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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > how often do you have to top off your oil?



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      07-31-2012, 01:42 AM   #1
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how often do you have to top off your oil?

I've noticed that my car is getting really low on motor oil really fast, within a couple of months or so... I don't remember always having to top off my motor oil this often, could there be a leak?
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      07-31-2012, 06:15 AM   #2
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2006 330xi  [4.75]
If there was a leak youd probably see it under your car. I maybe top off a quart of oil once or twice between oil changes when the computer says +1quart.
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      07-31-2012, 01:35 PM   #3
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I had a similar problem last year. I found out I had a slow leak coming from the valve cover gasket and damaged bolts. After I fixed this problem the top up were less frequent. Maybe 1 or 2 between changes (~9,000 km OCI).
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      08-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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I've had my 08' 335xi for 7 months and was due for the yearly oil change, driven about 6,000 miles dealer changed it under 4/50k warr. Oil level didn't move when I had it, since the oil change now driven another 4k, still full. Whole time had Cobb tuned. How can other engines burn so much oil and others none? Doesn't seem all engines have same tolerances. Any input?
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      08-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #5
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If you have a leak you will not necessarily notice spots under the car at the parking spot. The plastic pan captures most of the leaks and it gets "vaporized" when you drive instead of leaving obvious spots. Take a look at the engine with a flashlight, close to the oil filter assembly, all around the head gasket, and down, under the car, open the oil drain flap and see if you can see oil at the main pan seal, or close to the transmission connexion (hard to see without removing the entire plastic pan, secure the car on stands before going under ).
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      08-02-2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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I know i have a small tranny fluid leak when I took it in to get my brake fluid changed. I'll have to try and see but like the guy above said its hard to see because of all the plastic.
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      08-02-2012, 04:17 PM   #7
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      08-02-2012, 05:12 PM   #8
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I have consistently added about 1/4 qt at about 6K mls on that oil, M1, and change it 7K.
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      08-05-2012, 05:39 PM   #9
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Bump!

I just had "add 1 qt" come up on mine for the first time. Currently at 76,000 miles, and just did an oil change at 72,500. Plan on next one at 80,000.

I added 3/4 qt and watched the cars computer say the level went up, but it was still not exactly in the middle between min / max. It was closer to the min side so i added the last 1/4 qt, but level stayed the same on the cars computer.

After driving home, level says its at Max, so I'm confused what my actual level is.

Could I have put too much? I know running too much is just as bad as not running enough.
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      08-05-2012, 05:47 PM   #10
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The measurement is off when you just have topped off, so don't rely on the gauge to "measure" what you add, the level would change next time you drive anyway (which you just witnessed btw).

When the car say add 1 qt, just add exactly that. The sensor triggers when the car needs exactly 1qt to get back to max. You should not top off as long as this "add 1qt" signal does not appear (as there is no reliable way to not overfill, then).

Since you did add 1qt total, you have not overfilled and you are fine


Again, it is unlikely you are burning oil at this mileage, but this level of oil "consumption" is abnormal, you probably have a leak somewhere, you should do the flashlight inspection.
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      08-05-2012, 06:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeni View Post
The measurement is off when you just have topped off, so don't rely on the gauge to "measure" what you add, the level would change next time you drive anyway (which you just witnessed btw).

When the car say add 1 qt, just add exactly that. The sensor triggers when the car needs exactly 1qt to get back to max. You should not top off as long as this "add 1qt" signal does not appear (as there is no reliable way to not overfill, then).

Since you did add 1qt total, you have not overfilled and you are fine


Again, it is unlikely you are burning oil at this mileage, but this level of oil "consumption" is abnormal, you probably have a leak somewhere, you should do the flashlight inspection.
Interesting. Okay, I'll remember that.

Idk last time I had it changed, (while leaving) the level was towards the min side instead of being exactly in the middle, so idk if it was just low, as is, on top of burning oil or what.

My tips are spotless, so I notice when I have to wipe black soot off of them. I did yesterday, but I was thinking that thats normal. Seems way early in the life of the motor to be burning oil.

I'll look for caked oil around the engine bay. I hope I don't have a leak :/

btw, thanks for the quick reply!
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      08-06-2012, 08:28 AM   #12
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+1 for never here, in three years of ownership.
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      08-06-2012, 08:47 AM   #13
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      08-07-2012, 12:45 PM   #14
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Two years ago I bought my 330i with 46k km on the clock, it then asked for a litre of oil and my calculation was that it had done 6500 km so was pretty concerned! Then another 8100 km later it asked for another litre so a little better. Soon after went in for service which was beginning of this year. A month or so ago (5000 km later) the oil level was still showing max, now it has dropped to 75% level, so if it continues in this fashion it will need to be topped up once before normal scheduled service in 2014, but going to change the oil beginning of next year anyway and continue to change the oil annually since I don't do very high mileage most of the time...

These E90 engines are known to use oil apparently, but to what degree is the question, and based on what type of driving etc.
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      08-07-2012, 01:19 PM   #15
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I'd imagine that only us n54 guys should have a problem with this. NA motors should be able to hold oil, while turbo motors are notorious for making it disappear. Some say the positive manifold pressure opens up a space rift back in time and thats where all oil originates from.
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      08-07-2012, 06:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three_thirty_I View Post
Two years ago I bought my 330i with 46k km on the clock, it then asked for a litre of oil and my calculation was that it had done 6500 km so was pretty concerned! Then another 8100 km later it asked for another litre so a little better. Soon after went in for service which was beginning of this year. A month or so ago (5000 km later) the oil level was still showing max, now it has dropped to 75% level, so if it continues in this fashion it will need to be topped up once before normal scheduled service in 2014, but going to change the oil beginning of next year anyway and continue to change the oil annually since I don't do very high mileage most of the time...

These E90 engines are known to use oil apparently, but to what degree is the question, and based on what type of driving etc.
Yeah I'm checking the level every few days now to make sure I'm not leaking catastrophic amounts lol.

I really hope it was just that the previous oil change didn't add enough / very very small amount burned.

I'll chime in back in this thread when I close in on 80k miles. I'll be doing oil change, coolant, and tranny fluid (doing it every 40k miles)
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      08-08-2012, 06:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUI Elite View Post
Yeah I'm checking the level every few days now to make sure I'm not leaking catastrophic amounts lol.

I really hope it was just that the previous oil change didn't add enough / very very small amount burned.

I'll chime in back in this thread when I close in on 80k miles. I'll be doing oil change, coolant, and tranny fluid (doing it every 40k miles)
Keep us posted! Possible leaks from what I've read, if this is the case, could the valve cover gasket and/or the heat exchanger gasket. I still reckon if there is a leak anywhere, there should be traces of the oil that has leaked out, so might mean getting the car onto a ramp and remove the plastic lower engine covers to see...
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