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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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Old 09-29-2014, 09:02 PM
RicePudding RicePudding is offline
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Location: canada
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Mein Auto: 02 525i
yellow oil can on dash

Last 2 weeks i have been noticing at random times, only when i shut engine off, yellow oil can fault comes on illuminated on the dash.. Not every time i turn engine off but at random times..
Oil N filter changed new like 2months ago.. Not sure why this is coming on, or what its trying to warn me of, dip stick shows where it should be also. Light goes off when car is started again, doesn't stay on while driving..

Any one have an idea here?

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Old 09-30-2014, 04:39 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Posts: 1,100
Mein Auto: 530i 2003
A yellow light indicates low oil level in the sump. (Red is low oil pressure)
If the dipstick shows oil level OK the oil level sensor becomes the prime suspect. Or just perhaps the sensor's plug/wiring damaged and intermittently shorting or going open circuit.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:50 AM
damisco damisco is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Mein Auto: 99 BMW 540i
U might have an oil leak probably valve cover gasket check underneath if u have oil on the lower engine compartment

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Old 10-01-2014, 11:09 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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This is covered in the Owner's Manual.

Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:49 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Location: Calgary
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Posts: 4,508
Mein Auto: 2003 530iA
If oil level is up to snuff, and you have the yellow oil warning turning on/off at start / stop, it could be the oil level sensor. Due to the fact that e46 outnumbered the e39, this is a documented issue over at the Fanatics. My e46 had that issue, and a new oil level sensor cured it. Both platforms share the same p/n.
Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
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Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:49 PM
damisco damisco is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Mein Auto: 99 BMW 540i
Yes I remember now I have the same with my previous bimmer e46 the yellow can would come on and go off after about 30 to 45 seconds on every start didn't know it was an issue till k took a bimmer to an German auto shop for tranny and differential fluids change they put on the courtesy check up list along with other stuffs and I waited till my next oil change to buy the oil level sensor and DIY the light was gone
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:52 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,552
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I typed /yellow f3 in the bestlinks, and this came up:
- 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)
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 10-02-2014 at 05:53 AM.
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