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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm experiencing very high oil consumption, that I understand is way out of wack from what most scrambler owners experience.

I bought my 2015 Icon last spring, and found that my oil level drops pretty drastically, with no leaks , and no soot around the mufflers to suggest it's being burned off. I run fully synthetic 15w50 SAE rated Motorex oil, and I lose about a liter per 1500 km (or say, a quart every 1000 miles or so). This bike has gone through 2 sets of clutch plates (Mine need changing out now at 24,000 km, and the original owner changed them out at 15000 km), and I'm guessing it's related to the oil consumption problem. Low oil must be pretty hard on them.

I've read a thread or two that suggested this can happen when the engine is being broken in, which is clearly not my case. Anybody out there have any experience like this, and/or have a solution? It's expensive and frustrating. Thanks!
 

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That much oil consumption is a little nuts. There's definitely something wrong somewhere.

Are you sure you're not leaking or burning it off? Is your oil filter torqued all the way on? I had a service department under-torque mine after the first service and a day or two later it worked loose enough to start a slow drip of oil. It had also thrown oil all over the bottom of the engine case.
 

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Where in the world does that oil go? If nothing else, I'd swap to another oil just to see if there's any difference.

Sarah
 

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Have somebody drive behind you while you give it full berries to see if blue smoke is present.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That much oil consumption is a little nuts. There's definitely something wrong somewhere.

Are you sure you're not leaking or burning it off? Is your oil filter torqued all the way on? I had a service department under-torque mine after the first service and a day or two later it worked loose enough to start a slow drip of oil. It had also thrown oil all over the bottom of the engine case.
Hi Hawekeye, thanks for the reply. Yes, not leaking anywhere that I can find. No oil on the ground under my bike, or pooled up in the bash plate, no leaks from the drain plug or oil filter (newly changed out, which has now been changed several times, with no change in oil consumption), the muffler ends look pretty soot-free, and for what it's worth, I recently changed out my airfilter, and had no sign of oil or soot there either (saw one person on a different thread suggest checking the airfilter to help diagnose this same problem another scrambler owner had. And no, never seemed like the problem was resolved on that thread. I posted my question there as well, but no response yet).

It's a real puzzler.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Where in the world does that oil go? If nothing else, I'd swap to another oil just to see if there's any difference.

Sarah
Sarah I wish I new. I've tried several different kinds of oil: Shell, Castrol, Motorex, all SAE rated. It just seems to disappear. It's baffling.
 

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Well, if it's definitely not leaking from somewhere, then you have to be burning it, smoke or not.

Look at it this way:
There are only so many places or ways that oil can leave the engine. You have the filter, drain plug, screen filter, or any other holes in the crankcase where it could drip out. If you're absolutely sure it's none of these (and if it's been doing this across multiple oil changes and types of oil, it probably isn't) then the only other option I can think if is that it's migrating past the rings and getting burned. Even if you are burning oil it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll end up with soot on your pipes, either.

Either way, a quart per 1000 miles seems excessive to me.
 

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Gusan, in my opinion you need to visit a workshop as soon as possible. Such a huge oil consumption is absolutely not normal. As Hawkeye wrote, if it doesn't leak, it burn's it.
How? There are few options - if you are lucky, there might be only a problem with your crankcase ventilation system (quite easy fix I presume). If you are no lucky, there might be a problem with your piston rings - they might be cogged/ seized, thus they don't seal cylinder, or they might be even broken/ raptured.
As philgoodscrambler suggested, check spark plugs - if one of two (I don't believe that piston rings on two cylinders would be broken) is much more black/ oily you have a problem.

Good luck!
 

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This is a symptom of far too gentle when running in early in life.
Glazing the bores and changing to fully synthetic oil early on meaning the rings will never seal. If this turns out to be the case then honing the bores and running in with a mineral oil will be the only answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This is a symptom of far too gentle when running in early in life.
Glazing the bores and changing to fully synthetic oil early on meaning the rings will never seal. If this turns out to be the case then honing the bores and running in with a mineral oil will be the only answer.
Sounds like I costly process. Hope that's not the case :( Knowing the original owner of the bike though, I'd be pretty (very) surprised if he was too gentle on the bike when breaking it in. Is it possible that this problem was caused by running the engine too hard during the break in period?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Gusan, in my opinion you need to visit a workshop as soon as possible. Such a huge oil consumption is absolutely not normal. As Hawkeye wrote, if it doesn't leak, it burn's it.
How? There are few options - if you are lucky, there might be only a problem with your crankcase ventilation system (quite easy fix I presume). If you are no lucky, there might be a problem with your piston rings - they might be cogged/ seized, thus they don't seal cylinder, or they might be even broken/ raptured.
As philgoodscrambler suggested, check spark plugs - if one of two (I don't believe that piston rings on two cylinders would be broken) is much more black/ oily you have a problem.

Good luck!
Thanks for the suggestions/help.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, if it's definitely not leaking from somewhere, then you have to be burning it, smoke or not.

Look at it this way:
There are only so many places or ways that oil can leave the engine. You have the filter, drain plug, screen filter, or any other holes in the crankcase where it could drip out. If you're absolutely sure it's none of these (and if it's been doing this across multiple oil changes and types of oil, it probably isn't) then the only other option I can think if is that it's migrating past the rings and getting burned. Even if you are burning oil it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll end up with soot on your pipes, either.

Either way, a quart per 1000 miles seems excessive to me.
Thanks for the reply. Your reasoning sounds logical. I don't suppose there would be a fairly simple, inexpensive way to determine this and fix it?
 

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Have you always used synthetic oil? If so, I'd try a petroleum oil just in case. Also, do you wait until the oil level is way down on the "Low" mark before topping up? Back in the day I had a BMW that didn't like it's oil level high on the stick, would rapidly use oil down to a certain level and stay there. I wasted plenty of time and oil until I finally figured that out. Let us know what you find with the plugs.

Sarah
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Have you always used synthetic oil? If so, I'd try a petroleum oil just in case. Also, do you wait until the oil level is way down on the "Low" mark before topping up? Back in the day I had a BMW that didn't like it's oil level high on the stick, would rapidly use oil down to a certain level and stay there. I wasted plenty of time and oil until I finally figured that out. Let us know what you find with the plugs.

Sarah
Sarah, I've only used synthetic, but I I've also only owned the bike since April last year. Maybe the previous owner tried other types. But he did mention that he has always lost oil, and thought it was within normal standards of an air-cooled Ducati. Based on the experiences of other Scrambler owners, however, I'd have to disagree.

I'm afraid my oil doesn't seem to level off after a small bit of consumption. I came to this bike after owning a bomb proof honda, which never lost a drop of oil between changes (which is what most people here seem to experience with their Scramblers, the lucky ducks), so I didn't think to check oil level on a regular basis at first. Topped it off after receiving it, and oil was below site glass next time I looked. Took well over a liter to get it back up. Lost a substantial amount again after this top up. And then again after a complete oil/filter change.

So will see what the spark plugs tell me.
 

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Not yet. I'll give them a look. What should I look for? Soot?
Check it out:
Why do my spark plugs look as they do???

Oil deposit type is something you are the most interested in.

Sounds like I costly process. Hope that's not the case :( Knowing the original owner of the bike though, I'd be pretty (very) surprised if he was too gentle on the bike when breaking it in. Is it possible that this problem was caused by running the engine too hard during the break in period?
Yes, running any engine to hard during break in period is stupid and might cause problems especially with piston rings. I know that you can find planty of advices/ recommendations in the internet that engines should be broken in hard, but it is simply stupid - I am a mechanical engineer and when I hear it, I am getting sick. It simply does not make any sense.
Being too gently during break in period is not harmful at all, keeping in mind that engines cannot be broken in on idle - they have to be under load.
 
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