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      10-29-2012, 04:54 PM   #1
jester77
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330i N52 - have you ever had to top up your oil?

Having previously owned an Audi S4 that needed a litre of oil every 1,000 miles (or sometimes less), I am pretty paranoid about oil levels. So I like to keep a close eye on the electronic gauge on my 330i via the iDrive.

Thing is, I have never seen it drop below max. Last oil change was about 15 months / 5k miles ago so not mega-mileage or time since last filled, but even so I would have expected to have needed to top up by now.

I'm now getting paranoid that the sensor may be on the blink and I may in reality be running the car perilously low on oil - but of course don't want to put some in and run the risk of of over-filling.

Any personal experiences to share?
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      10-30-2012, 05:16 AM   #2
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Never had to put a single drop in my N52 330i in 50K/3 years over and above the 3 service changes it had.

Equally never had to put a drop in my N54 335i in 40k/4years outside of oil changes (which I do every 6-8k anyway)

If you're keen on oil, I'm suprised you're leaving it in that long, especially with low mileage?

If you care for your engine then it's 1 year max between changes, even on low miles - regardles of the longlife oil marketing BS.....
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      10-30-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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I think every car is different.

Past and present BMWs
Our 1 coupe doesn't use a drop
Our Z4 used up about 600ml every 2000 miles
Our 335i uses about 1 litre every 3-4k miles... it is driven relatively hard
Our 330i never used a drop between services

I dont trust BMW service intervals and without trying to get into the argument of when is optimal to change oil. I like to change mine every 10k(which has always been well before 12months) regardless of service intervals. I can see why some would change 6-8k especially with the likes of ECP and OO prices of around 45 per oil change, its a nominal amount for protecting the engine.

Having said that the 1 series will be done at the service intervals only as its on PCP+Service plan+Warranty and plan on handing it back at the end of this.

Its quiet possible it wouldn't have used a drop in 5k miles, but could probably/possibly do with a change as its over 12months anyway
If you are worried about over filling, just drain and change it, its cheap and you have peace of mind then.
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      10-30-2012, 01:25 PM   #4
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its funny you posted this.. I just had to add 1 quart of oil today. I went to BMW yesterday and he said it actually called for 1 liter every 750 miles. Which even the sales rep said that it was pretty shocking. Mine is a 06 330i. I just bought 1 quart for $8 and topped it up.
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      10-30-2012, 04:35 PM   #5
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I suggested to my Local independent specialist that they changed the oil recently when it was in having coil packs done and the guy looked at me like I was mad. "They tell you when they need an oil change, sir, and yours is still showing a few thousand miles to go, even if you do a lot of shorter trips it works that out".

So I left it at that. But you've got me thinking that I should have pushed for it. The car's a keeper so want to keep it tip top. Just the hassle of getting it booked in etc.

Thanks for the replies - at least I know that my situation is pretty normal.
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      10-31-2012, 09:00 AM   #6
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Mine is an N53 330i and no, I have never had to top it up - occasionally it is around the middle of the range on the graphic just before a service, it has never got close to the min marking. I have generally had to top up my previous cars quite a bit... But I know this often varies a lot even with cars of the same model. The maximum acceptable amount of oil use is generally huge for all manufacturers - far more than most of us would be comfortable with.
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      11-01-2012, 03:53 AM   #7
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The tolerance on engine parts are the issue, if you happend to have pistons on the low end of their size tolerance, in a block with bores on the high end, you'll lose more oil.

Same with all metel contact surfaces, larger clearances will results in lower pressure and more loss via valve guides and cylinderbores.

Its a lottery really.
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      11-01-2012, 03:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester77 View Post
I suggested to my Local independent specialist that they changed the oil recently when it was in having coil packs done and the guy looked at me like I was mad. "They tell you when they need an oil change, sir, and yours is still showing a few thousand miles to go, even if you do a lot of shorter trips it works that out".
Specialist? Were they called kwik-fit?
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      11-01-2012, 04:21 AM   #9
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I had to top up my oil couple months ago but that was because my oil filter cap was warped and leaking oil, after I changed that I haven't had to top up since and it stays at max.

I'd change your oil every 7,500 miles or every year just to be on the safe side.
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