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I've been having what I figured was a small amount of oil consumption due to poor break-in (I am the third owner of the car). Reading through the Xi forum, I realized that I had consistently added a bit too little oil since getting the car three years ago! :banghead:

I now realize that I need to put in 8 liters rather than the 7 I had been putting from the kits I had bought online. From what I understand, the dipstick reads about one liter from min to max, and the yellow oil light comes on when it is 2 liters down.

Also, I always use a vacuum pump to do my changes (since the splash shields are a PITA to get on and off), anyone know if there are any issues with the Xi that makes this not work as well as a regular E46?

My method of measuring oil is to drive somewhere and get the engine to operating temp, park for 3 minutes or so, and then pull the dipstick out, wipe with shop towel, put back in ALL THE WAY, then withdraw and read. I am not certain that this is the correct method, so please correct if so. I also wanted to know if there is any kind of gadget, mechanical or electronic, that I can use to measure the exact amount of oil in the engine at a given time so that I can more accurately measure how much oil is being burned/lost?

Thanks for the help! :thumbup:
 

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Bentley says XI oil capacity is 7.5l.

When I do an oil change the old fashioned way (on ramps), I only need to add around 6.5l to get to the full mark on the dipstick.

Yours is the correct method of measuring except the manual says wait 5 minutes, IIRC.

I did an oil change last night so all the above is fresh in my head.
 

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An E46 330 engine takes 6,2L with filter...!!
(Not counting the oil cooler and lines ++ of course)
As for the gadget... no man.

Your method of measuring oil level is ok, but I would drive the car for, let's say an hour and then wait 5-10 min. before measuring oil level.
(Oil takes much longer getting to correct temp. than let's say, water)

As for your oil consumption, if you have been putting in 8L of oil you may have blown some gasket in your engine and that's what's causing your oil consumption!?

For your next oil change you could try a "thinker" oil, let's say the Castrol
10W-60 and follow your oil consumption then.

But remember man... 6,2L with filter!! And you wouldn't get all the oil out of your engine when changing it, so the actual amount of oil you get in the engine at an oil change is probably about 6L.
 

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Soooo . . . I don't buy the drive to operating temp, wait 5 minutes, and check the dipstick method. My dipstick always shows above the full mark when I do this.

I check it on a completely cold engine, add oil to get it to the top mark (estimating using the 1 quart capacity between the top and bottom fill marks on the dipstick), and then dump in another half quart.

A very good tech told me that when he drains the oil on an xi, he adds 8 quarts. That's with the car perfectly level on a lift.

My motor doesn't run as well when the oil is below the top mark on the dipstick.
 

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You really add a lot oil in to your engine. I check the oil level on a completely cold engine as well and I would like to keep it a little bit below the max mark. I feel the engine is louder and does not run as well when too much oil is in it.
 

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Soooo . . . I don't buy the drive to operating temp, wait 5 minutes, and check the dipstick method. My dipstick always shows above the full mark when I do this.

I check it on a completely cold engine, add oil to get it to the top mark (estimating using the 1 quart capacity between the top and bottom fill marks on the dipstick), and then dump in another half quart.

A very good tech told me that when he drains the oil on an xi, he adds 8 quarts. That's with the car perfectly level on a lift.

My motor doesn't run as well when the oil is below the top mark on the dipstick.
I have to agree with the cold check. I always did this with all of my cars. The problem if you wait until it is warm is that a good amount of oil is circulated through the engine and you're going to read lower than actual.
 

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Actually the most precise way is to buy a mercedes that has no dipstick. Get the scan tool and it says how many millimeters of oil is in the pan( i hate this system such a pain for oil changes) But for you check on a cold engine with the dipstick, been that way for years on almost every car out there.
 

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An E46 330 engine takes 6,2L with filter...!!
(Not counting the oil cooler and lines ++ of course)
As for the gadget... no man.

Your method of measuring oil level is ok, but I would drive the car for, let's say an hour and then wait 5-10 min. before measuring oil level.
(Oil takes much longer getting to correct temp. than let's say, water)

As for your oil consumption, if you have been putting in 8L of oil you may have blown some gasket in your engine and that's what's causing your oil consumption!?

For your next oil change you could try a "thinker" oil, let's say the Castrol
10W-60 and follow your oil consumption then.

But remember man... 6,2L with filter!! And you wouldn't get all the oil out of your engine when changing it, so the actual amount of oil you get in the engine at an oil change is probably about 6L.
wtf is "thinker"?

10w-60 is M3 oil.... not worth putting in a 330.

and he has a 330XI. the XI's have a completely different oil pan because there is a driveshaft that goes through the oil pan. effectively, your "6.2" number is nothing but wrong.
 

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wtf is "thinker"?

10w-60 is M3 oil.... not worth putting in a 330.

and he has a 330XI. the XI's have a completely different oil pan because there is a driveshaft that goes through the oil pan. effectively, your "6.2" number is nothing but wrong.
"Thinker" is a typo, but as smart as you are you probably figured that out.

The 10W-60 oil is worth putting in if it reveals less oil consumption which is what the tread starter is experiencing.

The operation manual says 6,2L but Castrol says 6,5L:
http://www.castrol.com/castrol/iframe.do?categoryId=8040056&contentId=7066588
But hey! let's not be a couple of dipsticks about it...
 

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"Thinker" is a typo, but as smart as you are you probably figured that out.

The 10W-60 oil is worth putting in if it reveals less oil consumption which is what the tread starter is experiencing.

The operation manual says 6,2L but Castrol says 6,5L:
http://www.castrol.com/castrol/iframe.do?categoryId=8040056&contentId=7066588
But hey! let's not be a couple of dipsticks about it...
Almost all high milage BMW's have some slow oil loss. M54B30 included.

The M54B30 is also prone to oil pump issues... the nut keeping the sprocket on the pump has been known to back off. Adding even thicker oil and thus increasing the stress that much more could only worsen the issue. I wouldn't stray from the bmw reccomended 5W-30 or 5W-40, LL-01 certified oils.

The bently manual calls for 7.5 liters for the XI model. I could care less about what the castrol website says. I only use Mobile 1 fully synthetic.
 

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Almost all high milage BMW's have some slow oil loss. M54B30 included.

The M54B30 is also prone to oil pump issues... the nut keeping the sprocket on the pump has been known to back off. Adding even thicker oil and thus increasing the stress that much more could only worsen the issue. I wouldn't stray from the bmw reccomended 5W-30 or 5W-40, LL-01 certified oils.

The bently manual calls for 7.5 liters for the XI model. I could care less about what the castrol website says. I only use Mobile 1 fully synthetic.
All engines have some oil consumption!
I've actually spoken to a few engine manufactures and the general answer is; they allow 1-2% oil consumption for every 1000L of used fuel...!
The issue here is "how much oil consumption does the tread starter have" and that's what I'm trying to help him with.
And I could care less about what the Bentley manual says!
Isn't that the one that says you have to remove the driveshaft to change the back spring and damper on an E46...!?

No, use the dipstick.

As for the oil pump issue, that's the first I've heard of it.
I'm no expert but I'm pretty up to date on BMW in general and I know the V8's in the 7 series had/have that issue (E38)
 

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^I believe the oil pump nut issue manifests itself at sustained engine speeds above 7000 rpm. You need to check out the motorsports sub-forum.

I do agree the bentley manual is garbage. TIS (and common sense) is the best resource.
 

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I'd say that about 90% of the time the Bentley manual is more reliable than the crap you read on forums. It's not perfect but it's a lot better than listening to some of the jackasses that post 'cuz it's fun and not 'cuz they know anything.
 

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OK... E46 oil capacities are as follows: RWD : 6.5 litres/6.9 US quarts. AWD: 7.5 litres / 8 US quarts. M3: 5.5 litres / 5.8 US quarts.
Both the Bentley and the following site agree: http://www.dtbmw.com/tips/Engine_Oil_Chart2.pdf

I, personally, think an 'all weather' oil viscosity recommendation is silly. I live in Florida. Maybe 3 days a year the high temp is under 50 degrees f. 80 degrees f in February is not uncommon. Using a 5w-30 oil would be kinda silly in my case, just as using 10w-50 would be silly for a car based in Minnesota.
 

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You guys do realize that the owner's manual says to heat the oil, wait 5 minutes and then measure, right?



Ignoring what those German engineers think, I say it doesn't really matter. Oil does expand when heated but the difference between full with cold oil vs full with hot oil isn't enough to cause any damage to the engine. In other words, filling all the way to the dipstick full mark with cold oil isn't going to do damage when the oil heats and expands. There is is 1l of difference between the full mark and the low mark, and I'd bet beaucoup dollars that the oil expands barely enough to tell a difference.

Also, remember that really really hot oil becomes very thin and probably doesn't take all that long to drain to the pan, so five minutes is probably plenty of time.
 

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You will never get 8 quarts out when draining your oil. I can get about 7 out, max.

The way to accurately tell how much oil is in the M54, is to check it when it's completely cold. That will tell you exactly how much oil is in the pan. If you check it hot, that may tell you the level is ok, per BMW, but it's not an accurate measurement of how much oil is in the pan. Oil splashes around, drains slow, and even comes into the dipstick tube from the ccv.
 

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You will never get 8 quarts out when draining your oil. I can get about 7 out, max.

The way to accurately tell how much oil is in the M54, is to check it when it's completely cold. That will tell you exactly how much oil is in the pan. If you check it hot, that may tell you the level is ok, per BMW, but it's not an accurate measurement of how much oil is in the pan. Oil splashes around, drains slow, and even comes into the dipstick tube from the ccv.
Even then you aren't going to get all the oil.
 

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Cribs: Don't bother...it's all silly basic stuff you already know!

I'll add my 2 cents.

Use LL-01

Don't use 20/60 in non-M

As far as measuring. I agree you should follow the TIS, but, note that it says that the oil should be between the two marks after 5 mins. of sitting after shutdown. It does not say to add oil to the mark. It just says the oil should be between the marks.

I've been doing this a long time. If the oil is between the two marks, I'll tell you that when it cools down, more oil will have dripped down and raise the mark. So, to add to the right mark, you need to add when it's cooled down.

I went through a unique experience with my oil level because somehow someone had added the wrong dipstick to my car. Because of that, I'd been adding about 5/8 qt. less oil than I should have for quite a while.

But, when I 'got into it,' I did what many advised me to do. Drain it, fill with 6.9 qts. and that's it. The dealer adds all 7 qts. of course. No biggy.

Anyway, now that I have the right dipstick (6.9 comes right to the bottom of the top notch), I'll drain, add 6.5 qts. and then wait until it's dripped down a bit just to fine tune to the mark. But, it takes 6.9 qts. after I drain it completely.

Since I do it at 10K or thereabouts, I lift up the corners of the car and shake out the old oil...and I'll let it drip for an hour or more if I have the time. I figure the last stuff out is also the gunkiest and I want it out.
 

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Once you change your oil, correctly, how do I change the dashboard to stop telling me I'm overdue. My yellow light apperas occasionallly for a seocnd or to, but when I click thise key over once it says -3100 needs oil change. Since I do it myself, i can't find anywhere in the manual how to tell it that it has been changed and hw many more miles I need before it warns me again. Anyone who can help with this problem, would be appreciated! -Vegasshamrock
 

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A peake tool should be able to do it and I think you may be able to change it from the obc test menu.

If you have a relationship with a dealer or indy, they may do it for you on the house. takes 2 seconds.
 
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