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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Group,

I want to ask a question here because I value the experience and wisdom of our board members.

I have an '08 GL1800 that I bought new. Present mileage is 26,000. I notice my cooling fans frequently kick on. The temperature gauge usually runs just below the halfway mark. Sometimes it will creep a little higher (never in the red zone), and the fans kick on until the needle falls just below the halfway mark again. I rode with my chapter last week (about 11 Goldwings), and my bike seemed to be the only one that I heard the cooling fans running. One member of my ride group said it is unusual for a GL 1800 to have the cooling fans come on. We were climbing mountains here in Virginia and I was riding 2-up. Granted, it has been hot here, mid to high 90's most days.

So my question(s) -
Is my situation unusual and should I suspect a mechanical problem ?
Should I take it to the dealer (not very confident in my local dealership)?
Would new engine coolant help (haven't changed it yet) ?

Thanks in advance,
Dave
 

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I have an 08 and the fans very, very seldom come on while I am underway. I often like to go out late at night for a ride and I go through a large residential community. I ride fairly slow just to be quieter and enjoy the scenery as well as I can see it. Then and only then will my fans kick on. But under normal riding they never come on. The gauge never moves from just under half scale.
 

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I have a 09 and I've asked the same question. My gage stays just under the half mark and will to to the half mark and the fans come on. From what I have been told, this is normal.
Check the coolant level and the radiators for obstruction. If all is well, ride it and enjoy yourself.:lol:

Ken
 

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It's interesting. I had an '01 with an original ECM(the one that was prone to overheat) that I could never get to come close to overheating. I TRIED to get it to heat up in "parade mode" type riding, and was never able to get the needle to move much above 1/2. The fans also hardly ever kicked on.

With my '08, steady riding at around 20 mph in lower gears will put it near the overheat mark pretty quickly. If I back off to under 15, so the fans come on, or shift to higher gears, then it drops equally quickly. In low speed riding, under 15, the fans often kick on.

This is usually only a problem on very tight twisties, or in some city driving circuits. I also ran into it when doing a training on "Horse Thief Mile" at Willow Springs raceway.

For me, it's just one of those things I keep an eye on, and make sure I don't stay in a mode of riding that I know will result in heating up, for long.
 

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Yours should act like the others in the group. If your fans are coming on and theirs are not, you have a problem. I prefice this assuming your GVW is close to the same. Carrying more weight means everything works harder. Has the coolant been changed every 24K or every 2 years as required? Have you checked the coolant level in the ressivior and under the cap? If yes to those questions, the cap and system needs to be pressure tested and recovery system inspected.
 

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I have an 08 and the fans very, very seldom come on while I am underway. I often like to go out late at night for a ride and I go through a large residential community. I ride fairly slow just to be quieter and enjoy the scenery as well as I can see it. Then and only then will my fans kick on. But under normal riding they never come on. The gauge never moves from just under half scale.
The fans can not come on when you are underway. They modified the ECM on later models so that the fans shut off at speeds over 15 mph. This is because the fans on Goldwings pull air through the sides and push it out the front. If the fans are running and you are going 25mph you would effectively have no flow over the radiator (25mph coming in minus 25 mph going out equals zero). Also at higher speeds if would reduce the effective speed by about 25 mph. This was the cause of much of the overheating issues.

Jeff...
 

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The fans can not come on when you are underway. They modified the ECM on later models so that the fans shut off at speeds over 15 mph. This is because the fans on Goldwings pull air through the sides and push it out the front. If the fans are running and you are going 25mph you would effectively have no flow over the radiator (25mph coming in minus 25 mph going out equals zero). Also at higher speeds if would reduce the effective speed by about 25 mph. This was the cause of much of the overheating issues.

Jeff...

Jeff is spot on. I have an 08 and on a PGR escort mission, we were running about 25 to 30 for about an hour and the needle on the temp. guage got right up to the red area. At the first opportunity I took it back to Shawnee Honda and asked if I had a problem. I got the same explanation from the mechanic that Jeff above gave with the following addition. He told me that unless it was puking out water, it was not overheating. So don't worry about it. To let it cool off, either speed up or slow down or stop completely. Don't run 25 mph.
 

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Thanks, Jeff and Cowboy. I probably used the word seldom more as a general comment rather than specifically. But my fans come on so seldom in general that I really never even notice it.
 

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My fan will come on whenever I drop below 20MPH if I am climbing and the engine is getting hot.
 

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Worked on a friend’s 01 with very similar issue... Turned out his hose had come out of the reserve tank and slowly lost antifreeze... When he checked the tank it always read as being full, but when we checked under the radiator cap there was over a pint loss of antifreeze... Filed the burped the system, repaired the hose and all is great ever since...
 

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This is a topic that Stu Oltman in the GWRAA magazine has addressed more than once. It was his advice that even though the temperature needle moves past the "low" mark and climbs, the bikes never really overheats. Therefore, it was designed to operate within that range.

Two years ago, a number of us Wingers climbed Mt. Washington in New Hampshire on two separate days. The first day the mountain was fogged in and travel over 15 mph was unsafe. None of the bikes "overheated" since the fans constantly engaged.

The second day was a beautifully clear day in which we drove at 20-25 mph up the mountain. Every bike exhibited the tendency to "overheat" but none actually did. No one complained about any "overheating" smell and none of us started steaming coolant. The biggest problem was our unfamiliarity ofour bikes demonstrating consistent high temps.

In many respects, the temp gauge on the bike should be an idiot light. Showing actual temps causes more concern than should be. That is also the reason why oil pressure isn't shown, only the lower pressure threshold is important. The same goes for tire pressure. If actual tire pressure is shown, we'd all have a freak out when the tires got hot.

So the moral of the story is don't worry about the temperature gauge on the bike unless you have a true overheating problem with steam, smell, and cursing.
 

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Although it does not sound like you have a problem it does not hurt to check the coolant level and do a good inspection of the airways that enable air to flow through your radiators.

On a trip to the Black Hills a few weeks ago I experienced my temperature gauge climbing higher than normal. I expected it was due mostly to following some slow vehicles up some of the hills where I was unable to safely pass. On inspecting the bike I discovered a large bird lodged in the right air intake behind the front wheel. It appears the poor little guy was unable to get out of the way and his spread wings almost closed off that air vent.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Although it does not sound like you have a problem it does not hurt to check the coolant level and do a good inspection of the airways that enable air to flow through your radiators.

On a trip to the Black Hills a few weeks ago I experienced my temperature gauge climbing higher than normal. I expected it was due mostly to following some slow vehicles up some of the hills where I was unable to safely pass. On inspecting the bike I discovered a large bird lodged in the right air intake behind the front wheel. It appears the poor little guy was unable to get out of the way and his spread wings almost closed off that air vent.
That is an incredible story !
 

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You mean to tell me you hit a bird and didn't notice it.????? I ran into a bird and the sound and flurry of feathers could not be missed... The poor guy kinda exploded upon impact...
 

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Hi Group,

I want to ask a question here because I value the experience and wisdom of our board members.

I have an '08 GL1800 that I bought new. Present mileage is 26,000. I notice my cooling fans frequently kick on. The temperature gauge usually runs just below the halfway mark. Sometimes it will creep a little higher (never in the red zone), and the fans kick on until the needle falls just below the halfway mark again. I rode with my chapter last week (about 11 Goldwings), and my bike seemed to be the only one that I heard the cooling fans running. One member of my ride group said it is unusual for a GL 1800 to have the cooling fans come on. We were climbing mountains here in Virginia and I was riding 2-up. Granted, it has been hot here, mid to high 90's most days.

So my question(s) -
Is my situation unusual and should I suspect a mechanical problem ?
Should I take it to the dealer (not very confident in my local dealership)?
Would new engine coolant help (haven't changed it yet) ?

Thanks in advance,
Dave

Sounds normal to me also.

I'm on my 2nd 06 and the fans will come on in this kind of heat that we have been dealing with as of late. My 1st wing did and and my current one does also. The gauge always remains at the halfway mark.

Check your coolant and if all is well and there are not leaks, you're good to go. If you take it to the dealer for the cooling fan issue they will most likely tell you its normal unless they find something else wrong.

As others have stated, as long as you're underway the fans shouldnt be coming on.

I do question why the fans werent coming on with the other bikes in your group. With the type of heat we've had around here lately, I cant see and water cooled engine idleing for a lengthy period of time without the cooling fans coming on. :shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I checked my overflow reservor and added about 1/2 cup distilled water. Went for a long ride again today (325 miles), and the fan still came on several times, although I did not hear it above the 25 mph speed as discussed above. The needle didn't move at all on this trip.

You all have put my worries to rest. Thanks for your collective insight. You are the best !

Dave
 

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Although it does not sound like you have a problem it does not hurt to check the coolant level and do a good inspection of the airways that enable air to flow through your radiators.

On a trip to the Black Hills a few weeks ago I experienced my temperature gauge climbing higher than normal. I expected it was due mostly to following some slow vehicles up some of the hills where I was unable to safely pass. On inspecting the bike I discovered a large bird lodged in the right air intake behind the front wheel. It appears the poor little guy was unable to get out of the way and his spread wings almost closed off that air vent.
This can happen believe me :-( I also hit a bird and its body and feathers were packed in good and tight in the right radiator this caused heat issues with my bike also until i cleaned up the mess then fine :thumbup:
 
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