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      03-22-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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Oil level too high- need to get it drained @ dealer?

Hey guys,
I posted in the maintenance sub-forum, but didn't get any answers. I accidently topped off the oil too high, so the car is giving me the warning that I need to contact a service provider. This seems like an easy, quick fix- just drain a bit of oil out and I should be on my way right? I called two dealers, and one wants $150 and another $168. Unless there is something really complicated about this car, isn't this like a 10 minute process to get the car on the lift, unscrew the oil release, and let some out? The second guy, who was a complete d-bag on the phone, kept repeating $168 even though I asked him multiple times what that is for. He said 1hr of work, I said isn't it 2 minutes of work? He said he is charging as much as an oil change. I figured it was going nowhere after I repeated multiple times that I just need a minor drain of less than a quart, so I let him go.

Anyway, if that really is the going rate, I will suck it up and pay it. I just think its a bit ridiculous to pay $150-170 for 5 minutes of labor Any thoughts? Is there anywhere else I can get this done safely? I would actually prefer that because with the dealer is always a long process...

I need to get this done asap as I already drove 35 miles or so like this (the warning only came up after 20 miles of driving, and it was too late to go to the dealer).

TIA

TIA
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      03-22-2011, 08:02 PM   #2
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Take it to any mechanic and they can do it for you. Is the computer telling you how much to drain?

Dealers may charge you the extra money because it does take some time to warm up the car to get the proper oil level reading. Nonetheless, $150 for that is ridiculous.
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      03-22-2011, 08:03 PM   #3
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You can pump it out from the top. Try a mityvac pump from sears or somewhere else local.
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      03-22-2011, 08:09 PM   #4
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It's really easy. Simply pull the plug on the front sump which contains about 1/2 liter. Will take you 10 minutes. This is exactly what I had to do when I did my last off cycle oil change thanks to the crappy sensor.
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      03-22-2011, 08:10 PM   #5
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How much did you put in? If you likely overfilled by just a little bit, then it may not be that big a deal. But if it's any significant overfill, then you definitely need to drain some out because overfills are not good. The best way to cure overfill on this car, from what I've heard on this forum, is to drain the front sump. There are two sumps on this car and therefore 2 drain plugs. Let the front one drain and that should be about a quart. If you need to top off slightly afterward then you can but I imagine that won't be necessary (level will probably be somewhere in the "OK" range after enough driving to get a proper reading).

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Originally Posted by sensi09 View Post
You can pump it out from the top. Try a mityvac pump from sears or somewhere else local.
I remember seeing on this forum somewhere that sucking out from top is not possible on the M3. Don't recall exactly why...
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      03-22-2011, 08:13 PM   #6
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Hmm don't do my own oil changes on this car so wouldn't know....
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      03-22-2011, 08:16 PM   #7
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Can't you just use a hose and siphon it out?
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      03-22-2011, 09:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shendrick View Post
Simply pull the plug on the front sump which contains about 1/2 liter.
That's it. If your oil container is higher than the space you have, just drive over two 4' pieces of 2x6 (buy an 8' piece at Home Depot or Lowe's and get it cut in half) and any container would fit. If you put an extra liter, do that procedure twice (after turning engine on) and level would be perfect. And do a search so you understand how the sensor works, and how to take consistent readings. Good luck.
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      03-22-2011, 09:20 PM   #9
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When this happened to me I called up my dealer and told them. They told me just to stop by when I had time which when I did they took the car and I was in and out in 30 min without a appointment and 0 out of pocket. If they did it they should correct the problem its not our fault they over did it, even though on this car that is a honest mistake but 150 bucks to redo it is bs.
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      03-22-2011, 09:42 PM   #10
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wow- thanks guys for the replies. I have to dig up a diagram tonight and I will go the sump pump draining route. I will just jack the car up, put it on stands and go for it.

I *think* it is almost a quart over. I should have read on here to let the computer sensor to adjust properly. What I did was first add a quart as it said, then drove around and the sensor only went up halfway (the next day). So, I assumed I should put in another quart to get it to the top- this was clearly not the case. I topped it off again and the next day I got the warning, which was yesterday.

Again, thank you all for the replies!
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      03-22-2011, 09:55 PM   #11
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This sounds like the've priced this out like a full oil change. Presumably under the idiot model of we can't estimate how much to drain, so we'll have to drain it all and fill with proper quantity.

I'd climb under and drain 1/2 qt or so out myself, and this time give it some time to settle out and take an accurate reading as described elsewhere. Running around 1/2 qt low is a non-event, and not worth the effort to squeeze in that last 8 oz. w/o a dipstick.
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      03-22-2011, 09:58 PM   #12
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Put the car up on ramps, use a 6mm (or 8mm on some cars) allen key and pull the front drain plug off to drain the front sump. Gets about 1/2-3/4 liter out each time. Do it once and re-check the level each time, make sure you put the plug back in before you start the car.
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      03-22-2011, 10:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
Put the car up on ramps, use a 6mm (or 8mm on some cars) allen key and pull the front drain plug off to drain the front sump. Gets about 1/2-3/4 liter out each time. Do it once and re-check the level each time, make sure you put the plug back in before you start the car.
That is the plan right now... i just need to find some media that shows where exactly the sump-pump release screw is.
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      03-23-2011, 03:11 AM   #14
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well since you haven't done this on the M3 before... maybe it's worth it for you to pay the $ and have it done?.

Or go to an Indy shop that's trusted?

if an Indy shop wants, say $50-70 to do it right, I'd say go for it.

But if you want to DIY then more power to you
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      03-23-2011, 06:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11' AW M3 View Post
That is the plan right now... i just need to find some media that shows where exactly the sump-pump release screw is.
There's a tremendously detailed oil change DIY sticky posted here. All you need is there. 10 minutes, including stopping to get a new beer.
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      03-23-2011, 11:05 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11' AW M3 View Post
wow- thanks guys for the replies. I have to dig up a diagram tonight and I will go the sump pump draining route. I will just jack the car up, put it on stands and go for it.

I *think* it is almost a quart over. I should have read on here to let the computer sensor to adjust properly. What I did was first add a quart as it said, then drove around and the sensor only went up halfway (the next day). So, I assumed I should put in another quart to get it to the top- this was clearly not the case. I topped it off again and the next day I got the warning, which was yesterday.

Again, thank you all for the replies!
Wow, that's a lot of oil. I went through a bit of an oil issue myself recently and my understanding that is that, when the oil is at or near empty, the computer will prompt you to add, at maximum, 1 additional quart. The owner's manual seems to confirm this.

Mine was essentially empty, I added maybe 7/8th a quart, and it now registers as being practically full. At more than double this volume, you have drastically over-filled. The owner's manual was pretty explicit in stating that if and when over-filling occurs, the excess oil needs to be drained ASAP as severe damage can result.

I'm not a mechanic, and don't know anything beyond what the manual tells me, but if I were you, I would minimize all driving until the oil situation is resolved (if you can't drain yourself, call Roadside Assistance, they'd probably tow for you).
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      03-23-2011, 11:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talk2meg00se View Post
Mine was essentially empty, I added maybe 7/8th a quart, and it now registers as being practically full. At more than double this volume, you have drastically over-filled.
In the spirit of not bashing fellow fans of the car, even when they are not necessarily that mechanincally inclined, I would like to just add that the oil monitor isn't registering total capacity, showing "full" and "empty". It's basically showing the range between 8 and 9 liters that's on board, with a prompt to add one once it falls to 8. Others have posted similar impressions, and it's not that critical to keep it off the lower part of the displayed range.

The takeaway from this is the car will be fine all day long on 8.5, 8.7, whatever less-than-completely-full level it may be at from time to time. Trying to squeeze in that last 8 oz with a less-than-perfect monitoring system is foolhard, IMHO.

My kingdom for a dipstick!
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      03-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchnellM3 View Post
When this happened to me I called up my dealer and told them. They told me just to stop by when I had time which when I did they took the car and I was in and out in 30 min without a appointment and 0 out of pocket. If they did it they should correct the problem its not our fault they over did it, even though on this car that is a honest mistake but 150 bucks to redo it is bs.
Exactly the same happened to me. Call around. Good luck.
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      03-23-2011, 02:35 PM   #19
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My kingdom for a dipstick! [/quote]


Exactly!
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      03-23-2011, 02:39 PM   #20
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I'll give you $6 for the quart of drained oil. Looking to save $$ anywhere I can
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      03-23-2011, 08:05 PM   #21
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UPDATE: So I didn't drive the car today- I came home and decided to do this myself via the front sump pump. Took all about 15 minutes (jacking up the car took the majority of the time), and everything is back to normal. About 2/3 of a quart came out, and I guess it was enough to put me back into the optimal range. I didn't have a funnel handy so I just cut a water bottle in half and inverted it right into the oil bottle. Worked like a charm. This was definitely a super easy DIY. The full-on oil change is probably just as easy. The only thing I recommend is getting ramps (I didn't have this, so I just used jack stands on either side) and thick latex gloves.

Thanks again to everyone for the replies. I wouldn't mind paying $160 if I had to, but clearly, in this instance, the stealership was trying to rip me a new one.
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      03-23-2011, 08:23 PM   #22
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I've put "BRING BACK THE DIPSTICK!!!" in every service survey I've filled out since the 335 came to the house. So far it hasn't worked, but I will persevere...
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