A Less Than Complete Oil Change

Motorcycle.com Staff
by Motorcycle.com Staff
My wife took her 99 Drifter 1500 to the local Kawi dealer for an oil change in preparation for selling it. It has 42,000 highway miles on the clock. A mile down the road she heard metallic sounds from the engine, shut it down and called the dealership. They sent out a tech who added two quarts of oil, she rode it back to the dealership, where they added more, and told her everything would be fine.

We've had good luck with this dealer, but I'm concerned about long term damage. It sounds okay now, but I feel ethically obligated to tell anyone interested in buying it what happened.

Any advice on what I should rightfully expect from the dealer?

Sounds like they forgot to put oil in it! Brilliant work by the wife, sounds like she saved a complete meltdown. You seem like a reasonable person, try and talk calmly with the owner of the shop and have them rebuild the engine, or...

...just buy the bike as a write off. That's good of you to notify any prospective buyers, it would be wrong not to as it may have serious internal problems. That said, it may not and could run for a long long time, but there's a good chance it has some damage inside -- scuffed piston, most likely. Note that if you scuff the skirt of a piston below the ringlandings and it hasn't had much time to score the cylinder or degrade very much, it can pass a leakdown test. Shouldn't, but it can. Absolutely anything is possible inside an engine, the only way to truly tell is to take it apart and look and measure everything. So, have them take it a apart and look and measure everything. There's an old racer axiom: It'll make the most power right before it goes boom!

-MO

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Motorcycle.com Staff
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