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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 07-07-2010, 01:38 PM
dpnation dpnation is offline
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Post occassionally - yellow oil pressure light on after turning engine off

2003 325i -oil pressure light occassionally comes on after turning engine off. The color is yellow, not red. Have 1,250 miles before next oil change. oil level on dip stick is within acceptable ranges.

Should I proceed with oil change now instead of waiting until 1,250 have occurred?

If problem was related to bad sensor, should the light come on at other times, such as when driving the car?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Last edited by dpnation; 07-07-2010 at 01:46 PM. Reason: signature
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2010, 08:08 PM
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SchwarzeEwigkt SchwarzeEwigkt is offline
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You know, I've been getting the exact same thing lately. Maybe twice out of every five times. I figured that's one more reason for me to get a new battery. Got a 94RN from Walmart. Just haven't put it in.
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2010, 01:21 AM
e46_platform e46_platform is offline
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you may want to top it off to see if the light still comes on.
not sure what you mean exactly by "acceptable range"
i assume it's between the min and max marks. that light would come on even if the oil level is above, by not much, the min mark.
some reported that it would come on when the oil level at the mid point between min. and max.
when the same thing happened to my E46, the oil level was about 1/4 above the min. and after i topped it off, the light never came on again.
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2010, 07:09 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e46_platform View Post
you may want to top it off to see if the light still comes on.
not sure what you mean exactly by "acceptable range"
i assume it's between the min and max marks. that light would come on even if the oil level is above, by not much, the min mark.
some reported that it would come on when the oil level at the mid point between min. and max.
when the same thing happened to my E46, the oil level was about 1/4 above the min. and after i topped it off, the light never came on again.
same here... if its slightly above the min level, it might come on. mine does this every time.

ORRRR it could also be a bad oil level sensor, easily replaceable during ur next oil change.
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2010, 07:49 AM
dpnation dpnation is offline
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Oil on dipstick is around 1/4 above the min level mark. adding more oil seem like it should resolve problem, but I don't understand why it only come on after engine is shuts off?

The car battery was replaced about 8 months ago. About 1 week ago, my keys quit unlocking/locking car. Anyone know what would cause this? I successfully reprogrammed keys after 30 attempts over 2 day period by using posts i found on this site. very please with infor on site. I was about to take car to dealership for remote key issues.

Does the cars computer system have any control over causing yellow oil pressure light to malfunction or light up?

Thanks
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2010, 09:11 AM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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Sounds like a bad sensor if its coming on so frequently...

We have replacements available below.

Click HERE to order or for more information.


Please let us know if you have any questions! Feel free to shoot me a PM or email.

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  #7  
Old 07-08-2010, 12:18 PM
Totte Totte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpnation View Post
Oil on dipstick is around 1/4 above the min level mark. adding more oil seem like it should resolve problem, but I don't understand why it only come on after engine is shuts off?

The car battery was replaced about 8 months ago. About 1 week ago, my keys quit unlocking/locking car. Anyone know what would cause this? I successfully reprogrammed keys after 30 attempts over 2 day period by using posts i found on this site. very please with infor on site. I was about to take car to dealership for remote key issues.

Does the cars computer system have any control over causing yellow oil pressure light to malfunction or light up?

Thanks
From the E46 manual about the yellow oil lamp:

Engine oil level
Comes on after the engine has
been shut off:
add engine oil at
your earliest opportunity (next time you
stop to refuel).

Comes on while driving: the
engine oil level has fallen to the
absolute minimum; refill as soon as
possible. Do not drive more than
approx. 30 miles (50 km) until you do.

Add more oil and see if it solves the problem before replacing the sensor!
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2010, 12:24 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Yeah, in my case, everytime the light comes on, i'm actually low on oil.
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2010, 01:01 PM
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mawana mawana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchwarzeEwigkt View Post
You know, I've been getting the exact same thing lately. Maybe twice out of every five times. I figured that's one more reason for me to get a new battery. Got a 94RN from Walmart. Just haven't put it in.
You are joking, right?
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2010, 07:28 AM
dpnation dpnation is offline
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Oil has been added and I haven't seen light come on yet. Oil was added a little more than 24 hrs ago.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2010, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mujjuman View Post
yeah, in my case, everytime the light comes on, i'm actually low on oil.
+1
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2010, 09:16 AM
numindast numindast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mujjuman View Post
Yeah, in my case, everytime the light comes on, i'm actually low on oil.
Ditto. On my car (~65k miles) it's happened twice since I bought it. Each time the oil (after checking shortly after driving) the oil has read at the minimum mark so I'd add a full quart and it'd be right at the full mark after letting the engine cool down.

First time it happened I asked my "BMW crew" at work and they both laughed and said, yeah, when it comes on after shutting down the engine, that's your car's way of saying "Hey, I'm a bit low on oil, okay?"

For me it's about every 6,000 miles. Since I got the car I've been doing 7,500 mile oil changes.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2010, 09:56 AM
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SchwarzeEwigkt SchwarzeEwigkt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mawana View Post
You are joking, right?
No. Absolutely serious. I figured it might be a symptom of my original battery and the fact that it's been extra hot out lately. I did check my oil level and it was a tad low, so I topped it off, haven't seen the light since. I assume that was the problem.

What are you confused about? I needed a new one anyway and figured one more possible reason was good enough for me to finally go out and do it.
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Last edited by SchwarzeEwigkt; 07-11-2010 at 09:58 AM.
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  #14  
Old 07-23-2010, 07:50 AM
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yeah, me too...but how often is it acceptable to be low on oil? 60k on the car, I'm running down to BMW to get it topped off (free) every couple of months. do i have a leak?
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2010, 11:44 AM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
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I had the same problem. It means your oil is low.
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2010, 01:34 PM
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MIL Display (Yellow Oil display) Oil Level sensor......Either oil is low, OR your oil level sensor is bad and needs to be replaced,,,, If that's the case, have it done at your
next oil service as they will need to drain oil anyway...

MIL Display (Same indicator but RED Light) Is either the Oil Pressure Switch, which is on the back side of the oil filter housing, facing the manifold...Not to be confused with
the oil/coolant temp sensor......Yes there are TWO and one is on the oil filter housing facing the Air box..... Oil pressure switch is like $10 dollars from the dealer and takes 20 mins to change........If problem still exists.... well then you either need a Oil filter hosing Gasket (Known problem on E46 and E39 with M54 Engine) basically the gasket fails, and you loose oil pressure and that triggers the pressure switch!! Or failing Oil Pump....Not a pretty Job, because, you will want to replace the oil pump.....Filter housing gasket, oil pan gasket, Oil service etc... Expensive Job at a Shop!

Well I hope this helps.
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  #17  
Old 10-25-2011, 11:28 AM
ramm440 ramm440 is offline
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Yellow Oil Dash Light

Ours comes on since last oil change and I was careful with the oil level so that on the dipstick is right at the upper hash mark. I guess I might try lowering the level a bit. It only comes on when turning the car off and not every time. So adding oil is not the answer for me. Maybe black electrical tape over the light on the dash?
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  #18  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:49 PM
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Hello 2010.

Anyways to add to this old thread, sounds like the oil level sensor is failing and should be replaced. About 30 mins, 90 bucks and an oil change.
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  #19  
Old 04-28-2013, 11:21 AM
gi joe gi joe is offline
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My wife's amber lamp comes on after shutdown, for a few seconds, then goes out. I'll try to add half a quart and see what happens.
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  #20  
Old 07-30-2014, 11:21 AM
Violet23 Violet23 is offline
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I am totally new to the whole BMW thing so sorry if this seems like a dumb question. My oil light is coming on yellow when I turn the car on, just for a few seconds. The level is fine and it's not due for another 1000 miles for a change. Should I just get it changed early? I just got this car. We're still getting used to each other!
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  #21  
Old 07-30-2014, 11:26 AM
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SchwarzeEwigkt SchwarzeEwigkt is offline
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It's probably a bit low on oil. Check it and you'll likely need to add some. What's you're change interval? Having burned the .5-1qt over a whole interval, especially a 15k interval, is pretty normal. If you're not low, you might need a new oil level sensor.
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'99.5 Audi A4 Avant quattro 1.8T 5MT — Silver
- Winter beater, now with boooooost! Still putting her back together.

'05 Subaru Forester 2.5XS — Alpine White
- Wife's whip
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  #22  
Old 07-30-2014, 12:51 PM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
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I've noticed this behavior only occurs when your oil level is just above the minimum. Maybe it's intentional, maybe it's not, but if you wait a bit longer, the oil level will fall down further and you'll get the standard soild warning light.
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  #23  
Old 07-30-2014, 01:15 PM
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I think this means the sensor is failing. How many miles on the current oil in the car?


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  #24  
Old 07-31-2014, 10:45 AM
Violet23 Violet23 is offline
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How rude of me! Sorry I did not reply. Last night I went and got the oil changed. I just got this car, and I have a feeling it was due for an oil change. The guy at the lube place re-set the sensor for me. It does not come on now and I will not have to worry about it, knowing I took care of it and have a fresh start with fresh oil. Probably the best thing.
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  #25  
Old 07-31-2014, 05:00 PM
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SchwarzeEwigkt SchwarzeEwigkt is offline
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The "sensor" he reset was probably the service indicator, meaning the one on the dash that will tell you it's time for your next service. The oil level sensor doesn't have a reset.

If it happens again, check your oil level as top it off if it's low. If it isn't, you probably need a new level sensor like they were saying above. Don't worry; while they fail frequently, they're pretty cheap and easy to replace.
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'02 325Ci 5MT — Stahlblau
- Xenons, aFe CAI, Scorpion Muffler, Racing Dynamics Strut Bar, PowerFlex FCAB's, 330i ZHP Shift Knob, BMW Performance SSK, M3 Dead Pedal, Sparco Alloy Pedal Covers (Now with Busted Brake Pedal Cover!), CDV-ectomy

'99.5 Audi A4 Avant quattro 1.8T 5MT — Silver
- Winter beater, now with boooooost! Still putting her back together.

'05 Subaru Forester 2.5XS — Alpine White
- Wife's whip
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