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Oil Level Sensor Replacement for N52
Published by Efthreeoh
01-01-2014
Oil Level Sensor Replacement for N52

So based on BMW's decision to code the oil monitor system to become inactive above 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers), I initially thought the oil level/oil quality sensor was defective. Turns out it wasn't, but I decided to post a DIY to replace it anyway. The sensor is about $160 from on-line retailers. It's not a hard DIY, but I recommend changing it at an oil change interval to make the job easier, or you can reuse the oil if it is drained into a clean container.

I've posted it as a Adobe document so you can down load it, or print it as necessary.

This is a DIY for removal and replacement of the Oil Level/Oil Quality Sensor in the N52 engine. The sensor is located in the oil pan and comes out of the bottom, so the engine oil needs to be drained.
Parts needed:
Oil Sensor BMW P/N 12 61 760 7910
Oil Sender Gasket P/N 12 61 174 4292
Tools needed:

Floorjack, and 4 jackstands
17MM socket and ratchet handle
8MM socket (or nut driver)
10MM socket (or nut driver)
Torque wrench that can read in inch-pounds or is accurate in low torque settings.
Flat-head screw driver, long-shaft for prying (or similar tool) - I used a snap-on trim button removal tool

Basic Procedure:
1) Lift car onto 4 jackstands
2) Remove engine splash shield
3) Drain engine oil
4) Remove Oil Sensor unit
5) Install the new Oil Sensor unit
6) Fill engine with new oil
7) Reinstall engine splash shield


The sensor comes packaged in an ESD (electro-static discharge) bag, so keep in the bag until you need to install it.

Details are in the attachment.
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File Type: pdf Oilsensor removal.pdf (1.06 MB, 341 views)
  #1  
By pruettfan on 01-07-2014, 02:25 AM
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Wow, if the oil monitor become inactive at 186,000 miles I will be doing this DIY. I am only a few hundred miles away from that milestone. Thanks for the DIY
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  #2  
By Efthreeoh on 01-07-2014, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pruettfan View Post
Wow, if the oil monitor become inactive at 186,000 miles I will be doing this DIY. I am only a few hundred miles away from that milestone. Thanks for the DIY
There is no need to replace the sensor when the oil monitor becomes inactive. Replacing the sensor does not solve the problem. It is a software fix that BMW needs to develop that codes out the entire oil life monitor system in the CBS.
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  #3  
By pruettfan on 01-07-2014, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
There is no need to replace the sensor when the oil monitor becomes inactive. Replacing the sensor does not solve the problem. It is a software fix that BMW needs to develop that codes out the entire oil life monitor system in the CBS.
Thanks, am I correct in assuming it goes to a purely mileage based oil change or will the system only measure the level and leave the intervals up to me?
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  #4  
By Efthreeoh on 01-08-2014, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by pruettfan View Post
Thanks, am I correct in assuming it goes to a purely mileage based oil change or will the system only measure the level and leave the intervals up to me?
I posted a thread on this in the maintenance section if you want more details. What BMW will tell you is to start chaining the oil on a mileage interval. The paperwork I got from the dealer recommended a 7,500 mile OCI. Until BMW comes up with a software fix, the CBS will remind you at every key-off that the oil service is past due (annoying). The CBS counts down from 0 miles, so every key-off show in negative numbers how far past the last oil change the car is at. The fix is supposed to code out the oil change notification all together. Now, with my car, at 186K or so, the CBS would not allow an oil change reset through a scan tool like a BT scan tool that I have. Then at 212K it reset to about half of my normal OCI. At 221K, it wouldn't reset at all and only went to zero miles.
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  #5  
By pruettfan on 01-08-2014, 11:21 PM
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Thanks Efthreeoh. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out. We should start a thread for the 180,000 plus club to discuss the unique issues that pop up. I am hoping to get mine to 240,000 miles and then pass it on to my daughter for her first car if it remains reliable.

Tom
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  #6  
By Efthreeoh on 01-09-2014, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pruettfan View Post
Thanks Efthreeoh. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out. We should start a thread for the 180,000 plus club to discuss the unique issues that pop up. I am hoping to get mine to 240,000 miles and then pass it on to my daughter for her first car if it remains reliable.

Tom
Well I'm at 236K. If your car is in as good shape as mine is (even half as good), then I'd say your daughter should be looking forward to very nice first car. That said, owning a 240K BMW is not for the timid and I hope you educate her on the finer elements of car ownership so she is keen on when problems may crop up that need to be addressed.

I believe our young people are so coddled now a days they rely far too much on their cell phones to save them from agony. Case in point, my Nice was allowed to borrow my Mother's 2005 Ford Five Hundred to drive it to college(my Mom recently passed the stage where it is not save for her to drive anymore); long story short, in the matter of a few weeks my Nice was able to somehow kill the engine and thus total the car. The Five Hundred had about 50K on it and was in excellent mechanical shape (I did an oil change on it just this past June and went through the whole thing). - Sorry venting a little. But with owning a 240K E90, your daughter will learn some valuable car knowledge that most kids her age will never get. I believe it will be beneficial later in life for your daughter to have the experience of owning a high mileage car. Good for you!
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  #7  
By Dc2denis on 02-12-2014, 01:26 PM
My sensor went out at 94k. I haven't replaced it yet, just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit. I've been keeping a close eye on it though.
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