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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-11-2012, 03:20 PM
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bmw330ci04 bmw330ci04 is offline
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Let me just get this straight

OK. a few days ago when i shut my car off, the yellow oil light came on. since i dont really rely on sensors, and have to see what is wrong, i checked the dipstick, like a normal person would, and it was reading low, below the first notch of the dipstick. so i bought a quart and poured it in. after doing some driving, i checked it again after 5-10 minutes of letting the car rest, and the oil was over the second notch.
slightly worried i looked on all sorts of forums for engine overfill and all that. i got a lot of results, and no clear answers. so im just going to post a picture of MY dipstick, and if the pros, or anyone really, could give me their opinion on if the oil is too high, or if its OK, that would be great.

in case you cant see it, the oil goes to the first number of those 6 or 7 digits on the stick

thanks
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Last edited by bmw330ci04; 10-11-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2012, 03:29 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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I'd say you were almost a quart over.

PS you did wait a few minutes to check the oil to allow it to drain back to the sump?
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Last edited by MMME30W; 10-11-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-11-2012, 03:31 PM
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bmw330ci04 bmw330ci04 is offline
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Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
I'd say you were almost a quart over.

PS you did wait a few minutes to check the oil to allow it to drain back to the sump?
yes i waited apprx 10 minutes
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:42 PM
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I wouldn`t lose any sleep over it. Check it stone cold, first thing in the am, and see what it looks like. Got a Mity-Vac, just in case ?
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2012, 03:57 PM
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I wouldn`t lose any sleep over it. Check it stone cold, first thing in the am, and see what it looks like. Got a Mity-Vac, just in case ?
will do, thanks. just to clarify, when i do check it stone cold, if the oil is between the two notches, then im good to go, right?

and unfortunately no i dont have a Mity-Vac, though that probably would be a good investment
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:45 PM
Troubled1 Troubled1 is offline
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Typically, a car is serviced to to the full mark with cold oil, so yes you would be fine. Usually the add mark denotes a quart low condition(subject to engine size and manufacture). So if you add a quart when oil gets to the add mark, then you would be good to go! Oil expands when it is hot and contracts after cooling. You should always wait 15 to 20 minutes after shutting off a motor to allow for the oil to drain completely into the sump and this also lets it cool.... slightly. IMO Good luck and I hope it checks out ok when it cooled completely.
James
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw330ci04 View Post
will do, thanks. just to clarify, when i do check it stone cold, if the oil is between the two notches, then im good to go, right?

and unfortunately no i dont have a Mity-Vac, though that probably would be a good investment
If you are worried about it, might be an idea to pull the filter and replace it. The soaked filter that you will remove will pull maybe a quarter or half quart of oil out.

But yeah, as Fast Bob says check it in the morning and see.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:31 PM
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OP, there`s no guarantee that all dipstick tubes are indexed into the block 100% accurately....best thing to do is, next time you change your oil, put the required 7 quarts in, let it settle in for 15 or 20 minutes, THEN check your level. Since you *know* for a fact that the proper amount of oil is in the crankcase, wherever the oil level shows on the dipstick is your correct FULL mark. Make a diagram to keep in your glovebox, take a picture of the dipstick, cut a new reference mark on the stick with a small file, whatever.
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2012, 06:47 PM
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alright guys thanks for all the help. ill probably get some "newb" greif for this, but turns out my driveway is on a very slight incline, and when i back into it the engine points up, somehow causing more oil to go into the dipstick than is actually in the engine. went to a lever spot on the street, and its between the two notches, right in the middle where it should be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
OP, there`s no guarantee that all dipstick tubes are indexed into the block 100% accurately....best thing to do is, next time you change your oil, put the required 7 quarts in, let it settle in for 15 or 20 minutes, THEN check your level. Since you *know* for a fact that the proper amount of oil is in the crankcase, wherever the oil level shows on the dipstick is your correct FULL mark. Make a diagram to keep in your glovebox, take a picture of the dipstick, cut a new reference mark on the stick with a small file, whatever.
good idea, thanks
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  #10  
Old 10-11-2012, 06:52 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw330ci04 View Post
alright guys thanks for all the help. ill probably get some "newb" greif for this, but turns out my driveway is on a very slight incline, and when i back into it the engine points up, somehow causing more oil to go into the dipstick than is actually in the engine. went to a lever spot on the street, and its between the two notches, right in the middle where it should be.



good idea, thanks
No worries. Has happened to all of us. Glad level is ok.
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2012, 09:50 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw330ci04 View Post
alright guys thanks for all the help. ill probably get some "newb" greif for this, but turns out my driveway is on a very slight incline, and when i back into it the engine points up, somehow causing more oil to go into the dipstick than is actually in the engine. went to a lever spot on the street, and its between the two notches, right in the middle where it should be.


Either way you're totally fine. Level not that intolerant.
Next time no panic.
Vacuum pump a great way to change your oil. Been doing it for years.
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