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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
F34 - 2015 328iX GT - about 76000 miles on the odometer. Oil changed by a trusted mechanic less than 2000 miles ago, no oil leak evident on garage floor or snow covered parking lots.
the message engine oil level at minimum, add a quart came on. I added a quart, the message went off, drove about 40 miles at highway speeds and the message returned.
I measured the oil level and the message went off. Added another quart. Engine oil level measures as per attached photo. The level didn't move or didn't move much after the second quart.
I plan to drive the car more tomorrow. This car has never asked for oil before.
If the message returns, my tentative plan is to have the oil drained and measured.
Any other testing suggestions?
How common is an engine oil level sensor failure?
Is the sensor an easy replacement or is it a major job on this engine?
Note- I have searched the forums, but only found discussions about other models and I'm not sure which models use the same engine.
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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 116K miles NOKIAN WR G3 30K miles
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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I had a OLS fail the 'other' way: reading higher than it was.

The BMW procedure is to drain the oil and measure the amount drained. Dumb, but thats what you get for removing a $5 dipstick ad replacing it with a $150 measuring system...

At least my Diesel had a dipstick, I was able to tell them "sensor is bad, reading hight"

Under warranty, BMW replaced the sensor. Easy job, buy they'll prolly get ya for $600.
 

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BMW labeled full synthetic per spec
As @ard said, dump it and measure. Sensor is relatively cheap and easy DIY.
If sensor is ok try heavier oil. There are a lot of different BMW oils and not all are appropriate for N20. If that doesn’t solve it, start looking at mechanical issues: leaks, PCV, stems etc.


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Also, do you have any codes? Is level behaving erratically? Today 1/4 above, tomorrow full?
Visible leaks?


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I estimated the oil level and the message went off. Added another quart. Motor oil level measures according to appended photograph. The level didn't move or didn't move a lot after the subsequent quart.
I intend to drive the vehicle all the more tomorrow. This vehicle has never requested oil.
In the event that the message returns, my speculative arrangement is to have the oil depleted and estimated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Engine oil level reported the same today as yesterday (photo posted originally) and no low oil message today.
No error codes.
Has anyone seen, first hand, a oil level sensor failure without codes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Was the oil level ever checked during that 2k mile interval prior to the low oil message?
No. Given the automated system, I don't check often. It has never before had a low oil issue. I've even run an oil sample through Blackstone with positive results. (Yes I understand it has never had 76K on it either) This car has been the perfect car; Not one warranty issue.
 

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Add 1/4 of qt and see how sensor behaves. If it shows 1/2 full, you are losing oil.


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No. Given the automated system, I don't check often. It has never before had a low oil issue. I've even run an oil sample through Blackstone with positive results. (Yes I understand it has never had 76K on it either) This car has been the perfect car; Not one warranty issue.
Then we don't really know if the car started out low or not. It's unlikely the car leaked or burned 2 quarts in 2k miles. I think you should measure what's actually in the sump soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all your suggestions. I drained and measured the oil this morning. It was overfilled equal to what I added. New oil level sensor ordered. Installation scheduled Thursday. I will update and close out this thread after the new sensor is installed and confirmed "ok".
 

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Good you found this out and didn't overfill enough to cause engine damage! I still am stunned that BMW made the decision to remove the dipstick.
 

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If any body is replacing their oil pan gasket e60 n54 engine can they measure and post the following.
depth the crank goes into the oil pan. bottom of stroke.
rough lengths, width heights of the pan.

Im trying to calculate the volume of oil under the crank and full 7 quarts in the pan.

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Dipstick is removed primarily bcs. emissions. It is vacuum issue.


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I find it hard to believe they couldn't design a dipstick that would seal reliably. Other MFRs seem to be able to do this. I think its more they don't trust their customers to be able to use it properly and would rather have them come in for a service call.
 

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I find it hard to believe they couldn't design a dipstick that would seal reliably. Other MFRs seem to be able to do this. I think its more they don't trust their customers to be able to use it properly and would rather have them come in for a service call.
They couldn’t. You cannot make it too tight. I had it on X5 35d and it was super tight.
BMW choose to go this way as not only helps emissions but keeps better vacuum and ventilation of crank case. They could definitely go other route but then they have to make up for those emissions elsewhere. It is not as simple as it looks like.
Just one example:
Japanese and American manufacturers decided to drastically lower oil quantity in an engines as it warms up oil faster, which means lower emissions. But do you really want 5.5qt oil sump in inline six engine? Or 3.5-4qt in 2.0T?
My in-laws Honda Pilot has dipstick in 3.5 V6, and 4.5qt oil sump.
That is just one example what manufacturers do to cut emissions or gain mpg.
And yes, it makes oil check for some people more simple. But people who want to check oil would do it even if there is dipstick.


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