R1200GS fuel strip calibration

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by GSQuester, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. GSQuester

    GSQuester not-quite-a-n00b

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    43
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    Canadian Left Coast
    I've got a 2010 R1200GS Adventure with 8500km which I bought new and have been having a great time riding. Last night the fuel gauge (and range reading from the onboard computer) suddenly started giving really erratic readings - over a 20km ride with less than a quarter of a tank giving readings of over 3/4 to less than 1/8th and back up before finally settling to what I *think* may be close to correct. Up to this point it seemed very accurate and reliable.

    Contacted my dealer and they weren't overly suprised and said they would "recalibrate" the fuel strip.

    I've read through several threads here about this issue and in general it seems that recalibration is a temporary fix at best and in many cases doesn't help so they end up replacing the strip...

    So my main question is this: is recalibrating the strip just a waste of time - ie: should I just push the dealer to replace it now (since it's on warranty anyway) in the hopes of saving myself the hassle of having take it in several times? Anybody out there had this issue, got the strip recalibrated, and that solved the problem permanently?

    Secondary question: anybody know (not interested in speculation) what would cause these things to go out of calibration in the first place? FWIW, I avoid ethanol blended gas...

    Oh, and please don't tell me to just use the trip odometer - that's as helpful as telling someone with a defective seat to just stand on the pegs. :rofl

    Anyway, I've lurked and learned a lot on this site in the past, and am hoping for some good guidance on this, so thanks in advance!
    #1
  2. GeorgeinVA

    GeorgeinVA Beemers Uber Alles

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    Manassas VA
    Recalibration is a waste of time. Have them replace the strip.
    Have you been south of the border, in the US that is? Lots of talk about bad US gas and how they don't fail in other countries as often.
    #2
  3. GSQuester

    GSQuester not-quite-a-n00b

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
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    Canadian Left Coast
    Thanks George.

    I've put on most of my mileage in Canada - just a couple short rides in the US.
    #3
  4. hammick

    hammick Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Welcome to fuel strip hell. I had six or more failures on my '07 GSA and had one failure already on my '09 GSA. Last week when I was riding the '09 it started making gas which means it is getting ready to fail again. My buddy just had his fail on his '09 RT.

    A class action needs to be brought against BMW on this issue. That is the only way they will address this. These strips will continue to fail post warranty and the fix is $400 plus dollars.

    I'm going to start looking around for a class action lawyer that might be interested.
    #4
  5. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    I agree...my third one failed last week.. I was thinking class action as well.. should be a no brainer.
    #5
  6. ausfahrt

    ausfahrt mach schnell

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    Mine starts getting erratic after it gets below about half a tank but I am not going to sweat it. I have used my tripmeter to track fuel for decades and so it is second nature for me.
    #6
  7. Rudley

    Rudley el mojo fuerte

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    256
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    I'm on my 3rd strip. Initial was covered under 3 year, 36K original warranty. Latest covered under BMW 2 year parts and labor warranty. One failure left daughter and I stranded on the Trans-Canada when I thought I had 50 mikes left to empty and was a safety issue because of where it quit.

    Keep me posted on the legal end, please; the down time for new strip install is a pain.

    Rudley
    #7
  8. PARIAH

    PARIAH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Wyoming
    I was hoping that somehow the 2010's were going to be immune from the fuel strip blues. 8000 miles on mine with no troubles yet. Never, to my knowledge, had anything but pure premium fuel in it.
    #8
  9. Lottahops

    Lottahops Lottahops

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Viva Las Vegas, Nevada
    I agree, recal is a waste of time. My 07 Adv had issues that were tolerable. I mentioned the fuel bars were not so accurate and while in for 6k cks it was re-calibrated. I had to get used to it all over again, much worse. Finally, a strip change and now it is mostly accurate. It is just a matter of retuning the brain for strip representation. They may dip lower than actual and rise again for a mostly accurate finish. One has to get used to the mileage at each bar...
    Yes, US gas stinks... I noticed it going to hell in a handbag late 2003 early 2004. Everything I had began getting crappy mileage, we may be the only country that tries to make gas with no volatile gas in it, another tolerance thing!
    Happy riding and know the mileage approximation for your tank, that is best!
    #9
  10. Sanders

    Sanders Stogiesuckingsinglemalter

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    I'm not real big on class action lawsuits, but if this would have been fixed under warranty the first time, or the second time, or the third time properly I wouldn't be writing this. It still doesn't work and now its 11 mos. out of warranty. I don't want to pay to have it fixed/not fixed.
    It pisses me off on principle. I'd rather this was fixed instead of the gas tank mounts that were recalled...............

    Sanders
    #10
  11. BalancePoint

    BalancePoint Mucker

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
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    Location:
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    Since no fix seems possible for the sensor strip problem...

    I just wish BMW would enable a firmware fix that would turn the f*cking warning light off. Or that the GS-911 guys could do it. I have no problem using the trip odometer as a fuel gauge.

    My 09 is under warranty until 2013, and each successive replacement of the strip adds a couple years to the warranty on the strip itself. I have long suspected the culprit in all this isn't the strip, but the tenuous signal interpretation engineered into the ZFE/strip interface. That said, if they could retrofit the retro-new float sensor into the older bikes, that'd be cool too.
    #11
  12. seasider

    seasider Just a rider

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
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    Virginia
    I have an 07 GS and the fuel strip has been replaced SEVEN times. Good news is after replacement the warranty starts over from that date for that particular part.
    Seems to be part of life on these bikes. I have made a habit of always resetting the trip OD. Good luck.
    #12
  13. Mudcat

    Mudcat Unregistered

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    I recall reading a post on the fuel strip where the individual called BMW of NA. He was told by them, itÂ’s a motorcycle you do not need a fuel gage.:huh
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    My 05 is 6 years old and the fuel gage still works perfectly. WTF, why did they change a perfectly working system?
    #13
  14. Bill-66

    Bill-66 Hencho in Kansas

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    43k on my '08 and no problem yet..
















    :hide
    #14
  15. onesaintsfan

    onesaintsfan BigJohnHart

    Joined:
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    My fuel strip was replaced a few months ago, and has started acting up again. I have 17K +/- on my GSA-ADV. I am sure its about to fail.

    I have been running non-ethanol fuel and add techtron everyother tank.
    #15
  16. fosters2

    fosters2 It is what it is

    Joined:
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    Wilmington, DE
    Ran out of gas with my brand new 2010 GSA on the first tank. Wanted to see when the low fuel warning would actually come on. Well, it did as I was rolling to a stop with a dead engine, so technically it was correct.

    Had the strip replaced and no issues since (fingers crossed). I use tripmeter number II as my "real" fuel gauge.
    #16
  17. DrWez

    DrWez Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cedar Grove, WI
    I just upgraded to a 2010 GSA and seem to be having the same problem. Just have ~1500 miles on the bike so far. Fuel warning light seems to go off way early after ~5.7 gal consumed @ 200-220 miles. What is the expected mileage per tank? Just so I have a benchmark.
    #17
  18. BMW Kurt

    BMW Kurt Hermeticist

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    Texas Ex-Pat
    Wow, you guys actually got a dealer to replace your fuel strips? When I complain about mine all I get is "They're all like that'.
    #18
  19. Spoke

    Spoke Wing Ding

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    Jun 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Slaterville Springs NY
    On my second one on '09 GS with 25,000 miles. It is a PTA but at least Max BMW replaces no questions asked.
    #19
  20. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

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    #20