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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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bubbles in engine oil

so i decided to do my oil change and spark plugs on my 1999 harley sportster, and as my oil was draining i noticed little bubbles floating at the surface of the drained oil. I ran my bike for about ten minutes to heat everything up and let it drain. it was around freezing outside, if that has anything to do with it? (i doubt the cold had any effect). I did a quick google search and read that it could be a number of problems but you would have to see the bubbles to know what the problem is... and i have no idea. i've never seen bubbles in oil, and i've only done my own oil changes a few times on my truck. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance


the first is right after it drained out, the second was about fifteen minutes later
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 12:17 PM
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Cold oil will form bubbles in it easily, nothing to worry about. It's a problem when it foams up when hot.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 12:18 PM
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the oil just went threw a harley engine, it can have a bubble or two.

oil stabiliser can make more bubbles.

water condensing will give it a milky appearance, and bubbles.

if you aren't noticing any oil pressure problems i wouldn't worry about it.

also are you running the right oil?

last question, why are you not asking this question on a Harley forum?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 12:35 PM
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Used to see that all the time until I started using synthetic.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. It is the oil direct from a harley dealership, and as far as i can tell there is no oil pressure problems. I asked this here because everyone seems knowledgeable about motorcycles, and i figured a harley is very little if no difference to why there would be little bubbles in the engine oil. It is also going up for sale and im going to be looking for an sv650s before the summer, so no need to be on a harley forum.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 01:45 PM
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If you want better opinions, you need to post pics that people can see - we can't see the links you posted.

Any time you splash oil from a crankcase into a pan, you are going to get bubbles just like pouring any other fluid. If you have something else going on, there may or may not be an issue. Probably now.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 02:23 PM
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And 10 minutes might not be enough to get all of it warm and toasty, specially in an air cooled engine. I have to leave my XJR1300 idling for at least 20 minutes for the oil cooler to get hot.

Go soothingly on the greasy mud, for therein lies the skid demon.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Now I'm pretty sure its nothing, but I heard it could have been all sorts of problems so I got kind of worried lol. Here's the pics anyways
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 04:58 PM
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The bubbles in the right-hand pic are not meaningful. The foam in the left-hand pic is only alarming if it is something other than oil foam. Since it's a Sportster it can't be coolant, which would be the primary concern.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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The foam and discoloration was right when the oil drained. The other picture is about fifteen minutes later. I guess its just oil foam?

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 05:27 PM
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could be water that condensed in your oil, could be an additive acting up, could just be from Harley's propensity to aerate their oil.

not enough to worry about any way.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Tru that's what I wanted to hear. Thanks

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