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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 05-04-2011, 01:39 PM
bobboo bobboo is offline
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Yellow oil light comes on then goes off

Hello,

My daughter is away at college and called me saying the yellow oil light keeps coming on and then going off. I've looked at some of the sites & some say that it could be the oil pressure sending unit & some say it's the oil sensor unit causing the problem, Any help would be great. It's a 2002 BMW 325I. the oil level is full

Thanks,
Bob
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2011, 01:53 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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yellow = oil level sensor, red = oil pressure sensor. If she sees a red oil light make sure she knows to shut the engine down ASAP.

"Full" on my car means at the top or slightly above the full mark. If I let it get to mid-way, I will get occasional yellow oil light.

Since it's a 328, it's 10+ years old, so it's very possible the oil level sensor is failing. It's an easy DIY, but requires draining of the oil pan to resolve it.
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2011, 02:21 PM
Spikes007 Spikes007 is offline
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It happens to me too on my 325xi 02. But only when I start the engine. It goes off after 30sec.
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  #4  
Old 05-04-2011, 02:52 PM
Kubs Kubs is offline
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I only see the yellow light if I am about 1 qt low. I had an oil leak and lost a qt every 1500 miles or so and the light would come on when I shut the car off, but then went away. Now that the leak is fixed I have not seen the yellow light at all.
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2011, 03:01 PM
shanneba shanneba is offline
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If it comes on yellow when the car is turned off - you are low on oil and should check the oil level and add oil if needed when you can, like at the next fuel up.
If it comes on yellow while driving- you are at the min oil level and need to check the oil level and add oil within 30 miles.

If it comes on yellow after the car is started and the oil level is correct - your sensor is out and needs to be replaced.

If it comes on red - stop now! your oil pressure is below minimum.
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Last edited by shanneba; 05-05-2011 at 04:47 AM.
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2011, 03:58 PM
alfabmw1 alfabmw1 is offline
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mines been doing that for a month or so, even after an oil change
I check my oil regularly, so for the time being, I am assuming it is a faulty sensor.
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  #7  
Old 05-04-2011, 06:54 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Check oil level first!
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  #8  
Old 05-05-2011, 05:48 PM
kgrosse kgrosse is offline
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yeah. mine (yellow) showed up shortly AFTER changing my oil. go figure...it didn't show up just BEFORE i was draining the oil for a change. no...that would have been far too convienent..lol. since I'm not inclined to waste $$ draining expensive synthetic oil that I just put in, i keep an eye on the dipstick a little closer than usual and will deal with the oil level sensor at the next oil change. btw..my levels have been fine.
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2011, 05:58 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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my yellow light is pretty accurate... if it comes on after shut off, its about 1/2 quart low... if it comes one while driving, i'm 1qt low.
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  #10  
Old 05-07-2011, 12:22 AM
EcoForce EcoForce is offline
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If mine's even 1/2 qt. too low it comes on too. Only happened once during the first oil change I did because I was trying to be precise with the fill. Just add some more oil, check the level and it should go away.
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2011, 12:01 PM
bobboo bobboo is offline
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Thumbs up Oil light

Thanks for all the input. First time using this site. It was great to see the fast response. I will let you know how I make out

Bob
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2011, 01:46 PM
btown_beamer btown_beamer is offline
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I think it means you're oil's not full
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2011, 04:36 PM
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momo_oo[][]oo momo_oo[][]oo is offline
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Faulty sensor. I've had that for a while. Will change in my next oil change


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  #14  
Old 11-10-2013, 03:27 AM
THE WIFE'S BMW THE WIFE'S BMW is offline
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Yellow oil light comes on

Just after we purchased our BMW 318 SEi the yellow oil light came on and stayed on. I checked the oil to find that the idiot who had done the service when we purchased the car had actually overfilled the car with oil (with the price of oil they obviously had money to waste!!). We had to take the car back for them to take some of the oil out which solved the yellow light problem.
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  #15  
Old 04-22-2015, 07:07 PM
Bret Skehan Bret Skehan is offline
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So if the yellow light goes on shortly after start up then off 20-30 seconds later does that mean that I am actually low on oil or the sensor in bad? The oil level seems to be fine by the dip stick.
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  #16  
Old 04-22-2015, 07:16 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bret Skehan View Post
So if the yellow light goes on shortly after start up then off 20-30 seconds later does that mean that I am actually low on oil or the sensor in bad? The oil level seems to be fine by the dip stick.
Level sensors are often fidgety....try adding about another cup of oil, see what happens.
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  #17  
Old 04-22-2015, 07:20 PM
Bret Skehan Bret Skehan is offline
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Thanks
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  #18  
Old 06-10-2015, 01:58 PM
mexamilian mexamilian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bret Skehan View Post
So if the yellow light goes on shortly after start up then off 20-30 seconds later does that mean that I am actually low on oil or the sensor in bad? The oil level seems to be fine by the dip stick.
I have 00 bmw 323i auto with 80k miles on it. light comes on like 10 seconds after car started then goes away after like 20-30 seconds. my oil lever is higher than max on the dip stick. gonna do an oil change and properly fill it up between marks and see if that fixes it
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  #19  
Old 06-10-2015, 02:10 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mexamilian View Post
I have 00 bmw 323i auto with 80k miles on it. light comes on like 10 seconds after car started then goes away after like 20-30 seconds. my oil lever is higher than max on the dip stick. gonna do an oil change and properly fill it up between marks and see if that fixes it
Next time you change the oil & filter, just add 7 quarts (which is the correct amount), and wherever that registers on the dipstick is the correct FULL mark.
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  #20  
Old 06-10-2015, 02:12 PM
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SilberVogel SilberVogel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mexamilian View Post
I have 00 bmw 323i auto with 80k miles on it. light comes on like 10 seconds after car started then goes away after like 20-30 seconds. my oil lever is higher than max on the dip stick. gonna do an oil change and properly fill it up between marks and see if that fixes it
Sounds like normal behavior for a bad oil level sensor. When you do that oil change, it would be the best time to replace it if you don't check manually. Here's some useful information re: oil light behavior/part numbers/DIY/etc.: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...7#post16363287.
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  #21  
Old 06-10-2015, 07:42 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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See also:
- What to do when you have low oil pressure (1) & the difference between a red oil light versus yellow oil light (1)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Yellow Light: Low Oil Level (sensor in sump)
Red light: Low Oil Pressure (sensor in the Oil Filter Housing)
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-10-2015 at 07:45 PM.
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  #22  
Old 06-11-2015, 12:27 PM
mexamilian mexamilian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilberVogel View Post
Sounds like normal behavior for a bad oil level sensor. When you do that oil change, it would be the best time to replace it if you don't check manually. Here's some useful information re: oil light behavior/part numbers/DIY/etc.: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...7#post16363287.

Thank you, will try.
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  #23  
Old 06-12-2015, 12:11 AM
e46_platform e46_platform is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Next time you change the oil & filter, just add 7 quarts (which is the correct amount), and wherever that registers on the dipstick is the correct FULL mark.
it's a good idea.
the only concern is that how do i know old oil was drained/extracted completely?
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