Harley Davidson Oil Change Cost

I. Introduction

There is no doubt that Harley Davidson owners love to ride their motorcycles. For some, it may be the pride of the brand, while for others, it can be the superb technical features that Harley Davidson motorbikes have to offer.

Soon, riding Harley Davidson becomes part of their lifestyle, but to keep this lifestyle intact, maintaining the Harley is important. Timely change of the oil is an important part of your Harley’s maintenance.

We have compiled an article to assist you and to answer your questions regarding Harley Davidson’s oil change cost, the frequency of changing the oil, as well as a some other frequently asked questions.

II. Harley Davidson oil change cost

There are two methods of doing the oil change for your Harley Davidson motorcycle, the first approach is to do it yourself by making your hands a bit dirty, while the second method is to use the help of your local Harley Davidson dealership.

Normally, the term oil change is understood as engine oil and filter change. However, the oil/lubricant in its transmission and primary also needs to be periodically changed. It is a good idea to check if they need to be changed as well.

DIY method

If you are a new Harley Davidson motorcycle rider, an oil change is the simplest DIY task to start with. But be ready to get your hand a bit dirty.

Step 1. Please go through your owner’s manual and understand the location of the drain plug for engine oil, transmission oil, primary oil, and oil filter and tools required for doing the oil change. Note down the quantity and quality of the recommended oil, and the recommended oil change schedule.

You will need an oil filter wrench, torque wrench, oil pan to collect used oil, and cotton rags to protect the floor from spilling oil. A lift will help you to approach the drain plug easily, or you can use a wooden block to lift your motorcycle

Step 2. Check and decide whether you want to change only engine oil and filter or oil in all three holes (engine, transmission, and primary).  You can get a kit for only engine oil change or a kit for changing all three oils. You can purchase the kit directly from a Harley dealer or order its equivalent on an aftersales online market. The kit normally includes the oil filter (if not buy it). The article “BEST OIL FOR HARLEY DAVIDSON MOTORCYCLES” can guide you to order your requirement on Amazon.

Step 3. Warmup your Harley motorcycle by taking a small ride (warm oil drains quickly and completely). Place your motorcycle on a lift or a wooden block. Place the used oil collection tray and cotton rag below the engine.

Step 4. Remove the engine oil fill cap, remove the drain plug (mind the direction of unscrewing is anticlockwise), and drain the oil completely. Check the condition of the drain plug is good, clean the drain plug, replace the washer and assemble it back (tighten to the recommended torque).

Step 5. Use the oil filter wrench and take out the oil filter. Place cotton rag below it to take care of the dripping oil. Take out the new oil filter, apply oil on its face, fill some engine oil into it, and assemble the oil filter. Use your hand to tighten it, and do not use the wrench.

Step 6. Fill the quantity of the oil as recommended in your owner’s manual. Use the funnel supplied in the kit or purchase a standard funnel and modify it suitably (if the kit does not have a funnel).

Step 7. Replace the oil filler cap and tighten it to the recommended torque.

Step 8. Collect the used oil in an oil container and deposit it at an authorized disposal center. Do not throw the used oil into the gutter or barren land, it is an offense as well as a hazardous thing to do.

If you are changing the transmission and primary oil also, repeat the above steps once again. For primary, you have to remove the front cover.

Run your Harley motorcycle in idling for a short time. Put the engine off, check the level of the oil using dipstick and oil sight glass and add more oil if necessary.

The approximate cost of your DIY oil change can be 60 to 75 USD for engine oil and filter, and 120 -150 USD for the complete oil change (all three holes including the oil filter). However, the exact cost can vary depending on your Harley model and the brand of oil you select. You should be able to complete your DIY oil change within 2 to 3 hours.

Take the help of your authorized local Harley Davidson Dealership/service center.

The second method is to get your oil changed done from any Harley Davidson dealership or authorized service center. They may charge 100 to 120 USD for engine oil and filter change and 180 to 300 USD for the complete oil and filter change (engine oil, engine oil filter, transmission oil, and primary oil). You can contact more than one authorized service center to get the best deal.

Oil is an important element of your Harley Davidson motorcycle maintenance, hence choose the oil carefully. If you are in doubt, seek the advice of your motorcycle mechanic, and experienced Harley users. A wrong oil can affect the performance of your Harley Davidson motorcycle.

III. What should be the frequency of changing the oil?

There are two ways of looking at this issue:

First: The first and correct method is to go through your owner’s manual (received when you had purchased the motorcycle) and note down the recommended schedule for the oil change (engine, transmission, and primary). Normally, the recommended schedule for the first engine oil and filter change can be after the completion of 1000 miles, and subsequently after every 5000 miles. The recommended schedule for the first oil (lubricant) change for the transmission and primary is after the completion of 1000 miles and subsequently, the schedules are different. It is better if you maintain a chart for the three oils and save it on your smartphone. The schedule recommended in the owner’s manual fits best for riders who ride their Harley regularly.

Second: Many Harley owners do not ride their motorcycles regularly. The quality of the oil may deteriorate due to reasons like your motorcycle is parked and left unused for a long period, you are a regular off-road rider, extremely hot climate in your area, and similar reasons. Under such circumstances, it is advisable to inspect the oil for quality and quantity periodically and if warranted change the oil even before the recommended schedule in the owner’s manual. If your Harley Davidson motorcycle is lying parked for a longer period, it is wise to check the oil before using it. You can use the oil sight glass and the dipstick to do this.

Importance of timely oil change

The oil in your Harley motorcycle lubricates the parts and helps for the smooth running of the motorcycle. The fresh oil has certain qualities (like viscosity) required to lubricate the motorcycle parts, but over time due to the continuous use (the oil becomes hot when the motorcycle runs and cools down when it is parked) the oil loses its quality, become dirty, and even the quantity is slightly reduced. If you do not change the oil in time, the old oil can damage your motorcycle engine and the repair/replacement cost can be very high. Always use the grade of the oil/lubricant as recommended in your owner’s manual.

IV. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1What should be the frequency of oil change for my Harley Davidson motorcycle?
Your Harley motorcycle needs oil change at three places (engine, transmission, and primary). If you ride your Harley regularly you can follow the recommended schedule in your owner’s manual.

However, if you are an occasional rider (like only in warmer days), or use your motorcycle on country roads, or reside in an area of extreme climate, it is good to check the quality and quantity of the oil periodically and if warranted change the oil even earlier than the recommended schedule in your owner’s manual.

2What is the quantity of oil required for my Harley motorcycle?
Please go through your owner’s manual and it will be there. The quantity can range from 2.5 to 3.4 liters.
3What if I do not change the oil in my Harley motorcycle?
The oil has certain qualities like viscosity and helps your engine runs smoothly by reducing the friction between the moving parts. The oil loses its quality and becomes dirty/thick over a period due to continuous use and heat /cool cycles. This oil does not have the characteristics to help the engine (it can harm the engine) and hence the engine may get damaged. The cost of repairing or replacing an engine is very high.
4Is it necessary to only source the oil for my Harley motorcycle from the Harley Davidson dealership?
This is an issue to be decided by you. Purchasing the oil from the Harley Davidson dealership is surely a safe option. But you can get good quality branded oil equivalent to Harley oil from aftersales markets and many Harley riders are using it and are happy with it. You can discuss this issue with your friends and experienced Harley riders and your mechanic and take an appropriate decision. Buying from the aftersales market can save you some dollars.

V. Conclusion

Oil is an important part of your Harley Davidson motorcycle and it makes your rides on the road smooth and trouble-free.

Timely changing of the oil will ensure a solid performance of your Harley Davidson motorcycle, it can improve the life of the wearing parts, and more importantly gives you a smooth and joyful ride.

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