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E46 General discussion and technical help for 1999-2004 3 series cars.

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Old 10-11-2006, 12:24 PM   #1
doughboyea
 
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Yellow "Low Oil" Light

Holy Shit!... I'm really beginning to think this car is cursed. After a $1200 A/C compressor failure with a fresh oil change, I'm driving home and there's a new light, one that I've never see before, turn on. An amber colored "low oil" light. It comes on after starting the engine (while warm mainly), sticking her in reverse and pulling out, put her in drive, and driving away the light turns off. It only comes on during inital startups......(as I was writing this, it became a rant, so to follow my rant, go here: Rantings of Dough)

Now, I'm assuming that it's not due to the oil being low, cause then the light would be red. I'm guessing low oil pressure? But how? How much could this set me back?! How easy/hard to DIY?

Dough
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Old 10-11-2006, 03:04 PM   #2
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If it is the same theory as the E34. The light comes on at the mid-point of the dipstick.

So, it's not urgent, just a warning.

If it comes on whilst driving (not idling). It's serious.
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Old 10-11-2006, 04:04 PM   #3
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Yes, as our "down under" bro mentioned it is not an urgency - did you check the level? I suspect the person(s) that did the oil change did not put in the correct amount - especially if it was done at one of these "quick lube" places. Most of those folks can't count to five yet alone remember to put in the correct amount per vehicle spec.
* Friends wifes car - a quick lube place drained her trans fluid by mistake then over filled the oil - they sued and she now has a new car. Compliments of Jiffy Lube
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:11 PM   #4
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It was at the dealer.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboyea
It was at the dealer.
Take it right back to the dealer.

You tell that you just got a new A/C compressor and a new oil change....AND this is the LAST thing you want to see.

Make them fix it. You just forked out $1200.

They'll definately fix it for you.
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:03 PM   #6
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Yeah squeeze the dealer by the balls. some how.

edit: OH YEAH today I saw a guy with a "White Flour!" shirt on and guess who the first person I thought about was?
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:27 AM   #7
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It happend that day (last month) after I took it off the dealer lot. I'm kicking myself in the ass for not bringing it back the next day. Shit came up, ya'know. I'll check out my oil level today just to see if it really is low.

Just to note, it had poped up prior to my ever more frequent visit to the dealer. I had expressed my concern that even though the last oil change was less than 7000 miles ago, why is it signaling to check the oil? He said that it is normal for a car to burn oil..... back of my mind i'm thinking what a load of crock. Yea, some cars burn oil, true, but how does it go from burning zilch one year to burning off 10 to 20%? Even then, it's not like it's really old. Car now has 95k miles on it. I would be severly devistated if it came out that my head gasket is leaking or some shit like that. This is, as I've mentioned in other words, a black mark on BMW's autos in my mind, making me rethink purchasing a new one. If they were more passive on the $100++/hr they charge me for work on the car, I wouldn't be so hessitent to bring the car in.

Dough
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:30 AM   #8
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Like the others, check the level you will probably have to just add some oil.
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doughboyea
It happend that day (last month) after I took it off the dealer lot. I'm kicking myself in the ass for not bringing it back the next day. Shit came up, ya'know. I'll check out my oil level today just to see if it really is low.

Just to note, it had poped up prior to my ever more frequent visit to the dealer. I had expressed my concern that even though the last oil change was less than 7000 miles ago, why is it signaling to check the oil? He said that it is normal for a car to burn oil..... back of my mind i'm thinking what a load of crock. Yea, some cars burn oil, true, but how does it go from burning zilch one year to burning off 10 to 20%? Even then, it's not like it's really old. Car now has 95k miles on it. I would be severly devistated if it came out that my head gasket is leaking or some shit like that. This is, as I've mentioned in other words, a black mark on BMW's autos in my mind, making me rethink purchasing a new one. If they were more passive on the $100++/hr they charge me for work on the car, I wouldn't be so hessitent to bring the car in.

Dough
Acutally....

We have customers who have brand new cars....2005s/2006s that come in telling us that their car needs oil. We give them 1 quart, and they're out the door.

So, I'm not suprised that your car with 95K miles is doing just the same. 1 quart of oil and you're good to go.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:22 PM   #10
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yea the BMW dealer told me a few interesting things, somethign like the oil goes in looking black and comes out clear, and BMWs just tend to go low on coolant(this i dont believe, just a bunch of BS, our BMW's never have had a problem).. lol so he said, if you have a low coolant light dont freak out its normal.. lol
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Old 10-13-2006, 04:34 AM   #11
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Dough, you're an engineer . . you oughta know that if it ain't one thing, it's gonna be another. And that's with any car you get Just add oil in 1/2 qt increments until the problem is solved.
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:54 PM   #12
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The oil isn't low, I checked it the other day, it was just below the full mark on the dipstick. According to the manual, yellow means low oil, red means low pressure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Owner's Manual
Yellow: Stop Immediately
Engine oil level
Comes on while driving: Stop vehicle and switch off engine immediately. The oil level is at the absolute minimum.

Do not continue driving. The engine could be damaged because of inadequate lubrication.
I don't get it. Doesn't make any sence, and just to add, I don't have the time to get to the dealer. I get out of work at 4, service closes around that time. And I hate getting a loaner.

Dough
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:15 PM   #13
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Dough, just for the sake of your sanity - there is a sensor mounted on your oil pan (externally) see if there is dirt, grease build up on it. (It's a circular sensor with a couple of leads going to it) I had the similar message come up once & my oil level was fine - I cleaned the connection & never saw the message again.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:21 PM   #14
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Hmmm, interesting, I'll look for it.

Thank You.

Dough
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:31 PM   #15
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Dough, this may help #11 is the sensor that is inserted into the oil pan and there's a conector coming off it - trace that path

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