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Thread: Fuel Gauge not working. 2008 R1200GS

  1. #1

    Fuel Gauge not working. 2008 R1200GS

    Hello,

    I am a new member to the site and would value some feedback on this issue. I purchased a 2008 R1200 GSA with a bit over 70,000 miles on it. I love the bike and have rode it for a bit over 1200 miles. Suddenly the fuel gage started acting up. What I mean by this is that on a recent ride the fuel level did not move after coming down two bars after riding about 300 miles. Fortunately I reset the odometer after every fill up and decided to gas it up just in case. It took around 8 gallons. From there when I just rode it today the gauge, after around 90 miles of riding, registered 0 and the low fuel indicator was flashing. I see and smell no fuel leaks so I am guessing that the either the indicator on the gauge cluster is bad, doubtful, or the fuel level sending unit is bad.

    Any suggestions as to the problem are appreciated.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by deilenberger; 06-03-2013 at 03:15 PM. Reason: added year/model to title

  2. #2
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Read this thread...

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=758453

    It's most likely that the fuel strip has failed (assuming that the '08 GSA has the strip). Most of the failures in my experience have been the connection or the wires to the strip which are sealed inside an epoxy type blob. The ADV folks have come up with a unique fix for that kind of failure (some times the connection does not fail totally, but becomes a high resistance. However the fix still works.). The fix is to zap the measuring part of the strip with a electric igniter from a gas grill. The kind that uses a piezoelectric substance to produce a fast high voltage pulse. This apparently welds the connection together. Interestingly, ATT has used this technique years ago to identify or repair twisted pair wire circuits. They applied a high voltage pulse to either weld the two wires in the twisted pair that were shorting lightly so they could identify the bad pair, or to weld the pair of wires to the connection block if the problem was that the wires were making a poor connection. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to explain why zapping a fuel strip in a tank full of gas is not dangerous.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  3. #3
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjack View Post
    I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to explain why zapping a fuel strip in a tank full of gas is not dangerous.
    I'm not taking this course for credit, but I can't resist:

    Attempt this repair only with the fuel tank full of gas. Combustion requires oxygen. Any sparks created by the "welding" of a bad connection will thus be submerged in fuel, where there is no oxygen. The same applies to electric fuel pumps in gas tanks, whose commutators can sometimes spark, and which present no fire hazard for the same reason.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by sunseekr5 View Post
    Hello,

    I am a new member to the site and would value some feedback on this issue. I purchased a 2008 R1200 GSA with a bit over 70,000 miles on it. I love the bike and have rode it for a bit over 1200 miles. Suddenly the fuel gage started acting up. What I mean by this is that on a recent ride the fuel level did not move after coming down two bars after riding about 300 miles. Fortunately I reset the odometer after every fill up and decided to gas it up just in case. It took around 8 gallons. From there when I just rode it today the gauge, after around 90 miles of riding, registered 0 and the low fuel indicator was flashing. I see and smell no fuel leaks so I am guessing that the either the indicator on the gauge cluster is bad, doubtful, or the fuel level sending unit is bad.

    Any suggestions as to the problem are appreciated.

    Thank you.
    Update, Took the bike to the dealer and, sure enough, it was the strip inside the gas tank. Thanks to ethanol these things go bad.
    Thank you to those who replied.

  5. #5
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunseekr5 View Post
    Update, Took the bike to the dealer and, sure enough, it was the strip inside the gas tank. Thanks to ethanol these things go bad.
    Thank you to those who replied.
    BMW and the dealers blame everything on someone/something else. I had a strip break like they all have (7 of them on several bikes) at 10 miles from new. One broke at 1K miles...etc. They all seemed to become disconnected where the wires are attached to the strip inside a block of epoxy. I think it's quality control for the most part.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  6. #6
    To help longevity of this poorly functioning part, you might be careful when refueling. And this is no panacea.

    If you put the gas nozzle in until it stops, that "stop" is the fuel strip. Look down into your tank and you'll see it, right there, colorful wires nozzle side up.

    It can't help to batter the strip every time you refuel. As per your BMW rider's manual, report it to the NHTSA, if you can conceive of this being a safety issue. Many do not see it that way. Many do
    Page 142
    Reporting safety defects
    If you believe that your vehicle has a defect which could cause a crash or could cause
    injury or death, you should immediately inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    (NHTSA) in addition to notifying BMW of North America, LLC.
    If NHTSA receives similar complaints, it may open an investigation, and if it finds that a
    safety defect exists in a group of vehicles, it may order a recall and remedy campaign.
    However, NHTSA cannot become involved in individual problems between you, your
    dealer, or BMW of North America, LCC.
    To contact NHTSA, you may call the Vehicle Safety Hotline toll-free at 1-888-327-
    4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); go to http://www.safercar.gov; or write to: Administrator,
    NHTSA, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. You can also obtain
    other information about motor vehicle safety from http://www.safercar.gov.

  7. #7
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Dear SunSeekr5 (real name?)

    Please review: http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread.php?46055 - I've added this info to your thread title. The fuel level sensor has changed on the hexheads, so this is a significant bit of info to have in the title, in the hope that someone with knowledge about your bike might open the thread.

    That said - I'd also suggest looking at the sticky/poll about failing fuel sensors.. and might encourage you to report it to the NHTSA failure report website (there are instructions on doing so in various threads about this failure here.) When reporting it - please select the "fuel system" as the failure mode, that helps group the failures so the NHTSA might actually notice them.

    Glad the dealer took care of it for you - now you too can have a perpetual fuel strip warranty, since the new ones are warrantied (parts/labor) for 2 years from the date of installation, and in my experience, if I can get 1 year out of one I consider it a "good one".. (I'm on #7 now.. at 67,000 miles.)
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

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