Oil Level Indicator not working = bad Oil Pump? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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X4 F26 (2015 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 01-09-2020, 06:31 PM
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DBU DBU is offline
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Oil Level Indicator not working = bad Oil Pump?

So I performed an oil and filter change myself on the M40i. On purpose, I only added 5.5L oil - 1L short of the 6.5L capacity. I simply wanted to see what the electronic dipstick looked like being one liter short.

After the oil change (motor still warm), I activated the oil level indicator. It worked fine and the green bar landed halfway between "F" and "E" with a cheerful "Oil Level is OK" message. I then added another 1/2 liter of oil and called it a day.

After my commute the next day, I activated the oil level indicator again - and it failed, as in an aborted test at 17%. This went on for three more days; many aborted oil level tests although ONCE it worked.

The car is still under warranty, so I took it in yesterday. They found no (significant) error codes and ran a test plan for the oil level indicator. During this test, they discovered erratic, mostly too high, oil pressure and the test plan called for a new oil pump(!). The car is just over 3years old with only 30,000 miles on it. It has the N55B30T0 motor also used in the F87 M2. Anyone seen an oil pump go bad on these cars (motors)?
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Last edited by DBU; 01-09-2020 at 06:32 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2020, 08:23 PM
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The 55NB30T0 motor has two oil pumps; the main pump and the "suction pump." The latter feeds the main pump as I understand it. The suction pump is there to ensure that the motor can withstand the significant G-forces that can be experienced when this motor is installed in a race car.

The symptom on my car was; oil level indicator (on iDrive) would stop and (almost) never indicate the actual oil level. The tech found "no relevant codes" but noticed erratic and high oil pressure "at the pump" when he ran a test plan for oil level indication. That test plan called for a replacement suction pump.

Thankfully this was all covered under warranty (3.5 year old car). SA estimated this would have been a $3K repair otherwise. This was apparently the first bad suction oil pump that this dealership had seen - they needed to get the part overnight from "the mothership."

But I did drive the car for a few days with this oil pressure issue. Crossing fingers nothing was damaged in doing so.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:14 AM
leejim leejim is offline
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Erratic oil level indicator.

The pump you are talking about is called a Scavenge Pump. They are usually fitted to motors that are what we call Dry Sump motors. Yes usually most good race motors are Dry Sump, as this overcomes oil surge when cornering and braking hard forces the oil to move around a lot , this then causing the oil pickup in the Sump to pump air. Very hard on the bearings and other bits. The oil is stored in a remote tank some where else in the car. Long explanation but seems highly unlikely your car has this set up? Also its a wonder the Dealer didn't say something about you changing oil and filter yourself ? My Dealer told me I wasn't to on my 2019 M40i , said very unwise , could effect my Warranty even though I am an A grade Motor Engineer ?? I get free servicing for 3 yrs but they said 1st service due at 30,000 kilomeres ( 18600 miles ) so I said I want it done before that ! I said I were prepared to pay myself ? Service guy still argued it was not needed ? So I did do it myself fitted genuine BMW filter and recommended oil. Now it will be interesting when I take the car for the first service due in July to see if they can tell the oil has been changed ?????? It will only have done about 10k kilometers (6000 miles ) by then. Brilliant car by the way , best "I " have ever owned. $120,000 here in New Zealand so not a light decision by us.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:41 PM
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The F26 X4 M40i shares its engine with the F87 M2. They both use the N55B30T0 motor. This motor does indeed have two oil pumps as you can see from the attachment. No. 1 is the regular oil pump and No. 5 is the Suction pump. You are correct that proper race cars can have a separate oil tank, but BMW's solution with the two pumps ensures a solid oil supply, even on the track.
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