3-Series (E46, E90)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.
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.
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.
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.
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 st£aler 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.
Look Here 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.
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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