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 03-20-2011, 10:23 PM   #1
the_del
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 24
My Ride: 1999 323i
Yellow oil light only on start

I have a 1999 323i. Most of the time when i start the car the yellow oil light comes on for a few seconds and then goes off. Does not come on when im driving. The oil level is NOT low. i may be be in need of an oil change though. is that the indicator that i need an oil change? i bought the car a few weeks ago and theres no manual. I check the oil level everyday, and its perfect level. Any ideas what it could be? Thanks!
the_del is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 03-20-2011, 10:30 PM   #2
Solidjake
Zero. Oil. Leaks.
 
Solidjake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 22,521
My Ride: 2002 330i
Oil level sensor. Next time search the forum. These cars have been around for 12 years, so it MUST have been asked already...
Solidjake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 10:35 PM   #3
the_del
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Idaho
Posts: 24
My Ride: 1999 323i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Oil level sensor. Next time search the forum. These cars have been around for 12 years, so it MUST have been asked already...

Sorry... Thanks
the_del is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 10:47 PM   #4
deebar325i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Culver City, CA
Posts: 366
My Ride: 2004 BMW 325i
yes its the sensor i got to change mine also. does the same thing. ^ and dont appologize for asking a question. so guys here are complete *******s to new guys.
deebar325i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2011, 10:48 PM   #5
Solidjake
Zero. Oil. Leaks.
 
Solidjake's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 22,521
My Ride: 2002 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_del View Post
Sorry... Thanks
No need to be sorry, just a reminder
Solidjake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2011, 02:24 PM   #6
Nicanagua
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Washington D.C
Posts: 23
My Ride: 2000 BMW 323I
I have the same problem on my 00 323i purchased about a month ago , i was told it might be the low oil level sensor .
Nicanagua is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2011, 04:52 PM   #7
rjh325
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 81
My Ride: 325i
I replaced mine last week. (2) of the (3) nuts were seized and the entire threaded shaft and nut came out in one piece as if it was a bolt. I tried to unseize them, gave up and just screwed them in with no problems.
rjh325 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2011, 07:02 PM   #8
motegi18s
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 163
My Ride: BMW 325i
I promise you the oil level sensor is bad. Super easy DIY. Sensor is about $50ish. Do it with your next oil change.
__________________
motegi18s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2011, 07:08 PM   #9
bwallace530
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,866
My Ride: 325
Oil level sensor mine when out a couple months back
bwallace530 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2011, 07:11 PM   #10
djnekkon
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Paterson, New Jersey / Orlando Florida
Posts: 15,961
My Ride: MB3ci & z33 HR
I need to do mine. Until next oil change of curz
__________________

djnekkon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2011, 07:51 PM   #11
El Polo
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 461
My Ride: 99 black 328i
That is a simple question that has been answered a thousand times... OK we know that now.
OP use search next time... OK you know that now.

BUT! there is actually another point that I would like to make about this sensor: mine is shot too, and has been for a long time. The light always comes on a few seconds and then disappears. Doesn't bother me that much, I check the oil level every now and then. But when I do my oil change, on the first start after refilling, the light actually lights up in RED, meaning the oil level is critically low. We all know that this is normal for the first second or two, the time for fresh oil to make its way around the whole thing.
So, knowing that the sensor is bad, why is the light working in that specific situation? are there multiple sensors that can trigger the oil light?
1-There must be another sensor or another way the ECU knows the level is critically low
or
2-The sensor is half-dead, but can still detect a critically low oil level

Any thoughts guys?
El Polo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2011, 08:45 PM   #12
TitaniumCranium
/// Limitless
 
TitaniumCranium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle / Sequim
Posts: 3,203
My Ride: 2002 BMW 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Polo View Post
That is a simple question that has been answered a thousand times... OK we know that now.
OP use search next time... OK you know that now.

BUT! there is actually another point that I would like to make about this sensor: mine is shot too, and has been for a long time. The light always comes on a few seconds and then disappears. Doesn't bother me that much, I check the oil level every now and then. But when I do my oil change, on the first start after refilling, the light actually lights up in RED, meaning the oil level is critically low. We all know that this is normal for the first second or two, the time for fresh oil to make its way around the whole thing.
So, knowing that the sensor is bad, why is the light working in that specific situation? are there multiple sensors that can trigger the oil light?
1-There must be another sensor or another way the ECU knows the level is critically low
or
2-The sensor is half-dead, but can still detect a critically low oil level

Any thoughts guys?
3.

It's not detecting that it's critically low - the oil pressure sensor (different than the oil level sensor) is detecting that there is no pressure in the system which happens momentarily after you drain the system out and replace the filter.
__________________

/// MODS
/// Auto => 6-Spd Manual Conversion | Apex EC-7 | Koni/Ground Control Coilovers | Vorshlag Camber Plates | Meyle HD LCA | PowerFlex bushings | GruppeM rep CAI | Shark Injector | 6000k HID's and Fogs | BMW European MTechII | BMW Performance Shifter | ACS Mirrors and Rear Spoiler ///
TitaniumCranium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2011, 08:51 AM   #13
rjh325
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 81
My Ride: 325i
I never threw any oil lights and found an oil sender code(27C3 Signal oil level sensor (TOENS) while troubleshooting a check engine light due to a bad secondary check valve. Once I replaced the oil level sender, the code went away.
rjh325 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2011, 11:26 AM   #14
AJV
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 245
My Ride: 164 Quadrifoglio
I have that in my 325 and it scares anyone who gets in the car other than me. It first happened on a business trip, which startled me but after checking the forum I said screw it, it'll be fine. Next oil change I will fix it. I'm assuming the oil pan comes off and it's up there, but haven't researched it. Will do when time comes.
__________________
AJV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #15
lkchris
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA
Posts: 144
My Ride: Friends' BMWs
Hey, the light HAS to come on a little bit when you start the car as a "test" so you know the bulb isn't burned out.
lkchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2011, 07:14 PM   #16
AJV
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 245
My Ride: 164 Quadrifoglio
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
Hey, the light HAS to come on a little bit when you start the car as a "test" so you know the bulb isn't burned out.
The light that comes on when you turn the car on is red. It goes off, as it should, and the motor run for about ten seconds and the yellow light will come on. It will stay on for around ten seconds and then turn off.

And lights don't come on to test the bulbs. The lights all come on because the car is running a diagnostic, and once each system checks out, its respective light goes out.
__________________
AJV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2011, 07:37 PM   #17
dmax
Registered User
 
dmax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 22,847
My Ride: '99 328i 1.04646 mu
I'm going on a few thousand with this light...no big deal really.

I like it coming on after 5 secs. and going off 15 secs. later. For me, I see that as telling me it's working...maybe not correctly, but working.

I'll get it in another 7-8K miles.

3 screws and it's off...it's a temp sensor with some amazing sensitivity, so I'm not surprised after 200K miles that it's a little old. But that amazes me...a sensor that survives all that.

I removed mine to look at it...sprayed it clean and then prayed hoping the new oil would fix it...but it didn't. It's broken. Monitor oil more often if you have one and pay attention if it changes its broken behavior.
__________________


Performing at the Comedy Cove--595 Morris Ave. Springfield NJ reservations 973 376-3840

A recent set Skip to 1:30
dmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2011, 07:45 AM   #18
TitaniumCranium
/// Limitless
 
TitaniumCranium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle / Sequim
Posts: 3,203
My Ride: 2002 BMW 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
I'm going on a few thousand with this light...no big deal really.

I like it coming on after 5 secs. and going off 15 secs. later. For me, I see that as telling me it's working...maybe not correctly, but working.

I'll get it in another 7-8K miles.

3 screws and it's off...it's a temp sensor with some amazing sensitivity, so I'm not surprised after 200K miles that it's a little old. But that amazes me...a sensor that survives all that.

I removed mine to look at it...sprayed it clean and then prayed hoping the new oil would fix it...but it didn't. It's broken. Monitor oil more often if you have one and pay attention if it changes its broken behavior.
The oil level sender is dead, D E A D, dead. This is exactly the default behavior of this sensor when it is no longer functioning. There are two holes in the body of the oil level sender that allow oil to bath a fillament. When the sender is working properly the filliment receives a small amount of current to determine the resistance of the circuit which changes depending on how much of the filliment is submerged in oil.

This sender often fails when "quick lube" places turn the car off but leave the ignition on and flush the oil from the system. This exposes the entire fillament with no oil bathing and cooling the fillament. The fillament heats up and burns out.
__________________

/// MODS
/// Auto => 6-Spd Manual Conversion | Apex EC-7 | Koni/Ground Control Coilovers | Vorshlag Camber Plates | Meyle HD LCA | PowerFlex bushings | GruppeM rep CAI | Shark Injector | 6000k HID's and Fogs | BMW European MTechII | BMW Performance Shifter | ACS Mirrors and Rear Spoiler ///
TitaniumCranium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2011, 02:34 PM   #19
dmax
Registered User
 
dmax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 22,847
My Ride: '99 328i 1.04646 mu
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitaniumCranium View Post
The oil level sender is dead, D E A D, dead. This is exactly the default behavior of this sensor when it is no longer functioning. There are two holes in the body of the oil level sender that allow oil to bath a fillament. When the sender is working properly the filliment receives a small amount of current to determine the resistance of the circuit which changes depending on how much of the filliment is submerged in oil.

This sender often fails when "quick lube" places turn the car off but leave the ignition on and flush the oil from the system. This exposes the entire fillament with no oil bathing and cooling the fillament. The fillament heats up and burns out.
It's just pining.

Why didn't you tell me this before I drained my oil?

IDK, I've read here that most of our parts are lifetime, so I think if I keep it in long enough, it'll resurrect itself. Immaculate reconnection. You wait!

In the meanwhile, thanks for your explanation...first time I'd heard that! I thought it was just not feeling well! So you're confident that it would not signal a low oil situation? That makes me view it quite a bit differently, and I appreciate the heads up!

Will drain oil and fix it shortly!

Thanks, TiCran!
__________________


Performing at the Comedy Cove--595 Morris Ave. Springfield NJ reservations 973 376-3840

A recent set Skip to 1:30
dmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2011, 02:40 PM   #20
Penguin Koolaid
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chitown
Posts: 6,701
My Ride: Inline Six
Bad oil level sensor. You need to replace it. Be sure to check your oil level on a regular basis (every other day if not daily) to ensure that it's not too low. The sensor will not detect low oil levels.
Penguin Koolaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 11:33 PM.


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