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      01-09-2014, 06:46 PM   #1
kent11202
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No dipstick

OK, so the 328i doesn't have a dipstick but there's a way to check your oil level without opening the hood. So, let's say you take your vehicle in for an oil change and the guy doing the job inadvertently puts in less oil than he should. Is there an "automatic" notification displayed on your instrument panel telling you the oil is low or do you have to continually monitor this on your own?

If there is an automatic display, how is the warrantee handled if the "trigger" device fails to notify you and you blow the engine due to lack of oil?

No problems at my end, just curious.

Full disclosure: I spent quite a few years as a mechanical designer and a design "checker" so I'm also looking at what could be the worst case scenario.
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      01-09-2014, 06:49 PM   #2
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      01-09-2014, 06:57 PM   #3
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Not only is the oil level monitored constantly, the functionality of the sensor itself is too...So if there is a fault with the measuring sensor, you will see a warning telling you to have it checked. The car will let you know to add a quart of oil before it gets to the absolute minimum, but you can check it periodically if you're the type who likes to keep it topped off. In addition to the convenience of checking the oil from the driver's seat more precisely than a dipstick, the oil level sensor will even warn you if it is overfilled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kent11202 View Post
If there is an automatic display, how is the warrantee handled if the "trigger" device fails to notify you and you blow the engine due to lack of oil?
Originally, I was critical of these systems too (at least without the backup of a mechanical dipstick) but they have proven to work well, promote more frequent checking of the oil, and are reasonably low-risk/reliable. If your fuel gauge fails to read accurately, for example, there is no such monitoring to warn you like the oil level sensor has.

Even still, the warranty would cover a replacement engine if it seized due to lack of oil caused by failure of the sensor AND the failure of the diagnostics of the sensor AND the fact that you would only be around a quart low by your next service visit anyway...point is: Don't worry about it.

Last edited by olinjohnston; 01-09-2014 at 07:09 PM..
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      01-09-2014, 06:57 PM   #4
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^^This!


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      01-09-2014, 07:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olinjohnston View Post
Not only is the oil level monitored constantly, the functionality of the sensor itself is too...So if there is a fault with the measuring sensor, you will see a warning telling you to have it checked. The car will let you know to add a quart of oil before it gets to the absolute minimum, but you can check it periodically if you're the type who likes to keep it topped off. In addition to the convenience of checking the oil from the driver's seat more precisely than a dipstick, the oil level sensor will even warn you if it is overfilled.



Originally, I was critical of these systems too (at least without the backup of a mechanical dipstick) but they have proven to work well, promote more frequent checking of the oil, and are reasonably low-risk/reliable. If your fuel gauge fails to read accurately, for example, there is no such monitoring to warn you like the oil level sensor has.

Even still, the warranty would cover a replacement engine if it seized due to lack of oil caused by failure of the sensor AND the failure of the diagnostics of the sensor AND the fact that you would only be around a quart low by your next service visit anyway...point is: Don't worry about it.
But the bummer is I liked to do interim oil changes using an oil dipstick extractor. Awesome and clean way to go.
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      01-09-2014, 07:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowghost View Post
But the bummer is I liked to do interim oil changes using an oil dipstick extractor. Awesome and clean way to go.
Now you'll have to get familiar with the underside every once in awhile....Not a bad thing since you can check the condition of things down there, discover leaks early, etc.
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      01-09-2014, 07:24 PM   #7
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It does take awhile after starting the car up for the oil sensor to register. Now, whether it might alert if it detected things low before it shows the actual level, I do not know. Mine has never seemed to go off of the full mark. I know some with V8's wished theirs did the same!
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      01-09-2014, 07:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olinjohnston View Post
Not only is the oil level monitored constantly, the functionality of the sensor itself is too...So if there is a fault with the measuring sensor, you will see a warning telling you to have it checked. The car will let you know to add a quart of oil before it gets to the absolute minimum, but you can check it periodically if you're the type who likes to keep it topped off. In addition to the convenience of checking the oil from the driver's seat more precisely than a dipstick, the oil level sensor will even warn you if it is overfilled.



Originally, I was critical of these systems too (at least without the backup of a mechanical dipstick) but they have proven to work well, promote more frequent checking of the oil, and are reasonably low-risk/reliable. If your fuel gauge fails to read accurately, for example, there is no such monitoring to warn you like the oil level sensor has.

Even still, the warranty would cover a replacement engine if it seized due to lack of oil caused by failure of the sensor AND the failure of the diagnostics of the sensor AND the fact that you would only be around a quart low by your next service visit anyway...point is: Don't worry about it.
Thanks Olin VERY helpful and informative. And thanks to OC40 and Sedan as well.
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      01-09-2014, 07:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
I know some with V8's wished theirs did the same!
The V8 has two traditional turbochargers that pull oil into them for lubrication of the turbo and burn it off.
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      01-09-2014, 08:56 PM   #10
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You guys are saying the oil level is monitored constantly.
A few days ago I "manually" checked the oil level on my 2012 335i using iDrive and it showed oil at "min". However, the car never notified me of anything automatically, today it shows all system as "OK". Does the car only notify the driver if the oil level drops below "min"? That doesn't make sense to me.
I scheduled an oil change (it was time anyway) for next week but am hesitant about driving it in the meantime.
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      01-09-2014, 09:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlauWeiss View Post
You guys are saying the oil level is monitored constantly.A few days ago I "manually" checked the oil level on my 2012 335i using iDrive and it showed oil at "min". However, the car never notified me of anything automatically, today it shows all system as "OK". Does the car only notify the driver if the oil level drops below "min"? That doesn't make sense to me.
Any reading between MIN and MAX is considered normal operating range. If you are right on the minimum line, and your appointment is next week, there is no problem driving it until then.
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      01-09-2014, 09:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olinjohnston
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlauWeiss View Post
You guys are saying the oil level is monitored constantly.A few days ago I "manually" checked the oil level on my 2012 335i using iDrive and it showed oil at "min". However, the car never notified me of anything automatically, today it shows all system as "OK". Does the car only notify the driver if the oil level drops below "min"? That doesn't make sense to me.
Any reading between MIN and MAX is considered normal operating range. If you are right on the minimum line, and your appointment is next week, there is no problem driving it until then.
Thanks olinjohnston, appreciate the response. I won't worry about driving it a little based on your explanation and the fact that the car itself seems to think everything is OK.

Cheers.
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      01-09-2014, 10:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olinjohnston View Post
Now you'll have to get familiar with the underside every once in awhile....Not a bad thing since you can check the condition of things down there, discover leaks early, etc.
That will take me back to old school days that started with my '69 VW Bug. The M-Sport looks like it needs ramps to get under there though.
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      01-10-2014, 12:26 AM   #14
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A set of Rhino ramps, ten minutes and your oil is changed. Very easy on these cars.
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      01-10-2014, 12:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
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A set of Rhino ramps, ten minutes and your oil is changed. Very easy on these cars.
Thanks for the tip!
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      01-10-2014, 02:30 AM   #16
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I barley had oil left and my car got to the 250 degree mark and went into limp mode.. That's how I knew
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      01-10-2014, 09:46 AM   #17
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My sensor had to be replaced. It constantly said I was low when in fact the car was full. The dealer knew something was wrong when 200 miles after a top off the sensor again said it was low. They drained the car to measure it and it was full. The part that troubles me the most is that before this episode the dealer topped me off twice in 5000 miles based on the sensor. I'm concerned that it was overfilled those two times.

Would rather have a dip stick. Sometimes the manual way is better.
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      01-10-2014, 11:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axman85 View Post
Would rather have a dip stick. Sometimes the manual way is better.
I agree, in that I wish they would include a dip stick as a manual way to verify. Sure the sensor is great as long as it's working correctly, but once or twice a year I'd love to be able to check with a dip stick to make sure the sensor hasn't unknowingly malfunctioned.

Electric-only systems will have limitations, even with certain good redundancies and checks that they have put in.

That being said I do enjoy being able to check the oil level from inside the car. I have it take a measurement 1-2 times a month, and it takes me two comfortable minutes after arriving at home or at work, very convenient.

Along these same lines, to me the TPMS is good and bad. It only alerts you with drastic pressure change, and you can only tell the actual pressure with a manual check. Maybe at some point they will add pressure readings, or even the ability to adjust and regulate the pressure internal to the car. Certain high-cost military and off-road vehicles have that kind of system, but it would be very useful on sports and luxury cars too.
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      01-10-2014, 11:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simongym
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axman85 View Post
Would rather have a dip stick. Sometimes the manual way is better.
I agree, in that I wish they would include a dip stick as a manual way to verify. Sure the sensor is great as long as it's working correctly, but once or twice a year I'd love to be able to check with a dip stick to make sure the sensor hasn't unknowingly malfunctioned.

Electric-only systems will have limitations, even with certain good redundancies and checks that they have put in.

That being said I do enjoy being able to check the oil level from inside the car. I have it take a measurement 1-2 times a month, and it takes me two comfortable minutes after arriving at home or at work, very convenient.

Along these same lines, to me the TPMS is good and bad. It only alerts you with drastic pressure change, and you can only tell the actual pressure with a manual check. Maybe at some point they will add pressure readings, or even the ability to adjust and regulate the pressure internal to the car. Certain high-cost military and off-road vehicles have that kind of system, but it would be very useful on sports and luxury cars too.
You can get the pressure and temp reading coded to display on your iDrive.
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      01-10-2014, 12:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
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You can get the pressure and temp reading coded to display on your iDrive.
Yes it's very cool.
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      01-10-2014, 12:47 PM   #21
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Will a dealership do that, or is it a DIY?
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      01-10-2014, 01:17 PM   #22
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Will a dealership do that, or is it a DIY?
DIY, see: http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=696777
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