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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 05-06-2012, 10:15 PM
silentbob silentbob is offline
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8 quarts of oil?

Ahem. So I changed the oil this weekend on my 04 X3 3.0i and all was going well until I dumped the 7th quart of oil in and checked the level. It was barely at min.

Soooo, despite everything I've read and know about the M54, I poured the 8th quart in and was prepared to have to drain a some out from overfilling. Surprise, surprise, after 30 miles of driving, the dipstick indicates just below MAX. I've been PARANOID about checking the level, and it has been the same since the oil change - just below max.

I even recounted the empty oil containers, some of which now contain used oil, sure enough, there are 8.

Has this happened to anyone before? I cant for the life of me, explain it.
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2012, 05:11 AM
shendrick shendrick is offline
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I'm think you have a bad sensor. At oil change I would not put any more in than the manual calls for. Otherwise you may kill your engine.

Last edited by shendrick; 05-07-2012 at 05:13 AM.
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2012, 07:46 AM
silentbob silentbob is offline
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I have a 2004, so there is no sensor. This is a manual oil dipstick.
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  #4  
Old 05-07-2012, 12:59 PM
shendrick shendrick is offline
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Dip sticks don't lie, so that's good. But adding an extra quart over spec at oil change just doesn't add up. I would defintely investigate fast if you are going to run with the "extra" oil in the crank case. If it was me I would run with the the amount of oil the book says simply to avoid killing the engine due to possible overfill - until you get someone to tell you what the deal is. Have you been underneath to verify that this oil isn't recently improving your rust protection?
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2012, 02:20 PM
silentbob silentbob is offline
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heh, I like that, rust protection. I do have slow weeps, probably from either oil filter housing or VCG, but it's a slow drip. I have a towel under the car in teh garage, so I can check for leaks, but everything looks good. I guess I'll just go with this until the next oil change, or until the engine grenades
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  #6  
Old 05-07-2012, 03:19 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is online now
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Personally, I would have stopped at after the 7th bottle, as the capacity is 6,5 litres. If it was still low, the warning light would illuminate eventually. Excess oil means insufficient oil pressure which is usualy a more serious condition than being half or one litre low.
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2012, 06:13 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Can't explain how it took all 8 qts., but these published oil capacities have to be an approximation.

Testament to this is the fact that in 2006 BMW revised the fill from 6.2L to 6.5L (6.6 to 6.9 qts.) for the M54 engine.

Engineers just have to take an educated guess on the recommended oil capacity, which is part of the reason why the spread between Min. and Max. is fairly generous.

For those with a dipstick, filling to the Max. line might give a comfortable feeling, but nothing wrong with keeping it at the mid-point. Might even be preferable.
I can't see how a dipstick can be a precise measuring device - even allowing for engine temperature differences.

As for the 8 qts., one explanation could be that it received the wrong dipstick on the assembly line, or subsequently.
Or, that there is something wrong with the dipstick tube that is preventing the stick from seating properly.

I'd start by taking some oil out via the filter housing and monitoring things.
Or sucking some out through the dipstick tube using a turkey baster and some narrow tubing.

Last edited by Supercourse; 05-07-2012 at 08:40 PM. Reason: Afterthought
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  #8  
Old 05-31-2012, 09:43 PM
silentbob silentbob is offline
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Well, figured this would be an interesting followup. So last week, I checked the dipstick and NOW it shows overfill. I have no idea why it suddenly decided to change the level, given this is a manual dipstick, but i drained a bit of oil and now the level is right in the middle.

I guess I will stick to 7 quarts from now on.
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2012, 06:17 AM
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Dominic49 Dominic49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
Personally, I would have stopped at after the 7th bottle, as the capacity is 6,5 litres. If it was still low, the warning light would illuminate eventually. Excess oil means insufficient oil pressure which is usualy a more serious condition than being half or one litre low.
how does having excess oil in the pan decrease oil pressure?

With the engine running and up to temperature, anywhere from 3-4 quarts are being pumped throughout the motor having 1-2 extra quarts in the pan would raise the level minimally. I would concerned about the front chain drive being more submerged in oil causing a drag on the engine or creating cavitation in the oil bath causing foaming, but this is highly unlikely unless you spend most of your days above 4k rpm.
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2012, 09:13 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominic49 View Post
how does having excess oil in the pan decrease oil pressure?
Isn't the general thinking that too much oil in the crankcase can cause the crankshaft to splash through it, resulting in frothing, and the oil pump doesn't work so well with air in it?

Might be more applicable to engines that have a smaller oil capacity to start with, compared to BMW engines.

With too low an oil level, you at least get some clues, such as the oil light taking a little longer to go off on startup, or slightly hotter running, before the oil warning light comes on.

With too much oil, is the absence of any obvious tip offs good enough to say there are no undesirable things going on?
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