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#980300 - 02/16/17 08:42 AM Engine Oil Drain Plug Fell Out
Hank R1200RT Offline
Member

Registered: 10/06/14
Posts: 78
Loc: Agoura Hills, CA
I was riding to LAX yesterday about 5AM and a rapidly flashing red triangle appeared on the center panel. Free motorcycle parking at LAX smile

This was as I was just getting off the freeway. Rode for about a minute to a gas station. (Southbound Howard Hughes offramp to the Mobil station at 76th and Sepulveda for LA people who know the area.) Saw a trail of oil, got some more to fill up, which is when I saw new oil running out the bottom. Felt the hole and threads and concluded I had lost the oil drain plug somewhere on the 405.

I have not changed the oil on this bike myself - it was due - and I am guessing it just vibrated out. I left the bike there to catch my flight and #2 son trailered it home last night.

Obviously need to do some more investigation to make sure there was no other damage to the oil pan/bottom engine casting/whatever to cause loss of the drain plug. Besides a compression check and looking for exhaust smoke, any other thoughts? Anyone had the drain plug vibrate out? (Forum search for oil drain plug didn't find anything salient, although I did not go through all 60 screens of results.)
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Hank Murphy
2013 BMW R1200RT "Gretchen am Spinnrade"

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#980302 - 02/16/17 08:58 AM Re: Engine Oil Drain Plug Fell Out [Re: Hank R1200RT]
dirtrider Offline
The Oracle
Member

Registered: 06/05/10
Posts: 11832
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Hank R1200RT
Besides a compression check and looking for exhaust smoke, any other thoughts? Anyone had the drain plug vibrate out? (Forum search for oil drain plug didn't find anything salient, although I did not go through all 60 screens of results.)


Morning Hank

Over my many years of motorcycling I have only seen one oil drain plug come completely out, but I have seen a number left loose at oil change time with resulting oil leaks & oil puddle under the bike.

Unless your drain plug threads are completely stripped out then I would almost guarantee that the last person doing the oil change left it loose.

Years ago I was taught by my uncle that an oil drain plug has ONLY two positions in life-- ALL the out or ALL the way tight-- there is NEVER an in between. If a plug gets started finger tight & the phone rings either unscrew it completely or fully tighten it before answering the phone.

As far as engine damage goes-- you won't have a compression issue or exhaust smoke, it is engine BEARING damage that you need to be concerned with & that probably won't show up until you fill it with oil & ride it for a while.

If it was my bike I would change the oil & filter then ride it for about 500 miles looking for an oil light coming on at idle (oil light at idle is almost a sure sign that you may have damaged some bearings). Then at 500 miles I would remove the oil filter & carefully cut it apart then remove the filter media & take it out in the sun looking for bearing particles on the filter media.

Added: I would also recommend that you contact the last person/dealer that did the oil change & get it on record with them that the oil plug fell out while riding. Get their take on accepting responsibility. If they deny that they are responsible then find another dealer. It is almost assured that it is their fault unless you have an enemy that loosened your drain plug when you weren't looking.


Edited by dirtrider (02/16/17 09:04 AM)
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D.R. ___
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#980303 - 02/16/17 09:01 AM Re: Engine Oil Drain Plug Fell Out [Re: Hank R1200RT]
freetime2247 Offline
Newer Member

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 23
Loc: Louisiana
Never heard of the drain plug vibrating out unless it was never torqued. I have 1st hand knowledge of this happening on engines with air and fuel lines when they were not properly torqued.

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#980306 - 02/16/17 09:25 AM Re: Engine Oil Drain Plug Fell Out [Re: Hank R1200RT]
DaveCinNO Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/01
Posts: 325
Loc: New Orleans, LA
Bearing damage from oil pressure loss happens fairly quickly but may not produce particles you can visually see. Take an oil sample to a lab that does oil analysis and they will tell you is it contains unusual levels of bearing metals. I do it every few oil changes just to watch for trends. It's too bad you already added new oil to the engine but definitely do it next change. Get a sample just as the oil starts to drain, not toward the end of draining. I use old prescription bottles for this, it doesn't take much.

Good luck, what happened to you isn't good.
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Dave C
IBA 11450
2013 R12RT
New Orleans, LA

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#980320 - 02/16/17 01:29 PM Re: Engine Oil Drain Plug Fell Out [Re: Hank R1200RT]
freetime2247 Offline
Newer Member

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 23
Loc: Louisiana
Blackstone Labs will send a free sample kit and test your sample for $28.00.

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