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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 08-28-2004, 08:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I know this is the section for E30's but its the closest to the 02 on the site so here goes. I was driving down my local canyon road which i travel almost everynight and everything was running well like usual. No unusual sounds, nothing knocking or grinding...but all the sudden the oil pressure light came on so I immediately shut off the engine and coasted and pulled over at the first turn out. I had the car trailered to my house where I was able to check some things. First, there is plenty of oil as I had just checked and filled it that night. I re checked and none had leaked out.

I thought the light might just have acted up, so I started it up real quick. It idled fine, but at around 1500-2k rpm's i heard what sounded like bearings knocking around, however still no grinding noise. The light was still on though. I just got an electric oil pressure gauge so I can double check that it really is a pressure problem and not something with the light.

I was told by my parents mechanic (I have never taken my car to a shop since I used to be in shop in high school until I graduated) and he told me that the oil pumps are pretty indetructable and usually don't go out.

I think I am getting some pressure because it idles w/o instant problems. If there was zero pressure I'm sure it would seize extremely quickly even at idle. Although with no strain on the engine it might not.

Any help or suggestions you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated. I know its hard to know anything without having a reading of pressure, but I will hopefully be able to get the gauge attached within a few days so I can post my results. Thanks for any help you can give me.

~Adam (70' 2002 as seen in spiff's driving vids (its orange))
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Old 08-28-2004, 08:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Attach your new gauge, verify pressure or lack of, then post results.

RE: I just got an electric oil pressure gauge so I can double check that it really is a pressure problem and not something with the light.
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Old 08-28-2004, 09:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As far as the M10 oil pumps being indestructable I'm going to call BS on that. One of the guys that works with me at our shop had his sons M10 oil pump go bad, I've seen 2 or 3 '02's that had their M10 oil pumps go bad and the oil pump in my 320i with an M10 is starting to go bad. Once you hook up your other gauge to verify if you have oil pressure or not will tell if the pump has gone bad.
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Old 08-28-2004, 11:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tips. I didn't really think the guy was right about the pumps being indestructable. I am going to hook up the gauge in the morning, and will post results shortly after. If the pressure is down, I am going to check the pump first. Hopefully I don't have a problem with the chain drive, but I doubt it since that would have likely caused some serious noise if it dislodged in some form.
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