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Discussion Starter #1
Remember that article last issue where they said something to the effect that HD Syn3 is the only synthetic oil that will not effect your warranty? Well, I just got my newest issue of Enthusiast today, and they printed a correction. They said that they received dozens of emails from people saying it wasn't right. They interviewed some guy at HD that told them flat out that they were wrong for saying that.

They then took the opportunity to give an entire glossy page with pictures to explain why you would want to use Syn3 anyway.

Thanks. I'll stick with Mobil-1 V-Twin.

Hey, at least they printed the correction though.
 

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'05 Road King Classic
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Indeed they did state and print the correction and I agree that the rest of the article tried to bring you back to square one, Syn3.

I understand them wanting to sell their own stuff but I wish they'd come clean on what other products or product specs meet their warranty requirements. The owner's manual is no help here other than say to put in some diesel stuff then change out to Harley oil as quickly as possible. That's not a spec, that's BS.

But at least the "correction" is a start.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ike1518 said:
Indeed they did state and print the correction and I agree that the rest of the article tried to bring you back to square one, Syn3.

I understand them wanting to sell their own stuff but I wish they'd come clean on what other products or product specs meet their warranty requirements. The owner's manual is no help here other than say to put in some diesel stuff then change out to Harley oil as quickly as possible. That's not a spec, that's BS.

But at least the "correction" is a start.
They can't really say that...just like they can't say that using any oil besides theirs will "effect your warranty". If they endorsed a certain oil, and then that brand changed their formula (and it caused problems), they would not want to be held liable for having endorsed a certain oil. Really all you can do is look up the specs on the different oils yourself, and then come to your own conclusion- knowing that they at least can't deny warranty service based on what brand of oil you use.

For me personally, I'd imagine Mobil-1 has done more testing than Harley has on Syn3, given the fact that Mobil also makes oils for cars, and they sell motorcycle oil for sport bikes and V-twins regardless of the brand. I know for a fact that the temp on my '07 went down noticeably when I switched from Syn3 to Mobil-1 V-twin.
 

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'05 Road King Classic
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oil spec rant

True enough that they couldn't and shouldn't endorse another product, but why can't they tell me SIMPLY what the specs are so I can make my own choice? For car oils you have the SM rating, or whatever it is now, along with the API doughnut and you KNOW you're within specs.

Where or what is the equivalent of that for oil in a Twin-Cam? This has always been a pet peeve of mine with Harley. I love their bikes but they sure make it a pain to exercise some freedom of choice when it comes to engine, tranny, and primary lubricating fluids.

As an example, a lot of people on this site recommend Mobil 1 Synthetic Gear Lube 75W-90 for the transmission. OK, but how do they know this gear oil meets Harley specs? It may shift easier and quieter but does it meet or exceed Harley specs. If it doesn't then quiet and easy don't mean anything if you have to personally pay for a new transmission. The owner's manual says virtually nothing about gear oil specs.

I am not a lubrication engineer nor am I a serious mechanic so how am I supposed to know what lubricating fluid is within spec? Mobil and Amsoil both say they meet or exceed Harley specs - so do I trust them or is there another measure? Again, back to automobiles, SM and the API doughnut and you're good to go and if things do fail you have solid specs to back you up.

Ahhh, that felt good. I haven't ranted about oil for a while. :)
 

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As I see it, in the owner's manual HD gives the recommended viscosity rating in relation to ambient temperature, so we have that information. It also says if HD oil isn't available then use a diesel engine oil rated CD/CE/CF. (The part about "changing it out with HD oil as soon as possible" is only a recommendation- it can't be enforced as a requirement for the warranty because they aren't providing the oil free of charge.) So now we have an API rating to shoot for as well.

I'm currently using plain Mobil 1 15W-50. It meets the needs for the ambient temperatures I ride in year round, and it's rated CD/CF in addition to SM/SL.
I've met the two requirements H-D set forth in my owner's manual to the best of my ability with the information they have provided.
IMO if we ever took it to court over a warranty denial where they claimed I used an inferior oil, they'd have a very difficult time proving that the Mobil 1 I use, which is chemically superior to Syn3 or HD360, caused a lubrication-related failure...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Electraglidin' said:
As I see it, in the owner's manual HD gives the recommended viscosity rating in relation to ambient temperature, so we have that information. It also says if HD oil isn't available then use a diesel engine oil rated CD/CE/CF. (The part about "changing it out with HD oil as soon as possible" is only a recommendation- it can't be enforced as a requirement for the warranty because they aren't providing the oil free of charge.) So now we have an API rating to shoot for as well.

I'm currently using plain Mobil 1 15W-50. It meets the needs for the ambient temperatures I ride in year round, and it's rated CD/CF in addition to SM/SL.
I've met the two requirements H-D set forth in my owner's manual to the best of my ability with the information they have provided.
IMO if we ever took it to court over a warranty denial where they claimed I used an inferior oil, they'd have a very difficult time proving that the Mobil 1 I use, which is chemically superior to Syn3 or HD360, caused a lubrication-related failure...
Yeah, but you'd likely spend more in legal expenses to prove you're right, than if you paid for the repair costs on your own. Luckily, it sounds like we don't have to worry about them trying to deny warranty services because of what brand of oil we choose, so legal expenses should not be necessary.
 

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Keep in mind that most warranties are based on workmanship and defects. The use of mud instead of the proper spec's oil has to be the cause of the malfunction to deny the warranty, not just because you deviated in some manner of service or use of improper fluids. Some Dealerships will try giving you a BS story and most people will buy it and open up their wallet. If you are ever told that the fluid you used caused the problem always save some of the oil to send to your lab of choice and it will normally tell the story. If you are using Amsoil and the used oil report is not conclusive to what caused an apparent oil related failure then Amsoil will turn it over to their insurance company to pay for the failure. I believe most oil companies may do the same thing.
 

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George is right on it and I am glad he brought it up. I used to work for a major filter mfg. And the scoop is this - The Magnesson (sp) Moss Act says that if a mfg requires you to use their products only or the warranty is void - then the mfg must supply the parts to you at no cost throughout the warranty period. There are some exceptions when getting into heavy equipment, but these exceptions have to do with maint. agreements.

So keep in mind -

If you are using other oils and the failure is due to the oil, then the oil mfg is responsible for repair.

If you are using a another mfg filter and a failure is due to the filter, then the filter mfg is responsible for the repair.

If you are using an aftermarket part and the part is the cause of a failure then the aftermarket part mfg is responsible for the repair.

So in conclusion - aftermarket parts are acceptable and in a lot of cases are built better than the original - Just be sure the mfg is reputable and will stand behind any issues.

We at times had filters fail and caused engine failures, if the filter was at fault we paid for engine overhauls and repairs. I worked for a very reputable company, and it was often our lab that indicated the problem was due to our filter. We did not have many failures and I still believe they make one of the best filters in the world, but whne you are talking mechanical parts, you can have a problem.

Enough on that - Thanks George for your alway straight shooting.
 

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For those of you that have read this new article do you realize that this is the first time that HD has put it in writting that the use of another oil will not void your warranty? They have always chosen their words very carefully to make the customer think that they had to stick with their products during the warranty period. I wonder how many dealership service departments have read this?
 
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