FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issue

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FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issue

Postby Yellowjacket on Fri May 21, 2010 1:16 pm

FYI: I talked to both Bob's and Morton's service departments regarding my fuel sending unit failing around the 2 year mark. This is a known issue which has been reported most widely by the 2005-2009 K1200x owners in the United States. Apparently the alcohol in the gas mix is causing the strip sensor to fail. BMW has not announced any workaround or fix. The fuel warning light still works. I will replace this unit towards the end of my bike's warranty. I depend more on the Trip Meter and fuel warning light anyway.
Last edited by Yellowjacket on Fri May 21, 2010 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby ObiWan on Fri May 21, 2010 1:53 pm

What is the exact issue you called about?
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby Yellowjacket on Fri May 21, 2010 2:06 pm

The issue I called about is my fuel sending unit failing around the 2 year mark. The fuel level sensor is made of (among other parts) a rubber (?) strip. It turns out that this issue has been discussed on other forums as well.

What happened to a simple metal floater and a metal sensor? :D
Last edited by Yellowjacket on Fri May 21, 2010 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby Unity on Fri May 21, 2010 6:04 pm

Yellowjacket wrote:What happened to a simple metal floater and a metal sensor? :D

Moz, you are sooooo old-fashioned! :D

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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby Yellowjacket on Fri May 21, 2010 6:29 pm

Unity wrote:
Yellowjacket wrote:What happened to a simple metal floater and a metal sensor? :D

Moz, you are sooooo old-fashioned! :D

--John
(A regular Luddite. :P )


Hear, hear, from the Luddites! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I could easily shake the 50-100cc bikes to see if any gas sloshes in the tank. No sensors required... :) I work with cutting and sometimes bleeding edge technology, yet I often use low tech to back up high tech. I suppose the engineers in Berlin have not included alcohol as a possible wear and tear factor in their design requirements. To think that Germany has been on the forefront of green technology. I hope the cost of the warranty repairs over the last 5 years will induce BMW to take a look at the sending unit design albeit a low tech one :)
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby Bicyclist on Fri May 21, 2010 9:34 pm

My '67 Suzuki X6 had a clear plastic tube attached to the tank. A glance would tell you how much fuel you had. Hard to beat for simplicity.
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby ObiWan on Fri May 21, 2010 10:48 pm

I have heard others mention the issue about incorrect or flat-out inaccurate readings on the fuel gauge. With no "reserve", you walk a time or two for fuel and you learn that the bike will go 250 miles max on a tank, so better stop around 225 or so...

Is that the problem you refer to?

Rubber sensors?

The fuel pump on my 94 K1100LT nearly died. Got a new one a Napa, but not exact. Shorter. Meant that the "indicator light" was too late. So, I learned the mileage on that one too. Also learned to "lean to the left" for the pickup to get whatever fuel was left... It had the metal plunger for fuel level...

Meanwhile, my 06 K12GT has no issues with the sender, my indicators seem to work fine... (Now where is that wood to knock on?)
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby Yellowjacket on Sat May 22, 2010 3:11 am

ObiWan wrote:...Is that the problem you refer to?

Rubber sensors?

The fuel pump on my 94 K1100LT nearly died. Got a new one a Napa, but not exact. Shorter. Meant that the "indicator light" was too late. So, I learned the mileage on that one too. Also learned to "lean to the left" for the pickup to get whatever fuel was left... It had the metal plunger for fuel level...

Meanwhile, my 06 K12GT has no issues with the sender, my indicators seem to work fine... (Now where is that wood to knock on?)


Mine completely failed. You can find more info and instances of failure on BMW Super Bikes or BMW-K forums. The dealers have replaced quite a few of these units.
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby ObiWan on Sat May 22, 2010 8:39 am

Right, I am agreeing with you about the known issues, I just had not seen one FAIL to this point, that is all.

I am extremely lucky in that mine works fine. I am also somewhat cheap and have not owned a bike new enough to be covered under warranty until my current one. And even then I had only 1 month of warranty.

So, my personal experience has been to learn to fix it or live with it, whatever the problem may be.

You have an awesome new to you bike and it is a bummer to hear that it has problems, I am hopeful that you will get them all fixed under warranty.

I have just not ever had that luxury...

All of that said, thanks for the heads up, now if mine ever does fail, I know I have a recourse.
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby Yellowjacket on Sat May 22, 2010 10:26 pm

Roger that!
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby JimVonBaden on Sat May 22, 2010 11:22 pm

Moses,

IMHO the concept of 10% alcohol being the culprit is not that valid. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of cases where these same type of strips have failed on the R1200GS Adv, and many did not use alcohol laden fuels at all.

IMHO, there is a design flaw. BMW may own up one day, but I wouldn't count on it.

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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby Yellowjacket on Sun May 23, 2010 7:16 am

JimVonBaden wrote:...
IMHO, there is a design flaw. BMW may own up one day, but I wouldn't count on it.

Jim :brow


Based on the riders' feedback it is looking that way... I am definitely not holding my breath. I got used to setting the Trip Meter on the GS and the Vic as a backup so it is an easy transition on the S. I plan on timing the warranty repair to get maximum coverage.
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby BchrisL on Sun May 23, 2010 12:04 pm

Bicyclist wrote:My '67 Suzuki X6 had a clear plastic tube attached to the tank. A glance would tell you how much fuel you had. Hard to beat for simplicity.

Image
ARRG! MY '51 Piper Cub had a brass rod that protruded from the top of the tank to indicate the level of fuel. :twisted: :D
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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby Bicyclist on Sun May 23, 2010 1:07 pm

BchrisL wrote:
Bicyclist wrote:My '67 Suzuki X6 had a clear plastic tube attached to the tank. A glance would tell you how much fuel you had. Hard to beat for simplicity.

Image
ARRG! MY '51 Piper Cub had a brass rod that protruded from the top of the tank to indicate the level of fuel. :twisted: :D


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Re: FYI - 2008 K1200S Fuel Sending Unit failure - known issu

Postby Dan on Sun May 23, 2010 2:02 pm

BchrisL wrote:ARRG! MY '51 Piper Cub had a brass rod that protruded from the top of the tank to indicate the level of fuel. :twisted: :D

lol, that's pretty cool.
We just used a dipstick with markings on it to indicate the fuel level on the Piper Seminole- and usually just eyeballed it up to "tabs" on the Arrow and the Cessnas.
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