Temporary, occasional overheating... weird issue. - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 2012, 11:51 am Thread Starter
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Temporary, occasional overheating... weird issue.

Well here's a strange one. On three occasions, most recently yesterday, I've had what I'm going to call "delayed fan syndrome" where the temp gauge pegs to the top of the scale and then I can hear the fan kick on and almost immediately cool things off... Temps then stay normal for the rest of the ride. Yesterday's incident actually turned on the red caution triangle for a few seconds so, while intermittent, it must be getting worse since the traingle wasn't lit on the first two occasions.

It doesn't happen every time I ride the bike (which is nearly every day) so, as usual, Im a bit confused... I just went to the garage and started the bike, let it idle for 10-15 minutes and everything was normal. Temp graph got to halfway, the fan kicked on and the temp never crept past halfway.

Since all I've done in the last 10 months (since buying it) is change the oil twice, slap on a new set of PR3's, install the updated tensioner and jump-guard and "fix" the brake pad wear sensor, I'm not even sure where the radiator fill is (to check coolant level) and that's a bit of an embarassing statement to make... In true BMW fashion, there's no mention of coolant in the manual.

Any help here is greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 2012, 12:53 pm
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If sitting on the bike, look down into the side panel gap on the left side. You can check it there. For refilling the system there is another cap under the right side panel (silver), tucked up closer to the engine. If refilling the whole system, the main thing is to eliminate any air. Some buy a compressor attachment that makes it very easy to do it correctly.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 2012, 2:53 pm
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Had something similar happen. Bike had 34,000 miles. It would overheat at low speeds <35mph. Higher speeds it was ok.
Fan op was ok, coolant level was ok but radiator looked dirty from front view.
Pulled both side panels off, rad shroud/grill from front, and removed fasteners from fan bracket (except one I couldn't get at) to move fan out of the way.
Then set up an air hose with a 90 to slip in behind (engine side) rad from the left side to blow stuff out. Lots of dirt and dust erupted. I was careful not bend rad fins.
Next did the same thing with water from behind rad to soak and loosen anything that didn't come loose with the air.
Then I used a shop vac from front of rad to suck out remaining dirt and bugs.
And lastly used the air gun again.
Before I did all this I put a light behind the rad and not much light came through. Big difference afterward. Overheating problems gone.
My thanks to others on this forum who had reported this issue.
The fins are close together and plug easily so I'm going to make this annual task in the fall when I put the bike up for winter. (like now...)

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 2012, 5:33 pm
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I learned to thoroughly clean the radiator fins every time the radiator was removed for valve checks. It gets pretty gunked up in there, which reduces air flow through the radiator, which reduces cooling efficiency.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 2012, 6:33 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I'm going to thoroughly clean the radiator when I do the 36k service (which will happen soon, since I'm now closer to 37k...) but I'm still trying to wrap my head around the intermittent nature of the problem. If the rad fins were badly clogged, wouldn't that create a constant overheating issue?

It's almost like the fan isn't running until it's almost too late, but only occasionally.

SO weird...
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