Engine and Oil Lights Flicker

Question for Fix My Hog

My Engine and Oil Lights come on intermittently when my voltage drops for some unknown reason. This does not happen all the time and sometimes for very short periods. If when I first crank up I have a low voltage registering on my gauge I can ride until I hit a bump in the road and my volt gauge will raise to 14+ and my Oil and Engine lights will go out. This is very annoying and I feel like I may become stranded somewhere if I continue without finding a reason. My Harley only has 7,000 miles on it and it has been well serviced and taken care of except for this. My brother just laid out over $1100 to repair his 2003 Electra Glide because of a recharging problem and I’m petrified. Can you PLEASE help?

Via Email

Fix My Hog Answers

Make sure you are using a known good battery. If this is your original battery; it should be fully charged with a battery charger (not a trickle charger) and load tested. Confirm that your battery cables are secure. Inspect your positive cable at both ends – at the battery & at the starter. Confirm that all of your fuses are secure and inspect any/all plugged connections possible.

Related Fix My Hog Videos:
Electrical Videos

Have more questions? Check out our Q&A index page to find some answers.

Discussion
  • (will not be published)

6 Responses to “Engine and Oil Lights Flicker”
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi George,

      Thank you for contacting us. You can submit your question here or on the web site at the bottom of the page click on Contact Us. Please make sure to include the make, model and year of the bike,

      If you have any other concerns, please contact us at 1-855-231-0653, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Joan
      Fix My Hog Video Membership

      Reply
  1. Bob Cuculich
    Bob Cuculich

    I’ve experienced similar on my ’08 Ultra Classic, now with 75,000 miles. I’ve had it since brand new. It’s happened on and off for many years. On start-up, and only from time-to-time, the check engine light and battery lights stay on as I’m pulling away. And, I can see the charging system is not functioning. I will pull in the clutch and “goose” the throttle, maybe close to red line, and after 2 or 3 tries the lights go out and the charging system is working again. And, never does it again the rest of that day. Years ago all my friends seemed to be going through voltage regulators, usually at the worst time, in the middle of nowhere. So, thinking this might be related, I bought a new VR and put it in my saddlebag. It’s still there, and since doing that the frequency of the problem is much less often. But, the spare regulator rides with me everywhere across the country, just in case. Never have been able to pinpoint the real problem because it is so intermittent. It might go a year without doing this. But, I’m still riding on the original regulator and alternator. And, only the 2nd battery it’s ever had. I keep it on a Battery Tender whenever not riding. Living in Colorado, I do ride year-round, As long as there is no snow or ice. In September I returned from a 4,000 mile cross-country trip. No issues. Knock on wood! She runs like a champ, and I do just about all my own maintenance, thanks to Fix My Hog. And, am religious about full maintenance every 5,000 miles. Including fresh fluids in all 3 cases.

    Reply
  2. Pat
    Pat

    My 02 Dyna was having strange electrical issues this last summer: the speedometer was crashing intermittantly and then I started smelling a cooking battery. So, did a full electrical check on the charging system starting with the battery and found that the stator was overcharging the system as much as 4-5 volts too high. I ended up replacing first the alternator, then the stator, and finally put in a new battery because the old one was leaking acid and the case was bulging slightly. This part replacement was after first making sure that all connections were in good shape. I’m not a mechanic by any means but by following the shop manual and watching You Tube videos I managed to do the repairs myself and saved a bunch of labor charges. I’ve been told that if allowed to get worse a problem like this can actually lead to the bike catching on fire while you’re riding it. Not a pretty picture to imagine. Good luck with this and be grateful that you’re catching it early.

    Reply
  3. sean ashwood
    sean ashwood

    it sounds as if when your brother was fixing the charging system he may have pinched a wire or left one loose at the regulator. it depends what was replaced. stator and rotor? regulator? any of these could be the cause. somethings not tight because this only happens when you hit a bump. i’m guessing your problems started soon after this repair.

    Reply