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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 01-20-2013, 11:16 PM
shroomer shroomer is offline
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What color is this? Oil level sensor or oil pressure sensor?

I am colorblind and I have no idea if this is red or yellow. I need to know if I need to replace the oil level sensor or the oil pressure sensor. From what I understand, if the light is red, I need to replace the pressure sensor. If the light is yellow, I need to replace the level sensor. That is, as long as my engine is ok. Also, the actual oil level is fine.

Any constructive input would be appreciated.
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Last edited by shroomer; 01-20-2013 at 11:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2013, 11:21 PM
GLOK1132 GLOK1132 is offline
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take a picture and post it. Then we can help you out accordingly.
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2013, 11:21 PM
shroomer shroomer is offline
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It would help if I attached a pic. Duh.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2013, 03:24 AM
heztheone heztheone is offline
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first thing u need to do is check the readings on the oil dipstick and fill it if it requires some.
- if u get this yellow light for 20-25 seconds as soon as u start your car and goes away then u have a bad oil level sensor.
- if the light comes on as soon as u turn off ur car or randomly when u'r driving, then u r missing at least 1 quart of oil
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Last edited by heztheone; 01-21-2013 at 05:43 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2013, 04:08 AM
SeaRay SeaRay is offline
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It's yellow. Mine does the same as stated above. Comes on for approx 20 sec at startup, then goes out.
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2013, 06:02 AM
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Dave 330i Dave 330i is offline
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Am I correct to say that (old) oil can icon is always amber, and never red? I have this issue maybe one can diagnose for me. 10-15 seconds AFTER the engine has started, whether if it is cold or warm, the oil icon comes on (amber color), then it goes off approximately 20 seconds later. I know I do not have an engine lubrication problem. I believe it is a sensor problem. How easy is it to replace this sensor? If the sensor is not reliable to predict a lubrication problem, what good is the sensor?
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Last edited by Dave 330i; 01-21-2013 at 06:10 AM.
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2013, 06:39 AM
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1972ford 1972ford is online now
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Dave, it sounds like you're in the same boat as the OP, with a bad oil level sensor. It seems that the computer can tell when the sensor is giving bad readings and it lets you know it's failing / failed. It's super easy to change... when you're doing an oil change, being that it's in the bottom of the oil pan. Let's just pretend that BMW didn't decide to remove the dipstick and use ONLY the sensor in the next-gen engines. In my wife's car, there's a little plastic access panel for the oil drain plug, and one for the oil level sensor. Tell you anything??
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:15 AM
joegr joegr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 330i View Post
Am I correct to say that (old) oil can icon is always amber, and never red? ...
This very same icon does come on red if there is no oil pressure.
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2013, 07:53 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joegr View Post
This very same icon does come on red if there is no oil pressure.
Worst. design. ever! Something this important should have a warning sound and bright flashing light attached to it, like the low fuel light. Something you can see and hear from space would be good.

I see mine (yellow) almost every time I arrive home. I drive up a steep hill, then a steep driveway and park in the garage. Light is on after I shut down... I wait a few minutes, check the level, and it's usually OK. My car does use some oil so I just keep an eye on it.

I usually don't see the light when I'm roaming around the flat areas outside of where I live.
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2013, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Worst. design. ever!
... topped only by the absence of a dipstick...
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2013, 04:11 PM
gtb gtb is offline
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Cool orange oil light intermittent illumination

Must be something in the air, I was driving yesterday long distance circa (900kms-450 miles) I stopped and switched engine off, checked the obvious, and then started car. No orange light, I travel approx 60 km (35 miles) on it comes. This thing is some 12000km before scheduled service. take care. G
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2013, 04:34 PM
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smolck smolck is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaRay View Post
It's yellow. Mine does the same as stated above. Comes on for approx 20 sec at startup, then goes out.
Which means you have a bad oil level sensor.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2013, 06:26 PM
gtb gtb is offline
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yes, indeed sir
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2013, 08:06 PM
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Dave 330i Dave 330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1972ford View Post
Dave, it sounds like you're in the same boat as the OP, with a bad oil level sensor. It seems that the computer can tell when the sensor is giving bad readings and it lets you know it's failing / failed. It's super easy to change... when you're doing an oil change, being that it's in the bottom of the oil pan. Let's just pretend that BMW didn't decide to remove the dipstick and use ONLY the sensor in the next-gen engines. In my wife's car, there's a little plastic access panel for the oil drain plug, and one for the oil level sensor. Tell you anything??
Fortunately, the 330i belly pan does not extend back to the oil plug, so when I change the oil I do not have to remove any plastic covers. Where is the sensor? I never noticed one because it never occur to me to look for it when I change the oil.
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  #15  
Old 01-21-2013, 08:31 PM
gtb gtb is offline
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Smile common sense

Thankyou kind sir, regrettably, common sense is not so.
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