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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today whilst driving my oil light came on for maybe 10-20 seconds then went out pretty sure it was orange. So i run down the auto shop in a panic and buy oil but when i checked it at home it seemd ok - was in the middle of the two lines. I am wondering if its another stupid BMW sensor or if theres actually a problem. When i cranked the demister coz of this bad weather i got a strong oil smell but then when i turned that off it was normal again.
Inspection is due in 1000k's so i will service it in the next few weeks but i just dont wanna do damage driving it. Do you think it is ok to drive if the oil level is alright?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Gosh i reckon i've spent more on fixing sensors in these cars than on the actual problem the sensor is meant to indicate lol.
 

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Gosh i reckon i've spent more on fixing sensors in these cars than on the actual problem the sensor is meant to indicate lol.
That's generally a good thing!

I'd drain the oil (measure how much is in there), put new oil and filter in. If the oil is more than 500ml under full then the sensor may have just briefly thought you were low (i'm not sure how they work or if it's even possible so i might be wrong). Fill it up to full and keep an eye on both your oil and the light (just in case the sensor is faulty, you don't want it not alerting if you are low).

When you fill it up and start the car the light should come on for a few seconds so it's a good indication if the sensor is working or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's generally a good thing!

I'd drain the oil (measure how much is in there), put new oil and filter in. If the oil is more than 500ml under full then the sensor may have just briefly thought you were low (i'm not sure how they work or if it's even possible so i might be wrong). Fill it up to full and keep an eye on both your oil and the light (just in case the sensor is faulty, you don't want it not alerting if you are low).

When you fill it up and start the car the light should come on for a few seconds so it's a good indication if the sensor is working or not.
Thanks Declan. I'll get the mechanic to do it next week if i can get in. I would assume new oil and filter would be part of this inspection that is due soon anyway so will just move it forward a bit.
Was meant to do a long trip 2mor but might train it only coz im a worryer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update: Chickened on the train trip and drove it out past Melton today (end of the earth) and it went ok with no light coming on. LOVED the 110 speed limits up there and think it did the car good. Back to butchering it with the 10 min stop start trips tomor will be interesting to see if the light comes back on then.
 

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If the light comes on 5 secs. after start and goes off 15 secs. afterwards, it's the sensor.

Otherwise, it's probably either the quality or level of the oil. The oil 'level' sensor measures temp, not level, or so I've read and believe.

Are you using a proper oil? Also, when was your last oil change? If you've been using an 'unapproved' oil and running it to the standard oci of 15K miles, then the sensor might be indicating you're on the edge because of the condition of the oil.

Also, I know that when my oil was a little low, parking on a downward slope triggered the light for some reason. Hmmm? Maybe the oil level sensor 'also' measures level?

Monitor level on level surface in a.m. when it's cold. And, if you need to do sensor, OE is Hella, and you should stick with that. Otherwise, you really don't need the sensor if you check the level religiously. Finally, it's a really easy diy, even for a blonde! You just have to get three nuts off. Bet you could do that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If the light comes on 5 secs. after start and goes off 15 secs. afterwards, it's the sensor.

Otherwise, it's probably either the quality or level of the oil. The oil 'level' sensor measures temp, not level, or so I've read and believe.

Are you using a proper oil? Also, when was your last oil change? If you've been using an 'unapproved' oil and running it to the standard oci of 15K miles, then the sensor might be indicating you're on the edge because of the condition of the oil.

Also, I know that when my oil was a little low, parking on a downward slope triggered the light for some reason. Hmmm? Maybe the oil level sensor 'also' measures level?

Monitor level on level surface in a.m. when it's cold. And, if you need to do sensor, OE is Hella, and you should stick with that. Otherwise, you really don't need the sensor if you check the level religiously. Finally, it's a really easy diy, even for a blonde! You just have to get three nuts off. Bet you could do that!
The last oil change was about 8 months ago done by my mechanic so all well and proper. The one i bought to top up with but havent used yet is a BMW approved oil.
Thats the thing with this sensor you dont know if its meaning level, temp, pressure or what. My Dads dare i say the F word (Ford) had a seperate oil pressure gauge and that was very handy.
I always park on flat then today parked on a slope for the first time and it didnt come on.
I am noticing a faint smell that gets stronger when the air is on so i reckon i might need to get vents cleaned or possibly a small leak dripping onto a hot area. No oil spots under car though.
Havent checked it in AM yet only about 15 mins after running it so will do that too.
 

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If burned oil smell, that's probably the vcg. Look to see burnt oil residue on your exhaust mani heat shield...the alum strips running along rt. side of engine...usually towards the back of the heat shield.

Could be AC smell...but they're very different smells. Take some oil, put it in a spoon, and heat it up and sniff...like if you were a crack head or something!
 

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My car does the samething every time i turn it on light come after 5sec and go off after 15sec and its a yellow light i have been making my oil change every 3000 milles with castrol full syntetic 10w-30 and my oil level is always up and clean! Is it my sensor? Where is it located at and how can i change it? Thanks
 

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^ sounds like you might have to replace the Valve Cover Gasket (aka VGC). When it leaks which eventually does after awhile it drips oil onto the exhause manifold. It starts to burn after it gets hot enough which is why the delay. You will also see smoke coming from the drivers side at times if you pop the hood. Dont worry, keep checking the oil level and make sure you dont go low. Get the VGC checked and replaced. Not a huge nor expensive job by all means. Good luck !
 

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My car does the samething every time i turn it on light come after 5sec and go off after 15sec and its a yellow light i have been making my oil change every 3000 milles with castrol full syntetic 10w-30 and my oil level is always up and clean! Is it my sensor? Where is it located at and how can i change it? Thanks
Yes it's the sensor. It's on the oil pan; you change it by buying OE hella sensor and removing the three nuts that hold it on.

You should change it your next oil change...which should be soon, because you're not only using the wrong oil, you're changing the oil too often.

Use an oil marked "BMW LL-01" on the bottle and Mann Oil filter...and change it every 10K miles...that is, if you like your car.

Don't ask more about it...just trust me!
 

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There are many oils available marked LL-01--Castrol makes some (just no 10/30), M1 0/40, and some others. OE is usually cheapest from dealer--ask for your car club or AAA discount.
 

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Synthetic oil deposits a film which acts like another protective layer between moving metal things...which film doesn't begin to form until 5K miles or so. I've read and believe this to be true...and I read a lot! I like film! If you change oil too often, you dissolve what you've built up.

The oil, when dark, isn't really dirty, either...the filter takes out what's harmful; you're mostly seeing dissolved hydrocarbons...again, from what I've read...I'm not a lubrologist! Anyway, BMW says 15K miles is okay, so I think I'm perfectly safe, as are you, at 10K miles. Save your money, enjoy the ride!
 

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Synthetic oil deposits a film which acts like another protective layer between moving metal things...which film doesn't begin to form until 5K miles or so. I've read and believe this to be true...and I read a lot! I like film! If you change oil too often, you dissolve what you've built up.
You do read a lot! Care to share with more detailed info on this theory? Most forum posts does not seem to mention this, so I was curious.

In my case, I do many short daily commutes, typically 5km in the morning, 5km in the afternoon. I thought the oil change interval in such cases should be much shorter, so I plan to do oil change every 7,000-10,000kms, that's 5-6k miles. Is it too short?
 
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