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Old 09-07-2019, 03:01 PM
jyeh74 jyeh74 is offline
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At what point do you have to start monitoring your oil to top off?

I change my oil every 7500 miles. I never had a problem between oil change cycles. I just changed my oil a couple months ago and I have about 90,000 miles on my car now. I probably only driven 1000 to 2000 miles at most when the light came on and told me to add 1 quart of oil.

At first I thought the shop that I go to didn't top it off. But I was having a conversation at the Pep Boys when I was buying the one quart of Castrol 5w-40 oil and he said typically that's normal. As your car approaches 100,000 miles it burns oil faster and you have to monitor it and manually add 1 quart between cycles. I've never typically had cars approach the 90-100k mile mark. Is true that I'm going to have to have a quart of oil laying around between oil changes now?

Last edited by jyeh74; 09-07-2019 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:09 PM
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I have taken a number of cars past 100K miles, and my SAAB 99 to 240K miles. Of course I have had only about a dozen cars in 55 years, including my fun cars. I do not recall any car regularly requiring intermediate oil additions. I ran both my VW TDI diesels at the minimum oil level mark to avoid collecting oil vapor in the IC.

I look at oil level frequently and regularly. With the X5 AGM battery, I charge weekly, check oil level, coolant level, inspect belt and vibration reducer elastomer element, wipe here and there, top up WW reservoir, occasionally look at the brake master cyclinder.
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:26 PM
jyeh74 jyeh74 is offline
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I'll have to get a checked out. At first glance I don't see any oil leaks. It's very peculiar.

Attached is the picture of the warning.
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyeh74 View Post
I change my oil every 7500 miles. ... At first I thought the shop that I go to didn't top it off. [ ... ]
Ahh, I did not read closely enough. YOU do not change your oil at all, PEP BOYS changes your oil - or says so.

Trust and verify.
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:36 PM
jyeh74 jyeh74 is offline
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I do not change my oil. I get my oil changed at a local Indy shop. I do NOT get my oil changed at Pep Boys. I went to Pep Boys to buy the 1qt of 5w-40 Castrol oil so I could top it off. The Pep Boys associate was just telling me that old cars have the tendency to need intermediate filling of oil in between normal oil changes. I'm just trying to validate what he said. Or maybe the Indy shop just didn't tip it off?

My car takes 6.9 qts. Maybe they only filled 6 qts. Who knows. Never happened before. This is the first time the light has come on since I've had the car.

Last edited by jyeh74; 09-07-2019 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:24 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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The sensors degrade over time. My two older BMW's both started giving false low warnings. The only way to really know how much oil you have (or had) is a dipstick or to catch the old oil during an oil change and measure it. The system also only has a resolution of 1/4 between MIN and MAX. So, 1/4 above MIN could mean anything from 3/8's to 1/8 above MIN.

At my last oil change, 5.5 years and 55k miles, the system said it was at MIN, but it really only lost about 850cc. I'm not going to add oil until I see the level on screen below MIN. Then, I'm only going to add a half-liter.

Turbochargers, especially old ones, can cause some oil loss.

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Old 09-07-2019, 04:30 PM
jyeh74 jyeh74 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
The sensors degrade over time. My two older BMW's both started giving false low warnings. The only way to really know how much oil you have (or had) is a dipstick or to catch the old oil during an oil change and measure it. The system also only has a resolution of 1/4 between MIN and MAX. So, 1/4 above MIN could mean anything from 3/8's to 1/8 above MIN.

At my last oil change, 5.5 years and 55k miles, the system said it was at MIN, but it really only lost about 850cc. I'm not going to add oil until I see the level on screen below MIN. Then, I'm only going to add a half-liter.

Turbochargers, especially old ones, can cause some oil loss.
I guess there's really no way to tell for sure unless I use a dipstick. Could be the sensor or could just be an old car. Define old though. My car took the 1 quart without overfilling. And the warning light went away after I added the 1 qt of Castrol.

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Old 09-07-2019, 04:34 PM
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LOL. My old 2012 oil level condition sensor fails HIGH within two weeks of an oil change verified at maximum level by dipstick.
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Old 09-07-2019, 04:36 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyeh74 View Post
I guess there's really no way to tell for sure unless I use a dipstick. Could be the sensor or could just be an old car. Define old though.It took the 1 quart without overfilling.And the warning light went away.
My E46 M3 had a dipstick, and a warning light (no iDrive). I kept the car twelve years and 115k miles. Somewhere around 80k miles (maybe), it'd start giving me a low-oil light when the actual level was just a half liter below full.

Also, at $10/liter there's an incentive for a line mechanic to pay for his lunch that day by shorting a couple of customers a half-liter each on oil changes.
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:39 PM
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I had a 2006 325xi 6 speed with 205k on it (all highway miles with original clutch but hit a deer and totaled it) that didn't use a drop of oil...Best car I ever owned. My 2002 325xi used about a quart every 3-5k miles but it was also more prone to valve cover leaks. Honestly, 1/2 quart every 5-7k miles isn't that concerning.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:01 PM
jyeh74 jyeh74 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paramedic1079 View Post
I had a 2006 325xi 6 speed with 205k on it (all highway miles with original clutch but hit a deer and totaled it) that didn't use a drop of oil...Best car I ever owned. My 2002 325xi used about a quart every 3-5k miles but it was also more prone to valve cover leaks. Honestly, 1/2 quart every 5-7k miles isn't that concerning.
I checked my logs. Oil change was done in July 2 about two months ago, and since then, I have driven 3k miles. It asked for 1 quart of additional oil. First time this warning light turned on. I changed the valve cover gasket because it was leaking, on July 24. But there is a no chance that could have cause a full quart of leakage.

I have a 2013 E70 xdrive35i. Now it has 90,000 miles. Even if the tech was shady, it's not like he will admit that he put in 6 quarts instead of 6.9 quarts. He did scan the system and said that the sensors are fine. But I asked him what type of oil he put in. He said he thinks it was 5w-30. I believe it's supposed to be 5w-40. I brought this up with the shop owner and owner said they get the oil directly from BMW so there shouldn't be any confusion about the type of oil. The advice was to monitor the car. When I start the car in the morning, check the tail pipes for any blue smoke which would indicate burning oil.

How many miles would you have to drive before the light came on? I imagine the computer would tell you right away if there wasn't enough oil. Would it really take 3000 miles, 2 months later, for the computer to sense that there was 1 qt short of oil?

Last edited by jyeh74; 09-09-2019 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:14 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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This is not a one size fits all answer. Some motors burn oil and require topping off between oil changes, some don't, and some are in transition from not burning oil to requiring a top off. Which of the three does yours fall into? That will give you the answer.

As to the iDrive oil level tool, I trust it and use it. Over the past 13 years I have had four cars with it, three of which are still in the fleet, two of which have a dip stick for physical check. I use the iDrive method periodically if I happen to be BS'ing through the menus, other than that all my cars make it through a full oil cycle without a top off so not something I obsess about.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:15 PM
jyeh74 jyeh74 is offline
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Originally Posted by FredoinSF View Post
This is not a one size fits all answer. Some motors burn oil and require topping off between oil changes, some don't, and some are in transition from not burning oil to requiring a top off. Which of the three does yours fall into? That will give you the answer.

As to the iDrive oil level tool, I trust it and use it. Over the past 13 years I have had four cars with it, three of which are still in the fleet, two of which have a dip stick for physical check. I use the iDrive method periodically if I happen to be BS'ing through the menus, other than that all my cars make it through a full oil cycle without a top off so not something I obsess about.
Ok, does anyone have a E70 xdrive 35i which is the inline turbo 6 cyclinder gas car? Close to 100k miles. Did you guys ever experience top offs between oil changes (I'm doing every 7500 miles)? I want to say it was just the tech not ordering the right amount of oil from BMW directly. Or maybe getting a wrong shipment of oil that is thinner. Seems like Doug says topping of in between oil changes even with high mileage cars is not common but everyone else saying it does happen. All I know is, according to the tech, the sensor isn't showing it is faulty with the computer scan today. The warning light came on asking for one qt. showing a yellow bar near minimum. I put in one qt and the fill level to maximum level and turned green and warning light went away. The oil didn't overflow when I poured in the entire one qt. This has only happened once, in the entire time I've owned this car. Warning light came on after 3000 miles since the last oil change at 88k miles. I now have 91k miles. It has NEVER happened before. I don't notice any blue gas emitting from the tailpipes when I start the car. Nothing smells funny. This is the first oil change I've done at this Indy shop. Hard to pinpoint.

Last edited by jyeh74; 09-09-2019 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:09 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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You said it, hard to pinpoint. Maybe the previous shop overfilled the oil a bit so the warning never came on. Maybe the new shop went a little or a lot shy of full and that's why it happened. Maybe you have an oil leak. Typical for this engine to have valve cover gasket and oil filter housing gasket at some point. It is more than likely nothing to be overly concerned about because one quart at 3k miles is not the end of the world. No one here is going to be able to answer, just guess like I am doing right now. We're reading tea leaves.

Next oil change ask the shop for the exact oil they used, exact amount they put in, and if they see any obvious oil leaks in the common areas for these cars.

Also, motor oil is not like a gas tank or windshield washer fluid. At full capacity there is only a portion of the entire engine block that is filled. Adding a quart is not going to make it overflow.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:15 AM
Danno123 Danno123 is offline
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My 2011 E70 N55 has 146,000 miles on it. As I posted in the other oil thread, over the course of 13,000 miles, it burned down from the idrive maximum level to the minimum level.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:28 PM
klwill1192 klwill1192 is offline
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I've got 86,000 miles on my '12 x35i and I do my oil changes every 7,500 miles. I typically have to add a quart at around the 5,000 mile mark. My garage floor is clean, so I'm not too concerned.
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Old 09-10-2019, 01:06 PM
klwill1192 klwill1192 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyeh74 View Post
Ok, does anyone have a E70 xdrive 35i which is the inline turbo 6 cyclinder gas car? Close to 100k miles.
Yes.

Tried to respond to your PMs, but you're over quota so they aren't going through. But to answer your questions:

I've been aware of oil consumption for a while, but only had to start topping it off between changes at around the 70,000 mile mark. My mechanic recommends 5W30, so that's what I go with. He isn't seeing anything that concerns him (as of 6,000 miles ago), and my garage floor is clean, so I'm not overly concerned.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:07 PM
jyeh74 jyeh74 is offline
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has anyone used or heard of Pentosin synthetic oil? They sell it at rock auto. See attached.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:59 AM
Michael47 Michael47 is offline
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Um, the wise grasshopper watches for the need to add oil starting at about 1,000 miles. Seriously. There is no magic mileage number at which to begin to pay attention to the details, such as slight oil consumption. If you drive a car, you should know that it has enough air in the tires and enough oil in the crankcase before you put the transmission in "D." Or step on the clutch.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael47 View Post
Um, the wise grasshopper watches for the need to add oil starting at about 1,000 miles. Seriously. There is no magic mileage number at which to begin to pay attention to the details, such as slight oil consumption. If you drive a car, you should know that it has enough air in the tires and enough oil in the crankcase before you put the transmission in "D." Or step on the clutch.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:29 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael47 View Post
Um, the wise grasshopper watches for the need to add oil starting at about 1,000 miles. Seriously. There is no magic mileage number at which to begin to pay attention to the details, such as slight oil consumption. If you drive a car, you should know that it has enough air in the tires and enough oil in the crankcase before you put the transmission in "D." Or step on the clutch.
Coolant, too.

The modern cars' low oil, low coolant, and low tire pressure warning make cars more idiot proof. I got a low coolant warning in Frau Putzer's 2018 X3 30i at about 5k miles. There was no blue puddles on the garage floor, but the thing needed 700ml to get back to MAX on the reservoir. The blue puddle was soon to follow, from a defective electric water pump.

Admittedly, the lack of a dipstick leaves me less motivated to open the hood to check the coolant level.

Modern cars burn less oil now, too. Well, except for BMW V8's, which by no coincidence now come with dipsticks again. When I was a young whippersnapper, back in the 1980's, I worked part-time in a bank's courier office. They had about 15 Fords, and they all used a quart of oil about every 2k miles. My 123k-mile Chey Cobalt only uses about a half-quart in 8k miles.

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Old 09-12-2019, 08:14 AM
Michael47 Michael47 is offline
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I haven't run the numbers lately, but back in the day the rule of thumb was that as long as you didn't burn/leak more than a quart every 1,000 miles, you were golden. Even then, save for trivial leaks, the cost of repair vs the cost of oil made action to repair un-economical until you got down around a quart every 300 miles or so.

In any case, the point is well taken: it is never too early to pay attention to things around you, like fluid levels for your car . . . some of those things can kill you, some only cost big buck$.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:50 AM
n1das n1das is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyeh74 View Post
At what point do you have to start monitoring your oil to top off?

I change my oil every 7500 miles. I never had a problem between oil change cycles. I just changed my oil a couple months ago and I have about 90,000 miles on my car now. I probably only driven 1000 to 2000 miles at most when the light came on and told me to add 1 quart of oil.

At first I thought the shop that I go to didn't top it off. But I was having a conversation at the Pep Boys when I was buying the one quart of Castrol 5w-40 oil and he said typically that's normal. As your car approaches 100,000 miles it burns oil faster and you have to monitor it and manually add 1 quart between cycles. I've never typically had cars approach the 90-100k mile mark. Is true that I'm going to have to have a quart of oil laying around between oil changes now?
With 100k miles representing around 2 years of driving for me, I have taken several cars past 100k miles without issues with oil consumption. When I sold my 2002 VW Golf TDI (diesel) in 2010 to a coworker whose son needed a car for college, the car only had 361k miles on it with many performance mods and no issues with oil consumption. The car was recently (in 2019) sold to a TDI guru mechanic with well over 400k miles on the odometer. The TDI needed around 0.5L added between 10k mile changes and this was normal. The oil consumption did not increase as a result of accumulating miles on the car or with performance mods enabling the engine to make close to twice the rated HP and TQ. I regularly used the modded performance and the car had been modded for over 200k miles when I sold it at 361k miles. Most of the oil loss was from what normally leaks past the turbo seals. It was normal to find a coating of oil on the inside of the intake path everywhere downstream of the turbo.

I regularly check the oil level in my cars about every 1k miles. My driving mostly consists of long hard spirited runs on the highway where I drive my cars like they are the Autobahn burners that they are.

My 2014 535dx is only at 129k miles and I don't add a drop of oil between 10k mile oil changes by the book. The d models have a dipstick and the oil level indicated on the dipstick doesn't change over 10k miles. All I do is change the oil at 10k miles by the book and never add a drop between changes.

My 2012 X5 35d is only at 225k miles and climbing. The oil is changed at 11k miles by the book. At around 7k miles on the oil, the iDrive oil level drops to 3/4 of max and the dipstick shows about halfway between the full and add marks in the "safe" zone. I add about 0.5L of oil to top it off and then don't touch it again until the next oil change. The oil consumption has not increased as the miles have accumulated. I could easily go the full 11k mile OCI without adding a drop but I'm paranoid about the oil level and check it regularly and top off when the iDrive shows anything less than full.

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Old 09-12-2019, 10:45 AM
pshovest pshovest is offline
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DIYer's need to check the volume of oil drained and every oil change to verify actual level. My 3.0si is down a quart as soon as the level drops 1/8 of the way to min. At min level it's down 2 quarts.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:45 PM
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I am (still) convinced that proper break-in of the motor has a direct impact on that motor's oil consumption later on in life. Please feel free to prove me wrong.
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