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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 09-20-2012, 09:39 AM
S_Curmudgeon S_Curmudgeon is offline
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BMW X5 2012 Oil Level Below minimum WRONG & Burn oil

I have to post high praise for the BMW dealer! Difficult problem to diagnose and bluntly caused by the engineering design of the BMW X5. Thankfully [dealer] stayed on the case until BMW Corp figured out the issue - or maybe they didn't - read on.

As for BMW Corp., apparently they have decided to further isolate their customers from the functionality of their owned vehicles! Who was so stupid at BMW Corp as to eliminate the oil level dipstick? So the engine oil low indicator comes on, for second time in 3 months in a new car with less than 8,500 miles, naturally on a holiday 3-day weekend - one where I had to drive twice to the airport to pick up contingents of family coming in for a family wedding!

The answer previously given by a different dealership was that of course high performance engines burn oil at the rate of a quart every 3,000 miles! What did I buy, I think, my grandfather's 1947 Plymouth? I can remember him having to lug cans of oil in his trunk as he traveled through northern New England. Has BMW fallen to such a level of engineering?

Found Advance Auto Parts store open on holiday - good selection of all-synthetic oil - bought oil and hoped that one quart would be sufficient but also not over-fill] You ask why? BMW Corp decided that the BMW-owner is either too stupid or too lazy to open the hood to examine the industry-standard oil level dipstick! There is no bloody way to determine if your oil level is really low or high! Read on about this because of course BMW Corp decision to rely on a computer instead of visual measurement tools just could never be a wrong decision, right? Think again!

So the holiday passes, [dealer] immediately scheduled appointment. Meanwhile, Iím worrying if all the driving back and forth on the weekend has either burned the valves or else sloshed unnecessary oil all over the place!

So here it is more than a week later, and a full week of having the BMW X5 at the dealership. The dealership quickly diagnosed that something was not right with the computer-managed oil level sensor. However, with the dealership following BMW Corp.'s directions things got scarier. A PUMA case escalated the problem. So after a week, the oil sensors are replaced; the water pump replaced, and BMW Corp. reprogrammed the computer. Yet, BMW Corp is still unsure that they found the problem. Instructions to owner: Next time the oil indicator warning arises, immediately bring the vehicle in to determine if the warning is real or phantom!

Meanwhile, I am instructed to indeed follow my grandfather's example. My $70,000 BMW X5 is so well engineered that I must follow my grandfather's example of his use of his $600 Plymouth, namely always remember to lug cans of oil around with you because the wonderful engineering of this engine, in contrast to all previously owned BMW X5 that I had, does a magic act of making oil disappear.
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2012, 10:02 AM
smyles smyles is online now
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Actually it's not uncommon for modern engines to burn oil at what may seem like an unusually high rate. But I don't think objectivity and information were the purpose of you registering and ranting here...
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2012, 10:57 AM
S_Curmudgeon S_Curmudgeon is offline
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BMW X5 2012 Oil Level Below minimum WRONG & Burn oil

As for objectivity, dear smyles, I must tell you that after having been deprived of the use of my vehicle for almost 2 weeks, between the time I could only use it in restricted mode and the more than one week it was in the hands of BMW, I am not smiling!

As for information, I would think that any prospective BMW X5 purchaser would want to know that there is no reliable way to determine the oil level and that there is documented fact that the computer-determined and displayed level may well be totally erroneous.

I would note that I have previously owned many earlier X5's and also own concurrently an X3, and in none of those vehicles, nor in the MB equivalents that I owned or the BMW sedan that I owned have I ever had to add oil between scheduled maintenance periods.

So while you say "it is not uncommon" - for my more than 20 years of ownership of said vehicles, it is most uncommon!

Last edited by S_Curmudgeon; 09-20-2012 at 11:00 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-20-2012, 10:59 AM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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Smy. Makes a valid argument, new BMW engines tend to burn oil, espically since these motors are moving to focus on efficiency (turbos etc). Problem is most people arent use to this convention, yet, and as the op the stated it's kind of disappointing and inconvenient. If the engines should burn oil, then either design them better to

A) burn less oil
B) bring the dipstick back
C) make sure the sensors are engineered and manufactured to a new level of quality (caz they pretty much are e crap)
D) make sure your warranty and diagnostics network takes this in to account when someone destroys their engine, caz the sensor was off
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2012, 11:22 AM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is offline
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OP's post was trying to be way too dramatic. **** happens. Let's move on. I got the oil sensor on my X5 replaced. Didn't make a huge deal out of it. BMW should leave the dipstick as a backup to the sensor (like in my diesel), but their are plenty of idiots out there buying these cars, so it really doesn't matter. BMW is trying to please the masses. Not the "enthusiasts"

The oil level sensor literally can be replaced in like 1-2 hours at the dealer. My SA told me they've done hundreds of them over the years. They keep them in stock in the parts department.
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2012, 11:33 AM
S_Curmudgeon S_Curmudgeon is offline
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BMW X5 2012 Oil Level Below minimum WRONG & Burn oil

I guess AutoUnion did not actually read what I wrote.
The oil sensor was immediately replaced but then followed a week of more diagnostics since it turned out that even the replacement sensor and its replacement could not tell the difference between 5.5 qts and 7 qts. Ultimately they replaced the water pump too as well as the computer programming [remote from BMW].


Dramatic? Dang straight. You buy a $70K car and then find that you have to use a small replacement sedan to make multiple shuttle runs to and from airport bringing in many family members for family event.

The point is that BMW removed a reliable measuring device, the dipstick, and replaced it with a computer display that is unreliable. As NoI4plz said, when the engine locks up for lack of oil because the sensors cannot get it right, at least BMW is stuck on the hook to replace the engine!
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  #7  
Old 09-20-2012, 11:34 AM
smyles smyles is online now
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Can't wait for OP to write about a flat tire or running out of windshield fluid...
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  #8  
Old 09-20-2012, 11:39 AM
S_Curmudgeon S_Curmudgeon is offline
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BMW X5 2012 Oil Level Below minimum WRONG & Burn oil

smyles,

It's pretty obvious that you are incapable of determining the difference between a road-caused and reasonably expected incident of a flat tire as opposed to a totally vehicle-disabling event that causes the loss of the vehicle for two weeks.

You seem to have a problem in basic understanding but thanks for your useless and uninformative snide remarks.

As for the windshield fluid, if you are truly a BMW owner, you would know that since I keep pointing out that this is a brand new vehicle, I let the dealer worry about that topic!
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  #9  
Old 09-20-2012, 12:04 PM
smyles smyles is online now
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Low oil level (real or false) isn't rendering your vehicle inoperable. But again, it doesn't really matter, does it?
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2012, 12:37 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The diesels of course still have a dipstick!
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  #11  
Old 09-20-2012, 01:23 PM
S_Curmudgeon S_Curmudgeon is offline
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When the vehicle display suddenly pops up with the demand that you reduce speed and that you provide a topping off of oil, after you already have, and the manual clearly states that failure to do so will result in engine damage, I would expect any non-snide reasonable person would consider that a restriction on one's use of the vehicle. That was the 3-day weekend. As for the days, indeed week plus, when the vehicle was in the dealership, I wonder how your snideship considers that the owner has use.

Smyles, I find your attitude most strange as if you feel that a BMW owner should "suck it up" and tolerate the fact that a brand new vehicle is removed from service for an extended length of time, while BMW Corp does their PUMA exercise to discover the many parts that turn out to be needed for replacement.

Maybe you would just allow a vehicle to have a faulty waterpump and you would, in the middle of the highway, provide the necessary addition of fluids?
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2012, 01:34 PM
BMWinSC BMWinSC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S_Curmudgeon View Post
When the vehicle display suddenly pops up with the demand that you reduce speed and that you provide a topping off of oil, after you already have, and the manual clearly states that failure to do so will result in engine damage, I would expect any non-snide reasonable person would consider that a restriction on one's use of the vehicle. That was the 3-day weekend. As for the days, indeed week plus, when the vehicle was in the dealership, I wonder how your snideship considers that the owner has use.

Smyles, I find your attitude most strange as if you feel that a BMW owner should "suck it up" and tolerate the fact that a brand new vehicle is removed from service for an extended length of time, while BMW Corp does their PUMA exercise to discover the many parts that turn out to be needed for replacement.

Maybe you would just allow a vehicle to have a faulty waterpump and you would, in the middle of the highway, provide the necessary addition of fluids?
Have to agree with curmudgeon on this one. If it was you, you would be posting the same tirade - possibly worded differently but still upset.
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2012, 01:57 PM
smyles smyles is online now
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Actually I had 'low oil level' message on my X5 once. Your point?
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2012, 02:10 PM
S_Curmudgeon S_Curmudgeon is offline
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Once - and you refilled and apparently that was it.

In this case it happens repeatedly and in fact it may now appears to have been a totally misleading indicator and in the meantime it hid the electrical overdraw of the water pump.

The point, again, is that a new vehicle was made unavailable and the diagnostics were apparently misleading if not totally wrong. It took more than a week for BMW Corp to figure it out, and even then they admit in the repair report they still are unsure.

All because they removed a simple reliable measure of determining the oil level. Instead they relied totally on computer programming.

So did Knight Capital Corp!! Read up on the value of totally relying on computer programmed diagnostics.
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2012, 02:49 PM
NoI4plz NoI4plz is offline
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I wonder were this thread will go from here lol!

Btw op, One tad bit of info that may help in the future, is that the sensor is designed a bit ingeniously I might say, see from what I gather is that, the sensor's reading is based on the top 2% (not actual number but somewhere in the range) of the total volume of oil present in the vehicle at operating temp. So If the oil warning comes up, I would believe that you would be able to drive around without danger. However if they recommended you come in immediately, I would like to know what the sensor actually is designed to measure.

In addition, I would add that, this is unacceptable for such a expensive car, I think you can find similar situations with other manufacturers as well. Unfortunately these things happen to almost all new vehicles and electronics with bleeding edge tech. it's the price you have to pay to get a feature set that no one else has. I think as long as the manufacturer acknowledges their the issues, and is working with you to rectify the situation accordingly, you should be golden. Not saying its gonna make up for your troubles for being without your 70k car for two weeks, but at least you have it back in proper operating condition.

Enjoy the BMW!
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  #16  
Old 09-20-2012, 06:29 PM
S_Curmudgeon S_Curmudgeon is offline
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NoI4plz,

The BMW Corp response on finding that they could not initially solve the problem by a series of sensor replacements was that the car could not tell the difference between having under 5.5 qts vs. having 7 qts, where one was under the minimum and the other was at the maximum. They did this through actually emptying and refilling the crankcase. That of course, leaves open the question of whether or not the car actually have ever needed to be topped off with oil - since now no one knows.

Given that they are unsure that they have really resolved the matter, they turned back the vehicle today with the following instruction:
"Vehicle needs to be driven until (if it does) call for oil so that further diagnostics can be performed."

The concern I had that holiday weekend was that I had no choice other than hiring a limo but to use the vehicle to transport a number of family members on multiple trips to the airport. The secondary concern is that within 3 weeks I will be taking the vehicle out for some total 3,500 miles in RT travel, much of it at night on highways, and obviously do not want to find myself in the middle of North Carolina on I-95 at 11 p.m with an engine demanding immediate attention.

That is not what I paid this money to get. Nor is it reflective of my experience from 3 previous BMX X5s and two previous MB ML 350s.

Last edited by S_Curmudgeon; 09-20-2012 at 06:30 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-20-2012, 06:36 PM
ard ard is offline
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yawn.
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  #18  
Old 09-21-2012, 02:05 AM
zero4588 zero4588 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S_Curmudgeon View Post
Next time the oil indicator warning arises, immediately bring the vehicle in to determine if the warning is real or phantom!
Curmudgeon, I had a similar issue to yours - but of course to a lesser degree. I noticed my 50i used to burn oil at unusual high rate for the first 2500+ miles. When the oil level almost touched the min. mark, I brought it to a dealership and got a complementary oil service as well as inspection for oil leak. Not a single drop afterward for the duration of my ownership.
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  #19  
Old 09-21-2012, 07:57 AM
ard ard is offline
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Oh, and just FYI:

Any expert in automotive oils will tell you NEVER to mix oils, neither brands nor within brands types.... motor oil in a can is not jsut a mix of long chain hydrocarbonbs that will intermix to form a new composit- there are different stabilizer chemistries in oils, and mixing one with anither is not recommended.

Unless you are BMW Corp, then they say "OK to top off".

And does anyone know WHY?

Moss Magnussen requires any seller, who demands only their 'branded accessory' be used in their product, to eitehr (a) establish a rationale for using this, or (b) provide it free of charge. BMW does provide oil changes free of charge, (and of course cannot provide a rationale why only their oil is needed) but did not want to have to provide top off oil for owners to carry around- (some do, but as a policy BMW doesnt). Instead they let you mix oils- figuring that after 100k miles these motors are getting tossed anyway.

Morning diatribe over.

Say, my '10 diesel had a bad sensor- read too high, but level on the dipstick was OK. New sensor fixed it
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  #20  
Old 09-21-2012, 01:28 PM
BenF12400 BenF12400 is offline
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So, can someone verify if it's normal and/or expected for an X5 3.5 to "burn oil"? At 9600 miles my 2013 flashed a warning to add oil and the vehicle status window showed oil was at minimum, so I drove to the dealer and the SA came out, said "it's normal - we'll top it off" and within 5 minutes I was on my way.......BUT he never filled out a service record. I did make a note of the date and mileage but I doubt that's worth much. This is my first new BMW - my son has an 06 X3, wife has 2010 528 neither of which has ever required oil - nor has any car I have owned since the 60's. Is this to be expected? I will be certain to get a service record next time. 90% of my driving is highway. Oddly enough, the SA was the same guy I used at a Lexus dealership before I got the X5 - guess he took a crash course in BMW service.
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  #21  
Old 09-21-2012, 05:43 PM
davidc1 davidc1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenF12400 View Post
So, can someone verify if it's normal and/or expected for an X5 3.5 to "burn oil"? At 9600 miles my 2013 flashed a warning to add oil and the vehicle status window showed oil was at minimum, so I drove to the dealer and the SA came out, said "it's normal - we'll top it off" and within 5 minutes I was on my way.......BUT he never filled out a service record. I did make a note of the date and mileage but I doubt that's worth much. This is my first new BMW - my son has an 06 X3, wife has 2010 528 neither of which has ever required oil - nor has any car I have owned since the 60's. Is this to be expected? I will be certain to get a service record next time. 90% of my driving is highway. Oddly enough, the SA was the same guy I used at a Lexus dealership before I got the X5 - guess he took a crash course in BMW service.
It's normal. I recently added a quart, @ around 8000 miles on the odometer. I believe most of my previous BMWs needed a quart within a year. Not much afterwards though.
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  #22  
Old 09-21-2012, 08:18 PM
ard ard is offline
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Well, it is within the NORMAL RANGE.

Hiow MANY quarts did they add? One is no big deal. TWO is a bigger deal.

Most non-M cars dont burn a lot of oil. But they do vary. BMW doesnt take action until it reaches crazy levels (1 liter per 1000km or about one quart every 600 miles.)

Keep track, but 1 or 2 every 8,9k would not concern me in the least
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  #23  
Old 09-21-2012, 11:01 PM
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I totally agree with S_Curmudgeon! The main reason to make very simple checking most important part of your car -the engine's blood -oil! The company's reputation is what your customers have dealing with, like it, enjoy it vs. have troubles with no matter what! I do not want to be in situation middle on the way where no service around or have been interupted my trip with my family on board!
BMW must change it and add the stick on each engine, period!
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  #24  
Old 09-23-2012, 01:39 PM
jasnb jasnb is offline
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Haha - now I'm confused. I just took a quick 4 hr trip in my X5 and as soon as I got into my garage the 'low oil' warning came on. I'm literally 2k away from my first Oil change and was a bit worried that the engine burned off 8L of oil over 22k. I've bought the oil but unsure if I should just top up or take it in early for that Oil Change??
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  #25  
Old 09-23-2012, 01:54 PM
ChuckGr ChuckGr is offline
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Just top it off like you would for any other car.

Chuck
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