GL1800Riders Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of MAY's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why in thye world does my bike keep going thru bulbs? My EC lights go out about every 3 months. Not Lewis's fault at all. Now one of my high beams have gone out, its only 3 weeks old. I have only had 1 taillight go out. My handlebar controls are missing some lights, I replaced all the lights in the suspension housing also. I have several different ways to read my voltage on my bike, GPS, Radar Detector, Volt Meter on bike and they all are normal. This is driving me nuts. I am checking and replacing bulbs like I do with air pressure.

Off to the parts store I go! Its a good thing these are not costing me anything at least. I just hand them my old one and he gives me a new one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,425 Posts
You're smart enough to not touch the bulb...
Did you measure the voltage at different rpm?
Is there a chance that there's an intermittant short in the wire harness? Say, like only when the left turn signal is on or something weird like that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
the light gremlin is your problem. I have had good luck. I do have one of the radio lights out. I figured I will not touch it until 2 or 3 of them are gone. Another thing remember to use alcohol wipes on your bulbs before your install them. It does help to remove all the grease and thumb prints.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea, I make sure I wipe them with alcohol before inserting them. When I get back from Texas I am going to take it in for some misc warranty stuff. I will have them do a complete electrical system check. Maybe my voltage regulater is going whacky sometimes. My handlebar lights on the right side started to go out pretty soon after I got the bike.
I have so much little stuff I need to do on my bike its not even funny. I need a good rainy weekend to start pulling stuff off.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
22,240 Posts
Toyo said:
Yea, I make sure I wipe them with alcohol before inserting them.
What kind of alcohol are you using? Normal drug store isopropyl is very high in mineral oil and it will leave an oily film. You should be using denatured alcohol.

Also, you say the voltage is "normal". What do you consider normal? It shouldn't ever be any higher than 14.5 volts. You also might want to consider putting an O scope on the battery with the bike running and see just how much AC noise it has. You could be spiking the bulbs with high voltage AC transients from the alternator (maybe a bad rectifier/regulator).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,496 Posts
Toyo said:
Maybe my voltage regulater is going whacky sometimes.
If that were happening I'd expect the lights to go REALLY bright at times ...

do you ride at night? ... have you seen them fluctuate?

Dennis
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,628 Posts
Gremlins is right. I was going through a lot of low beams for a while, sometimes in only a couple thousand miles. I haven't changed the lows in quite a while, and have never done the highs. (knock on wood). I haven't even gotten to Don Saenz's bulbs yet. (And, I've never touched the bulbs).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,033 Posts
Fred H. said:
Toyo said:
Yea, I make sure I wipe them with alcohol before inserting them.
What kind of alcohol are you using? Normal drug store isopropyl is very high in mineral oil and it will leave an oily film. You should be using denatured alcohol.

Also, you say the voltage is "normal". What do you consider normal? It shouldn't ever be any higher than 14.5 volts. You also might want to consider putting an O scope on the battery with the bike running and see just how much AC noise it has. You could be spiking the bulbs with high voltage AC transients from the alternator (maybe a bad rectifier/regulator).
I second Fred 100%.... and that's the kind of Alcohol to use to.
Get it in a can at Lowes or Home Depot or the Ace hardware. The iso... stuff is generally only 70%.
Alternator has three phases and if one is acting up the scope will show it. Big spikes are possible.
Turn on everything and high beams and brake lights to check it under worse case load also.
Watch it through the RPMs as it may only mess up in a certain range.
Go visit Fred, buy him a nice color toenail polish, so he looks good in the videos, and have him help.
Good Luck :lol: :lol: :lol:
DC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,134 Posts
do it the easy way, don't touch the glass part of the bulbs then u don't have to wipe them off
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,550 Posts
Dunno about the voltage spike idea. Yeah, a large spike could take out a bulb but if there were enough high voltage spikes to blow a bulb, a lot of semiconductors in the stereo, ecu, etc would be long gone. A bulb has a much better chance of surviving a transient (or multiple transients) than electronics do.

More likely the wrong alcohol or a problem in the lighting circuit itself. Could be a short but more likely a bad ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,125 Posts
:?:

Not saying any one is wrong; but my bottles of ISOPROPYLE ALCHOHOL list active ingredients as 91% isopropyle alchohol by volume and inert ingredients as water. No mention of glycerin or mineral oil. However, in my MC bay I only use EverClear (ethenol) as it is also useful to prevent snakebite on occasion. :wink:

prs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,738 Posts
Steven,

Sounds like an "electrifying personality" to me!!!!!!

Yep, a good checkout of the electrical system is needed perhaps.

Got home last night late from WV -- snowing today. White Christmas in the making for sure!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,410 Posts
Time to buy a new bike perhaps? It would work for me! :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,173 Posts
The bulbs that came with my EC lights only lasted a couple of months as well. The ones I bought at the auto parts store have now lasted about three times as long, and are still working. They are Sylvania H3's - 55W.

Might be just a coincidence, but that is my experience for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
White Wing said:
Dunno about the voltage spike idea. Yeah, a large spike could take out a bulb but if there were enough high voltage spikes to blow a bulb, a lot of semiconductors in the stereo, ecu, etc would be long gone. A bulb has a much better chance of surviving a transient (or multiple transients) than electronics do.

More likely the wrong alcohol or a problem in the lighting circuit itself. Could be a short but more likely a bad ground.
I second that the ground is the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
Toyo
When you mounted the lights did you mount them correctly, by that did you mount them with up pointing up. If not that would put the blub in the wrong position and would cause it to burn out. Fred is also on the right track with the alcohol, I use rubber gloves to avoid contact with my skin. Keep us informed as to what you find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,685 Posts
Have you replaced the relay that powers the driving lights? The Bosch relay has an internal diode across the coil to clamp voltage spikes that result when the relay de-energizes. The internal diode could be open allowing some nasty spikes on the electrical system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Guys, Thanks for all the inputs. My internet has been out for a couple of days. Switched from cable to dsl, its been a night mare.

The new bulb I just replaced blew out the same night. I was behind my wife on the road, we get home and she said I have a burned out bulb. I flipped my yanker!
I am going to find out the problem today, I have some time to look at it I hope.
I have always just used regular rubbing alcohol without a problem. I carry a bottle in my van so I can wipe the bulbs off when I replace them with work. Never had any problems. When you remove a blown bulb due to oil left on it, it will actually show you the finger print on the bulb. It burns it on there.

Which specific grounds should I check?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,425 Posts
Toyo said:
I flipped my yanker!
I have always just used regular rubbing alcohol without a problem. I carry a bottle in my van so I can wipe the bulbs off when I replace them with work. Never had any problems. When you remove a blown bulb due to oil left on it, it will actually show you the finger print on the bulb. It burns it on there.
:shock:

First off, don't flip your yanker. I don't know what that means and I don't want to know.
Second, just stop touching the bulb. Handle it from the steel and you won't have to worry.
The label always says to use denatured, not isopropyl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,015 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, false call on the bulb. The connector had pulled out of the bulb. I guess I didnt have it pushed in far enough. However, I still have a problem with all the other bulbs going out. I am gonna go over the bike pretty good and check all the grounds and connectors.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top