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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-02-2009, 06:31 AM
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biglovemp biglovemp is offline
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"Check engine oil level" warning came up yesterday...

So the warning came up yesterday on my display... I havent had a chance to check it but will do so during my lunch break...

I am planning on doing the oil change this weekend anyways... Should i just top it out with some regular synthetic oil until i give it the oil change? Ride it out as is until i give it the oil change? or dont put cheap synthetic but good one and still give it the oil change???
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2009, 06:48 AM
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Either way is OK depending upon how many miles you will drive between now and then. The warning light means you are down a quart but you are still in the safe zone. I would add a 1/4 or 1/2 qt, to be safe and kill the light and then change out over the weekend.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2009, 08:10 AM
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biglovemp biglovemp is offline
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Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Either way is OK depending upon how many miles you will drive between now and then. The warning light means you are down a quart but you are still in the safe zone. I would add a 1/4 or 1/2 qt, to be safe and kill the light and then change out over the weekend.
The weird thing was also that yesterday morning it came on and then by lunch time it went away. The light was no longer there...
Then when i got out of work a couple of miles into it, the light came back on...

I will probably be driving around 40 miles before i get to change the oil... Should i just top it off???
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  #4  
Old 07-02-2009, 06:32 PM
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dannyc9997 dannyc9997 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biglovemp View Post
The weird thing was also that yesterday morning it came on and then by lunch time it went away. The light was no longer there...
Then when i got out of work a couple of miles into it, the light came back on...

I will probably be driving around 40 miles before i get to change the oil... Should i just top it off???
The light will come and go when the oil level is close to setting off the sensor. Sometimes it will register a little more or a little less, and if its right around the lowest safe level thats how you end up with the on and off light.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:39 PM
99Bimmer528i 99Bimmer528i is offline
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one thing is dont treat it like a 78 dodge... Do the oil change and then get the oil light reset done. I havent done mine for 2 years and it still says i need a oil change. But i know i just did it. The Oil change light are stupid they just cost you money to reset them...
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2009, 06:46 PM
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Check the level with the dipstick and add oil as needed. Remember it'll take a bit of time for the new oil to drip down into the oil pan and register on the dipstick.
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2009, 09:00 PM
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M///Chook M///Chook is offline
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Top it off, check with dipstick, and get it changed as soon as convieniently possible. Scared me a lot when that warning first appeared on my car, but after researching it, it isnt the end of the world. Its just reached a minimum 'safe' limit, and below that, is too low.

Being BMW, they build a margin of safety/redundancy into most of their components & systems- they wouldnt make the oil message come on if the level was already too low to operate the engine. They make it appear when there's still sufficient oil left to run safely, but you should do something about it.
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And this months "mods" are:
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2009, 09:44 PM
Darkflame808 Darkflame808 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M///Chook View Post
Top it off, check with dipstick, and get it changed as soon as convieniently possible. Scared me a lot when that warning first appeared on my car, but after researching it, it isnt the end of the world. Its just reached a minimum 'safe' limit, and below that, is too low.

Being BMW, they build a margin of safety/redundancy into most of their components & systems- they wouldnt make the oil message come on if the level was already too low to operate the engine. They make it appear when there's still sufficient oil left to run safely, but you should do something about it.
Gotta give it to BMW to put sensors in many forgettable areas.

I think it would be funny to have a *DING* and your High OBC says

"You forgot to check your oil. Engine seized. You fail!"
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2009, 10:07 PM
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[QUOTE=biglovemp;4315950]The weird thing was also that yesterday morning it came on and then by lunch time it went away. The light was no longer there...
Then when i got out of work a couple of miles into it, the light came back on...
QUOTE]

It will read lower when cold, and higher when warm, from expansion, this is normal. I would not be surprised if BMW also has some sort of delay in the reading, so it does not go off immediately upon cold start...that is why it gave you a warning after driving a couple miles. It went off later due to expansion from heat.

I learned about this expansion thing after my transmission fluid was changed, and the tech did not add enough fluid, so I was down about 1.5 liters or so. When cold, the shifting was poor and jerky...but when warm it was fine...because the level rose as it warmed up. I took it back, got the fluid added, and now it shifts just fine, cold or warm.
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  #10  
Old 07-03-2009, 04:30 AM
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M///Chook M///Chook is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame808 View Post
Gotta give it to BMW to put sensors in many forgettable areas.

I think it would be funny to have a *DING* and your High OBC says

"You forgot to check your oil. Engine seized. You fail!"
It'd be funnier if the OBC goes *DING* and simply says "You fail" at random, inopportune moments
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1996 Carbon black/black BMW E39 3.5L M62 V8 535i -Australia Delivery-only model.
And this months "mods" are:
  • leaky power steering reservoir
  • Cracked windscreen
View my album- http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/album.php?u=158428
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  #11  
Old 07-03-2009, 06:25 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99Bimmer528i View Post
one thing is dont treat it like a 78 dodge... Do the oil change and then get the oil light reset done. I havent done mine for 2 years and it still says i need a oil change. But i know i just did it. The Oil change light are stupid they just cost you money to reset them...
When it comes to engine oil, there are 3 separate issues that people can potentially get confused....

1. Oil Light Reminder (the green bars in the dash). As you said, it is simply a reminder and that is it.

2. I always fill engine oil to the FULL mark. Then I always carry an extra quart of oil in the trunk. I always carry a Plastic Rubbermaid box in the trunk of all my cars to carry liquid (engine oil or milk from grocery etc.) to prevent spillage into the trunk.
By filling oil to FULL mark, you have more room for safety margin.

3. In the dash there are 2 separate lights:
- Oil Level Sensor
- Oil Pressure Sensor
They perform different functions.
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  #12  
Old 07-03-2009, 06:48 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M///Chook View Post
Being BMW, they build a margin of safety/redundancy into most of their components & systems…
Yeah, but they left out a motherfrackin coolant level sensor in the 528s.
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  #13  
Old 07-03-2009, 07:09 AM
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M///Chook M///Chook is offline
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I did not realise the 528s didnt have coolant level sensors... How could they screw that up?? Usually with Germans everythings got 6 layers of redundancies built in... :P
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1996 Carbon black/black BMW E39 3.5L M62 V8 535i -Australia Delivery-only model.
And this months "mods" are:
  • leaky power steering reservoir
  • Cracked windscreen
View my album- http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/album.php?u=158428
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2009, 07:35 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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http://bmwtips.com/ownersmanuals/200...SportWagon.pdf Look at page 19 (not necessarily the 19th page in the PDF; I mean the page with 19 written on it) and see if you can spot it. My car's temperature went all wonky and I got worried and had it towed. Could've just checked and found the coolant was too low!
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2009, 08:09 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99Bimmer528i View Post
I havent done mine for 2 years and it still says i need a oil change. But i know i just did it. The Oil change light are stupid they just cost you money to reset them...
Pesonally, I don't recommend resetting the SI lights until the OIL SERV or INSPECTION light illuminates in the SI display because I use the green LEDs as indicators when to change my oil.

But there's no need to spend money to have your OIL SERV or INSPECTION light reset to restore the 5 green LEDs. If you have a wire or needle nose pliars...you can reset the lights yourself if you have the 20 pin DLC (data link connector) in your engine bay.

All you need to do is short pins #7 & #19 (make sure you have the CORRECT pins...if you short the wrong pins you can screw things up royally) with your make-shift tool.
  1. with ignition off...stick you make-shift tool in pins 7 & 19
  2. turn the ignition to POSITION 2
  3. remove the tool within 5-10 seconds for OIL SERV...or...remove the tool within 10-15 seconds for INSPECTION
  4. screw cover back onto the 20-pin DLC
  5. turn ignition off.

Next time the ignition is turned to position 2...the 5 green LEDs should be illuminated and the OIL SERV or INSPECTION light should be off.





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  #16  
Old 07-28-2009, 09:27 AM
LMSenus LMSenus is offline
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I was having a similar problem in the last couple of weeks. Had my oil changed about 6 weeks ago at the BMW dealer. Then about two weeks ago, I started getting the "low engine oil level" warning intermittently. Had my husband add a quart of (official BMW) oil to the car, bringing the level above the second dip-stick notch. Then yesterday, it threw me a "STOP ENGINE! LOW OIL PRESSURE" warning, then "ENGINE FAIL SAFE" when I started the car. I turned the car off, waited a minute or two, started it again, and it was fine.

Nothing has been leaking from the car, car isn't smoking or running badly, so I don't know where the oil is going...

Car now at dealer for diagnosis. Driving a PT Cruiser loaner, which is the biggest piece of **** I've ever had the misfortune to drive.

So what am I looking at? Oil pressure sensor?
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  #17  
Old 07-28-2009, 09:36 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMSenus View Post
I was having a similar problem in the last couple of weeks. Had my oil changed about 6 weeks ago at the BMW dealer. Then about two weeks ago, I started getting the "low engine oil level" warning intermittently. Had my husband add a quart of (official BMW) oil to the car, bringing the level above the second dip-stick notch. Then yesterday, it threw me a "STOP ENGINE! LOW OIL PRESSURE" warning, then "ENGINE FAIL SAFE" when I started the car. I turned the car off, waited a minute or two, started it again, and it was fine.

Nothing has been leaking from the car, car isn't smoking or running badly, so I don't know where the oil is going...

Car now at dealer for diagnosis. Driving a PT Cruiser loaner, which is the biggest piece of **** I've ever had the misfortune to drive.

So what am I looking at? Oil pressure sensor?
Do not confuse between Oil Level Sensor (mounted at the bottom of the Oil Pan, crawl underneath and you will see it) and the Oil PressureSensor (mounted near the top of the engine).

The bottom line is:

1. When and if ever this happens in the middle of nowhere, and you need to get home then do this:
http://www.bba-reman.com/content.asp...s_and_problems
No Start Caused by Faulty Oil Level Switch
Model: BMW E39 (5series) with M52 engine, BMW E46 (3 series) Vehicles up to November 1998
Complaint: The vehicle will not start, there is no crank. It may also be noticed that there is no transmission range display in the Instrument Cluster. The charge indicator lamp flickers or is permanently on. The oil level switch is stored in the Instrument Cluster (E46). Fuse 15 or Fuse 30 is blown.
This is due to a faulty oil level switch which causes the fuse to blow so there is a loss of input to EWS from the Transmission Range Switch.

Remedy:
-If Fuse 15 or Fuse 30 is blown then install a new fuse (7.5A), turn the ignition to attempt to start the engine.
-If the fuse blows again, disconnect the Oil Level Switch at the plug connector. (Basically you fool the car to get the engine started)
Install a new fuse and start the engine.
-If the engine starts, and the range display is shown in the Instrument Cluster then replace the Oil Level Switch.

In order to confirm a defective switch then use a DVM to check the resistance between the pins of the 3 pin connector. If the switch is good it should measure infinite resistance between any 2 pins in the connector.

2. Now your car is at the dealer, then it is an easy job, change the Oil Level Sensor, and you should be fine.

Last edited by cn90; 07-28-2009 at 09:47 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:14 PM
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dannyc9997 dannyc9997 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMSenus View Post
Car now at dealer for diagnosis. Driving a PT Cruiser loaner, which is the biggest piece of **** I've ever had the misfortune to drive.

So what am I looking at? Oil pressure sensor?
They have pt cruisers as loners?!?!? Forget that place man, wow. Those are quite possibly the worst cars ever made. My favorite part is how the window opens a grand totall of 3 inches .
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  #19  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:23 PM
LMSenus LMSenus is offline
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Originally Posted by dannyc9997 View Post
They have pt cruisers as loners?!?!? Forget that place man, wow. Those are quite possibly the worst cars ever made. My favorite part is how the window opens a grand totall of 3 inches .
You're not just whistlin' Dixie. In the immortal words of Luke Skywalker, "What a piece of junk!" It was a busy day in the Service Department, and they ran out of BMW loaners, so I got stuck with that POS. Some poor dude who is the size of an NFL lineman brought in his 7-series for service, and they stuffed him into one of these, too.

Still waiting for the dreaded diagnosis phone call...
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:29 PM
gumbi4u gumbi4u is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMSenus View Post
You're not just whistlin' Dixie. In the immortal words of Luke Skywalker, "What a piece of junk!" It was a busy day in the Service Department, and they ran out of BMW loaners, so I got stuck with that POS. Some poor dude who is the size of an NFL lineman brought in his 7-series for service, and they stuffed him into one of these, too.

Still waiting for the dreaded diagnosis phone call...


Why even take it to the dealer to get raped? Come by the shop if you are close to millburn
132 millburn ave
millburn nj 07041

I will give it a once over and see what gremlins haunt it.
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hahaha.. at least they forgot about the flower wheels and richard simmons pic... I'll be a fruit loop instead of a flower weilding exercise guru..
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  #21  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:31 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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If this is truely an Oil PRESSURE Sensor issue, then you likely has engine sludge, "courtesy" of BMW for telling people to:

- Change oil every 7500-10,000 miles instead of 4-5K miles.
- You do alot of short trips stop-and-go driving: perfect setup for sludge when combined with the BMW advice above.
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  #22  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:41 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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Why is it so difficult to pull the dipstick out and SEE the oil level ????


Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Yeah, but they left out a motherfrackin coolant level sensor in the 528s.
No they didn't... ???? I have that message displayed on my cluster many times. "Check coolant level".

mw
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  #23  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:44 PM
TheStig TheStig is offline
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Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
No they didn't... ???? I have that message displayed on my cluster many times. "Check coolant level".

mw

My car doesn't have the coolant level sensor...
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  #24  
Old 07-28-2009, 12:51 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStig View Post
My car doesn't have the coolant level sensor...
Mine is Feb/Mar 2000. Yours is Apr/2000. How come mine has it and yours doesn't?

mw
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:16 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStig View Post
My car doesn't have the coolant level sensor...
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
Mine is Feb/Mar 2000. Yours is Apr/2000. How come mine has it and yours doesn't?

mw
How are each of your cars configured...could it be that one of you has the low instrument cluster and the other has a high instrument cluster?

You can't get the message "CHECK COOLANT LEVEL" if your instrument cluster doesn't have the 20 digit alpha/numeric display and you have the "Graphic Display" instead.
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