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      07-08-2009, 08:31 PM   #1
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Is it possible my dealer did not actually change my oil/filter?

I just picked up my car from the dealer after taking it in for an oil change between recommended intervals this morning. I paid $157 for the oil change and thought it was a decent price given what I've read on the board. But after driving my car around a bit I noticed that the oil level indicator was only half-full. That is the same level it was at before I dropped the car off this morning. Now I'm thinking that the dealer might not have actually changed my oil and oil filter! What's even more odd is that on closer review of the invoice, they charged me for 10 qts of oil. I thought that 9 qts should fill up the engine? In any case, if they really did add the 10 qts they charged me for, I would think that the oil level indicator would not be at half full. Am I jumping to conclusions too quickly? Should I see if the oil level indicator goes up after letting the car sit for a few more hours?

Is there any way for me to confirm myself that they actually did change the oil and oil filter? This is really bothering me now and if the oil level really stays where it is, I will never trust this dealer again.

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      07-08-2009, 09:32 PM   #2
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Dealer oil change

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Originally Posted by AlpWtE92 View Post
I just picked up my car from the dealer after taking it in for an oil change between recommended intervals this morning. I paid $157 for the oil change and thought it was a decent price given what I've read on the board. But after driving my car around a bit I noticed that the oil level indicator was only half-full. That is the same level it was at before I dropped the car off this morning. Now I'm thinking that the dealer might not have actually changed my oil and oil filter! What's even more odd is that on closer review of the invoice, they charged me for 10 qts of oil. I thought that 9 qts should fill up the engine? In any case, if they really did add the 10 qts they charged me for, I would think that the oil level indicator would not be at half full. Am I jumping to conclusions too quickly? Should I see if the oil level indicator goes up after letting the car sit for a few more hours?

Is there any way for me to confirm myself that they actually did change the oil and oil filter? This is really bothering me now and if the oil level really stays where it is, I will never trust this dealer again.
Now if we had dipsticks, it would be easy to check the color! You could still jack it up and let a little dribble from the drain plug to check. If you have doubts, that may be the best way to put your fears to rest (or not).

It is highly unlikely a dealer would be that unscrupulous. Specified oil capacity is 8.8L or 9.3Q. If filled from bulk, the dealer may have measured in quarts, which could be rounded up to 10 for ADP. As far as the reading goes, anything from midpoint to 3/4 mark would be considered okay. All the way to the top is overfilled.
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      07-09-2009, 12:54 AM   #3
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      07-09-2009, 09:47 AM   #4
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It appears that BMW needs to seriously improve their level acquisition system for the oil. It is painfully inaccurate, and seems to be 20% vodoo w.r.t. recording the level.

Many report that although they are certain the correct amount is in there (draining and measuring) the level still reads low. You can add 1/4 or 1/2 quart with no issue to see if it bumps up a notch, but I think adding more than that is a bad idea - some report overflowing caps with excess oil in there.
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      07-09-2009, 10:09 AM   #5
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Electronic oil gauge

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Originally Posted by Subw00er View Post
It appears that BMW needs to seriously improve their level acquisition system for the oil. It is painfully inaccurate, and seems to be 20% vodoo w.r.t. recording the level.

Many report that although they are certain the correct amount is in there (draining and measuring) the level still reads low. You can add 1/4 or 1/2 quart with no issue to see if it bumps up a notch, but I think adding more than that is a bad idea - some report overflowing caps with excess oil in there.
Most of us would agree with that. Even if the electronic system is improved, why not give us a dipstick, as well? Can't cost much or compromise anything. The electronic system may be fine in a 7-Series, but for a car intended for enthusiast hands-on types it is inadequate.
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      07-09-2009, 10:51 AM   #6
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Checked again on my drive to work this morning and the oil level indicator is still at half full. While I understand that the electronic oil level indicator is not accurate (I also wish they just put in a damn dipstick), it is just odd that the oil level is exactly the same as when I took it in. I mean, not even notch more. it also seems to me that after an oil change, the level should be somewhere between 3/4 and a notch below max. Has anyone else noticed that the oil level is only half full after an oil change?

I'll probably give the dealer the benefit of doubt on this and just ask them to add half a quart of oil, but still, I can't help but be a little skeptical.
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      07-09-2009, 11:12 AM   #7
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I just answered my own question by doing a search. Seems like other people have had similar problems with the oil level indicator not being at full (but not max) after an oil change - whether it be changing it themselves, or at the dealer. I also see that I've been checking the oil level improperly. Anyways, I guess I will chalk the unchanged oil level before and after the oil change to coincidence....
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      07-09-2009, 11:58 AM   #8
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Maybe you could in the future mark the old oil filter. That way you can tell if they changed it or not.
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      07-09-2009, 04:20 PM   #9
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Maybe you could in the future mark the old oil filter. That way you can tell if they changed it or not.
Good point - in my post above I suggested dribbling a little from the drain plug, but all he has to do is take off the filter cap to check the oil color. New oil is pretty easy to tell from that with several thousand miles on it.
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      07-09-2009, 04:25 PM   #10
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Maybe you could in the future mark the old oil filter. That way you can tell if they changed it or not.
Believe me, I've done that before with a shop I suspected changed the oil, but not the filter.
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      07-09-2009, 05:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpWtE92 View Post
Has anyone else noticed that the oil level is only half full after an oil change?
Yep; 1/2 full after 8.8L. Took a total of 9.25L to bring level up to full (did it myself). Tech left car draining while at lunch, so it took more.

By the way, sensor is a PITA but pretty accurate once you know how it works and how to check oil level. Do a search. Good luck.

Last edited by elp_jc; 07-09-2009 at 08:55 PM.
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      07-09-2009, 07:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW / Oregon View Post
Good point - in my post above I suggested dribbling a little from the drain plug, but all he has to do is take off the filter cap to check the oil color. New oil is pretty easy to tell from that with several thousand miles on it.
Thanks, I might try that just for peace of mind.
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