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      03-22-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
LarThaL
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Is it normal for your oil level to fluctuate?

My oil gauge fluctuates between half and full. I am now at 4600 miles and I haven't needed a drop of oil since my 1200 mile service which was last July. Sometimes it reads full and sometimes it reads down to half, usually on a longer cruise.

My concern, of course, is that the gauge is working properly and that I am not actually running on low oil levels. It has never read below half. Can't wait until automakers come to their senses and give us back a dipstick.
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      03-22-2012, 10:46 AM   #2
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Mine does the same. I think it normal.

Agree with you on the dipstick.
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      03-22-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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It's just part of the fun having the stupid sensor instead of a readable stick.
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      03-22-2012, 10:56 AM   #4
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According to the BMW store, as long as it remains between the high and low level indicators it is okay. Only add oil if it gets at or below the low level. A lot of oil is in that engine.
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      03-22-2012, 11:57 AM   #5
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I typically take a reading once I've come home from a drive in the same parking spot to keep it consistent. That's the only reading I act on, so far has been fine on that basis.
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      03-22-2012, 12:10 PM   #6
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Mine does the same but just watch it, I dont know why these engines eat oil... It seems like for my car, I have had to add a qt of oil a year. A few months ago, but buddy's 2011 E92 told him he was a qt low too.... Ive also heard of other members stating the same on here too....
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      03-22-2012, 01:05 PM   #7
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It was fluctuating on mine, it went down, told me to add a quart. Since then, no issues...steady at almost full.
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      03-22-2012, 06:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCL16M3 View Post
Mine does the same but just watch it, I dont know why these engines eat oil... It seems like for my car, I have had to add a qt of oil a year. A few months ago, but buddy's 2011 E92 told him he was a qt low too.... Ive also heard of other members stating the same on here too....
"Eat oil?" A quart per year?

How much is that in miles per quart? A quart per year (if you drive normal miles) is hardly eating oil.
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      03-22-2012, 06:56 PM   #9
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      03-22-2012, 06:59 PM   #10
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That's the thing I hate most about our M3's. No FUCKING dipstick. Why rely on a gauge when you could see it better with a dipstick. Why look at some digital gauge cluster when you can actually see the actual color and amount of oil in a dipstick.

Even the new 991 porsche's have dipsticks in them.

-end rant
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      03-22-2012, 08:38 PM   #11
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I have 2565 miles on the car. The 1200 mile service was performed 2 months ago. The oil measured full after the 1200 mile service. I am still slowly breaking the car in and have not gone past 7000 RPMs. At 2565 miles the oil warning light came on and told me to add a quart of oil. I pulled over and measured the oil which read minimum. I was worried about all of the threads I've read about how inaccurate the measurements were and decided to only add a 1/4 quart. I immediately checked the measurement while the engine was still hot and it said max. When I got home I let the car cool and then took the measurement one more time. Once again the reading said max. Kind of annoying.
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      03-22-2012, 09:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmk227 View Post
Mine does the same. I think it normal.

Agree with you on the dipstick.
+1, same thing happened in my 335i, as well, but w/o quite as much volatility.
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      03-22-2012, 09:14 PM   #13
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Mine has gone between full and a 1/4 down and back, but never a full 1/2 variance. You can force it to re-measure with the control stalk - cycle to oil level, hold in stalk, clock icon appears, wait a minute for level. Do that in the same place every day once fully up to temp and see what it does...if it keeps changing level, I would say there is something wrong with it.
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      03-22-2012, 09:33 PM   #14
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Mine showed full after the 1200 mile service. The very next day, it went down to half. Then, at 3500, I got a low oil warning sign and had to put some in. At Circle Dealership in NJ, one of the SA who is M specialist told me that I'd need more at around 8000. A tech helped me fill it even without an appt. He told me not to pour the whole bottle or I may overfill it. He was right. I'm glad he came out to help me. And the SA was right about needing more filling. I had to top it again around 6300 miles. WTF! Next time I go in for an oil change, I'm gonna ask for left over bottle. I've heard of other dealerships doing this just in case the reading was off.
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      03-22-2012, 10:52 PM   #15
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Mine does the same. I think it normal.
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      03-23-2012, 12:53 AM   #16
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After reading all of these oil threads, the one thing that I took from all of them, is don't add oil until the car tells you to.. THEN, and ONLY then, should you add no more than 1/4 to 1/2 of a quart.
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      03-23-2012, 07:18 AM   #17
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The lack of a dipstick is frustrating. I have about 3,700 miles on my car and I kept checking the oil level all last week. It was consistently at the halfway mark and said "OK". Then on Saturday morning, on my way to an autocross event at 7:30am, it got the light. I pulled into an Advance Auto thinking I could buy a quart of Castrol but I might as well have asked for a Flux Capacitor when I said "10w 60."

Long story short, I checked into the event 30 minutes late then left for the nearest dealership, 20 miles away. They topped it off right then and there and I went back to the event. Just to be safe, I picked up 2 quarts from the dealer and I guess I'll just carry one with me from now on.
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      03-23-2012, 07:31 AM   #18
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You will get an alert when it's time to add one quart of oil. I usually get about 5000 miles between refills.
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      03-23-2012, 10:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e92_m3 View Post
That's the thing I hate most about our M3's. No FUCKING dipstick. Why rely on a gauge when you could see it better with a dipstick. Why look at some digital gauge cluster when you can actually see the actual color and amount of oil in a dipstick.

Even the new 991 porsche's have dipsticks in them.

-end rant
Are you sure about this? My 997 does not have a dipstick. Only the electronic gauge.

I personally prefer the electronic gauge. I used to have a car (Nissan 350Z) with such a poor excuse for a dipstick (it had all kinds of twists and turns in the tubing) that it was all but useless. I hated trying to read the oil level because the entire rod was covered in random streaks from pulling the dipstick out.

I will concede that a good dipstick is great. General aviation airplanes tend to have really good, easy to read dipsticks and I like those.
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      03-23-2012, 10:33 AM   #20
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BMW needs to bring back the dipstick. Its such a simple accurate way to check the oil that it boggles my mind of why they totally took it out. Think of all the money and frustration this has caused the owners and dealerships.

Also having a dipstick would mean the dealership DOES NOT need to test drive your car AT ALL anymore when doing a simple oil change. Now you need to drive the car a little bit for a correct reading. With a dipstick oil changes would be not only faster but there will be much less dealer "joy ride" threads reported as well since it would not be necessary to drive the car anymore.
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      03-23-2012, 02:28 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RudyP View Post
Are you sure about this? My 997 does not have a dipstick. Only the electronic gauge.

I personally prefer the electronic gauge. I used to have a car (Nissan 350Z) with such a poor excuse for a dipstick (it had all kinds of twists and turns in the tubing) that it was all but useless. I hated trying to read the oil level because the entire rod was covered in random streaks from pulling the dipstick out.

I will concede that a good dipstick is great. General aviation airplanes tend to have really good, easy to read dipsticks and I like those.
Hmm that's odd, the first question that I asked a co-worker of mine when he told me that his brother just bought the new 911 carrera was if it had a dipstick. I told him it's the gauge that allows you to check the car's oil level and amount. I guess he misunderstood me and had mistaken it for an electronic gauge. I should've phrased my question clearly and told him that if his brother's 911 carrera had the traditional dipstick. Metal rod with markings.

Since you own a 997, porsche surely suppled and continued the electronic gauge on the new 991.
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      03-23-2012, 07:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RudyP View Post
Are you sure about this? My 997 does not have a dipstick. Only the electronic gauge.

I personally prefer the electronic gauge. I used to have a car (Nissan 350Z) with such a poor excuse for a dipstick (it had all kinds of twists and turns in the tubing) that it was all but useless. I hated trying to read the oil level because the entire rod was covered in random streaks from pulling the dipstick out.

I will concede that a good dipstick is great. General aviation airplanes tend to have really good, easy to read dipsticks and I like those.
They actually improved the 350Z dipstick in 2007 I believe. Right up front and easy to access.
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