Faulty Fuel Level Strips

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by ARG, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. TXjames

    TXjames High Sider

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    Where exactly is this break? Can you use the diagram in my previous post to describe? Thanks cjack
    sofnolime likes this.
  2. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

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    First off thanks for the info. I take it that vibration is what breaks it. Well, I think I'm going to have the dealership "fix" it. I have no idea where this part connects. And I think I rather pay for it once and have them deal with the issue afterwards.
    Kinda weird that thisis not a recall issue :deal
  3. JStancampiano

    JStancampiano PhotoJoe

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    They won't recall broken fuel line fittings spraying gas all over hot engine, no recall on cracking fuel flanges leaking fuel, no recall on failing abs units, none either on fuel pump failing And you think it's weird that a faulty fuel gauge is not recalled. This all on one 07 GSA with 56k miles on it. It's not that I don't agree with you, but at least you didn't have to get a trailer ride home. It seems that there are different standards for auto recalls than motorcycles (most likely due to numbers)

    Sorry for the rant, my abs just went out and it set me off:kboom

    Joe
  4. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

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    Wow! Have you seen my thread?
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=850715

    I guess I have tons of more "issues" to look fwd to and befriend my stealership?
    And you have at least one (fuel strip) to look fwd to. :freaky

    Hey Merry Xmas right?
  5. JStancampiano

    JStancampiano PhotoJoe

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    It makes me crazy because of all the great BMWs I have had in the past with no problems...I guess I got spoiled.

    Joe
  6. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

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    I think the solution is to buy the most basic GS possible. When I was shopping for my GSA I wanted -everything- ESA, Abs,tpms etc. Now I get it, I should have bought a non ESA and added Ohlins, no tpms or even the factory fog lights (i run Piaas now) less to worry about you know. Not that I am but less electronics the better. :deal
    Stiill love Olga (my bike) best bike I've ever had regardless.....
  7. rgb2cmyk

    rgb2cmyk Been here awhile

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    My issues with the fuel strip have been slightly different than others. This on an 09 GSA:

    AT 1,200 miles on the clock the bike would crank but wouldn't start. I got it started a couple times, then finally it just wouldn't start. Had it towed to the dealership. They replaced the strip, and all was well for about 10,000miles.

    11,000 miles the strip dies and I get the blinking triangle.

    Strip replaced again. Now the strip works, but at about 200 miles on the tank, it drops to 30 miles of fuel left. By 230 miles it says 0 miles left, and at 300 miles I run out of gas. Yet when I fill up the tank I only put in 7 gallons.


    The same issue of consistent inconsistency persists through 3 more fuel strips, and two more times at the dealer for 'reprogramming' and the problem was still not resolved.

    I never did solve the problem, Sandy totalled the bike and I replaced it with a 2012. I figure with a 2012, I don't have to deal with the fuel strip so I'll have more time to focus on the FD and other issues. :rofl
  8. WeazyBuddha

    WeazyBuddha Carbon-Based Humanoid

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    My guess too. Mine started having intermittent problems after my GS took a nap, after a few days of intermittent problems it failed permanently.
  9. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean

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    resurrecting this.
    the problem is still there.
    Recently there seems to be renewed interest in filing complaints about the fuel strips that work for some and never for others, and sometimes sort of work maybe.
    Coming from an 1150, with its totally reliable low fuel light coupled with using my odometer, the difficulty of getting a reading of fuel remaining on the 12 is more than an annoyance. It's distracting and as such can be a safety issue, especially if you run out of gas at an inopportune time.

    It is easy to file a complaint with the US DOT NHTSA. go to this link https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm and follow the prompts.
    Say it is the "fuel/propulsion system." Those who have filed on other forums hav entered a file for every failure.

    The New YorK Times reports that R series bikes are already being investigated for fuel leaks.
    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11 ... torcycles/
    and that was after only 28 complaints.

    If you have or have had the problem please report. There are many many of us that still are dealing with it and your input will help us. We are a community.

    I am enjoying the bike, but I would enjoy it more if I could forget about running out of gas. But, there is no way to not think of it as it has happened twice in three months of ownership and two fuel strips. My third goes in next Saturday.
    The "gauge" is unreliable.
    The low fuel light is integrated into the fuel strip, so consequently it is unreliable, and may not even illuminate even when the tank is dry.
    Using the odometer can be marginal help as it seems the fuel consumption varies pretty widely depending on conditions, like headwind, or speed. I have had a tankful last as few as 180 miles and as many as 222 miles with some gas left. And those numbers were highway miles, do I need to think in different terms when in the city? Probably. Or, I suppose you can spend your time at the gas station, filling every hundred miles or so to be sure you don't run out.

    Interestingly enough, there was a immediate recall of the 5 series BMW car when their gas gauges were faulty and the national highway safety agency called it a safety issue. Is it any less so for a motorcycle? Could argue that it is more of one.

    This bad/faulty design is complained about on all bmw forums, it's all over. There are those who say to use the odometer, but that does not work for me. I do use the odometer. I now carry extra gas
    So, please consider filing a complaint with the DOT.
    Thanks
    John
  10. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Been here awhile

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    So I finally train myself to just use my odometer to gauge my fuel, then the 60K service reminder won't turn off to read it, so I have to pay $60 at the dealership to have it reset. Boy, BMW sure has us by the balls.
  11. GS Addict

    GS Addict Pepperfool

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    Find someone with a GS 911 and pay them for a serial # use to reset.
    Or better yet buy one yourself.
  12. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Been here awhile

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    Talked to a few GS riders this weekend. None of them owned one, but the search continues. I still haven't found any reason to justify the $300 cost of getting one for myself.
  13. Kr3w

    Kr3w Adventurer

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    Greetings!
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I suffered the expected Fuel Level Sensor Strip failure last weekend, and after reading through this thread, I found inspiration for a fix.<o:p></o:p>
    I want to give a 'shout out' to JoelWisman, Old_Don, TXjames and jzeiler for their contributions--unknowingly--to me in this thread!<o:p></o:p>
    After reading Joel's fix using a megger and a picofarad capacitor to drop the high voltage (HV) across the broken strip, I was already thinking...piezoelectric component. We use them in aviation. So, I decided to use a very common one. A fireplace lighter. Below are the steps I took to construct the 'device'. I used common hardware found in aviation repairs, but you can substitute as needed.

    [​IMG]
    This is the original fault, a bad fuel level sensor strip. Verified with a multi-meter showing an 'open' circuit between pins #2 & #3.

    [​IMG]
    1. The very common fireplace lighter being disassembled. Slide the black cap forward (not shown) and remove the one screw. Note yellow arrows.

    [​IMG]
    2. Splice in additional wire. I used 18 gauge wire and covered with heat shrink tubing.

    [​IMG]
    3. I applied additional heat shrink tubing for added strength.

    [​IMG]
    4. First yellow arrow is high voltage or self healing tape to insure a better fit. Second yellow arrow is reinstallation of the safety switch.

    [​IMG]
    5. Slide the black cap back on and reinstall the screw.

    [​IMG]
    6. I used some connector pins flatten out with a vice. You could use smaller automobile blade type connectors too. (check the fit before crimping to the wire)

    [​IMG]
    7. Be sure to cover the pins with heat shrink tubing to prevent electrical arcing between the two pins.

    [​IMG]
    8. The completed fuel level strip repair...err...device.

    [​IMG]
    9. Gas tank almost full (fill it up if you can) and battery disconnected. Install the 'device' between pins #2 and #3, order does not matter. UPDATE: Pull the trigger 4 to 6 times (feedback from other ADV members suggest this is the average) and remove. Since your here go ahead and install the 'device' on pins #1 and #4 (the heater strips). Again, pull the trigger 4 to 6 times and remove. Reconnect the fuel level strip connector and battery. (I always disconnect the battery when performing electrical work, but it is not required for this fix)

    [​IMG]
    10. Success!! :clap Result after using the 'device'. The bike should be on the center stand and the side stand MUST be up. You must start the bike and let it cycle through the preprogramed 90 second fuel sample for the fault light to extinguish.
    Congratulate yourself on saving $142.00 for this repair! Use the money saved by taking your mates out for a pint! :freaky
    The 'device' can emit a small HV charge. Please use responsibly around children and small animals! :huh
    AfricaTwin likes this.
  14. teomannaskali

    teomannaskali Long timer

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    I have a 2005 gs, and luckily i have not had the fuel strip fail yet. Thanks for the device info, now i know what to do if indeed it does fail.

    I am curious on one thing though, what is the algorithm that tells me how many km i can do with the remaining fuel. Is it just a guess with a fixed consumption rate or does the ecu actually measure how much my consumption is and decide according to that?

    Teoman
  15. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    Fantastic k3rw! A piezo igniter hadn't occurred to me, but of course it would provide a high voltage to jump the break and enough current to weld or carbonize it just like the electronic meggar would. Oficer thinking!
  16. a41capt

    a41capt Been here awhile

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    I too have a 2005 and have been told that I won't have the same problem because they changed to the strip the next model year. Never had it apart to check, haven't had too so I guess they're right!:clap

    As far as I can determine, my fuel computer seems to know what it's talking about as far as when I hit reserve. I generally have right at 4 gallons to put in when the reserve warning comes on, the odometer says 44 miles, and I generally get between 42 and 44 miles per gallon, fuel mileage I find amazing when I consider how big of a fat@$$ the poor thing hauls around!

  17. a41capt

    a41capt Been here awhile

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    Well, we built one of the "tools" to fix the fuel strip in my buddies 2007 GSA, disconnected the battery, filled the gas tank, hooked it up to the Frankenstein high volt strip welder, and voila, he's now the proud owner of a working fuel gauge for the first time since he bought the bike!

    Thanks to all you guys, especially Kr3w for his tool development. The local dealer wanted $400 to replace the strip with (probably) another faulty one, and we fixed it for the price of a barbecue lighter...

    I'll make sure Dom does a follow-up to report on how long the repair lasts, but for the present, he has full use of his fuel computer! Thanks again guys.

    Hmmmmm, the Overland Expo is happening right next door to us in a couple weeks, maybe we should set up a booth for all the GSs with bad fuel strips that'll be there (usually a bunch!), and charge 'em $50 each to fix their problems, donating the profits back to the ADV site... Less beer expenses of course!:clap
  18. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean

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    any ideas how long the fix will last?

    Does it also work for the other failure, the one saying you have loads of gas, but you're empty?

    The wire you "spliced" in...is this just for stiffness and ease of handling?

    Are the #2 and #3 poles marked?

    and big thanks, man. I'm on my third and BMW has been no help. 2009 r1200r
  19. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    I came up with this fix about 3 years ago using my meggar which is likely very similar to the outstanding idea of using a pizeo igniter. There are bikes I fixed with the meggar method that are still running on the strip I fixed, so in my experience this fix works longer then a new strip.

    It won't fix the bikes that say they are full while empty as that is a problem unrelated to the strip.

    If memory serves (haven't managed a BMW service department in two years) the terminals are marked.

    Glad someone finally believed me that this fix works. There's about 3 pages of people arguing physics incorrectly before someone finally tried it lol.
  20. cjack

    cjack Been here awhile

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    1. I've been wondering that.
    2. No
    3. Just need a wire(s) to reach the connector on the bike.
    4. Don't know, but it is the middle two connection pins :).
    5. BMW knows nothing Col. Klink.