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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 05-17-2006, 05:17 PM   #1
graemeeddie
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Cool Oil level sensor DIY fit

Hi. I posted on the general e46 board and the problem with my 2001 e46 325i SE saloon was diagnosed as a faulty oil level sensor. From my and other posts this seems to be a fairly common probblem.
Can anyone provide any info on how defficult it is to DIY fit a new sensor ? My dealer wants over 300 dollars for the job, so a DIY effort is quite appealing. Does anyone have and photos of a sendor unit and where it is located ? Can it be done using standard drive-on car ramps ? Thanks
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:27 PM   #2
Dev
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This would be a great DIY.
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:42 PM   #3
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It would be simple.

1. Raise the car (Ramps would work)
2. Drain the oil
3. Loosen the I think it's 2 but could be 4 small torx bolts
4. Unplug the sensor and put in the new one.
5. Refill with oil

I haven't done mine yet and my sensor is bad but it's pretty straight forward. The sensor itself is the expensive part I think ranging upwards to $90.00 plus the oil you need probably best to change out on your next oil change.

Jared
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:44 PM   #4
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I'm guessing the only place to get the sensor is from the dealer.
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Old 05-17-2006, 06:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dev
I'm guessing the only place to get the sensor is from the dealer.
RealOEM lists it as ~ $130 here:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...11&fg=10&hl=74

But it's definately cheaper at either Circle or Pacific BMW

Pelican Parts lists it as: $127

http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...&PART_SEARCH=Y

Autohaus lists it here as: $105

http://www.autohausaz.com/search/pro...er=12617508003
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Old 05-17-2006, 06:55 PM   #6
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Sweet! No wonder I keep visiting this forum.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:13 AM   #7
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Is this the problem where the yellow oil light comes on after start up and stays on only for a short time?
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Old 05-18-2006, 09:59 AM   #8
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Yep, that's the problem.
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Old 05-19-2006, 05:38 PM   #9
graemeeddie
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Cool

Thanks, but does anyone have any photos or pages from a workshop manual ? I am having trouble visualizing replacing th esensor.
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Old 05-19-2006, 06:30 PM   #10
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I'm thinking that from the directions Ivegotissues666 gave, it should be pretty straight forward.
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graemeeddie
Thanks, but does anyone have any photos or pages from a workshop manual ? I am having trouble visualizing replacing th esensor.
If you have changed the oil in your BMW before it's really hard to miss since the sensor is on the bottom of the oil pan that you need to drain. Put it this way it you ca change your oil, you can change the sensor out no problem. Otherwise it may be better if you take it to a Indy shop or dealer.

Jared
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Old 09-09-2006, 11:56 AM   #12
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from the past...

My oil light comes on for like 15 seconds, and then goes off. Usually after the drive, and I've turned off the ignition.


That, and my coolant level light is coming on for 10 seconds at a time in the middle of every other drive.

I dunno what is wrong with my car!
-Chris
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Old 09-10-2006, 02:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 2K5 325i View Post
from the past...

My oil light comes on for like 15 seconds, and then goes off. Usually after the drive, and I've turned off the ignition.


That, and my coolant level light is coming on for 10 seconds at a time in the middle of every other drive.

I dunno what is wrong with my car!
-Chris
Your Oil level sensor needs to be changed.....and....you should change your coolant expansion tank along with the hoses and thermostat very very soon before your car overheats and you damage your engine. You might aswell do the waterpump while you are at it. It is going to cost you probably around $500 to do everything yourself but your car will be good for another 70K.
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:30 PM   #14
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I had mine go out and I changed it this weekend. It's VERY easy.

1. This is a great time to change your oil. Drain your oil.

2. You have to remove the plastic FRONT AGGREGATE PROTECTIVE PLATE
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...=51&fg=80&hl=1

3.Then remove REINFORCEMENT PLATE tha is if you have it. You have to remove this so you can get at the oil sensor. I can remember how many bolts there were but it's around 6 to 8.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...=51&fg=75&hl=7

4. Once you see the sensor remove the three bolts. Then pull it out.

5. Dont overtighten the bolts to the oil sensor or your going to have magor problems. Reinstall everything backwards.
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:50 AM   #15
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Please note there is also a programing update to the ecu that should be done when replacing the oil leval sesnro on some cars
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeurotech View Post
Please note there is also a programing update to the ecu that should be done when replacing the oil leval sesnro on some cars
Do you know which model years this applies to?
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:56 AM   #17
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Sorry it was only for E39 and X5 I have trouble keeping all these bulitions straight!! Although many e46's have had sofware updates to correct drivablity programs that may or may not have been done yet.

Refer to Service Information bulletins 11 51 00 (X5) or 11 08 00 (525i). Early production vehicles (both X5 with M62, and E39 (525i)) require a coding change to correct a condition where the low oil warning is set.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:20 AM   #18
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I'm having the same problem with my coolant level light. So I should change the coolant expansion tank and hoses and thermostat. Any body know the part #?
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Old 12-07-2006, 01:39 PM   #19
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ok, i did this last week to an e46 325ci ('01). There are 8 bolts that hold the reinforcement plate in. ausfahrt's directions are right on point. the sensor is on the rear of the oil pan by the driver side

no reprogram was needed and the car is perfect now. damn this car is close to new now hehe. all belts, pulleys, waterpump, fluids, etc have been changed and nobody wants to buy at the low price

tanks
meek
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:52 AM   #20
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I love this site, BMW at Fremont Automall quoted me $600 for the fix, I am glad I did not let them do it. Never go to dealer again.
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