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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
just wanted to see if anyone had any quick answers before or while I search for my answer on here.

on my old e36 a red oil light would come on as soon as I shut off the car and that was when I needed to add oil, the light came on when the oil level was at the low line of the oil stick.

now on this car my 2002 330ci e46 randomly at any time while driving a yellow oil light comes on, I checked my oil and it was at the low line so I put in a quart and it was up to the full line and I thought it was all set but now a day later the light came on again and the oil is still full...

does the yellow oil light mean something different than just low oil???

thnx in advance for any and all help
 

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The yellow oil light means you need to check the oil. You checked the oil, and it is full. This means that the message to check it is an error, and this means the sending unit is toast. The yellow oil light indicates an Oil Level problem, not an Oil Pressure problem (which is shown with a red oil light).
 

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This is not a fatal condition for the car. You can ignore the light, and just check the oil on Saturday morning when you look at the normal and customary stuff that you should look at on a regular basis.

BMW _tried_ to make so you never had to open the hood ever again unless prompted by an indicator. Turns out, the indicator gives a false positive (which is far better than a missed negative), and you are told to check the oil when the oil is still full.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
so i have checked the oil about 6-10 random times since last week and it is still at a good level so i definitely think its the oil level sensor, but i did notice that when i check it with the engine running there is a loud gurgling suction noise when the dip stick is removed. it comes right out of the dipstick tube and it can only be right at the moment when the gasket rings right below the handle come loose from the tube as you pull the dipstick out...i dont always check it while its running but one day i was running lat efor work and wanted to let it warm up on a cold morning and i thought about checking it after the engine was started but i for sure wanted to check it before it got totally warmed up and then messed up the reading so i checked it after the engine was started. i have doen it a few times in the past like this and never noticed the noise and i have done it in the past in other cars and have also never heard it before.

do i have somekind of suction, vaccuum, valve, gasket leak or problem somewhere possibly???
 

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Are you running a BMW LL-01 approved oil? An oil that is thinner than required may cause lower than needed oil pressure, especially at higher temperatures.

You can measure the actual oil pressure at idle, it should be above 7 psi, you have to remove the oil pressure sensor to measure it, you might as well replace the sensor when you check the pressure, if the pressure is too low and you are runing the correct BMW LL-01 oil you likely have worn main or rod bearings causing the low oil pressure. If the actual oil pressure is above 7 psi when measured, your sensor is likely bad. Also check the connector for the pressure sensor while you are there.

Several people have resolved this by replacing the oil pressure sensor, a quick advanced search here for "Red Oil Light" in the title returns these threads that may help:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=930140&highlight=red+oil+light&page=2
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=905620&highlight=red+oil+light
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=790607&highlight=red+oil+light
 

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oh that's great am going to give that a shot this weekend, see how it goes... what do you think the chances are of sludge's causing the pressure to be so low you think it will be worth doing "engine flush".....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
When my yellow oil light was on it was my oil level sender. My red light wasn't on but I changed the pressure switch/sensor anyway, it was only about 7 bucks so it was worth it to do at the same time as the level sender and oil change. It is relatively easy, just sorta hard to get at. An open ended wrench would be easiest to remove it with, I couldn't find the right size so I used some channel locks and it went fine. The only thing though is when I was reconnecting the wire the little spring holder clip thingy on the wire harness fell and I couldn't find where it landed in the engine bay so i put the wire harness back on without it. It has been about 1-2 months and about 1500-2000 miles and the wire has not come off, loosened and the red light has not come on.

Good luck on ur DIY

Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App
 

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Good on you

When my yellow oil light was on it was my oil level sender. My red light wasn't on but I changed the pressure switch/sensor anyway, it was only about 7 bucks so it was worth it to do at the same time as the level sender and oil change. It is relatively easy, just sorta hard to get at. An open ended wrench would be easiest to remove it with, I couldn't find the right size so I used some channel locks and it went fine. The only thing though is when I was reconnecting the wire the little spring holder clip thingy on the wire harness fell and I couldn't find where it landed in the engine bay so i put the wire harness back on without it. It has been about 1-2 months and about 1500-2000 miles and the wire has not come off, loosened and the red light has not come on.

Good luck on ur DIY

Sent from my PG86100 using Bimmer App
Done well, I hope I can find an oil sensor at that price.
 
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