Last post on May 24, 2012 at 9:01 PM
You are in the BMW 3-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Engine, Oil, Sedan, Wagon
#66 of 260 Re: Oil Change? [circlew]
Jan 30, 2007 (5:56 am)
"Even Shipo changes way more frequently than BMW recommends."
Well, I think that needs to be qualified. My first BMW (a 1999 328i) was one of the first 15,000 mile OCI BMWs to hit our shores. For the forty some thousand miles that I had that car I relied on the dealer to do the ~15,000 mile oil changes as requested by the car itself. When I turned the car in I was, ummmm, NOT impressed with the condition of the engine. A quick peek inside the cam cover showed more deposits and varnish than our old 1998 minivan with over 130,000 miles on it. That and the oil had that old Pennsylvania Grade Crude smell of paraffin (leading me to believe that my dealer had use bulk Quaker State or Pennzoil instead of the far more expensive BMW oil). Barf.
At that time I also heard of a class-action law suit against a large number of BMW dealerships for not using the BMW required synthetic oil in these cars. Made sense to me as my car didn't seem as if it had had a fully synthetic oil in it for the full duration. Was my dealership one of those named in the suit? Don't know. Did my dealership use synthetic oil that met the BMW LL-01 oil spec? Don't know that either.
Regardless, when I got my 530i, I bought a few filters and a couple of cases of Mobil 1 0W-40 and started doing mid-term oil changes. Were it that I was to own a late model BMW out of warranty I would most likely go say 12,000 miles on Mobil 1 0W-40 and then send it out for Used Oil Analysis (UOA). Assuming that everything looked good and there was some life in it still (and I see no reason why it wouldn't), I would most likely move to 15,000 oil changes.
As a general rule, I'm a very trusting kind of guy; however, I don't trust nobody to do nuthin wit my wheels. Said another way, as long as someone else is turning a wrench on my ride, I'm going to err on the extreme side of caution.
#67 of 260 Re: Fix for bad oil sensor [sca4]
Jan 30, 2007 (6:28 am)
Well, someone's being shined on, but I don't know whether it's you or me.
Our oil sensor warning has now gone on, and stayed on, for the 4th time. Rather than begin a Lemon Law proceeding as we are now entitled to do, we are taking the car in for a new oil sensor, because our dealer has told me that the new (properly functioning) sensors are in stock -- and because we love the car aside from this. But, what's true about the "new" sensors? Are they on the shelves, or just in R&D?
Either way, it's an improvement over the denial of a broader problem which characterized their previous attitude (not that they called to tell us of the change to new sensors, though). Even after three previous failures, they just waited silently for us to report another failure and make another trip to the repair shop.
In my view, this history of problems should be brought to the attention of the appropriate federal agency and the company admonished at least to notify its customers.
#68 of 260 Re: Fix for bad oil sensor [sca4]
Jan 30, 2007 (6:40 am)
A further update, but as to whether it's accurate information or not, I cannot say but only duly report:
According to my local BMW dealer, BMW has begun distributing different replacement oil sensors from a new supplier, but it has been allocating them in small amounts. (My dealership's service manager says that he has 5 or 6 customers with this problem.)
What are the identities of the "old" and "new" suppliers? In what way are the parts different? What do BMW AG, or BMW NA, have to say about this problem, overall? I dunno. Info from a local service manager is not exactly from the horse's mouth, but at least it's coming from some part of the horse.
#69 of 260 Re: Fix for bad oil sensor [kaiopect8]
Jan 30, 2007 (6:43 am)
I hope your problem is resolved. I can't for the life of me understand the "no dipstick" thing. Did they save $1.35 per vehicle? OK so considering they sell 250,000 units, now they have to re-engineer the sensors so what is the real savings?
These decisions, like "Sorry - Run Flat Only" that need to be include on the Chief of Engineering's performance review as a "Needs Improvement" regarding decision making skill (along with the Marketing President).
#70 of 260 So, If I Understand. . .
Jan 30, 2007 (7:54 am)
this correctly, BMW drivers with '06 or newer vehicles with failed oil sensors (sounds like they're legion) have no way of knowing how much oil is in the engine without draining it (from under the car, since pumping out from the top is no longer possible) and measuring how much comes out. If it's an appropriate amount, then it can be returned to engine (sounds like there's still a fill port, at least), assuming meticulous cleanliness of all implements involved. Repeat, as required, to determine the consumption rate. Hmmmm. . .
This, combined with the run-flats, are the two major reasons I'm not counting the days until I get myself a 3. Rather, I'm waiting until the car I'm driving does something really, really awful. Each month I save more money, which I guess I'll eventually spend on a replacement vehicle . . . because I'll have to (sort of) rather than because I can't wait to.
No dipstick? Give me a break.
#71 of 260 Re: So, If I Understand. . . [cdnpinhead]
Jan 30, 2007 (8:35 am)
Fortunately, these small issues in no way even come close to outweighing the overall fantastic experience of driving this car and all the great functionality it includes. Or the nearly constant compliments and stares from other drivers. Drive the car. I had a perfectly functional and reliable POS '96 Volvo wagon that I sold. My quality of drive time has vastly improved. Then again, I don't drive and evaluate cars based on ability to move from point a to point b at the lowest cost.
Just my humble opinion... once you see / drive one you will be hooked.
#72 of 260 Re: So, If I Understand. . . [discostew]
Jan 30, 2007 (10:11 am)
I agree with discostew: Love the car and, more importantly, my wife loves the car! But here's the numbing experience, especially when repeated:
Oil warning light comes on, regarding which the manual states you had better take the car in immediately for service. (So, what are you going to do...ignore the warning? Try explaining that when you submit your warranty claim!)
Then, although the manual also warns ominously about not overfilling, the jolly service manager says, "Well, let's just try putting in a quart of oil and see if that will turn the light off....Hmmm, it doesn't go off, so, let's try replacing the sensor....I'll call Parts to see if we have any....Do you need a ride somewhere?"
Love it or not, at some point you've got to say, "No mas!", because it may not be about just driving from point a to point b, but it's also not supposed to have a regular intermediate repair stop in the middle.
#73 of 260 Re: So, If I Understand. . . [kaiopect8]
Jan 30, 2007 (2:03 pm)
I love it...you really need kaopectate if you disregard the warning (assuming the sensor is not bad!) and your Bimmer turns into a F.O.R.D.!!
I guess they are anticipating the hydrogen 7 series in the old gasoline engines by omitting the cheap check system.
#74 of 260 Re: Thirsty 328xi [div2]
Feb 06, 2007 (8:31 pm)
Our 07' 328xi with 2k miles experienced the same sensor problem and we have replaced it three times. The latest incident has put the car in the dealers hands for over a week and we are in the dark. At what point do we say, enough's enough?
#75 of 260 Re: Thirsty 328xi [wa201]
Feb 06, 2007 (8:55 pm)
Hang in there, this is a third-party supplier issue. Said third-party supplier made and delivered (to BMW) a large batch or three of bad sensors. As I understand it, the factory and the field are being resupplied with new sensors with a special build code etched into the part so there will be no mistake that they are the new and improved part. The problem here is that it takes a bit of time for the distribution channel to be saturated with replacement parts and all y'all with affected cars can do is wait the process out. Saying "Enough" because of a single part that they are trying their darnedest to get for you is, in my mind at least, a little premature. So, like I said before, hang in there and then enjoy your car for many years.