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Old 06-13-2019, 03:48 PM   #21
darkfires102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJC12 View Post
The manufacturer specs that 8 quarts is full. If you completely drain *all* of the oil out of the car then add 7qts to it to get to the full line on your dipstick then either your dipstick is inaccurate or there is a quart of old oil in the car that you haven't gotten out. Not sure which is more likely.
Extremely perplexing as my indy shop that works mainly on Audi RS, Bmw M cars said it should take 7.5q on an xi
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by darkfires102 View Post
Extremely perplexing as my indy shop that works mainly on Audi RS, Bmw M cars said it should take 7.5q on an xi
I'm only going off of the comments in this thread stating that BMW specs it at 7.9 quarts. Mine is RWD so I put in 6.9. Well honestly I just put in enough to get to the full line same as you.

I don't think you're in danger doing what you've been doing or following your indies recommendations. Just discussing for discussions sake as I find the concept of inaccurate dipsticks interesting.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:01 PM   #23
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Extremely perplexing as my indy shop that works mainly on Audi RS, Bmw M cars said it should take 7.5q on an xi

This is my latest experience. Just changed yesterday and final tally was 7 liters (7.4 qts). Added initial oil, ran for a few minutes, and topped off to top of dipstick.

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Old 06-14-2019, 01:18 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by MJC12 View Post
I find the concept of inaccurate dipsticks interesting.
I find it pretty interesting too. My 325Xi takes exactly 6 liters on oil change and the level on dipstick is on max. However the owner manual states 7.5 liters. I've been suspecting that my dipstick is swapped with an incorrect one however I found that it actually has a part number on the handle and it matches. So there is definitely a mismatch between the data in the manual and the level which the dipstick shows. However I find it hard to believe that bmw just put defective dipsticks in the cars and they read 1.5l less. I'd really like to understand what happens here.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:57 AM   #25
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I had the wrong dipstick in mine...probably swapped at some repair shop at some point in its life. Took me two years to figure it out--prior to then I was running about 5/8ths qt. low.

It could be that your engine got a superceded dipstick holder but not the dipstick that was supposed to go with it...or a new 'wrong' dipstick?

Drain thoroughly, fill with 'your' required 7.5L (7.9 qts.) and wherever that comes to is your full mark.
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:23 PM   #26
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My dipstick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJC12 View Post
That's what i'm suggesting. See the images. Based on a max fill of 8 (7.9) quarts for the XI, if you put 8 in you get full on an accurate dipstick. 7 quarts is low line and then once you get to 6 you get the light. The second image is your dipstick which I would say is inaccurate. Yellow highlight indicates the light.
Here's the dipstick in my 2004 330XI. It's original - I'm the only owner.

This was a dealer fill ($29.99 special for oil + filter, how could I go wrong??) 3,000 miles ago, and I usually go through one quart every 3,000 miles, so the level makes perfect sense.
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Old 06-15-2019, 12:11 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Skydaver View Post
Here's the dipstick in my 2004 330XI. It's original - I'm the only owner.

This was a dealer fill ($29.99 special for oil + filter, how could I go wrong??) 3,000 miles ago, and I usually go through one quart every 3,000 miles, so the level makes perfect sense.
30$ special for the oil makes me want to go to the dealer...Im using the jack pads and jacking from the front subframe/crossmember pad on the XI but its super daunting. I dont feel safe working underneath the BMW because it weighs so damn much and the plastic jack pads are all thats keeping the car from ending my life. Also putting on the belly pans on the XI is sort of a PITA. The front one no, but the middle one on the oil pan sucks
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Old 06-16-2019, 06:00 PM   #28
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OK Just got done with oil + filter + 2 green o rings. Let the oil filter drain back, drained all of it, refilled with about 7.1 quarts and im full on a 2003 325xi. This included me running the car for a minute or so to let it fill the oil filter housing. Just a hair below full. Side note - i forgot to put some oil around the big black o ring...will this cause a problem?
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Old 06-16-2019, 06:10 PM   #29
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:24 PM   #30
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30$ special for the oil makes me want to go to the dealer...
That's the ONLY reason I did it. The work for the cost of oil + filter. Sure they're running it as a loss-leader in the hopes to get me to buy a car or spend thousands on service. The fact that I'm not interested is their problem, not mine!
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Im using the jack pads and jacking from the front subframe/crossmember pad on the XI but its super daunting. I dont feel safe working underneath the BMW because it weighs so damn much and the plastic jack pads are all thats keeping the car from ending my life.
For oil changes, I used to just drive the front wheels up on ramps (perhaps this resulted in a slightly less than full drain, but read on - I don't do it anymore). But I've done tons of work underneath with the car supported by two or four jackstands - never a concern. I committed a few years ago to a QuickJack, and while spendy, I'm super glad I did. It lifts the car up in far less time, more securely, and higher, than with jackstands. And after the car is up in the air and I'm comfortable that it's secure, I put jackstands underneath anyway; just to catch the car if somehow it slips off the QuickJack.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:44 AM   #31
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Quickjacks are awesome and as soon as I have a garage/work-space to call my own I'm going to buy myself some. It just makes working under the car so much more accessible.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:05 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by dmax View Post
Drain thoroughly, fill with 'your' required 7.5L (7.9 qts.) and wherever that comes to is your full mark.
Seems about right but I'll feel much more confident that it is so if I understand what makes for the difference between data from manual and the reading on the dipstick. It's a stick in a tube, it's not rocket science, how can it read 1.5L less than the manual data (6L on dipstick / 7.5L manual data)?

So if anyone in interested to dig into this - here we go.

bmwfans.info lists only one part number for each of the oil pan, dipstick tube, dipstick and level sensor. It seems that there are no different options or changes done through the years, at least it seems so from the same part numbers.

There was an update of the dipstick tube for cars for cold climate (together with cold climate CCV system), this is described in service bulletin "SI B 11 08 03". However it lists only new dipstick tube, it says nothing about the dipstick, so it should stay the same.

I have recently pulled the dipstick tube to change the o-ring but didn't find any markings on it. However I have visually compared it against both variants as shown on
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...e/11437531260/
and
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...e/11437565438/
So I have the original non-cold-climate tube. (And the dipstick should fit both tubes properly anyway)

I have checked the dipstick and it has part number 7 506 769 which matches with the only dipstick for these cars in bmwfans.info. So the dipstick is the correct one.

Today I have measured the length of the dipstick. From the limiting surface of the handle to the max mark it is exactly 590mm. The dipstick seems a little bent (from the tube which is not straight itself) but pulling the dipstick to straighten it doesn't change this reading of 590mm.

Is anyone willing to do the same measurement? Especially on a car which shows max with amount close to the manual data of 7.9q / 7.5L. I think it will be interesting to see the result. Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:11 AM   #33
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I dunno about you but for me 7.1 q or whatever being full is fine with me, if i didnt set off the oil level sensor then its fine...
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Old 06-18-2019, 02:38 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by txl View Post
Is anyone willing to do the same measurement? Especially on a car which shows max with amount close to the manual data of 7.9q / 7.5L. I think it will be interesting to see the result. Thanks!
Added a quart today, so I'll entertain this. 2004 330xi.

Part number on the dipstick appears identical (7 506 769, so presumably 11437506769). Mine's 24 3/4", or almost 629mm, so identical to yours at 630mm. Subtracting the 1 5/8" handle, I come up with 588mm for the rest of the stick (although I think the handle should be included if we're measuring things). Which, again, matches yours exactly.

To be clear - I've never seen an oil level above the "top" line, regardless of who filled it - me, the stealer, an indy shop, or an oil change place. And I can say for certain that I've never put in more than 7QT.
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:27 AM   #35
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I'd like to continue this topic and share my findings so far.

First of all, there is some inconsistency between the values in different owner manuals. I have checked the manuals year by year as listed on https://www.bmwsections.com/docs/3series/. Basically for each year there are two manuals about XI models:
- BMW 325i, 325xi Wagon
- BMW 320i, 325i, 325xi, 330i, 330xi Sedan

The Wagon manual lists motor oil capacity of 7.9/7.5 (q/l).
More interesting is the Sedan manual which switches from 7.9/7.5 (q/l) to 6.6/6.2(q/l) around 2001/2002 year. The switch happens with the switch to the facelift.

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It seems a little bit suspicious that the switch happens for Sedan but doesn't happen for the Wagon. I'm not aware of any engine differences between Sedan and Wagon.

Next interesting finding is the oil pan. Looking at pictures in the web I have found two visually different oil pans. I'll call them the wide and the narrow oil pan. I hope the following pictures make it clear:
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I have checked the oil pan numbers and options in bmwfans.info. When I select a car and go to see the oil pan number it lists only one number - 11137519432 - for all xi models and years which I have checked.

On pictures of the wide oil pan I have seen number 7502665 which bmwfans.info has no information about. It does have information about 7502663 though and says it was produced Jun '00 - Oct '01.

On pictures of the narrow oil pan I have seen number 7511602 which again bmwfans.info has no information about. And again it lists 7511600 produced Aug '01 - Oct '02.

Then 7519432 produced Jun '02 - end.

So based on all this information so far I have made the following hypothesis:

The production of the XI (these are pre-face cars) started with the wide oil pan and it's capacity is 7.9/7.5 (q/l) as listed in the manuals from the beginning. Then at some point in time or short period of time (around the facelift) they switched to the narrow oil pan. It's capacity is 6.6/6.2(q/l). Some of the manuals were updated with the correct information however some were not updated by mistake and listed the old value of 7.9/7.5 (q/l).

This hypothesis can explain why I put 6.0l of oil in my car and then the level is on the top mark of the dip stick. It doesn't completely explain why my oil level lamp comes when the level on the dipstick is around the middle between the top and bottom marks. But I'll continue this (about the level lamp) in another post. For the record, my car is 325Xi Wagon, facelift. It was produced Sep '01 for Italy. The original Italian manual lists 7.5l but the car has the narrow oil pan.

I think it will be useful to see more data from people about the amount of oil that they put in their XIs (according to dipstick) together with year of production and the oil pan model. So that we can see whether this hypothesis will hold or not. It seems to me that the narrow oil pan is much more common overall and the wide one can be found only on very early (2000-2001) cars.

PS Doesn't this thread belong to the XI subforum?
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:08 AM   #36
darkfires102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txl View Post
I'd like to continue this topic and share my findings so far.

First of all, there is some inconsistency between the values in different owner manuals. I have checked the manuals year by year as listed on https://www.bmwsections.com/docs/3series/. Basically for each year there are two manuals about XI models:
- BMW 325i, 325xi Wagon
- BMW 320i, 325i, 325xi, 330i, 330xi Sedan

The Wagon manual lists motor oil capacity of 7.9/7.5 (q/l).
More interesting is the Sedan manual which switches from 7.9/7.5 (q/l) to 6.6/6.2(q/l) around 2001/2002 year. The switch happens with the switch to the facelift.

Attachment 781881

It seems a little bit suspicious that the switch happens for Sedan but doesn't happen for the Wagon. I'm not aware of any engine differences between Sedan and Wagon.

Next interesting finding is the oil pan. Looking at pictures in the web I have found two visually different oil pans. I'll call them the wide and the narrow oil pan. I hope the following pictures make it clear:
Attachment 781883
Attachment 781885
Attachment 781887

I have checked the oil pan numbers and options in bmwfans.info. When I select a car and go to see the oil pan number it lists only one number - 11137519432 - for all xi models and years which I have checked.

On pictures of the wide oil pan I have seen number 7502665 which bmwfans.info has no information about. It does have information about 7502663 though and says it was produced Jun '00 - Oct '01.

On pictures of the narrow oil pan I have seen number 7511602 which again bmwfans.info has no information about. And again it lists 7511600 produced Aug '01 - Oct '02.

Then 7519432 produced Jun '02 - end.

So based on all this information so far I have made the following hypothesis:

The production of the XI (these are pre-face cars) started with the wide oil pan and it's capacity is 7.9/7.5 (q/l) as listed in the manuals from the beginning. Then at some point in time or short period of time (around the facelift) they switched to the narrow oil pan. It's capacity is 6.6/6.2(q/l). Some of the manuals were updated with the correct information however some were not updated by mistake and listed the old value of 7.9/7.5 (q/l).

This hypothesis can explain why I put 6.0l of oil in my car and then the level is on the top mark of the dip stick. It doesn't completely explain why my oil level lamp comes when the level on the dipstick is around the middle between the top and bottom marks. But I'll continue this (about the level lamp) in another post. For the record, my car is 325Xi Wagon, facelift. It was produced Sep '01 for Italy. The original Italian manual lists 7.5l but the car has the narrow oil pan.

I think it will be useful to see more data from people about the amount of oil that they put in their XIs (according to dipstick) together with year of production and the oil pan model. So that we can see whether this hypothesis will hold or not. It seems to me that the narrow oil pan is much more common overall and the wide one can be found only on very early (2000-2001) cars.

PS Doesn't this thread belong to the XI subforum?
Great write up. Yes, probably should be in XI subforum but a lot bigger audience in the general forum.
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