Coolant problems - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL1000 from 2002-2012 DL1000 from 2002-2012 (K2-L2)

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post #1 of 22 Old 10-14-2018, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant problems

Hey everyone.
My 2003 v1000 has been a headache for me. I was riding with a buddy of mine and we stop he tells me it smells like coolant burning when I get on it. Iv looked everywhere no leaks. Bike feels fine. Haven't road it much. Take it out for a ride it's in the 70s. Temp gauge goes full 5 bars and red temp light comes on. I let it cool bring the bike back. Fans working. Ride again same thing in like 15 mins of riding.

When I fist got the bike I was doing a valve inspection and one of the cam guide bolts snapped. I had to take the head off and get the bolt out. When I put it back together I used all new gaskets. Bike ran fine. First thing I checked when I smelled buring coolant was the oil to see if any coolant was in it. It was clean. Checked the coolant. It had no oil in it.
This bike has been driving me crazy. Any suggestions on what to check?
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post #2 of 22 Old 10-14-2018, 12:29 PM
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Now that the bike is cold, can you get to the radiator cap by turning the handle bar? Get the cap off and use a flash light, to see if the radiator level is low. Is the radiator overflow bottle level still show correct level? That red light should bring up a deal mode error code (https://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.ph...c,10831.0.html) that would be of help.
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post #3 of 22 Old 10-14-2018, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant level looked right. Over flow looks good.
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post #4 of 22 Old 10-14-2018, 12:51 PM
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Check the tube connecting the two heads together, that hose in between often leaks, and you need to replace it, or tighten the clamps a bit. Drips from that would land on the head and stink, but you may not notice it unless you get right in there to examine it.
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post #5 of 22 Old 10-14-2018, 01:41 PM
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1+ on checking the hose connections and clamps. They like to leak and if you had the hose off very likely do leak a little. You should see traces of the evaporated coolant.

If I remember right I had a similar coolant error on my WEE. Turned out was not a coolant error but a general error because of an intermittent poor connection in the main wiring loom connector or the connector to the instrument panel, can't remember. Did you do any electrical work that could be the cause? Maybe post a picture of what your dash is showing so others can chime in.

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post #6 of 22 Old 10-16-2018, 09:14 PM
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On my 2006 I found reusing the coolant hose clamps was a bad idea. Had to go back in and put new clamps on. Problem solved. It only leaked when it was hot.

My coolant hoses are original, I just checked them again today and see no reason to change them yet. Had to replace the fuel lines on mine and the vacuum lines were all cracked and very dry. I just had to replace my vacuum caps again too, suckers were cracked causing an idle issue. But the other stuff still looked good. The caps didn't last long, Chinese rubber I guess, got them from the auto parts store a few years ago

Good time to put dialectic grease in all the connections too while your in there.

If your over heating I bet your problem is more than hose clamps. Does the thermostat work right? I love my little cheap thermal gun for checking hose temps.


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Last edited by Sagebrush; 10-16-2018 at 09:16 PM.
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-26-2018, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagebrush View Post
On my 2006 I found reusing the coolant hose clamps was a bad idea. Had to go back in and put new clamps on. Problem solved. It only leaked when it was hot.

My coolant hoses are original, I just checked them again today and see no reason to change them yet. Had to replace the fuel lines on mine and the vacuum lines were all cracked and very dry. I just had to replace my vacuum caps again too, suckers were cracked causing an idle issue. But the other stuff still looked good. The caps didn't last long, Chinese rubber I guess, got them from the auto parts store a few years ago

Good time to put dialectic grease in all the connections too while your in there.

If your over heating I bet your problem is more than hose clamps. Does the thermostat work right? I love my little cheap thermal gun for checking hose temps.


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I checked all the hoses, No leaks anywhere. I pulled the thermostat the other day and tested it. It opened up and closed at the right temps.
I put everything back together and went for a ride last night. Temp gauge got up to 3 bars. It was 45* out tho.
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post #8 of 22 Old 10-26-2018, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by hinow41 View Post
I checked all the hoses, No leaks anywhere. I pulled the thermostat the other day and tested it. It opened up and closed at the right temps.
I put everything back together and went for a ride last night. Temp gauge got up to 3 bars. It was 45* out tho.
I thought my clamps were fine till the bike got hot on a trip. It actually only leaked at highway speeds. Thankfully the main leaker was on the right side where I could get to it easy.

Make sure you bleed the system, it's been a while, but I think the bleed screws is on the water pump.

I only had issues with the ones on the radiator. So far my coolant hoses are still original. My bike has a plastic radiator guard and it runs a little hotter with it, but I've not seen more than 3 bars ever. Mostly 2 bars if I'm over 45 mph. I only see 3 bars when pulling steep grades in the summer, 2 bars is my normal temp when moving along, hits 3 bars at stop lights.

Last edited by Sagebrush; 10-26-2018 at 04:50 PM.
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post #9 of 22 Old 10-26-2018, 05:18 PM
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If you're seeing more than 3 bars under normal riding conditions, something is definitely wrong. The fan should kick in at that point and bring it back down to 2 bars. On that note, you might want to ensure the fan is working properly. Does it engage when the third bar shows? I know you said the fan is working, but perhaps it is not working right?

Another consideration, of course, is the water pump. Maybe the impeller is toast.

Certainly, your problem is not leak-related. You may have a leak, but that's not what is causing the overheating.

Are you losing significant fluid from the water pump drip tube? If so, that points to a pump problem.

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post #10 of 22 Old 10-26-2018, 05:25 PM
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Hinow, it's best to pinpoint coolant leaks before you tear anything apart.
I have a couple of my own from work, but you can usually borrow/rent a Cooling System Pressure Tester at most any auto parts store.
The engine can be cold. You remove the radiator cap, install the pressure hose adapter in its place, pump the tester until its gauge reads 10-13 psi....and watch all junctions, hoses, and the radiator itself for leaks. Unless you see a leak right off the bat, let the cooling system sit under pressure for 10 minutes, pump the tester to maintain the 10-13 psi.
The tester will have a radiator cap testing adapter so you can easily test the cap by itself as well.
If your buddy smells coolant from your exhaust, you can remove the spark plugs, pump the tester to 10-13 psi and let it sit under pressure for a good hour. Rotate the engine and look for coolant to be ejected from the spark plug threads. Look at the spark plug electrodes for a greenish deposit. I say this because, even though you replaced the head gasket, you can still have an coolant leaking under pressure into the cooling system. A leakdown test would be conclusive, but that would require compressed air and a spark plug thread adapter.
A cooling system pressure tester is a great tool to have for just checking cooling system integrity.
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