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  #1  
Old 11-19-2013, 03:27 PM
Zuger Zuger is offline
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 2012 28i X3
Engine oil level

I am wondering how you can tell how much oil is needed to top up without pouring too much oil in the engine? The dip stick has only one line which seems to mean that you need to add oil which I guess is approximately one litre? What about half way from the top to the line which is where mine indicates the oil level is at. Would that mean that it would need to add one half litre?My dealer told me to always keep the engine oil topped up to avoid problems, that is ok but I do not want to overfill?

Thanks

This question is for my 2010 Mini Cooper S
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Last edited by Zuger; 11-19-2013 at 03:28 PM. Reason: this question is for my Mini
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2013, 10:12 PM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Location: Lorena & San Antonio, TX
 
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The dipsticks in the MINI are notoriously difficult to get an accurate read from. That being said, you're correct that it's important in these turbo MINI's to keep the oil at the proper level without grossly over-filling the crankcase.

As I recall from my Owners Manual, the oil capacity in this engine is around 4 quarts/litres, and the dipstick is attempting to show the "FULL" and "1 quart/litre low" levels. Anywhere in that range is acceptable, as I recall, but if you want to top it just to be safe, you can add whatever portion of a quart/litre of oil that is indicated as missing. So, if your dipstick is showing the oil level is half way between the range indicators (i.e., top and bottom of the band), you should add a half quart/litre. Alternately, you can add a little oil and progressively re-check the level until it's full. That would be time consuming, though -- especially given the difficult-to-read nature of the MINI dipstick… But it's also easier to add a little more than to remove the excess if you over-fill it...
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Old 11-20-2013, 02:30 PM
Zuger Zuger is offline
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Thanks for the feedback, I don't know why they make the dipstick so difficult to read, on other brands it is so clear? I will do just that, add a little at a time until full!
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:01 PM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuger View Post
Thanks for the feedback, I don't know why they make the dipstick so difficult to read, on other brands it is so clear? I will do just that, add a little at a time until full!
No worries. Yeah, theirs has got to be the worst design in the automotive world. But at least it has a dipstick; if you can believe it, my X3 doesn't… One has to rely on electronics and oil level sensors -- which (not surprisingly) have a higher failure rate than the Mark 1 dipstick does… There's just no way to visually confirm the oil level in the X3's engine if you get a failure to read or a problem indication… Go figure…

In fact, the MINI dipstick is so universally recognized as bad that there are already aftermarket replacements available -- at around $50 per -- and people are happy to pay for it because they are purportedly much easier to read...
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:35 PM
Zuger Zuger is offline
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Oh no, I realize this is not an x 3 forum but I also have an x3 and no dipstick I guess! Hopefully I won't have problems with the electronic oil level sensor!
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:55 PM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuger View Post
Oh no, I realize this is not an x 3 forum but I also have an x3 and no dipstick I guess! Hopefully I won't have problems with the electronic oil level sensor!
Well, I didn't mean to make it sound like problems with the X3's oil level sensor are lurking around every corner. But it's not unheard-of either. So if one does encounter a problem with it, or just gets a spurious reading from it, there's no way to confirm it without a visit to a mechanic. If one is on a trip somewhere, and the oil level sensor goes wonky, you're faced with the choice of accepting the erroneous reading as truthful (which means interrupting your trip and finding a BMW mechanic just to learn what you already suspect), or chancing engine damage should you ignore a real oil-related warning and continue on. All because one has no way of verifying the oil level via a dipstick…
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