Author Topic: Oil pressure warning light and the scenario  (Read 1954 times)

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Offline AhhhhhSUM

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Oil pressure warning light and the scenario
« on: January 02, 2012, 05:17:40 am »
This might ramble on for a bit...so if you got about 5 minutes...please read on.  Here is the scenario. 2009 Concours ABS with 6000 miles. Fresh Oil change/filter about 1000 miles ago. Oil is at correct level in the window and still has the fresh color to it. A Friend and I were riding the twisties here in Western North Carolina where I live. It is about 55 degrees ..nice day. But then it started to rain...enough to where small puddles were starting to form and rain was beading off the windshield. A couple minutes after the rain started slowing us down, my Oil Pressure light started to light...or at least I thought it was....it was very very dim...and acting like it was trying to come on. I stopped the bike....wasnt real sure if what I saw was some sort of reflective light illusion or something. Needless to say had my riding buddy check the oil in the window with bike level and all is good. No funny smell, not running hot, etc. Started the bike back up...and a few miles down the road in the rain; the light started back up again except this time it was obvious....brighter red light but still flickering.  Stop the bike again....checked again....checked for anything suspicious. Nothing.  Well at this point I was concerned if I kept driving I was about to have an 8500 hundred dollar rock at any minute.  Started it back up and started driving again....light was dim...and even dimmer...all this while it was sprinkling.  Then the rain stopped...now we are on dryer pavement....the light finally just goes out....and I never came back on the 40 miles back home.  So here I am now picking yalls brain, especially the ones that have been around bikes many years.  Is it possible the Oil pressure switch can get crap on on it and with the water ground out showing a false positive of some sort?  I know what it states in the owner manual and the shop manual (Because I have them)....laundry list of things possible from oil pump, clogged screen, Bad crank/cam shaft bearings, relief valve, etc , etc.  Ultimately tommorrow, I'm going to check of some obvious crud around the sensor.  I guess also what I'm asking has anybody experience something like this? with a Connie or any bike.  The rain and stuff could have all be coincedences. The Forty miles home with no light coming on could have been luck..who knows.  This bike is still a baby mileage wise, and is well taking care. And I'm a "Cruiser" ..not a "race the engine" type of guy. So it hard for me to think that it is a major problem. Any insight or hunches are welcome.
Thanks, John.

Offline Cap'n Bob

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Re: Oil pressure warning light and the scenario
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 09:40:31 am »
   OK, in my opinion based upon what you have told us: 


   Oil pressure switches like some other switches (like a fan switch), work by switching like a relay. In this case, basically the oil pressure switch works by switching on and off by the oil pressure sensor having oil pressure applied as the switching agent. Basically, having oil pressure or no oil pressure turns the switch on or off. That way no pressure will give you the warning light.
 Switches like this (or a fan switch for example) work by simply providing a path of ground. The warning light has positive 12volt battery applied to the one side of the warning light, when the key is turned on. When there is no pressure (like when the motor is off for example) or an actual oil pressure problem. The switch then provides a path of ground from ground reference (negative 12 volts), through the switch, to the other side of the warning light. (remember with the key on, the light already has positive voltage) Thus the warning light lights. Basically a very simple circuit. Now when it is not fully switched because of lower pressure. It might not provide a full contact path for the ground. Thus possibly just dimly lighting the light. Just to point out that this can vary and might not always just light dimly. This is only possible.
     Now from what you described, I see one of two things. Because it happened with rain (and subsequently cleared up upon it drying). I do not think you have an oil pressure problem (internal engine). I think you more than likely have one of two things. First could be as simple as the oil pressure switch going bad in some way. As you asked, yes this could happen because of the water. Water could be providing the path of ground either through the switch itself going bad, or external from ground through the water directly into a possible less than optimum electrical connection to the switch. Thus providing the ground needed to light the warning light.
    Another possibility is a slight rub in the wiring harness on that wire. The moisture from the rain is making it short to ground and providing a path of ground. Following the wiring harness (tracing this wire) may be necessary to find a rub. If this is the problem, it will eventually get worse and probably do this in the dry as well. Basically, I would suggest checking the wiring and oil pressure switch for good wiring and connections. If you can't find anything. You may just have to replace the oil pressure switch. These are my couple of scenarios that probably are the cause.
    Now since your bike is an 09. There is a good chance that you still have the factory warranty (or maybe an extended warranty) on the bike. If that's the case, you can just let Kawasaki find it for you under warranty.  These are my thoughts on it. I hope one of them helps some way.

 ;)

Offline joe in calif

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Re: Oil pressure warning light and the scenario
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 02:23:21 pm »
And when you find out what it was please post and let the rest of us know. Could help someone out in the future.
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Offline Fred_Harmon_TX

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Re: Oil pressure warning light and the scenario
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2012, 02:44:19 pm »
I believe Bob hit the nail on the head. You probably got water on the oil pressure sending unit and it started to conduct. There is a rubber boot that covers it to protect it from water. I'd check to make sure the rubber boot is in place properly and I'd also remove and clean under the boot and all around the center contact for it real good to get rid of any dirt residue that might conduct when wet. It works just like Bob says, and supplies a ground for the circuit when there is no oil pressure, which illuminates the light.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2012, 02:51:48 pm by Fred_Harmon_TX »
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Offline Fred_Harmon_TX

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Re: Oil pressure warning light and the scenario
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 03:18:24 pm »
By the way, that sensor is located near the oil filter and it can be subjected to water spray off the front wheel. It might be a good idea to put a VERY LIGHT coat of dielectric grease under the rubber boot so it covers the exposed metal portion where the ring connector is bolted onto the end of the sensor. This will help displace any water that might work it's way under the boot. You could also spray the outside of the boot and surrounding area with some silicone spray. Silicone won't conduct and will help displace water. Dielectric grease is basically pure silicone as well.
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Offline AhhhhhSUM

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Re: Oil pressure warning light and the scenario
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 04:10:20 pm »
Wow....great informative replies CapnBob and FredHarmon! The pic was a cherry on top...Thanks. I'm going to take a look at it. Plus yalls replies gives this ol' boy "hope" that it is nothing major wrong internally. And Joe I will post to this what I find out...maybe even a pic, if I find the sensor to have some obvious crud on it.   

Offline AhhhhhSUM

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Re: Oil pressure warning light and the scenario
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2012, 11:17:02 pm »
Well you guys hit it the proverbial nail on the head. I took a look and the cover was not even on. I'm sort of embarrassed for not knowing this already...but I'm not much of a gearhead. So all the water, salt, grim from the rainy ride was just kicking up on it causing the flcikering oil warning light. Cleaned everything off and put the Rubber cover back on.  Here is the pic of what I saw when I first took a look....no cover and all the nasty stuff on it. Thanks again. John.



Offline ChipDoc

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Re: Oil pressure warning light and the scenario
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 11:46:43 pm »
Don't feel bad about it.  Mine is a daily commuter and it gets that way too.  She still runs great though - most of the time anyway.