Bit by the fuel strip bug

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Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby dcgsrider » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:00 pm

The fuel gauge died on my 2009 model, just as I was leaving for a week-long trip last Saturday. It's stuck at zero and won't budge. I will examine the connector and clean it, but only to eliminate that as the cause. Sounds like I'm looking at a ~ $140 replacement part (fuel level sensor strip) to fix it. Any other diagnostics I should try before buying a replacement? And what's to say the new one won't also crap out at 40k and three years, (or less). Scuttlebutt seems to point at ethanol as the cause of the failures.

In the meantime, resetting the trip odometer is not a hardship. I rode that way for years. The warning light being on all the time is annoying though.
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby ERC Scott » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:33 pm

I'd call the dealer that sold you the bike. That bike can't be out of warranty by much. Scott
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby Unity » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:45 pm

dcgsrider wrote:The warning light being on all the time is annoying though.

Covering it with electrical tape might help.

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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby dcgsrider » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:12 pm

ERC Scott wrote:I'd call the dealer that sold you the bike. That bike can't be out of warranty by much. Scott
4,000 miles over. 36 months is up tomorrow.
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby Wild Pig » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:54 pm

Might still be worth a call though. The worst they can say is no.
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby m1dntlukgud » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:30 pm

has anyone considered retrofitting one of these bikes with an older tank with the legit floating sending unit......isn't this strip thing a VERY common problem? you could probably modify your already dead strip to make the low fuel light go away.....although it might be easier to figure out how it works with a meter and a new strip....and once you bought the new strip why not just install it.
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby dcgsrider » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:33 pm

m1dntlukgud wrote:has anyone considered retrofitting one of these bikes with an older tank with the legit floating sending unit......isn't this strip thing a VERY common problem? you could probably modify your already dead strip to make the low fuel light go away.....although it might be easier to figure out how it works with a meter and a new strip....and once you bought the new strip why not just install it.
Unfortunately, to make the flashing idiot light warning "go away" requires modifying the settings on the onboard computer, and according to the dealer, BMW won't tell them what the process is to make that happen. From what I've learned on the interwebs, replacing the strip is not a good candidate for a DIY repair, since the new strip must be calibrated to work properly.

Good news is, according to the dealer, BMW acknowledges this is a common problem is likely to cover it, on just-out-of-warranty bikes, as a "goodwill" gesture. We'll know for sure in a week or two. Then, the two-year warranty clock starts on the replacement. Direct quote from service manager, "you're lucky it lasted that long... [three years and 39k miles]." :|
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby dcgsrider » Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:02 pm

dcgsrider wrote:Good news is, according to the dealer, BMW acknowledges this is a common problem is likely to cover it, on just-out-of-warranty bikes, as a "goodwill" gesture. We'll know for sure in a week or two. Then, the two-year warranty clock starts on the replacement. Direct quote from service manager, "you're lucky it lasted that long... [three years and 39k miles]." :|


Denouement. Took the bike to Morton's this morning, and the fuel strip was replaced via a "goodwill" repair that BMW agreed to, even though the bike had exceeded both the warranty time period and mileage. Thanks, Stuart (and BMW Motorrad USA) =D>
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby dcgsrider » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:37 pm

dcgsrider wrote:Took the bike to Morton's this morning, and the fuel strip was replaced via a "goodwill" repair that BMW agreed to, even though the bike had exceeded both the warranty time period and mileage. Thanks, Stuart (and BMW Motorrad USA) =D>


'Nuther update. The replacement fuel level sensor crapped out on Tuesday, after a little more than three months. So, another warranty service appointment is in the offing. This could be habit forming. :roll:
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby biometrics » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:10 pm

Check the ADVrider forum for a potential self-fix if you are out of warranty. Some have learned that "zapping" the element of the fuel strip with a barbeque igniter mechanizm rejuvenates the fuel strip in many cases... It is a very inexpensive thing to try... and it WORKS... (sometimes)...
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby dcgsrider » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:35 pm

biometrics wrote:Check the ADVrider forum for a potential self-fix if you are out of warranty. Some have learned that "zapping" the element of the fuel strip with a barbeque igniter mechanizm rejuvenates the fuel strip in many cases... It is a very inexpensive thing to try... and it WORKS... (sometimes)...


There's a two-year warranty on BMW parts.
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby henwin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:21 pm

dcgsrider wrote:
dcgsrider wrote:Good news is, according to the dealer, BMW acknowledges this is a common problem is likely to cover it, on just-out-of-warranty bikes, as a "goodwill" gesture. We'll know for sure in a week or two. Then, the two-year warranty clock starts on the replacement. Direct quote from service manager, "you're lucky it lasted that long... [three years and 39k miles]." :|


Denouement. Took the bike to Morton's this morning, and the fuel strip was replaced via a "goodwill" repair that BMW agreed to, even though the bike had exceeded both the warranty time period and mileage. Thanks, Stuart (and BMW Motorrad USA) =D>

How about giving credit where credit is due and thanking VP Scott for suggesting it? :D
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby dcgsrider » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:09 am

dcgsrider wrote:
dcgsrider wrote:Took the bike to Morton's this morning, and the fuel strip was replaced via a "goodwill" repair that BMW agreed to, even though the bike had exceeded both the warranty time period and mileage. Thanks, Stuart (and BMW Motorrad USA) =D>


'Nuther update. The replacement fuel level sensor crapped out on Tuesday, after a little more than three months. So, another warranty service appointment is in the offing. This could be habit forming. :roll:


Fuel strip #3 died yesterday. Yet another replacement in the offing. Ugh.
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby dcgsrider » Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:09 am

dcgsrider wrote:
dcgsrider wrote:
dcgsrider wrote:Took the bike to Morton's this morning, and the fuel strip was replaced via a "goodwill" repair that BMW agreed to, even though the bike had exceeded both the warranty time period and mileage. Thanks, Stuart (and BMW Motorrad USA) =D>


'Nuther update. The replacement fuel level sensor crapped out on Tuesday, after a little more than three months. So, another warranty service appointment is in the offing. This could be habit forming. :roll:


Fuel strip #3 died yesterday. Yet another replacement in the offing. Ugh.


Another one. #4 gave up on Monday. Went from a half-tank to zero in the span of a few miles. Still at zero and won't budge, even after a fill-up. In year seven of BMW's twelve-year warranty on this item.
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Re: Bit by the fuel strip bug

Postby DiscoPete » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:25 pm

I know nothing about these fuel strips, but isn't it odd that so many of them on your bike are failing in so short a time?

Maybe the fuel strips aren't the problem. Maybe there is an intermittent bad connection or component that is causing the zero reading after the new strip has been in place for a while. Maybe a defective voltage regulator or a loose or dirty connection is causing the bad reading or zapping the fuel strip until it fails. It's common for an intermittent problem to disappear after a repair is attempted, only to reappear later.

When repeatedly changing the same part doesn't permanently fix the problem, the technician may be overlooking something. :emb:
Or else BMW has zero quality control on these fuel strips.
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