do I only check oil when hot

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by AZDave, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. AZDave

    AZDave Active Member

    Saturday after replacing my light bracket and front fender light I got her ready to ride. Now I had the service done by the dealer at 1000 miles and she has 1200 now. I checked the oil and the stick was dry nothing so I added some and it took a full quart before just showing. I started the bike and checked it hot and I was two inches above the full hot line. I had to take out about half the quart what a pain. So, what is the bast way to check it? I know it should be on the stand when I do. I don't want to start her if it's low. I was just suprised at that big of a swing.
  2. sanec1

    sanec1 Active Member

    The dipstick should have a range that is a safe level to run the bike. Seems odd that you would need to add oil so soon after it being changed. I think it should say on the dipstick maximum level when hot.
  3. nogoslim

    nogoslim Active Member

    I have a 2007 Heritage, but I'm not sure that my bike is checked exactly the same as your 2009, probably is, but it will tell you in your owners manual how to check your oil, that is the best way, cold check and hot check. 200 miles after a service, your oil should be pretty close to the correct level. Not a great big difference in the hot and cold level. If you don't already own a service manual, you'd be doing yourself a big favor by buying one. I also suggest a parts manual to help you to understand how all the parts go together. Lovin' my FLSTC....
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    I always made it a habit to check the oil HOT when returning from a ride. It's the most accurate way of getting a good reading.
  5. Doug S

    Doug S Member

    I think it's just a case of knowing your bike, I check it cold or hot on the stand and when I first got it I also checked it off the stand just to be sure it was not too full when hot. On the stand and cold it's a little over the bottom line(3/8"), hot on the stand it's 3quarters between the lines and hot straight up it's right on the top line and since that's the way it runs, that's the way I like it. This way I know where I'm at no matter how I check it.

  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    As Glider said, check it hot. Not warm up hot, but "been out there riding around half a day" hot. Top up as required. Next morning when it is stone cold sober, check it again for the "cold" level. At that point, you know the level is right, and you just want to know where it is when cold. That is then the "quick" check in the am before you head out. When you get it hot again (see above), check the hot level. You'll get used to it.

  7. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Is it possible the bike "sumped" the oil. Wasn't it sitting for a while waiting for you to heal? I didn't think the newer ones did that, but that could explain the dramatic swing in levels?
  8. AZDave

    AZDave Active Member

    Thanks for the info, It did sit for two months , I will check it after a good ride and then when its cool to see where the levels are.
  9. sellisrulzz

    sellisrulzz New Member

    it does drain into the sump after a period of time. had same thing happen to my friends deluxe. tank was bone dryafter sitting for 8 months. we added 2-1/2 qts. fired it up. a minute later, out pukes at least a qt. if not more, all over the driveway, her, me, car, clothes.. what a mess. yeah, getting the extra out wasnt too hard, pulled drain plug.
  10. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    As others have stated, it is best to check the oil level after the bike has been run for a few mnutes to ensure the oil tank is full and the sump (oil pan) is dry due to the unique "dry sump w/ oil tank" HD design. It should be between the add and full marks, with the bike set as as stated in the owners/shop manual.