E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-02-2009, 03:47 PM   #1
arunprakashb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 4
My Ride: 2004 325i
Low Oil indicator and my first DIY

Hi All,
A few months ago, I did the oil change on my E46 325i myself. Everything seemed to have gone fine. I refilled 6 quarts of BMW synthetic oil (5W-40 if i remember correctly). After only approx 3 months and 3000 miles later, the yellow low oil indicator is on. I dont know what might be wrong. I dont see any leaks from the car. I checked the dipstick and the level is just above the lower mark which seems to indicate that it is close to getting low but I wouldnt expect the indicator to go on. What can i do to troubleshoot?

Thanks in advance.
arunprakashb is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 10-02-2009, 03:50 PM   #2
Acarder
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 4,656
My Ride: 69' M3
What is the light doing? When does it come on, and how long for?
Acarder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 03:53 PM   #3
TKC
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: San Jose, CA & Dallas, TX
Posts: 20,231
My Ride: 330cic & R6
Send a message via AIM to TKC



http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ight=oil+level

Quote:
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!!
__________________
EUROPROJEKTZ - Director, NorCal Chapter
TKC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 04:46 PM   #4
arunprakashb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 4
My Ride: 2004 325i
It all started about 5 days ago. For the first 4 days, it came on after i switched the engine off and before i took the key out. Today, it came on when i was driving and stayed on till sometime after i switched the engine off.
arunprakashb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 04:54 PM   #5
GoingNuts
Just Nuts
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: London
Posts: 7,253
My Ride: 2004 330Ci
When the light comes on during during, it means you must top up right away. Burning 1 quart in 3k miles is fairly modest. Burning 1 quart in 1k mile is usually considered normal.
GoingNuts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 05:03 PM   #6
Acarder
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 4,656
My Ride: 69' M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingNuts View Post
When the light comes on during during, it means you must top up right away. Burning 1 quart in 3k miles is fairly modest. Burning 1 quart in 1k mile is usually considered normal.
I don't burn a drop between changes, but yeah i've heard about a quart (which is enough to set the light off) is a reasonable amount to burn for like 7500 miles. I can't imagine burning that much oil every 1k though, I think all this normal business is just people with high mileage engines in denial that they've got problems with the internals. Just always carry a quart around with your spare tire and after verifying that the car is low on oil via the dipstick (don't rely on the light, the last thing you want to do is overfill the engine), top up.
Acarder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 05:24 PM   #7
arunprakashb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 4
My Ride: 2004 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acarder View Post
I think all this normal business is just people with high mileage engines in denial that they've got problems with the internals.
This is exactly what i am worried about. I have about 86K miles on my car. Maybe my 90K service will be a big one.

Thanks to all. I will top up and wait with crossed fingers i guess.
arunprakashb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 05:26 PM   #8
330xiBoarder
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,383
My Ride: a car
good luck
330xiBoarder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 05:30 PM   #9
Acarder
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 4,656
My Ride: 69' M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by arunprakashb View Post
This is exactly what i am worried about. I have about 86K miles on my car. Maybe my 90K service will be a big one.

Thanks to all. I will top up and wait with crossed fingers i guess.
Hey, 1 quart in 3000 miles is a lot different to 1 quart every 1000 miles . I wouldn't be worried at the moment about the internals with only 86k miles. You could possibly have a failing crankcase ventilation valve or a leaking valve cover gasket, or you could just be driving your car moderately hard... After all, oil does burn off. I just can't imagine people lose as much oil as the M3's and don't think they've got a problem. What oil did you use? That can be the basis for a oil leak as well.
Acarder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 07:14 PM   #10
arunprakashb
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 4
My Ride: 2004 325i
I used the BMW branded oil that i bought from a dealer. I disposed off the containers, otherwise I can provide the exact details. I know a lot of ppl who have used the same oil, so I doubt it is the oil.
arunprakashb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 07:30 PM   #11
zhp pilot
Falling from 14k ft.
 
zhp pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 4,020
My Ride: is totaled :(
It's not surprising that the oil light is already on as you didn't put enough oil in when you did the change. The capacity is 6.9 quarts. When it's drained a little will still be in there but only using 6 quarts is not enough. Did you even check the dipstick after the oil change to see what the level was?

And the BMW oil is 5w-30.
__________________
zhp pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2009, 07:37 PM   #12
Acarder
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 4,656
My Ride: 69' M3
It'll be Castrol Edge Sport 5w-30 European Formula then. That will obviously meet all BMW specs, but can I suggest you use Mobil 1 0w-40 at your next change for a test? It's cheaper in the states, exceeds all BMW standards, and its slightly thicker so if you've got a leak somewhere theres a chance you wont lose as much oil. If you still use 1 quart/3000miles i'd probably just write that off as oil being burnt off, the CCV valve would mean you'd lose oil a lot faster. It is possible that you have a slow valve cover gasket leak as well, if it hasn't ever been replaced it will 100% be leaking at your mileage. Not a big deal, but it'll solve your problem
Acarder is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
diy, oil

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use