Disappearing oil

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by chris.neale, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. chris.neale

    chris.neale New Member

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    Hi all, since putting the VFR back on the road after about 6 years, I’m going through oil at a remarkable rate. To give some idea, I’m going from at max to just bellow min in under 10 miles. As I’m going to begin investing over the weekend, I thought I’d ask for pointers. The engine runs with no real issues, starts no problem, and only has a slight blue tinge in the exhaust if rev’d hard


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  2. jeremyr62

    jeremyr62 New Member

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  3. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Sorry if this is teaching you to suck eggs Chris; the oil level when cold/engine off will change dramatically when the engine is running/hot. Oil gets pumped around the engine and hangs up at various points like the cylinder head. To get a true reading, stop the warm engine and park the bike on the centrestand on level ground and wait for 2-3 minutes. You should aim to set the oil level in between the high and low marks.

    Hopefully your engine doesn't really consume oil at the rate you thought...
     
  4. chris.neale

    chris.neale New Member

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    Unfortunately yes it does, topped it up, rode 10 miles, parked up, left it until after I got changed then checked and it was below min. At that rate if I were burning it I think I’d expect quite a lot of blue smoke and poor running but I’m not getting that. So was wondering if anyone had had a failed seal or gasket that maybe held the oil somewhere like the v of the engine before I start looking at compression testing


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  5. bk94si

    bk94si Member

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    Check to see what your coolant looks like
     
  6. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Was this just after an oil change? Reason for asking, if you drain the oil, replace the filter and then top the oil up, it will definitely drop down a long way the first time it runs as the filter is filled up.

    Of course if this oil loss is happening over and over again, you've got a problem. The only places oil can escape is a leaking oil filter or sump plug, into the coolant (through a failed head gasket) or into the airbox. Might pay to open the airbox for a peek, a light mist of oil in there is pretty normal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
  7. Paul Myers

    Paul Myers New Member

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    I agree you should check the coolant by removing the rad cap and the expansion tank. At the rate you describe your looking for more than trace oil if the head gasket has gone.

    I assume it is not on the ground ie seals dried up?

    It could be stuck piston rings. They can get gunked up and stay compressed in the piston grooves instead of floating.
    Might be worth adding seafoam to the oil and fuel to see if it will help free them up.

    Everything was fine when the bike was put in storage?
     
  8. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    time for a compression test. blow-by from bad rings could account for oil loss. check airbox for unusual oil deposits.
     
  9. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    I would start with a few consistent checks of the oil level, paying attention to warm-up and even getting a little anal with a stopwatch. Sight glass checks depend on same conditions every time if you're trying to make an exact comparison... you may have nothing wrong at all.
     
  10. jfrahm

    jfrahm New Member

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    Good advice so far.
    I second that it might be sticky rings, a good ride with quality fuel and maybe techron-type cleaner if you can get it might help a lot.
    If it does not improve there are still things you can do to decarbon the bottom end.
     
  11. FJ12rydertoo

    FJ12rydertoo Member

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    IMO, if you're losing/using oil at that rate, you should definitely see a blue cloud following you down
    the road. That's in 2-stroke territory.

    Just per chance, did you initially check while on the centerstand, and the second check was while it
    was on the sidestand?
     
    bigbadbass likes this.
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