Malfunction Oil Level Sensor Caused by Vapor Condensation
[FONT="Arial Black"]I had earlier posted a thread about a warning red triangle that appeared on my display. When I went to check messages it read "Malfunction of the Oil Level Sensor". Unable to reliably calculate oil level. ( my 550i has no oil dipstick).
I had car in for service today. took it in at 9am and was given a 325i with 51,000miles (hardly compares to my 2008 550i with a 20way seat and all ameneties). I have severe degenerative lumbar disc disease and need the comfort of my 500i. Anyway, I was told by a FEMALE service representitive that the warning light just means "I NEED A QUART OF OIL". I told her I had car for 14,000 miles and at 5000 I had to add a quart as a different message was displayed informing me that I was to add a quart of oil. I also told her that an icon lights up with a beep when I either shut engine off or when I push check system switch on my steering wheel column. The icon is A PICTURE OF A CAR SUSPENDED ON AN HYDRAULIC GARAGE LIFT. I would think that icon was a "NO BRAINER" that my car needed service. The service rep than says my car probably needs routine maintenance. To that I replied that I just had it in at 10,000 miles for complete oil change and car was even routinely scoped and everything was okay.
Now its 5pm and I am still driving loaner 325i and no phone call from service rep so I decide to pay her a visit. She says my car is all fixed and paperwork is being processes as we speak. She then tells me that after technician scoped car he got an error code 2E9F. After checking recent service bullentins he is informed that the QLT sensor has moisture in it. Because weather has been extremely cold and I have been making short trips , the oil has not had time to get hot (over 100 degrees) and water vapor has formed inside the engine crankcase. Service rep said that when technitian opened the oil cap and swish of vapor was released immediately and problem solved.
Now I return loaner and transfer all my personal belongings to my car and start engine. Within 5 minutes same warning message displayes with icon of car on garage lift . My car also was not washed and was just as dirty as when I took it in the the morning, leaving me with the impression that nothing was ever done to my car.
At this point frustration sets in and I drive car into service stall and show service rep error message. At this point she tells me that error message was probably always on and I never noticed it before. She then attempts to be rescued by the service technician. Unfortunately he has already left for the day. She then opens hood and unscrews the oil cap. No vapor comes out. Error message is still displayed.
Now follows how the problem was solved! She shows me the service bullentin and even makes a copy of it for me. This is what I was told to do to get rid of moisture in my engine crankcase which was in turn affecting the QLT sensor.
I had to drive the car on the freeway aggressively at 3500 to 4000 rpm's for 8 minutes to heat engine oil up to 100 degrees quickly. Then let car idle for 2 minutes. Shut off engine , open hood and open oil cap to allow moisture vapor to escape.
The error warning triangle and all other error messages went away even before the 8 minutes were up driving at 4000 rpm's. Engine oil level displayed and all systems were A okay. I was lucky not to have gotten a speeding or reckless driving ticket.
I cant believe that no other Bimmer has experienced the same problem that I just had. To prevent moistue from reaccumulating in the future I need to drive more aggressively in the winter or take long freeway trips of at least 45 minutes to allow the oil to heat up to evaporate the water vapor that forms when outside temps are low. I had car for the winter of 2008 - 2009 and never had this problem. Temperatures here in Milwaukee get down to 10 below sometimes (not unusual). In another post I mentioned that I had my car only 3 months and 4500 miles when "check engine" light came on, Well, turned out I had a defective engine harness wiring and it took 2 months to fix. The new harness wire had to be manufactured from scratch in Germany and then sent back to Wisconsin for technician to install. I must admit, I had my doubts that such a huge repair could be accomplished succesfully. Well, I put on 14,000 miles since then without any problems developing until this malfunction message regarding my oil level sensor.
I took the time to post this thread so that all you Bimmers out there could benefit from my experience. I love my 550i. Just hope I can drive it for awhile before the next problem emerges. Happy Holidays! Shigeki
carbon black 550i manual sports package
19" summer tires
HID,NAV,Ipod,heated steering wheel
Last edited by shigeki; 12-16-2009 at 06:50 PM.