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P.J., Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 750
Experience:  10 years as a mechanic and fabricator in a privately owned, local, custom bike shop.
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I have a 2008 Harley-Davidson soft tail anniversary. I

Customer Question

I have a 2008 Harley-Davidson soft tail anniversary. I started it the other day and let it idle for a while. It eventually shut off and it had a white dust all over the engine and was hissing inside the engine with a faint smoke coming off the motor. I left it for a couple of hours to cool off and started it for about 1 minute. I know it overheated what else could have happened and other than changing all of the fluids is there anything else I should do. And what was that white dust?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  P.J. replied 1 year ago.

Overheating can do different types of damage. It certainly isn't good in any way. The long term effects are typically hardened gaskets and seals that begin to leak. It can cause piston rings to lose their tension which will allow oil to bypass, compression to decrease, and likely cause the engine to begin to smoke due to oil bypassing them.

There really isn't anything to do other than changing the fluids. I would suggest doing the plugs as well as the ceramic can develop cracks.

The white dust is the oxide layer that naturally forms on the aluminum being "cooked" off the base metal. It will naturally reform over time. Do not use any type of strong cleaning agents on the engine for a while. When the oxide layer is stripped away the aluminum is very susceptible to staining.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Also, please leave a positive rating for my service today. Thanks, P.J.