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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 03-10-2008, 09:43 AM
stylz3 stylz3 is offline
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!Stop Engine: Check Oil Pressure!

When the car is in motion everything is fine, but when I come to a stop the oil light starts to blink red and eventually stays on and then displays the "Stop Engine: Check Oil Pressure" but when I start driving again it disappears. This usually happens when the car is at operating temperature.

I have tried removing and reinserting the oil pressure switch but htat didn't work, the problem is still present. I also spoke to a BMW mechanic and he feels it could be the oil pump itself or even worst the crank shaft bearings. Then I spoke to a mom and pop mechanic and he claims it could be a crack in the ail filter assembly. I have also checked the dipstick and the oil level is right were is should be.

My car is a 02 530i @ 83k miles. If anyone else has experience this same or similar problem, please share your solutions or suggests to help me go in the right direction.
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:17 AM
2002_530i 2002_530i is offline
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Remove oil pressure sending unit from engine and install a mechanical oil pressure gauge at the threaded hole and see what readings you are getting at idle and at higher engine speeds. That way, you know if your low pressure message is coming from a bad sending unit (and the actual oil pressure is fine) or if the engine really has low oil pressure. My Bentley manual states that the factory specification is 7psi at idle and 59psi at higher speeds.
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2008, 12:46 PM
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la528it la528it is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002_530i View Post
Remove oil pressure sending unit from engine and install a mechanical oil pressure gauge at the threaded hole and see what readings you are getting at idle and at higher engine speeds. That way, you know if your low pressure message is coming from a bad sending unit (and the actual oil pressure is fine) or if the engine really has low oil pressure. My Bentley manual states that the factory specification is 7psi at idle and 59psi at higher speeds.
Note that there are 3 different standards on threading for oil pressure senders. Be VERY careful with this. I cracked my honda v-tec block by virtue of not using the correct thread. These things are typically tapered.... beware!
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2009, 03:43 AM
Guilherme Guilherme is offline
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I'm having the same problem on my 540i E39. Except that I don't get the Stop Engine message on the Check Display, only the blinking red oil pressure light while idling. Please let me know what you found out...
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2009, 03:56 AM
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chivas chivas is offline
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Mein Auto: 98 540i/6
do yourself a favor: change your oil pan gasket. while you're there, check the nuts that's holding the oil pump on the bottom. it is known that the nuts on the bottom *might* work itself out. check around for info about it.


here's a pic of what i'm talking about. what is circled is the oil pickup screen:



but the nuts around it is rumored to might work itself out. i checked mine when did my gasket 2 weeks after i bought mine. it was tight but it doesn't hurt to check plus, it's time to change the gaskets anyways.
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Last edited by chivas; 03-11-2009 at 04:08 AM.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2009, 12:32 PM
Cereall Cereall is offline
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are there any high volume oil pumps available to help cure this ?

seems like this would cure many problems unless it was the bearings starting to wear greatly on the car
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  #7  
Old 03-16-2009, 08:48 PM
chesterrr chesterrr is offline
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I have the exact same problem, it started two days ago. Today when I turned on the car, the check engine light was on.
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2009, 08:30 PM
uholmes uholmes is offline
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I had a constant oil pressure light..ONLY when the engine warmed up. I replaced the filter..removed the oil pressure sensor, cleaned the contacts and put it back. It seemed to be OK for about 30 miles around town. THEN the Check Engine Light came on. I believe it's the sensor, because when i turn the key forward without starting, the oil light doensn't come on anymore. During the last two days, it USED to come on...and when I removed the electrical connector and turned the key forward the light DIDN'T come on...which leads me to believe the sensor is now really bad/dead and I'm throwing a code. i tried to check the oil pressure, but I'm having a hard time finding a fitting to match the hole in the canister.

The engine runs and sounds normal..even though I know an oil starved engine can go symptom-less. I'm waiting till Monday AM when I can find someone to get a proper fitting so I can attach a gauge and verify pressure.

BTW..the oil pressure switch listed @ Autozone is WRONG. It fits, but it only has one wire instead of two. It doesn't work. It will fit properly, but when you turn the key forward the oil light does NOT come on. If you remove it and attach the OEM switch, the oil light comes on.
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2009, 06:41 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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If you have more than 90-100K, I recommend that you replace the Oil Filter Housing Cap (It is Plastic!). Mine cracked when I opend it because the P.O. tightened too much.
When doing oil change, I tighten the Cap by hand then using only 2 fingers to give it a tug and that is it. It makes removal easy.
Remember the Seal is formed by the O-ring making contact on the side of the Housing, so even if you don't tighten the cap, it will have no leak.

Back to your problem, it has been reported here that sometimes the very tip of the Oil Filter Housing Cap (see the Plastic tip with tiny O-rings protruding out on Fig 26?):
http://www.bimmerdiy.com/diy/e36oilchange/

Best is to check the Cap for any missing parts (common problem b/c sometimes indy changing oil can be rough to the Cap, it is a delicate part). Better change the Cap ($27 at dealer), IT GIVES YOU THE PEACE OF MIND ON LONG ROAD TRIP.
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2011, 10:27 AM
bigtelbmw bigtelbmw is offline
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Question Routing oil line E34

To avoid worries over oil pressure I want to fit an oil pressure gauge to my M50 E34. I have yet to locate the original switch but my biggest worry is how to get the copper tubing through the firewall. Anmy advice would be appreciated.
Terry B North of England
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2012, 09:38 AM
rasbach rasbach is offline
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Found this thread after Googling the same issue, and was wondering what some of the experts thought about a possible theory I had. I've had my car for about 6 years now, and without fail I use 91 octane when filling up the tank. Well after a week of driving my Toyota, I wasn't thinking- and I found that I had filled my nearly empty tank in my BMW with 87 Octane. I figured it would be fine, may run a bit rough- but shouldn't be a real issue. The next day I get the !STOP ENGINE OIL PRESSURE! light while idling at a red light after about 20mins of driving. Now I realize that this is a stretch- but WHAT IF the car was compensating for the reduced octane by lowering the idle rpm just enough that the oil pressure sensor now sees a drop in oil pressure and sounds the alarm. I find it highly coincidental that this occurred the day after I fill up with lower octane fuel, and never had this issue until then. What's the possibility that for some of those reporting this have fuel related issues (whether knowing or unknowing) either by mistakenly putting in the wrong fuel or thinking they are buying 91 octane but are actually not.
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  #12  
Old 02-14-2012, 09:45 AM
Turbo_525 Turbo_525 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rasbach View Post
Found this thread after Googling the same issue, and was wondering what some of the experts thought about a possible theory I had. I've had my car for about 6 years now, and without fail I use 91 octane when filling up the tank. Well after a week of driving my Toyota, I wasn't thinking- and I found that I had filled my nearly empty tank in my BMW with 87 Octane. I figured it would be fine, may run a bit rough- but shouldn't be a real issue. The next day I get the !STOP ENGINE OIL PRESSURE! light while idling at a red light after about 20mins of driving. Now I realize that this is a stretch- but WHAT IF the car was compensating for the reduced octane by lowering the idle rpm just enough that the oil pressure sensor now sees a drop in oil pressure and sounds the alarm. I find it highly coincidental that this occurred the day after I fill up with lower octane fuel, and never had this issue until then. What's the possibility that for some of those reporting this have fuel related issues (whether knowing or unknowing) either by mistakenly putting in the wrong fuel or thinking they are buying 91 octane but are actually not.
I have the same car as you, with ~138k miles, and a 5-speed. I have used 87 in it on four seperate occasions - and I have never gotten a warning such as that. In my case, I noted a little pinging going up hills (well, relatively speaking, hills in Illinois) So I attempt not to use that grade.

But I can tell you if I ever go that message - I owuld heed it's warning until proven that things were fine.
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  #13  
Old 02-14-2012, 09:46 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Octane 87 has nothing to do with "!STOP ENGINE OIL PRESSURE!".

1. Check your dipstick, are you low in oil?

2. Temporarily remove the oil filter (search forum for tips/tricks).
Reinstall the Oil Filter Cap.
Run engine, if light goes away, then your filter is blocked.

Don't listen to BMW recommendation of 15K oil change interval, most oil filters are partially clogged after 5-6K.
Even if you listen to the 15K interval (which I don't believe in), change your oil filter every 5-6K.
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  #14  
Old 02-14-2012, 10:10 AM
rasbach rasbach is offline
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I definitely appreciate your suggestions, but you guys probably not familiar with this issue that others have been trying to chase down for a while now. Historically users have tried the suggestions you have made with no remedy, and now I seemed to have become a member of that club. If you google around, you'll see that many have tried to find a cause for this- but nobody seems to know what exactly is causing it. Sometimes the issue just disappears on it's own, while others have been driving around with this warning for years. However, if you have any other ideas.. definitely let me know. It's also probably worth noting that I read somewhere that this seems to be an issue with the automatic transmission versions- someone called that out in another thread on a different site I think.
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2012, 10:16 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Not really. Nothing to do with AT.

!STOP ENGINE OIL PRESSURE! means one of the following:

1. Low engine oil

2. Bad pressure sensor (rare)

3. Blocked oil filter, yes it happens

4. Bad Vanos seals.

5. Broken Tip of Oil Filter Housing Cap (where the 2 tiny O-rings are located).

That is about it.

Last edited by cn90; 02-15-2012 at 05:50 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-14-2012, 10:21 AM
rasbach rasbach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Not really. Nothing to do with AT.

!STOP ENGINE OIL PRESSURE! means one of the following:

1. Low engine oil

2. Bad pressure sensor (rare)

3. Blocked oil filter, yes it happens

4. Bad Vanos seals.

That is about it.
OK well, I'll check the Vanos Seals, since that's the only thing on this list that I'm not already in the process of working on (pressure sensor is in the mail with the oil filter). I'll look around to see if I can find the howto on the Vanos Seals replacement. Not sure why this problem has gone unsolved for so many years if that's all there is to it. Thanks for your help.
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  #17  
Old 02-14-2012, 10:45 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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For Vanos seals, search forum for "Beisan".
All you need is there.
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  #18  
Old 02-14-2012, 10:57 AM
rasbach rasbach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
For Vanos seals, search forum for "Beisan".
All you need is there.
Yes, thanks- I was reading up on that exact one. Interesting that I'm not experiencing any of the common symptoms of Vanos seal failure, and I haven't yet seen anything that indicates the Vanos seals are the culprit of the engine oil pressure warning- did you see that somewhere?
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  #19  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:07 AM
rasbach rasbach is offline
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Ok nevermind, I see that the symptoms occur around 20,000 miles and I got this one at nearly 30,000 miles- so I may have never really realized any performance hits.. The seals could now be so worn that I could see a pressure issue I suppose.. I'll add it to my list since I'm already planning on replacing the valve cover gasket and the oil filter housing assembly gasket this weekend. Looks like I have a long weekend ahead of me.
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  #20  
Old 02-14-2012, 11:23 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Hold off on your VCG gasket.
Get the seals from Beisan (order online) and replace the Vanos seals at the same time as the VCG.
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  #21  
Old 02-14-2012, 12:37 PM
rasbach rasbach is offline
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Yes, that's what I'm going to do.. thanks.
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  #22  
Old 02-14-2012, 09:32 PM
mrpumpk1n mrpumpk1n is offline
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For now get around the issue with turning the ac on..
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  #23  
Old 02-14-2012, 09:36 PM
mrpumpk1n mrpumpk1n is offline
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and actually, can rasbach be up to something? can it be that while the car idles at operating temp (or hotter, mine only occurs once the clutch fan engages, lowering the idle rpm a bit more), if the car is in drive or reverse and the transmission is wearing out, can there be more resistance in the tc making the rpm in the engine drop a bit more making the light come on? the reason i state this is because when the light does come on, if i put the car in neutral or park, the light goes away.

Note: my problem went away for almost a year in between after following CN90's suggestions of changing the oil filter housing cap and following Edjack's suggestion of using 20w50 (the latter you might not want to do). the problem has returned however.
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  #24  
Old 02-15-2012, 09:57 AM
rasbach rasbach is offline
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mrpumpkin, did you change the vanos seals by chance? cn90 made that recommendation as you see above... If not, I'm wondering if in your case the heavier oil offset the amount of wear in your seals until they became worse. Another factor I wonder about is that I know that I have both a leaking valve cover gasket and oil filter housing and wonder if those leaks are creating enough of a loss in pressure at idle- and perhaps you have a leak as well that is now worse than the previous year? I'm about to do the following to try to correct my issue:

- Replace VANOS seals
- Replace VCG
- Replace OFH gasket
- Replace Oil filter pressure sensor
- Replace oil, from Mobil1 0w-40 to Mobile1 5w-30
- Oil Filter this time was an STP, I've always used MANN before- going back to MANN.
- Replace the oil filter canister cap
- Replace the valve cover to PVC hose

Preferably I'd like to follow good troubleshooting form by replacing one thing and checking for the error- but unfortunately it's impractical for these types of repairs. I will definitely report back on my results though. Hopefully I can get it all done this weekend.

Does anyone else familiar with this issue have any suggestions?
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  #25  
Old 02-15-2012, 02:02 PM
rasbach rasbach is offline
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I just read somewhere else that someone had this same issue and resolved it by cleaning the MAF sensor after installing a newly cleaned/oiled K&N filter. I actually just cleaned and re-oiled my AFE filter a couple of weeks ago (although I thought I went easy on the oil). What do you guys think about that? Seems plausible to me if the MAF is dirty and adjusting the idle RPM's low because of it.

Last edited by rasbach; 02-15-2012 at 02:04 PM.
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