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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > Australia > Engine oil levels - declining too rapidly?



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      08-18-2010, 09:12 PM   #1
goldTopDeluxe
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Engine oil levels - declining too rapidly?

Hi,

Around 13,000km my 323i (built in 09) indicated a top up of the oil was req'd. So as per the manual, I put in a litre of the recommended oil, and checked the level indicator via the idrive and dashboard and could see the new levels were close to max, but safely within the thresholds.

A couple of months later (roughly 1000km after the top up), while sitting on a steep incline, the alert comes up saying oil levels are down. Fine - i'm thinking, its probably just because of the car's position, and the car had not warmed up, nothing to worry about.

I've been keeping an eye on the oil levels ever since and have noticed its already down to below 1/2 way between min and max when the car is well and truly warmed up.

Yesterday, I took it in for its first service and asked them to check for any oil leaks. They said no oil leaks found. I also havent seen any leak stains in my garage floor.

What surprised me though, is that the service man said its normal for the 3 series to go through this much oil, and that they have had internal memos stating that its not uncommon for a litre of oil to be used up every 900kms.
This just did not sound right to me but then again, I have a general dis-trust for service guys anyway.

I'm also suspecting, even though initially, the level may go close to max after a top up, it will quickly sit close to midway between min/max until eventually it needs another top up? In other words, the rate it goes down is not linear. Would I be correct in this understanding?

What's everybody else's experience with oil levels on their 3 series cars?
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      08-18-2010, 10:18 PM   #2
mat320i
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I got fed that crap too from my dealer. my 320i would need a top up every 2-3000 and i was told for the first 10,000k's thats normal. fast forward 50,000k's and its still drinking oil like its a diesal. they did find a few leaks every so often when i complained and its also had a new oil level sensor but it still goes through it. there is something seriously wrong with mine and its oil pressure as its blown the seal on top of the oil cooler and is dribbling oil at a slow rate out of that too. not bad for a 2 year old $77,000 car i say.

All you can do is keep complaining. the level sensor system is crap they should atleast put a dip stick in the engine so you can confirm the actual level. the OSD should be a guide not gospel.
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      08-18-2010, 10:20 PM   #3
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I've had my 323i 3 years (40000km) and have never needed to top up the oil
between services.
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      08-18-2010, 10:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mat320i View Post
I got fed that crap too from my dealer. my 320i would need a top up every 2-3000 and i was told for the first 10,000k's thats normal. fast forward 50,000k's and its still drinking oil like its a diesal. they did find a few leaks every so often when i complained and its also had a new oil level sensor but it still goes through it. there is something seriously wrong with mine and its oil pressure as its blown the seal on top of the oil cooler and is dribbling oil at a slow rate out of that too. not bad for a 2 year old $77,000 car i say.

All you can do is keep complaining. the level sensor system is crap they should atleast put a dip stick in the engine so you can confirm the actual level. the OSD should be a guide not gospel.
Mines a 320i but changed oil only at service, surely
looks like somethings not right with ur car
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      08-19-2010, 12:03 AM   #5
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Hi there

Hard to recall exact details but I think my 325i (2.5 litre six as with 323i) needed a litre at around 8000km then another litre at 12000km. And when its first service was due at 18000km it had dropped to 2/5 bars on the iDrive. Between 18000 and 34000 it needed another litre (can't recall exactly when) and was down to 3/5 bars when the oil was changed at 34000km. 5500km later and still on 5/5.

My impression was that it didn't use a heap at first, then went through a period of heavier use after which it appears to have settled. Similarly I'm not sure how linear or accurate the meter is - seems to stay full for 60% of the distance, then 4/5 for 20%, 3/5 for 10% then the last two steps go quickly. Adding a litre every 5-7000km is of no concern (all my other cars have consumed oil like this) but certainly monitor usage, keep a record and make mention (as opposed to complaining) if still concerned.
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      08-19-2010, 12:07 AM   #6
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I've added 1L to my 335 in 3 years of ownership (70,000 klms).

However my stepmothers 325 which is 4 years old (22,000 klms) seams to need 1L every 2500 klms.
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      08-19-2010, 02:10 AM   #7
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Mark's 325 was using about 1200ml per 1000kms after 60,00kms.. Bmw were kind enough to replace the whole engine...
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      08-19-2010, 06:26 PM   #8
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Mine goes through approx 1L every 5,000km, but I use a slightly different viscosity 0W-40. I've been told it's perfectly normal and some use some oil, whereas some use none.
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      08-20-2010, 12:48 AM   #9
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I got my 323 recently (2007 model, at 55,000kms) and it seems to go through a litre every 1500km. I will mention this at the next service.
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      08-20-2010, 01:14 AM   #10
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I've added 3 litres in 15000kms. A litre every 900kms seems excessive - I'd probably be concered if it got anywhere near that. My E46 didn't use any.
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      08-24-2010, 02:16 AM   #11
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I've looked around the engine bay.. seems clean. no smell of burning oil or stains. Does anybody know how you can tell if there is an internal leak?

From the varied responses, it sounds like there is no 'common' rate that oil goes down, and it seems to be case by case, dependant on driving style and other variables.

My wife seems to think our previous BMW went through the same thing, but I dont recall so.

Searching the rest of the site, I've found a few other posts of others having similiar experiences to mine. Some suggest there may be faulty sensors but I dont think its the case here (this is where the traditional dip stick would come in handy.) Others say its just the car being relatively new and As johnnydad has aluded to, I'm hoping its just a case of the car getting settled.

When they did the service, they topped it up so its now sitting at max again. I would have preferred that they leave it so that I could monitor how long it took to get to a 'low level' alert.

I think all I can do for now is monitor it.
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      09-01-2010, 01:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mat320i View Post
I got fed that crap too from my dealer. my 320i would need a top up every 2-3000 and i was told for the first 10,000k's thats normal. fast forward 50,000k's and its still drinking oil like its a diesal. they did find a few leaks every so often when i complained and its also had a new oil level sensor but it still goes through it. there is something seriously wrong with mine and its oil pressure switch as its blown the seal on top of the oil cooler and is dribbling oil at a slow rate out of that too. not bad for a 2 year old $77,000 car i say.

All you can do is keep complaining. the level sensor system is crap they should atleast put a dip stick in the engine so you can confirm the actual level. the OSD should be a guide not gospel.
That's quite an expensive cost. Would anyone post a complete details or any signs that there is an internal leak of the car? If would be a great help to people to avoid this kind of expenses.
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      09-01-2010, 05:24 AM   #13
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Umm.. not sure what you mean by an internal leak. Does that mean your car puffs blue smoke first thing when you start it?
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      09-02-2010, 02:57 AM   #14
David328M-Sport
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I had 1 lite of oil added to my 2005 325i once after a couple of years of use and another litre just today. Otherwise only during scheduled services.
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