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      04-11-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
slipaway37
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Is This Normal After 1st Service?

Recently had the 1st service performed on my '13 M3 and was somewhat perplexed after leaving the dealership when I noticed that the oil level was right at the 1/2 mark.
I constantly watch my oil consumption after needing a qt before the initial service, and today after three days and approx 130 miles the oil level jumped up to the exact full mark? WTF? Is this normal?

I've also noticed since I can now drive her much harder that she hasn't consumed any oil as of yet which I find amazing especially after requiring a qt at low-to-moderate break in driving.

I appreciate any input.
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      04-11-2013, 06:53 PM   #2
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The electronic oil dipstick is a cruel mistress. I once had it drop from 3/4 all the way to "add a quart asap" on my way to a track weekend!! I barely got to a dealership before they closed to pick up more oil, otherwise I probably wouldn't have been able to run that event. Needless to say, I now carry spare oil to said events.

The short version is that it's prone to jump around (up or down), measure incorrectly even when you tell it to check again, and generally aggravate you. And since there's no dipstick shaft, if you overfill the car, you can't get extra oil out with a fluid extractor, instead you have to get it out from the bottom.

So because of all that, techs will often play it safe and fill slightly below max. I deal with that by asking my SA for a couple quarts of oil to keep (which he gives me for free under Ultimate Service) and I add a quarter-quart LESS than what the car wants. So if you're at half, add a quarter-quart, and even if that only takes it to 3/4 full, leave it alone. BMW doesn't tell you this, but I've found that if you want it to actually acknowledge oil level changes, you have to tell it to remeasure after having driven 5 miles and while the car is stopped and idling on a level surface -- and even then sometimes it won't register on the first attempt. But that's probably why it jumped up for you after a while, it hadn't accurately remeasured until then.

And don't worry, your car will start consuming oil soon enough. I go through a quarter-quart or so every few thousand miles and every 1-2 track days.
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      04-11-2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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Normal. Welcome the BMW world of no dipsticks.
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      04-11-2013, 07:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBH View Post
Normal. Welcome the BMW world of no dipsticks.
The dipstick issue has been beaten to death in this forum ... almost every forum section has threads on this matter.

There are of course advantages and disadvantages in having or not having this dipstick. On my Benz I have one on my Bimmer I miss it.

Perhaps I am old school, bud I prefer to see, feel and smell my oil ... it tells me something about the well being of my engine.

All we can hope is that BMW will bring the dip stick back some day ... just don't hold your breath.

As for the level, yes it is all over the place I do keep a close eye on it ... generally I monitor the level during extended drives ... and just before I park her for the night (at the end of a trip).

I find like others that it takes about 10 KM or so for the level to show up after initial start.
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      04-11-2013, 08:34 PM   #5
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At my 1200 mile service ('13 E93) the dealer put in 9 quarts of oil which is the capacity required. Shortly thereafter, I got a oil overfill warning and he took out about 1/2 quart. The bar showing capacity was then about 1/4 inch above the bottom. That was a few months ago.
Yesterday, I get an fault indicator telling me I was one quart low. A dealer (thank you Peter Pan BMW!) gave me a quart to put in. I put in about 1/3 of a quart and the indicator bar went to the top full mark.
All this is to say that I periodically fret about oil because of this quirky oil measuring system. Then I remind myself the thing holds 9 quarts of the stuff. And, that when it tells me it's low, a mere 1/3 quart will get it (and me) back to the state.
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      04-11-2013, 10:58 PM   #6
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Wow!
Thanks very much for all of the information as it proves most helpful to a newbie M3 owner.
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      04-11-2013, 11:21 PM   #7
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So what's the take away from this? The electronic oil dipstick is effed up and what do you do?

I have a '13 e92 with 600 miles and now I gotta pay attention to this shit.
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      04-12-2013, 07:13 AM   #8
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...and somehow sticking a piece of metal (anytime you so choose) will give you a more accurate reading?

Basically with BMW's dipsticks this is what I do:

I check my oil level once a week. I don't fill unless I am past the last quarter of the bar, sometimes I wait until car tells me to add oil. I only fill one quarter bottle at a time. After filling, I usually wait a week before deciding to fill another quarter bottle. Usually, I keep the level at the halfway mark, rarely do I let it go above three quarters mark.

I always have extra bottles around.

Last edited by mdosu; 04-12-2013 at 07:40 AM.
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      04-12-2013, 07:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeeman335 View Post
So what's the take away from this? The electronic oil dipstick is effed up and what do you do?

I have a '13 e92 with 600 miles and now I gotta pay attention to this shit.
IMO, the electronic and the standard dipsticks are equally reliable/unreliable. You just have to understand how it functions and live with the nuances. For example, if you add say 2 ounces of oil in, neither dipsticks will show you such a small increment. It also appears the electronic won't show measurement accuracy beyond 1/16 of the bar.

The electronic has a delay in giving you an oil measurement. But in reality, this gives you the most accurate reading, b/c it is waiting for a right conditions to give you a reading. On a standard dipstick, you would never read right after you add oil. You would effectively do the same thing the electronic is doing, which is drive your car, then go to a flat service and do 2-3 measurements.

Finally, the electronic actually saves you time too. I'd much rather sit in traffic everyday, and simply flip the switch to check my oil, then pop the hood everyday to check the oil. The task is just much easier and actually gives you a easy way of checking your oil more frequently. The hassle of popping your hood at times tend to delay oil measurements for most car owners, now there's no hassle, just push a button.

In either situations, it's difficult to fill exactly to the top of the mark. So you just have to live with oil levels in the middle of the mark. It doesn't harm your engine either way, why push it to the absolute top? It reminds me of this comic strip the way some people manage their oil level at the top 100% of the time:

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      04-12-2013, 07:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBH View Post
Normal. Welcome the BMW world of no dipsticks.
+1
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