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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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  #26  
Old 04-10-2007, 07:18 PM
sparky2708 sparky2708 is offline
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Location: Scarsdale
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 325xi 2002
Cool Just Had the Oil Sensor Replaced

I had the yellow oil light come on my 2002 325xi (48,000 miles) for about 5-10 seconds a few seconds after starting the car. Then it would go away and never appear again during the entire drive.

I was advised by the dealer to come in because there might be problems with oil getting into the engine and I didn't want to take any risks. Fixing the engine would be A LOT worse. Of course the dealership will charge about $100 diagnostic fee for looking at the problem and if you fix it there then they will waive the diagnostic fee so just for having the dealership look at the problem you're already out of $100. At that point they told me that it would take around $350 to fix the problem. I figured that since I was already out $100 I might as well just take care of the problem.

Basically the mechanic at the dealership explained the problem as:

"Interrogated fault memory. Found Fault 11 Thermal Oil Level Sensor. Open Circuit. Checked Wiring Harness & Connector. Checked for Voltage. Voltage OK. Drained oil, replaced oil level sensor and top engine with new oil."

For all of you interested in how much this costs to fix. In NY it is:

Hours Worked: 1.7 ------------------- 181.90
OIL SENSOR -------------------------- 120.52
OIL 5W30 SYNTHETIC --------------- 56.00
----------------------------------------------------
TOTAL: ================== 358.42

So here you go guys. Here's an idea of what it costs to fix this. At this point I was glad I bought that extended warranty with $100 deductible :-). It paid for itself a few times already especially when I had to replace the whole front axle when my boot leaked.

Oddly enough, when I talked to the service rep she was very surprised that this is the first time I am changing the oil sensor. She said that generally these things last about 3 years so she said to consider myself lucky!

Last edited by sparky2708; 04-10-2007 at 07:44 PM.
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  #27  
Old 04-15-2007, 11:16 PM
Pharao Pharao is offline
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I have the same problem on my 323ci , every time i start the engine light delay about 5 sec. then it'll turn on for about 10-15sec. it's anoying. I have cheked oil level and is fine and just replace the oil pressure switch and still the same. any other options on what to look for next?(not a trip to dealer) thank you
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  #28  
Old 04-16-2007, 07:53 AM
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jsc jsc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pharao View Post
I have the same problem on my 323ci , every time i start the engine light delay about 5 sec. then it'll turn on for about 10-15sec. it's anoying. I have cheked oil level and is fine and just replace the oil pressure switch and still the same. any other options on what to look for next?(not a trip to dealer) thank you
You need to replace the oil level sensor if it is the orange warning light coming on, the oil pressure switch activates the red oil warning light when engine destruction is imminent.
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  #29  
Old 04-16-2007, 08:36 AM
oembimmerparts oembimmerparts is offline
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Oil level sensors are a common problem with these cars, We have them on the website for 80.00 with seal.
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  #30  
Old 04-24-2007, 09:52 PM
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MMMM_ERT MMMM_ERT is offline
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So....anyone have a DIY on replacing this sensor? Come on...surely some of you yuppies get your hands dirty like I do once in a while.

Our 2000 323i just started doing this at 105K miles. the Yellow oil light comes on after startup and goes off after 10-20 seconds.
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  #31  
Old 04-26-2007, 08:07 AM
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jsc jsc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMMM_ERT View Post
So....anyone have a DIY on replacing this sensor? Come on...surely some of you yuppies get your hands dirty like I do once in a while.

Our 2000 323i just started doing this at 105K miles. the Yellow oil light comes on after startup and goes off after 10-20 seconds.
Most of us serious DIY yuppies buy the Bentley manual, it is well detailed in there, but I'm not going to breach their copyright by copying it, besides I feel too lazy today anyway :http://www.bentleypublishers.com/product.htm?code=b305
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  #32  
Old 01-15-2010, 06:21 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
tappa tappa toit
Location: NY
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky2708 View Post
I had the yellow oil light come on my 2002 325xi (48,000 miles) for about 5-10 seconds a few seconds after starting the car. Then it would go away and never appear again during the entire drive.

I was advised by the dealer to come in because there might be problems with oil getting into the engine and I didn't want to take any risks. Fixing the engine would be A LOT worse. Of course the dealership will charge about $100 diagnostic fee for looking at the problem and if you fix it there then they will waive the diagnostic fee so just for having the dealership look at the problem you're already out of $100. At that point they told me that it would take around $350 to fix the problem. I figured that since I was already out $100 I might as well just take care of the problem.

Basically the mechanic at the dealership explained the problem as:

"Interrogated fault memory. Found Fault 11 Thermal Oil Level Sensor. Open Circuit. Checked Wiring Harness & Connector. Checked for Voltage. Voltage OK. Drained oil, replaced oil level sensor and top engine with new oil."

For all of you interested in how much this costs to fix. In NY it is:

Hours Worked: 1.7 ------------------- 181.90
OIL SENSOR -------------------------- 120.52
OIL 5W30 SYNTHETIC --------------- 56.00
----------------------------------------------------
TOTAL: ================== 358.42

So here you go guys. Here's an idea of what it costs to fix this. At this point I was glad I bought that extended warranty with $100 deductible :-). It paid for itself a few times already especially when I had to replace the whole front axle when my boot leaked.

Oddly enough, when I talked to the service rep she was very surprised that this is the first time I am changing the oil sensor. She said that generally these things last about 3 years so she said to consider myself lucky!
wow thats great dude!!! thanks for registering and posting that info... wish you were still with the bimmerfest community though.
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  #33  
Old 01-15-2010, 06:34 AM
mod mod is offline
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i have exactly the same issue on a 323i, yellow oil light on for 15secs or so then turns off. The oil level is good and i have had no problems. I understand it is the sensor and as i see no problems and check the oil regularly i can live with it.
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  #34  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:40 AM
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J. Kidd J. Kidd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsc View Post
If the YELLOW oil light is coming on and the oil level is correct, then the likely culprit is a faulty sensor or wiring - this light indicates oil LEVEL.

If the RED oil light comes on, then the oil PRESSURE is low - this light should not be ignored, switch off the engine as soon as possible, engine damage may already have occured. This light should not come on before the yellow light if it is due to low oil level.
x2 (exactly).
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  #35  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:42 AM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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You guys are posting in a 2.5 year old thread..
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  #36  
Old 01-15-2010, 08:05 AM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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^^^^ was about to say that...
It is good to remember the unfinished threads and go back to post some updates or conclusion. It never hurst... But in this case, I do not think it is necessary. It is a very common problem. Everybody knows it already...
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  #37  
Old 01-15-2010, 08:56 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
tappa tappa toit
Location: NY
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iskoos View Post
^^^^ was about to say that...
It is good to remember the unfinished threads and go back to post some updates or conclusion. It never hurst... But in this case, I do not think it is necessary. It is a very common problem. Everybody knows it already...
x2 but the pricing info was great.
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  #38  
Old 01-15-2010, 01:40 PM
jillthevet jillthevet is offline
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That sensor is an easy diy. You should wait untill your next oil change and , replace it then. You have to drain the oil to replace it and, it's right on the bottom of the oil pan. The cheapest I have seen for this part is $85
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  #39  
Old 09-16-2010, 03:07 PM
cambsbmw cambsbmw is offline
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Mein Auto: E46 2.0 turbo diesel
bmw e46 oil level light.

hi mate i had exactly the same problem with my bmw e46. i bought the car and the yellow oil light would come after i started the car and then go off after 20 secs or so. i searched for idea's and 99% of people all said it was the sensor so i went to bmw and for 111.00 i bought myself a new sensor. went to my mates garage and while i was there done an full service with fully symphetic oil and changed the the sensor.................... imagine my surprise when i done all that and the light still came on?!!!!!!! bit annoyed.
my tech mate from bmw came out and checked afew things over and traced the problem to fuse number 30 which is 7.5 fuse. changed it and the light had never come back on since. he said faulty switches sometimes blow the fuse 80% of the time and then no-one thinks to check the fuse? so might be an idea to check the fuse and the fuse box is located in the glove box , you just turn 2 white clips and the fuse box drops down. hope this helps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Greco View Post
I got the EXACT same thing. Does it stay on? Mine doesn't. It comes on with a 5 sec delay, stays yellow for 10 secs or so, then is off and never comes back. And it happens almost every time I turn the engine on. I've been told that the sensor is a bit too sensitive and I could replace it if the yellow light really bothers me. Started at 45,000 miles, now I got 60,000, so probably no big problem.


Just make sure the light does not stay on.
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  #40  
Old 12-01-2012, 11:55 PM
Plamentino Plamentino is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 325I
My oil light comes on and off in yellow. As I can understand it could be oil level sensor or oil pressure sensor. How I can check if they good or not
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  #41  
Old 12-02-2012, 06:57 AM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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Himmmm. About another 2.5 years past and we see a post. I guess this thread cycles every 2.5 years)
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  #42  
Old 12-02-2012, 09:07 AM
Pinkfloyd323 Pinkfloyd323 is offline
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I'm having the same issue, thanks to all who posted. hopefully some of these suggestions will clear it for me.
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  #43  
Old 12-02-2012, 09:17 AM
philliplong philliplong is offline
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My car has had this problem from the day I bought it from the previous owner are you guys sure that isnt a feature of these cars like maybe to show its working or somthing? It just seems too common to be an actual problem.

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  #44  
Old 12-03-2012, 07:02 AM
blkoutE46 blkoutE46 is offline
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do not panic, its fine as long as it goes away after about 10 sec. the oil pressure needs time to build of for the sensor to detect it. mine was popping in and out before after i had my car serviced....turnsout the damn mechanic over filled the oil. So i did it my self and changed the oil filter, cause they put a cheap one. put new oil 5w30 and its fine.
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  #45  
Old 12-03-2012, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd323 View Post
I'm having the same issue, thanks to all who posted. hopefully some of these suggestions will clear it for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by philliplong View Post
My car has had this problem from the day I bought it from the previous owner are you guys sure that isnt a feature of these cars like maybe to show its working or somthing? It just seems too common to be an actual problem.

Sent from my TC970 (Wi-Fi) using Bimmer App
BMW oil sensors are notorious for being spastic. If you physically checked the oil and the level was good, you have nothing to worry about. Adding another 1/4 or 1/3 of a quart will often stop that annoying light from coming on. It`s no BFD....
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  #46  
Old 12-03-2012, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by blkoutE46 View Post
. put new oil 5w30 and its fine.
The only 5W-30 you should use is the "Euro Castrol" from the dealer....if you`re using Mobil 1, you`ll want the 0W-40....
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  #47  
Old 12-03-2012, 08:42 AM
scarede46er scarede46er is offline
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Yes it is a DIY. But you should do it at the same time as an oil change. The sensor just plugs in at the bottom of the oil pan along with a wire harness.
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  #48  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:00 AM
bimmer47 bimmer47 is offline
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bmw 330i 2001

This just happened to me.... started with 10 seconds here and there... but I was just on the highway and it came on. Parked, restarted engine, now not on. Pressure issues I'm thinking, going to get it checked out tonight.
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  #49  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:24 AM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer47 View Post
This just happened to me.... started with 10 seconds here and there... but I was just on the highway and it came on. Parked, restarted engine, now not on. Pressure issues I'm thinking, going to get it checked out tonight.
If it is RED oil light, then you are having pressure issues and you should stop driving the car immediately if it is so.
If the light oil light is Yellow, then it is just the oil level. It is either low or your sensor at fault.
Easy to find out: Check your oil level. If it is not low, then it is your oil level sensor. It is okay to drive the car like that no problem. Just need to check your oil level frequently.
The sensor costs about 100 bucks. Replacing it not difficult but you gotta get under the car, drain the oil, do some clean up etc. It is a messy thing. If you are not DIY type person, you want to get it fixed by someone...
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  #50  
Old 04-07-2013, 10:28 AM
rodc1128 rodc1128 is offline
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I would have the dealer replace the coin holder but ask for a 25 cent discount.
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