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Oil Consumption

This is a discussion on Oil Consumption within the Wolverine General Discussion forums, part of the Yamaha Wolverine Gen 1 708 cc SxS category; How much oil are you guys going thru between the 1500 mile change intervals? I check mine before every use, especially after hearing of some ...

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Thread: Oil Consumption

  1. #1
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    Oil Consumption

    How much oil are you guys going thru between the 1500 mile change intervals? I check mine before every use, especially after hearing of some of the failures. At about 350 miles on this oil change I was down to almost the middle of the operating range. This seem normal compared to most?
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    Speed Demon MNDirtRider's Avatar
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    I just reached 230 miles on mine today before I loaded it up. I checked it at 100 miles and was perfectly full but haven't since. I don't get to put 1500 miles on in a season. I went to Amsoil in my Grizzly and change it once a year. Ends up being about 500 miles per change. I am of the mindset that clean oil is good oil - it's a cheap way to keep a healthy engine. At 500 miles, I feel good about changing it. These motors work pretty hard and changing oil and keeping a clean air filter is protecting my investment. I'm not sure I would wait til 1500 if I could ride that much in a season.
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    I have sent 2 oil samples using Yamalube 10w 40 oil from my Wolverine to Blackstone Laboratories for oil analysis, $28 per sample. One sample only had 499 miles on it and the other had 802 miles on it. None of my riding is hard or fast, most of the time never over 25 mph, and rarely ever reach 40 mph. My average is 10 mph. Both of the oil samples came back saying the Yamalube 10w 40 was equivalent to a 10w 30 oil and Blackstone said this was not unusual with a wet clutch, due to the shear forces on the oil. If the oil is being broken down this fast in 500 and 800 miles, no way would I ever run it close to 1,500 miles before changing. Mine will always be changed between 600 - 700 miles from now on.
    Last edited by PapaSkeeta; 07-05-2017 at 10:08 PM.
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  5. #4
    Couch Potato
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    i have been using oil as well .in fact i am going to call the dealer to see what is common before i am out of warranty . i feel the consumption is excessive i check it every ride and have noticed that i seem to have to top it off at around 150 miles or so . i have approximately 940 miles on my 2016 and the dip stick mod was completed .i have looked for leaks everywhere and cant see any signs of oil .

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    Mine is currently on the trailer and heading in for the 20 hr service. I just checked the oil and it's at the full mark. 233 miles. I would hope that I'm not seeing any usage at this point.
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    I ride with 7 other Wolverines and they don't use any oil in ~ 1,000 miles. Ever since I was out of my 200 mile break-in period I was using a small amount of oil, only at higher RPMs when I would get up to 25 mph or faster for even just a few miles. I kept meticulous written records of how much oil I had to add, when, the miles, the hours, every oil change and receipts. I do all of my own maintenance.

    From the bottom of the dip stick crossed hatched area to the top of the crossed hatched area is 10 ozs. so it is easy to know exactly how much you have to add to top it off. Some days I would use 5 ozs. in a day, other days maybe only 3 or 4 ozs., it all depended on the RPMs. A little at a time was not a big deal until I started comparing this to Yamaha's 1,500 mile recommended oil change interval and if I had gone that long between oil changes I would have been adding around 1.5 qts. in 1,500 miles.

    Now with 1,775 miles and 1 year left on my Y.E.S warranty it was time to find out what was wrong. Something was definitely not right, since the other 7 Wolverines I ride with, in the same conditions and the same speeds were not using any oil. My Wolverine has never had water in it, never been on it's side, or abused. It did not smoke at startup, no one riding behind me could see smoke or smell oil, no leaks, but the oil was disappearing. Did some research, based on dealer certifications and talking to Yamaha Corp. on who I thought would be the best dealer for an engine tear down, since it wasn't going to be covered under warranty unless a manufacture defect was found.

    Ended up taking it to Yamaha of Knoxville, TN with all of my detailed records. Did compression check (145 psi) and leak down test (4%) and both passed very good. So this was puzzling but I knew there was a problem somewhere since I was consistently using oil ever since my 200 mile break-in period, but only using oil at higher RPMs. I now suspect the only reason it didn't show up in the 200 mile break-in period is that I never got it more than 1/2 throttle so RPMs always stayed low.

    Upon tearing down the engine the 1st sign of an issue was a small amount of oil on top of the piston, also the piston had a whole lot of carbon buildup from burning oil (covered solid) on top of the piston. 2nd issue the mechanic noticed was that the piston just happened to be at the top of the cylinder and he noticed a lot more ring exposed on 1 side of the piston than on the opposite side. 3rd issue, breakdown continues and upon taking apart the piston pin it was not worn in the center as you would expect but was polished to a mirror finish only on 1 side of where the piston would ride on the piston pin (at the very outside edge of the piston pin bore, in an area about 3/16" wide).

    To analyze what has been seen so far with the 3 above issues: (1) oil is definitely getting by the rings, (2) piston appears to be just slightly cocked to 1 side due to wear pattern, but cross hatching in cylinder looked outstanding. So time to very accurately measure the bore of the cylinder, spec. is 0.05 mm. Upon measuring my bore it was within spec. at the bottom part of the cylinder but as you got toward the top of the cylinder it was out of round, 0.07 mm out of spec. This out-of-round was perfectly inline (same plane) with 2 of the cylinder bolts diagonal to each other, so more than likely was a manufacturer cylinder boring fixture issue during either the rough bore or the final bore of the cylinder before the cross-hatching was done in the cylinder during the manufacturing process.

    This would explain why, if the piston was toward the bottom of the cylinder, the compression and leak down test would test good, but at higher RPMs with increased oil pressure, it would allow oil to be forced past the rings only when the rings were at the top of the cylinder and get on top of the piston where it was being burned. The out of round cylinder was probably just enough to allow the piston to not travel perfectly straight up and down and cause the unusual wear pattern on the piston pin.

    Yamaha replaced under warranty: new cylinder, piston, rings, piston pin, and all gaskets, (whole new top end rebuild).

    My suggestions are to document everything as best you can, provide receipts if you do your on maintenance. Most importantly do some research and see what Yamaha Dealers have the top ratings by Yamaha for technician certifications and that, that Dealership has a fairly high volume of sales. High technical certifications with little volume doesn't equate to much hands on experience/trouble shooting. After all when my ordeal started I knew it was going to be like looking for a needle in a hey stack, since the dealer had no way of duplicating my scenarios and my Wolverine cranked and ran great but just used oil, spark plug did not even show signs of oil usage.

    I would highly recommend Yamaha of Knoxville, TN for their outstanding Customer Service and top notch mechanics. I have not had a chance to ride it except around the yard, but feel sure this had to solve the problem.
    Last edited by PapaSkeeta; 07-06-2017 at 07:54 PM.
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    Speed Demon MNDirtRider's Avatar
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    Wow @Papaskeeta! I'm glad you were taken care of on your engine. The detailed records of the whole scenario and the fact that you had a shop technician that was so dialed in is really amazing. I'll be happy if the tech who does my break-in service uses a torque wrench on the drain plugs! I'm nervous to take it to the dealer but I feel like I have to in order to have my extended warranty coverage. I have had great luck with my Grizzly and I hope to have the same reliability with the Wolverine. I guess time will tell....
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    I am glad you were able to diagnose and get it repaired quickly and by a talented technician. Makes me wonder about QC at the engine plant. Not being rude, just curious as to the process for go/no go, every part gauged or every 10th? 100th? Runout measured or base end only? In spec enough to pass but verging on out of spec? Some folks on the Grizzly forum have also been having oil burning problems as well. The solution you figured out will probably benefit them as well. Thank you
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    I did the first service myself on July 22, 2017 just after I hit 22 hrs on the clock. I paid close attention to refill amounts. I check motor oil before every ride and have found that when I ride at a high-ish rev and/or load, I tend to have to add between 2 and 4 ounces to keep my dipstick at 3/4 to top of hash marks. Lower rpm or lightly loaded has no effect. I have 70 hours on the clock at this point and have added in the neighborhood of 12-15 ounces. Thanks to the members on this forum I was able to know what to look for as a possible failure point. Anyone else have updates on this problem?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracen8r View Post
    I did the first service myself on July 22, 2017 just after I hit 22 hrs on the clock. I paid close attention to refill amounts. I check motor oil before every ride and have found that when I ride at a high-ish rev and/or load, I tend to have to add between 2 and 4 ounces to keep my dipstick at 3/4 to top of hash marks. Lower rpm or lightly loaded has no effect. I have 70 hours on the clock at this point and have added in the neighborhood of 12-15 ounces. Thanks to the members on this forum I was able to know what to look for as a possible failure point. Anyone else have updates on this problem?
    Sounds like my experience, I went to Rotella T6 and it has cut my consumption in half.
    MassiveOverkill likes this.

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