Oil Temps

Discussion in 'Oil' started by Ishmael, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Ishmael

    Ishmael Active Member

    For my general education, I'd like to ask the question: How many of you monitor your oil temperature? Do you use a temp gauge on the oil filler/dipstick? How about oil coolers, necessity or not? Thanks.
    Ishmael, pretty uneducated but learning all the time!
  2. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

    I use the dipstick oil temp gauge on my Ultra. Only useful when you're stopped since it's not easily or safely viewed while riding.

    When I was researching info on my '09, most knowledgeable mechanics recommended installing an oil cooler on it. That and using synthetic oil. It really depends on how you ride, the temps you're riding in, are you doing alot of stop'n'go, high speed riding, etc.
    It definitely doesn't hurt to have one and could help extend your drain intervals somewhat as your oil wouldn't get as beat up from excess heat.:cheers
  3. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I use an oil cooler on both bikes, and have the in tank guage on the softail and an in dash guage on the RG. I agree that much depends on your riding conditions and ambient temps. My '94 FLSTC runs 180*-210* and the '05 FLTRI runs 185*-220*. I haven't tried running syn. oil as the temps I'm seeing aren't bad floor Fl. I change all fluids at 3000mi to 3500mi.
  4. pigrider

    pigrider Active Member

    I've got an 04 Heritage Softail Classic that I use an analog dipstick guage in. I run synthetic oil and no cooler. The first guage I had was one of those digital jobs and it was more trouble than it was worth so I pitched it and went old school. The highest oil temp I've seen on my bike is 245 degrees but just about all my riding is on open road. One of the reasons I've never thought about a cooler is that in early morning or late evening rides my oil temp barely gets to 200 degrees. I know most of you're better coolers have a built in thermostat I never really seen the need being that my oil temp never was over 245. Would definatly recomend synthetic oil no matter what, but as far as a cooler that would be you're choice as to you're riding, it wouldn't be a bad idea but could also be over kill,just depends on you and you're bike.
  5. ironmark

    ironmark Junior Member

    I have both the digital dipstick which is not very accurate & I have the Dakota Digital in the dash . The oil temps will depend on the outside air temp and your riding situation . Most of the time with the air temp around 65-75 degrees and riding on the open road the oil temps will average between 195 & 220 degrees . When in stop & go traffic you can expect the temp to increase , when I rode through Chicago last August it was 102 degrees out and in stop & go traffic the oil temps reached 260 degrees & when I got rolling again it took 25 miles & 65 mph to bring the oil temps back down to 225 and I run a oil cooler .
  6. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    I have an in dash gauge (sensor is in oil pan) on my '07. I have free flowing filter and mufflers with a TFI. The highest I have seen on the gauge was 270 degrees on a 90 degree day driving in a city. My thighs were hurting!! After I got out of the city and up to 55 it dropped back to 210 after 1/2 hour or more.
  7. FerrousBueller

    FerrousBueller Junior Member


    I'm glad you asked this question, so far, lots of interesting answers! I also have an analog temperature/dipstick. It's comforting to read the temperatures I'm seeing are in the range of others.
    One of the more wise members here suggested an Oil Pressure Gage is a better monitor of engine health. I'll be installing one for my bike in the future.
  8. geezer

    geezer Senior Member Contributor

    I have the dipstick oil temperature gauge and the Harley oil cooler. I saw 270-280 temps in the tank before I put the cooler on and now I've never seen the oil temp above 230. Riding in temps in the low 30's I still see 200 temps. Some say neither, oil temp gauge or cooler is needed and they're probably right but they give me the warm and fuzzys so I have them both. O-ya I also put on a oil pressure gauge.
  9. The4opps1

    The4opps1 Junior Member

    On my '99 Ultra I switched out the ambient temperature gauge for an oil temperature gauge. I also have a HD oil cooler and run synthetic. Don't know that all of this is necessary here in the Garden State, but I figure better safe than sorry.
  10. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I use an analogue dipstick in my softail however my temperatures stay low as it never gets hot here although on occasions on summer trips we have encountered hot weather oil temp has never been above 220