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      04-28-2011, 07:55 PM   #1
mblaber
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inconsistent oil level reading

I have a 2011 135i 6MT with 12,000 mi. Although the computer indicates service in 4,600 miles or 4/2012 I scheduled service for 5/9. However, today the low oil warning was displayed. Checking the computer indicated 1quart low. I drove 2miles to the auto parts store but the dude had no listing for oil type on their computer. Drove home, parked on level surface and checked the oil again. This time dangerously low (1.5 qt lw; triangle with exclamation on dash. ominous.). Curiosity struck about an hour later, and I went down, started it up and checked again. This time it reads completely normal. The are no drips where I park it, and its not driven hard. I was planning on leaving tomorrow to drive to key west (600 mi), now not sure what to do. Advise?
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      04-28-2011, 08:24 PM   #2
qcodec
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Don't forget checking the under-tray. Mine had transmission oil leak(appox 1 liter) and didn't show any oil drip. it could ruin my car if I didn't have early transmission oil change.

Last edited by qcodec; 04-29-2011 at 01:20 AM.
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      04-29-2011, 04:33 AM   #3
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It has been known that IF your oil is old and contains lots of water (ie lots of short trips) this can cause the oil level sensor not to read correctly. Your best bet is to change your oil and then recheck the sensor. These sensors can and do go bad. Btw... it is not only an oil level sensor but a oil quality sensor as well.

Someone did post a BMW pdf on the oil level sensor and how it works and how it can show a false reading. Perhaps try running a search here on 1addicts.
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      04-29-2011, 05:15 PM   #4
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Exclamation

Ok, I tried searching for that pdf I remembered reading. While I couldn't find the TSB one for the e82 I did find these that might intrest you!

There are also two SIB. One that effects only early built e82's. Still... very interesting how this oil condition sensor works and how it is known to fail/act up.

Dackel
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      04-29-2011, 08:20 PM   #5
mblaber
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thank you

thanks for the info. I live in a very humid environment. Apparent low oil indicator occurred when major storms were moving thru the south (hard rain). Also, all driving is a short 2 mile commute. Took car to dealer; they added half a quart. Oil sensor now indicates half quart above nominal. Computers are great but a dipstick would have helped a lot in this case. Blind faith in computers is ok as long as the system is bug free.
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      04-30-2011, 12:25 AM   #6
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It is not the water content in the air but in the oil. Lots of short trips will not get the engine hot enough to burn off unburnt fuel and water in the oil. Over time this is what can cause an inaccurate (false) oil level reading. Pull off your oil fill cap and see IF you have lots of yellow gunk or sludge. Also try smelling the oil cap for a gas smell. Both are indictive of short driving trips.

On another note... living in a humid area also impacts your brake fluid. You might consider changing the brake fluid yearly instead of every two years. Brake fluid is hygroscopic eaning it acts like a sponge and soaks up the water in the air - over time.
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      05-02-2011, 05:07 AM   #7
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Any updates OP?
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      05-03-2011, 12:51 PM   #8
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i experienced this as well after changing my oil myself a couple weeks ago.

I put in 7 quarts like we should but when i started the car and it warmed up the sensor said 3/4 full and oil was ok. lol. Never added any oil but checked the level 5 days later and saw the fluid level was max .. usually my engine eats oil not conjure it. lol..
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