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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 10-04-2011, 01:38 PM   #1
cal1319
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How to replace Thermal oil-level sensor

Hi everyone, I just coded my car and got 11/44 - Thermal oil-level sensor among other things and was wondering if any had a DIY for this, and where to get the part. I searched for a little bit with no luck. Thanks!!! BTW i got BMW Scanner 1.4.0 to work on windows 7 64bit if anyone needs help with that too.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:51 AM   #2
Stinger9
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Take the part number from item #14

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...87&hg=11&fg=10

and use the list of vendors posted on another thread recently to shop for the best price.
http://www.rmeuropean.com/ or http://www.eeuroparts.com/Main/Home.aspx are two places to start.

Don't recall a DIY. It's just a 'drain the oil, drop the under-shield, and swap out the sensor' deal. Use the gasket ring.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
Solidjake
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How did you get it to work? I have win 7. thanks



For the oil sensor ONLY get HELLA. Drain your oil, remove the subframe enforcement, take the 3 bolts out and replace it.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal1319 View Post
Hi everyone, I just coded my car and got 11/44 - Thermal oil-level sensor among other things and was wondering if any had a DIY for this, and where to get the part. I searched for a little bit with no luck. Thanks!!! BTW i got BMW Scanner 1.4.0 to work on windows 7 64bit if anyone needs help with that too.
Pm me about the scanner installation please. I have installed the software on a old xp desktop, but i would like to install it on my laptop. Thanks

sent from my verizon HTC Thunderbolt using bimmer app.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:04 AM   #5
cal1319
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PM sent let me know if you run into any trouble...
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:48 PM   #6
Sansho
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The new oil level sensor should have a new gasket on it. If not, do not re-use the old gasket, get a new one. They are available as a separate part.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal1319 View Post
Hi everyone, I just coded my car and got 11/44 - Thermal oil-level sensor among other things and was wondering if any had a DIY for this, and where to get the part. I searched for a little bit with no luck. Thanks!!! BTW i got BMW Scanner 1.4.0 to work on windows 7 64bit if anyone needs help with that too.
Please PM me on how to install this on windows7 64bit. I followed the instruction from another threads and it didn't works. Thanks
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:21 AM   #8
Ricardo J
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I think you guys are confusing THERMAL with LEVEL sensor. Should be 2 different sensors.

Any DIY to change the THERMAL OIL sensor?

Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:03 PM   #9
SilberVogel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardo J View Post
I think you guys are confusing THERMAL with LEVEL sensor. Should be 2 different sensors.

Any DIY to change the THERMAL OIL sensor?

Thanks!
Actually, “thermal oil level sensor” is the correct term. “Oil temperature sensor” will help you find the right information for the other part. Here are some good photos of where the oil temp sensor is located that might help: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=900804.

Reason the thermal oil level sensor is referred to as such, is that it works by heating a column of oil and measuring resistance across it. That’s a simplified explanation, but temperature is involved in the calculation. Here’s a good post on how that process works if you’re interested: http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...1#post11804561.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:00 AM   #10
Ricardo J
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Wow, nice explanation SilberVogel! Thank you!

Probably the reason why Ive got this error
INSTRUMENT - 11 Thermal oil-level sensor----Open circuit----Currently present
-Oil-level warning(yellow) B1261_00012

Is because one garage replaced my alternator and for some reason the connector is disconnected? or something else happened in that area. The yellow light comes on after seconds I start the engine and goes off after seconds again. Then stays off. I only got this error after they replaced the alternator.

According to the pictures I think I can access the sensor without removing the alternator to double check whats going on there.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:52 PM   #11
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Sounds like your oil level sensor (aka "thermal oil-level sensor") is the issue, which is located in the bottom of the oil pan.

The oil temp sensor, which is the one on the oil filter housing by the alternator, wouldn’t trigger the code you’re seeing.

It’s likely a coincidence that the oil level sensor decided to go out at the same time, since it’s nowhere near the alternator.

The oil light coming on for a few seconds after startup is another indicator that it’s the level sensor and not the temperature sensor.

The Hella (OEM) oil level sensor can be had for $40 on Amazon and can easily be replaced yourself: http://www.amazon.com/ENGINE-SENSOR-...ANYJMJSI2UDVST.

If you check your oil manually, just wait until the next oil change before you put the new sensor in, as it requires draining your oil.

Here's some more info on oil light behavior/part numbers/DIY that should be helpful: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...7#post16363287.
And here's a recent post with a current overview of prices and availability: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...0#post16490870.
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Last edited by SilberVogel; 06-10-2015 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:28 AM   #12
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FYI... the Hella sensor I bought on eBay had the BMW logo ground off and was identical to the sensor I removed from the car. So I assume it was OEM and it got rid of the oil light I had on the dash.
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Old 01-28-2015, 09:47 PM   #13
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I replaced mine only a year or 2 ago (yes I bought the super cheap one) and the oil light has returned at startup... any other tricks, wiring, etc to look out for or is this as straightforward as it should be?
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:19 AM   #14
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any other tricks, wiring, etc to look out for or is this as straightforward as it should be?
Yes
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:11 PM   #15
Strykr24
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Would this cause my oil light to come on yellow after I shut down (not everytime though). I had been thinking it was the level sensor, just want validation.
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Strykr24 View Post
Would this cause my oil light to come on yellow after I shut down (not everytime though). I had been thinking it was the level sensor, just want validation.
Mine came on yellow while driving...

Also if it comes on RED, this is oil pressure.
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