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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 08-17-2008, 03:21 PM   #1
TKC
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Oil Level Sensor DIY with pics.

Hi,

I just saw a thread with someone wanting a general idea on how to replace your Oil Level Sensor.

Here is my DIY on how to do it.
I would say on a scale of 1 to 10, this was really easy to do. Maybe a level 2 just cause taking off the metal panel and then trying to re-install it by myself was a pain, but can be done alone.

NOTE: My car came with a metal protection panel under my oil pan. If your car does NOT have this, you can probably skip to step 4.


1) Unplug your Car Battery.
Drain Oil.
Remove the front splash panel under your motor.
Pic of the front couple screws:


2) Pic of the rear couple screws that are attached to my metal protection panel. Also, remove the Access Door to the Oil Drain Plug (Circled in red):


3) Now that the front is exposed, remove the metal protection panel (Circled in red). These nuts and bolts were a little rusty and needed some convincing to knock loose, but it's not too bad. CAREFUL, it's a little heavy and will drop!! I supported it with my leg. When re-installing, I used my jack to jack it up into place and then easily bolted it in.


4) Here is a pic of the Oil Level Sensor in comparison to the Drain Plug. My splash panel is on the floor.


5) One more pic for you of where the Sensor is in comparison to the Drain Plug:


6) First, unplug the sensor. Then, remove the 3 nuts holding the Oil Level Sensor on:


7) Here is the sensor removed. Now all you have to do is reverse the steps with your new sensor and you're done!! I tightened the new sensor at a tight, 6.5 - 7 ft. lbs.


8) Have a beer and feel good about doing something today.
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Last edited by TKC; 08-17-2008 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:14 AM   #2
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nice and quick
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:21 AM   #3
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nice..!
Do you know what is the torque spec for the bolts from the metal panel?
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:29 AM   #4
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The metal panel (aka "front suspension carrier reinforcement plate") bolts are 16mm. Torque them in 2 stages: first to 59 Nm (44 ft-lbs), then tighten another 30.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ssm1991 View Post
The metal panel (aka "front suspension carrier reinforcement plate") bolts are 16mm. Torque them in 2 stages: first to 59 Nm (44 ft-lbs), then tighten another 30.
You sure know your stuff......!!

Thanks
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:14 AM   #6
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WOW thanks thats a god save DIY I am gonna do mine today...

Thank you..
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:21 AM   #7
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The metal panel (aka "front suspension carrier reinforcement plate") bolts are 16mm. Torque them in 2 stages: first to 59 Nm (44 ft-lbs), then tighten another 30.
So those bolts are torque to yield? Haven't checked the TIS, but if that's the case, they're one-time use and need to be replaced with new bolts.
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:29 AM   #8
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That's right. Even Bentley recommends replacing them. Most people and indy shops reuse them though. I doubt that most of the dealerships replace them too.
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:14 AM   #9
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Very cool and good to know. The dealer told me they have to drop the pan to do this and wanted nearly $400 for it... I am much more wililng to do this now knowing how easy it actually looks.

Good DIY!
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:06 PM   #10
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Seems to me that 59 Nm is almost nothing for an M16 bolt so I would be surprised if 59 Nm plus 30 would take this bolt into yield, assuming it's at least a Class 8.8.
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:10 PM   #11
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they are supposed to only be used once. I think they are actually 59Nm + 45* +30* or something. I remember they are supposed to be angle torqued twice.


I have reused my a couple times though.....
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:02 PM   #12
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Pretty sure the Bentley says 59Nm + 90* + 30*.

I wasn't able to get them that tight, I just didn't have the clearance to do so with my car on Rhino Ramps. I got them to about 59Nm + 45*, maybe a bit less on the ones that are the most angled.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:09 PM   #13
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sweet looks simple, ill try and get mine dont next time i change the oil which should be next month! how much did the sensor run you?
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Old 11-29-2008, 01:19 PM   #14
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just wondering how much is the oil sensor?
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:59 PM   #15
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just wondering how much is the oil sensor?
usually 100 bucks.

What if I cant torque it to specs and I just use a simple old fashion wrench, any problems?
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:56 PM   #16
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Nice DIY. Did you replace it because your yellow oil level light would come on for a while after start-up?
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:30 PM   #17
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i know is an old thread. just search to find out.... i probably need a new oil level sensor too...

questions: by simply removing the reinforcement plate, i saw those screws were attached to the chasis, is it safe to do so? as far as i remember there were 6 large screws on it...

secondly, i found there is a leak of engine oil between the engine block and oil pan, i am thinking to do the oil pan gasket and the oil level sensor together since both diy require to remove the reinforcement plate.

how hard is the oil pan gasket diy? could somebody link a oil pan gasket diy instruction URL?

many thanks =)
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:23 PM   #18
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Thanks for the replies everyone. It seems I left out of my original post the symptoms that lead to this replacement.

So what happens:

IF your oil light comes on AFTER you drive, when you shut the car OFF, it means you're low on oil, check your dip stick.

IF your oil light comes on A FEW SECONDS AFTER YOU START YOUR CAR, and then it turns off after about 10 seconds, it means your oil level sensor is faulty, and following my DIY above will fix this.

I just did this replacement again this weekend on my 328 as well. Also, just to note, the 328 did NOT have the large metal body panel that covered the oil pan. The whole oil pan, drain plug, AND THE SENSOR were fully exposed, so I literally jacked the car up, drained the oil, and then unbolted the old sensor, put in the new one, tightened everything up, filled the car with oil and new filter, and was done with the whole process in less than half an hour!

Hope this helps everyone!!
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:41 PM   #19
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Thanks for posting this. I might have to do this one. Unfortunately I just changed the oil, so I will just have to live with the oil level light coming on until the next oil change.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:06 AM   #20
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Hahaha.

I JUST changed my oil. The NEXT day, the light comes on then goes off (sensor bad).

Pshh.
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