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Thread: Do the Service Techs at most shops warm the bike before draining the fluids?

  1. #1
    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
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    Do the Service Techs at most shops warm the bike before draining the fluids?

    I was in the process of doing a 36K mile service on my Camhead when a thought occurred to me. Conventional Wisdom calls for the bike oils to be warmed by riding for several miles before draining. OK. Yes the oil does drain faster and any suspended matter should flow out.

    Then I started to think how do the Sevice Techs at dealers worldwide drain bike oils? I can't recall ever seeing any techs warming bikes prior to service. Has anybody else?
    12 R1200 RT
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    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Sure. I've seen them warm a bike at idle, sometimes on a lift with the bike connected to an exhaust hose.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  3. #3
    After riding 2.4 hours to get my bike to the shop, it's usually pretty warm when they pull it. This Saturday though, I'll have em do the throttle body synch and valve adjustment, buy the oil and filter and do it myself when I get home, for no other reason other than I love servicing the oil on my bike.

    But to answer your question, yes, a good service department will change the oil hot or warm.

  4. #4
    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    Sure. I've seen them warm a bike at idle, sometimes on a lift with the bike connected to an exhaust hose.



    Ok but that would not warm the transmission or final drive.
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    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wvpc View Post
    Ok but that would not warm the transmission or final drive.
    When on the centerstand, BMWs since the 80's K and Oilhead typically rest on the front tire, so those models could be idled in gear. It wouldn't warm the gearbox and rear drive much, but would get those oils stirred up.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangerreece View Post
    After riding 2.4 hours to get my bike to the shop, it's usually pretty warm when they pull it. This Saturday though, I'll have em do the throttle body synch and valve adjustment, buy the oil and filter and do it myself when I get home, for no other reason other than I love servicing the oil on my bike.
    They're adjusting the valves with hot heads? That's a specific no-no for BMWs.. too much expansion of different metal components (and they don't give a hot-valve-clearance value..)
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  7. #7
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    To me, thinking the oil must be warm to drain out is akin to believing a battery will discharge if placed on a concrete floor.
    Old wives tale, somehow adopted by some motorcycle guys.
    You are not dealing with molasses there, nor old crystallized honey.
    The preposterously different amount of oil you might, and I say might get out is so minuscule as to make it not worth my while. On any vehicle.
    Unless it was running molasses.
    dc

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    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    dc, do you run cane or sugar beet molasses when you do run molasses in your Beemer?
    Kevin Huddy
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    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    They're adjusting the valves with hot heads? That's a specific no-no for BMWs.. too much expansion of different metal components (and they don't give a hot-valve-clearance value..)
    Agreed, unless they change the oil after doing the valves.

    Jim

  10. #10
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David13 View Post
    To me, thinking the oil must be warm to drain out is akin to believing a battery will discharge if placed on a concrete floor.
    Old wives tale, somehow adopted by some motorcycle guys.
    You are not dealing with molasses there, nor old crystallized honey.
    The preposterously different amount of oil you might, and I say might get out is so minuscule as to make it not worth my while. On any vehicle.
    Unless it was running molasses.
    dc
    It isn't the amount of oil that you are trying to influence, it is the contaminants IN the oil. If you warm up the motor, trans and FD, the contaminants are suspended in the oil and flow out more readily when draining it.

    Jim

  11. #11
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Yes. you'd get more contaminants out.

    But see Don's email, above - the valve clearances wouldn't be correct if the valves and heads were hot when adjusted.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  12. #12
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimvonbaden View Post
    Agreed, unless they change the oil after doing the valves.

    Jim
    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    Yes. you'd get more contaminants out.

    But see Don's email, above - the valve clearances wouldn't be correct if the valves and heads were hot when adjusted.


    Jim

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
    They're adjusting the valves with hot heads? That's a specific no-no for BMWs.. too much expansion of different metal components (and they don't give a hot-valve-clearance value..)
    Sorry for the confusing post. No they do the valves cold. This weekend I'm having the switches on the right handlebar replaced... cosmetic. While there I'll get the throttle body since and valve adjustment. The techs at Pensacola simply time the list of services I usually show up with to be conducive to a warm or cold engine. When I show up with fluid changes, which is rare as I usually do it myself, they do at first to take advantage of the warmth of fluids.

  14. #14
    Life is not always perfection. And life has compromises.

    Yes, best shop practice is to drain lubricants hot. Yes, valves really need to be adjusted cold. Yes, good customer service would not require keeping the bike over night or a few hours to cool.

    The ideal is to ride the bike (to the dealer shop or DIY shop), drain the lubricants as soon as cool enough not to cause injury, then allow an hour or two to cool down and then adjust the valves.

    In my mind the crucial thing with the lubricants is to get them stirred up. This will allow most if not nearly all of the crud to be swept away with the draining.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  15. #15
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David13 View Post
    To me, thinking the oil must be warm to drain out is akin to believing a battery will discharge if placed on a concrete floor.
    Old wives tale, somehow adopted by some motorcycle guys.
    ................
    dc

    What D13 said. If you have so much particulate matter in your oil that it will settle out overnight, you have some serious issues. As far as it draining more, BS! After the bike sits several hours, gravity has returned most of the oil to the pan. Start the bike and it is spread all over the inside of cases, pistons, cams, valves etc, and will take hours to return to the crankcase. I think the tradition is carried over from when straight 30, 40 and 50 weight oil was the norm, and if it was cold, the stuff was like honey.


    I actually try to park my vehicles overnight before draining.
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