch of R12R failures. Wonder if the bend radius is different for the larger GS tank?
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
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  14. #14
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    It's not bent, other than the bend it is formed with. It has a long plastic backbone. When I install them in the K12S, they just fall in and are somewhat loose but contained in a space that they fit in.
    My new one is working...fine......now.
    I have used these too for level sensing as well as capacitance measuring level sensors. I don't know if I mentioned it, but BMW suggests that the strip be calibrated dry, installed in a full tank of gas and then measured (cold...bike off) again with an ohmmeter after 2 hours to make sure (that it survived I guess). This in addition to measuring it cold off the shelf. The sensor is to be between 2.2K to 2.8K and the heater is about 30 ohms. If yours is bad, you can measure it with the bike turned off while it is in the tank with whatever gas is in it. If it is in the range, then a recal is appropriate. A recal must be performed on a dry strip...so you gotta dry it like with a fan. If it isn't in the range, then you probably need a new strip.
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  15. #15
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    Repaired observation

    [QUOTE=Ctrod;487198]Sorry to start another fuel gauge thread.

    '05 - R1200RT - Just went through a replacement of the Fuel level Sensor strip (the dark burnt yellow 3 layer strip inside the black plastic "wand"), and had some observations.

    a) My strip fractured, although it was contained in the plastic shroud. The fracture was 1 mm. under the head of the strip that contains some circuitry. On asking a fellow Eng. who specializes in Failure Analysis, he determined that the head could wobble, just a small amount, each time the engine fire, and this wobble, after 28,000 miles, had flexed the sensor strip 100 gazillion times.

    b) The fracture is visible only when you remove the side cheeks of sensor head.

    c) The fracture also cracks the 0.0005" thick circuit traces that run along the strip and as a result the circuitry is incomplete and it stops working and the computer complains, flashes the diplay, is upsetting. I am very good at soldering and trying to recover broken stuff (Scottish ancestors), but this is not fixable.

    d) The sensor strip can be checked by putting it in water, as opposed to having to do it in gasoline (safety).

    e) Note: The computer will only update the display when the ignition is on and the front wheel is rotated and a minute has passed.

    f) It takes about 2 to 3 hours to replace the sensor safely (gasoline has to be removed).

    g) Phooey with the "calibration" bull, I happy that the bloody thing has stopped blinking.

    h) Important note: If you run out of fuel while riding, there is another pint of gas in the righthand side of the tank. Stop, lay the bike down on the left side and then pick it up again for a few more miles.

    j) And that is probably the reason why they went back to the float method. For my part I epoxied the head to the strip to prevent the "wobble" and that may be a good idea, but I won't know for another 28,000 miles.

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