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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen a couple really bad threads lately on oiling problems and thought I would document an experience of mine.

2003 325i Auto, 166,000 miles at the time.

About 8 months ago I was driving on a hot day, air conditioning on, high traffic conditions, stop-and-go. I arrived at my destination (picking up my daughter from afterschool program) and upon leaving, car fully warmed up, the red oil light came on. I know how engines work so I was in full freak mode and immediately pulled over and shut it down. I checked the oil level which was fine, and re-started the car. Temp was good, flickering oil light at first then solid red after a minute or two, no strange noises coming from the engine, red oil light goes out over 1,200 RPMs but back on a idle. After thinking about it for a while I decided that if this thing has lost oil pressure then the engine is likely toast so I drove it home (330 and MT swap time). The car drove and sounded as perfect as ever all the way home, just the red oil light would come on below 1,200 RPM or so.

I decided it was a long shot, and internet research didn't support that it could be the culprit, but I changed the oil pressure sensor just to make sure. Upon removing the original oil pressure sensor, I could tell oil had been leaking through it into the electrical connection, so it needed to be changed anyway.

To my surprise and relief, the red oil light did not come on after, and hasn't for more than 15,000 miles.

I was 99% sure I was wasting my time replacing the sensor, very glad to be wrong.

Side note: before this, I had the "red oil light flicker at low idle" issue which I always chalked up to just too low of an idle (which it is... somewhere around 610 with AC off and in gear). But this issue also has not returned after the sensor replacement so it seems it was "on its way out" for a while before it finally failed.

Currently I am at 181,500 miles and still running perfect (sans the low idle).

Hope someone else is saved from the depths of depression in the same way.:thumbup:
 

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2016 340i & 2002 325Ci
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Good to hear. After 150k almost any sensor on the car that's original is on borrowed time. Unrelated but how's the automatic at 180k?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Good to hear. After 150k almost any sensor on the car that's original is on borrowed time. Unrelated but how's the automatic at 180k?

I have the GM 5L40E and it is "near" perfect. I have the common "slow to prime" issue first thing in the morning but all else is good.

I did a fluid and filter change when I bought it at 121k miles, and again at 175k miles. Valvoline full synthetic Dex VI.
 

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Good contribution! I just hit 170.000 miles and once in a while I have the flickering red light while idling so worth taking a look.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good contribution! I just hit 170.000 miles and once in a while I have the flickering red light while idling so worth taking a look.

If the sensor replacement fixes you flicker problem let us know.
 

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If the sensor replacement fixes you flicker problem let us know.
I had the flickering red light @ idle issue. The idle RPM was always at least 650. I read through most of the threads on the internet and changed the oil pressure regulator in the oil pump, O-ring that goes on the oil pump pick up tube in the oil sump and also the oil pressure sensor.. Nothing fixed it..

So what fixed the issue is replacing the Vanos seals with Besian seals. At the same time, I also tried to clean the electrical terminal for the sensor, but I don't think that could have fixed it but who knows.
 

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2004 330Ci 85k miles
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I was 99% sure I was wasting my time replacing the sensor, very glad to be wrong.
Just curious as to what indicated the problem was not the oil pressure switch? Was it because it previously had a low idle and flickering red oil light?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Just curious as to what indicated the problem was not the oil pressure switch? Was it because it previously had a low idle and flickering red oil light?

Yes exactly. My idle is around 600-650 and I thought the flickering light was more to do with that than the pressure switch. With the new switch there is no flicker even with the low idle which I have not fixed yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nearly 200k miles and still no light, not even a flicker.
 

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Bump up the idle without AC to 700 with INPA :) Car has much less vibration at idle w/ M3 mounts!
 

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I've seen a couple really bad threads lately on oiling problems and thought I would document an experience of mine.

2003 325i Auto, 166,000 miles at the time.

About 8 months ago I was driving on a hot day, air conditioning on, high traffic conditions, stop-and-go. I arrived at my destination (picking up my daughter from afterschool program) and upon leaving, car fully warmed up, the red oil light came on. I know how engines work so I was in full freak mode and immediately pulled over and shut it down. I checked the oil level which was fine, and re-started the car. Temp was good, flickering oil light at first then solid red after a minute or two, no strange noises coming from the engine, red oil light goes out over 1,200 RPMs but back on a idle. After thinking about it for a while I decided that if this thing has lost oil pressure then the engine is likely toast so I drove it home (330 and MT swap time). The car drove and sounded as perfect as ever all the way home, just the red oil light would come on below 1,200 RPM or so.

I decided it was a long shot, and internet research didn't support that it could be the culprit, but I changed the oil pressure sensor just to make sure. Upon removing the original oil pressure sensor, I could tell oil had been leaking through it into the electrical connection, so it needed to be changed anyway.

To my surprise and relief, the red oil light did not come on after, and hasn't for more than 15,000 miles.

I was 99% sure I was wasting my time replacing the sensor, very glad to be wrong.

Side note: before this, I had the "red oil light flicker at low idle" issue which I always chalked up to just too low of an idle (which it is... somewhere around 610 with AC off and in gear). But this issue also has not returned after the sensor replacement so it seems it was "on its way out" for a while before it finally failed.

Currently I am at 181,500 miles and still running perfect (sans the low idle).

Hope someone else is saved from the depths of depression in the same way.:thumbup:
I recently posted here a similar claim for help.....Read my recent posts...

I have not fully concluded that our very similar experiences are one in the same BMW oil-light issue, but I have from over the past two weeks experienced the same issues with my 03 325xi. Read my posts..probably on this same page today here.
 

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Nearly 200k miles and still no light, not even a flicker.
Thanks for the thread. I just picked up a 2005 330 vert that has a flickering oil pressure light at idle. It's also throwing a P0015 code. I thought the two might be related, but now I think maybe not. Will replace the oil level sensor and go from there.
 

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Thanks for the thread. I just picked up a 2005 330 vert that has a flickering oil pressure light at idle. It's also throwing a P0015 code. I thought the two might be related, but now I think maybe not. Will replace the oil level sensor and go from there.
My 325xi never threw a code. I did find after my first 500 miles that I had over-filled the Castrol 05-30 by a half quart. I drained all the oil and installed new...careful not to overfill. Since, and with 1200 miles, I've not seen the oil light to come on again. The light bulb does work, as seen upon ignition switch key turn on, some here reminded me about that.
 

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Bump up the idle without AC to 700 with INPA :) Car has much less vibration at idle w/ M3 mounts!
Dave, it's been my experience that any engine vibration felt in the cabin at idle is usually as a result of worn engine-transmission mounts. German engine mounts are better than most absorbing shock and vibration but have a shorter life doing so. I replaced twice for my 87 diesel benz within 50k. What are "M3" mounts? I get vibrations at idle..at a stop light etc....
 

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Dave, it's been my experience that any engine vibration felt in the cabin at idle is usually as a result of worn engine-transmission mounts. German engine mounts are better than most absorbing shock and vibration but have a shorter life doing so. I replaced twice for my 87 diesel benz within 50k. What are "M3" mounts? I get vibrations at idle..at a stop light etc....
German engineering in general for these cars was catered towards performance and not longevity.
Look at the design of our FCABs.. they don't last long at all.

M3 engine mounts are the ones used in the E46 M3.
They are solid rubber as opposed to the fluid filled ones in our non-M, and are more durable (at the expense of a little added NVH)

I have them installed in my own car, they add a bit of annoying vibration at idle engine speed.
If I was able to slightly bump it up, that would eliminate the problem.
 

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XI are famous for vibrations due to the engine and transfer case mounts collapsing because of the weight of the engine and transfer case.

Additionally sloppy and worn front axles will cause vibrations at both stops and while accelerating.

Other issues that cause idle vibrations are Lean conditions due to vacuum leaks or other problems. I had a 2001 XI show up today with the SES/CEL/MIL on and a rough idle.

Car had P0171 and P0174 codes. I checked Freeze Frame and Live Fuel Trim data. STFT was very high close or over +20%. LTFT was around +6%. Knowing these cars as well as I do, I assumed I had a crankcase air leak, not an intake air path leak.

Popped the hood, not oil fill cap!! Found the oil fill cap on the core support. Reinstalled oil fill cap, Fuel Trims returned to normal, vibration/roughness in engine idle stopped. Cleared codes and send the car on its way.

This is the same car I replaced the failed power brake booster in about 3 years ago. Believe it or not the car is still being driven by the original owner 16 years later.
 

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XI are famous for vibrations due to the engine and transfer case mounts collapsing because of the weight of the engine and transfer case.

Additionally sloppy and worn front axles will cause vibrations at both stops and while accelerating.

Other issues that cause idle vibrations are Lean conditions due to vacuum leaks or other problems. I had a 2001 XI show up today with the SES/CEL/MIL on and a rough idle.

Car had P0171 and P0174 codes. I checked Freeze Frame and Live Fuel Trim data. STFT was very high close or over +20%. LTFT was around +6%. Knowing these cars as well as I do, I assumed I had a crankcase air leak, not an intake air path leak.

Popped the hood, not oil fill cap!! Found the oil fill cap on the core support. Reinstalled oil fill cap, Fuel Trims returned to normal, vibration/roughness in engine idle stopped. Cleared codes and send the car on its way.

This is the same car I replaced the failed power brake booster in about 3 years ago. Believe it or not the car is still being driven by the original owner 16 years later.
Ok...Glad you responded here. I'm taking the car to a guy in Niantic, Connecticut. "Inline Auto Works"...They specialize in only BMW, have 100% reviews.

I know just enough about this car now to have real professionals look and determine, evaluate....

I believe this 325xi at 116K can get all fluids changed and I drive light....I want the car to last the rest of my life....I'm 62 old....Last car I drove..and recently...and bought new in 1997...still have parked now in back yard...A6 Avant..196k...and it blows oil, leaks oil, head gaskets leak...rides nice, no rust, all new front suspension....$500
 

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I believe this 325xi at 116K can get all fluids changed and I drive light....I want the car to last the rest of my life....I'm 62 old....Last car I drove..and recently...and bought new in 1997...still have parked now in back yard...A6 Avant..196k...and it blows oil, leaks oil, head gaskets leak...rides nice, no rust, all new front suspension....$500
I hope mine lasts the rest of my life too and I'll be 66 on Fri. I don't own an Audi, but I've stuck a pile of $$$ in my daughters A4. The new fuel pump refuses to run so it's going back and the car is going on Craigslist as a parts car. 1.8t new timing belt, new alternator and battery.
 
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