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#1 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 12:30 AM
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Yellow Oil Light

After starting the car, all the warning lights go off. Then after about 10 seconds, the yellow oil light turns on, and stays on for about 5 seconds. Then, the light goes off.

I checked my oil level, and it is at the maximum line. I've read in the owner's manual to not drive more than 30 miles until filling the fluid, but the fluid level is already at full.

Is the yellow light supposed to stay on entirely while the car is on, until this '30 mile limit/warning' kicks in? Or is this 5 second appearance the 'warning?'
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 06:49 AM
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brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice brettski is just really nice
Does this only occur when you are starting the engine from cold (over night)?

Does the light come back on after the intial 5 seconds?

When was the last service done?


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#3 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 12:25 PM
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I took notice of the light when starting it cold, but didn't check whether it comes on afterwards on other starts. It does not come back on after the initial 5 seconds. I bought this car used last week, and the oil service indicator reads "-20,000", which I know means it is way past due it's dealer service. The oil doesn't appear black, or brown, just slightly dirty yellow. I'm taking it to the dealer this Friday for service, since there's a special for $80, including labor costs.
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-19-2012, 07:30 PM
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Are you reffering to the green, yellow, red service lights at the bottom of the dash cluster? Those are your oil service indicator lights. It tells you when your do for your oil service as detected by your odometer. It needs to be reset when you change your oil. Not all shops have the reset tool, so you usually have to go to the dealership or a BMW mechanic to do it.


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#5 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 06:16 PM
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It is the top center cluster, and yes, the yellow oil light does comes on every time I start the car, for about 5-10 seconds, and then shuts off. I probably should not drive it until Friday's dealer service, since the dipstick is reading max.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 07:24 PM
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Its in the bottom of the cluster. See my signature. What im refering to would be underneath where the 4 is.


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#7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2012, 10:16 PM
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It is not in the bottom cluster, but at the top.
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 11:16 AM
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I think there could be a problem with your internal computer. Have you installed something like an induction kit to set it off course?
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 11:41 AM
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I have not, but I also do not know what the previous owner(s) installed/removed.
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 05:14 AM
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Ok, I remember my friend installing a K&N induction kit. It messed up the system completely, always best to go for BMW branded equipment in my opinion.

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#11 (permalink) Old 06-06-2012, 01:22 PM
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It is beside the Main Beam and Ignition warning lights at the top, yes? Its an E46. Turn on the ignition without starting, and it is red. Start the engine, and it goes out, as normal, the pressure is good. 30 secs after starting, it comes on yellow for 20 secs, then goes out until you start again. This sounds like the oil level sensor has gone faulty. It will show up in a diagnostic check. Its a common fault, and a main staler will charge about 200 for a new one, inc fitting (on top of a normal service charge). Only get a genuine BMW replacement, its about 120. Aftermarket cheapies dont last long. Do you do your own oil changes? Thats the time to change it, its not difficault. Until then, just watch your dipstick every week as normal, and dont worry. Overfilling is as bad as running low. If your dipstick says full, thats ok.
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Oil Level Sensor - Yet Again - Technical help (E46) - E46 Zone Forum - Page 7
I would take the car back to where I bought it and complain.

Last edited by bobdisk; 06-06-2012 at 01:37 PM.
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#12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 08:46 AM
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I have the same problem: the oil level signal lights yellow seconds after engine starts, so actually how to get rid of it?because it seems that I do not have oil level problem.
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#13 (permalink) Old 08-17-2012, 01:22 PM
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I put a new oil level sensor in my E46 last week when doing an oil change, its easy. You have to take the bottom cover off and its in the base of the sump. You also have to reset the fault in the diagnostics. Its called "thermal oil level sensor failed" The BMW part number is 12 61 1 744 292, and will cost about 100. They can be got for 20 - 30, but the cheapies dont last long. Problem Gone.
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#14 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 02:00 AM
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ok thanks!so I have to change my sensor.
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