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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 08-18-2013, 09:25 PM
bumblebee77 bumblebee77 is offline
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red oil light after 10 minutes

Hi,
I have a problem with my 97 528i with 176k miles on it, I bought it couple days ago and this is my first bmw , I changed the oil and used 7 qtrs of (super tech 10w40) from walmart and the original filter from dealer, now I have a problem , when I start the car everything is good for the first 10 minutes while the engine is cold (in idling and driving even in high rpm everything is good) but after about 9-10 minutes the red oil light comes on and stays on , sometimes goes off while idling but when I put my foot on the accelerator to high rpm (2-3) it comes on and stays on
I checked the oil level and its good , I replaced the oil pressure switch twice one used from a junkyard and one new from autozone but no change and have the exact problem
can anybody please tell me is the kind of oil caused this ? should I use a thicker oil like 20w50 before thinking about the oil pump itself ?
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2013, 10:40 PM
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eparayno eparayno is offline
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Check/replace oil pressure unit in the bottom of the oil pan
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2013, 10:54 PM
AV8R4AA AV8R4AA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eparayno View Post
Check/replace oil pressure unit in the bottom of the oil pan

Hmmm, didnt know there was a pressure switch in the pan.
Are you referencing the oil quantity sender?
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  #4  
Old 08-18-2013, 10:58 PM
bumblebee77 bumblebee77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eparayno View Post
Check/replace oil pressure unit in the bottom of the oil pan
thank you Eparayno but that is for the oil level and cause yellow oil light not the red one
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2013, 11:53 PM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is online now
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You have to check the pressure with a gauge before you tear the oil sump to get to the oil pump, and that is very hard with the L6 engine. You need 45+ psi on idle . Also when you replaced the filter, did you check the filter is seated OK ?
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2013, 01:38 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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- What to do when you have low oil pressure (1) & the difference between a red oil light versus yellow oil light (1) & how to diagnose oil consumption & oil pressure problems (1)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2013, 04:34 AM
AH673000 AH673000 is offline
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red oil light after 10 minutes

Type of oil ..... Low probability
Filter ..... High probability
Filter installation ..... Highest probability




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  #8  
Old 08-19-2013, 06:21 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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There is a difference between:
- Oil Level sensor
- Oil Pressure sensor

You need to clarify this with a photo of the dash light.
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:05 AM
bumblebee77 bumblebee77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjalloul11 View Post
You have to check the pressure with a gauge before you tear the oil sump to get to the oil pump, and that is very hard with the L6 engine. You need 45+ psi on idle . Also when you replaced the filter, did you check the filter is seated OK ?
thank you , I will check the pressure , and yes the filter is seated ok
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:08 AM
bumblebee77 bumblebee77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
There is a difference between:
- Oil Level sensor
- Oil Pressure sensor

You need to clarify this with a photo of the dash light.
it is the red oil light for oil pressure, I mentioned that
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:09 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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That is wrong info.

At idle, the oil pressure is about 10 psi or so.
At higher rpm, it is about 40-60 psi.

Do a search...
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  #12  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:11 AM
bumblebee77 bumblebee77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH673000 View Post
Type of oil ..... Low probability
Filter ..... High probability
Filter installation ..... Highest probability




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thank you , but I am surprised about one thing , why everything is ok for the first 10 minutes?
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  #13  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:11 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee77 View Post
it is the red oil light for oil pressure, I mentioned that
Potential causes:

1. Clogged oil pickup screen in the sump. Any sludge in the engine?

2. Oil Filter Cap missing the very tip with the 2 small O-rings.

3. Bad Vanos seals.

4. Something wrong with the oil pressure switch (cheap at dealer about $10) or the wiring itself. Search forum for wiring diagram.
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  #14  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:18 AM
bumblebee77 bumblebee77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
That is wrong info.

At idle, the oil pressure is about 10 psi or so.
At higher rpm, it is about 40-60 psi.

Do a search...
that is what made me post my problem, most of the people have low oil pressure problem at idling and when they start moving the light goes off , but mine is not like that , I have the red oil light at high rpm (after the engine got hot) , I think it is strange but unfortunately this is my situation
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  #15  
Old 08-19-2013, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee77 View Post
thank you , but I am surprised about one thing , why everything is ok for the first 10 minutes?
Because at cold start, oil is very thick, and oil pressure is consequently much, much higher, probably around 50 to 60psi or higher. Once it warms, it thins, and settles at around 15 to 20psi at idle. I would suspect either a problem with the oil pressure sensor, or the oil pump. A mechanical gauge, attached to your car, will quickly determine which is the problem.
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  #16  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:06 PM
bumblebee77 bumblebee77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Because at cold start, oil is very thick, and oil pressure is consequently much, much higher, probably around 50 to 60psi or higher. Once it warms, it thins, and settles at around 15 to 20psi at idle. I would suspect either a problem with the oil pressure sensor, or the oil pump. A mechanical gauge, attached to your car, will quickly determine which is the problem.
thank you for your reply , should I use the gauge while the engine is cold or let it to get hot after 10 minutes then use the gauge ? and do you think heavier oil help even temporary ?
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  #17  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:15 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee77 View Post
...I bought it couple days ago and this is my first bmw...
Did the red oil light come on after you bought the car (but before you did the oil change yourself)?
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  #18  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:25 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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The light was not on before the oil change and came on AFTER the oil change. This strongly suggest that you did something incorrectly during the oil change process. Given the limited number of actions that are performed during an oil change and that the level is correct, I would recheck the oil filter installation first before randomly replacing parts.
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  #19  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:28 PM
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dtadrian dtadrian is offline
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red oil light after 10 minutes

Take a picture of your oil filter cap. So we can see if tip or o-rings are missing like cn90 mentioned


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  #20  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
The light was not on before the oil change and came on AFTER the oil change. This strongly suggest that you did something incorrectly during the oil change process. Given the limited number of actions that are performed during an oil change and that the level is correct, I would recheck the oil filter installation first before randomly replacing parts.
+1, I would agree with that first.

After you confirm the proper oil filter, and it was installed correctly, then on to the mechanical gauge. I would leave it on the car, and record pressures at cold idle, warm idle and at higher rpms, when warm.
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  #21  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:43 PM
bumblebee77 bumblebee77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtadrian View Post
Take a picture of your oil filter cap. So we can see if tip or o-rings are missing like cn90 mentioned


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I replaced the oil filter cap with a new one and the o rings were ok , still no luck
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  #22  
Old 08-19-2013, 02:54 PM
dvdlkd dvdlkd is offline
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Has anyone ever removed the "low oil level" sender on the bottom of the oil pan. Can this be done such that bumblebee77 could get a look at his oil pump pickup for sludge/clogging? I know that dropping the oil pan to look is a PIA. I have never been into the oil pan and don't know how the oil galleys are plumbed in the I6. Is there a way to flush back from the oil filter housing with Marvel mystery oil or some other solvent to remove a sludge clog. I have not heard of Oil pumps failing on the I6 in this forum or others for BMW I6. But it can't be ruled out.
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  #23  
Old 08-19-2013, 05:53 PM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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1+,

Oil Pump lasts the life of the car.
However, there is a risk that the P.O. changed the oil every 10K-15K, causing sludge.

Below link shows the effect of sludge on the oil pick-up screen. The website did not mention the car brand, but it looks like a BMW engine (I can see the Vanos in that engine!).

http://www.bellperformance.com/blog/...ine-Oil-Sludge



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  #24  
Old 08-19-2013, 06:33 PM
bumblebee77 bumblebee77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
1+,

Oil Pump lasts the life of the car.
However, there is a risk that the P.O. changed the oil every 10K-15K, causing sludge.

Below link shows the effect of sludge on the oil pick-up screen. The website did not mention the car brand, but it looks like a BMW engine (I can see the Vanos in that engine!).

http://www.bellperformance.com/blog/...ine-Oil-Sludge



thank you cn90 , today I opened the valve cover of the engine to look for sludge and it was very clean and I didn't see even a drop of sludge anywhere ,but I don't know for the pick-up screen (you know I cant do that) BTW don't you think that if the pick-up screen has sludge problem the red light would comes on right away on start up and doesnt wait 10 minutes?
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  #25  
Old 08-23-2013, 12:36 PM
bumblebee77 bumblebee77 is offline
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hi everybody ,
I fixed my problem and I like to share my experience with you , it may help
the last thing I did was to set an appointment with a mechanic to remove the oil pan to check the pick up screen and the oil pump , before that as the final step I removed the oil pressure switch and started the car for 5 - 10 seconds until the oil comes out and cleaned that path , I think there was something there ( a little piece from the bad oil filter for example ) that prevent enough pressure to reach the sensor, after that I started the car and the red oil light went off in 2 seconds after start up and has not come back nor in idling nor in driving nor in high and low rpm , before I did this I tried everything ( I replaced the oil pressure switch twice ) but still I had the red oil light sometimes in idling sometimes at high rpm ,
that little trick saved me 500$ , everybody can try this and it cost you nothing , try it may be it help bay be not , you loose nothing lol
thank you
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