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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 > Oil Level Sensor not reading



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      11-25-2019, 04:44 PM   #1
J Roc 328i
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Oil Level Sensor not reading

I own a 2011 328i and the oil was changed 2,000 miles ago so I am confident the correct amount of oil is there and fairly fresh. Yesterday the car had read that the level was on the maximum line but today I was driving the car for 1 hour and the whole time it never displayed the level and said it was "measuring the engine oil level". I check for leaks throughout the engine compartment as well as under the vehicle every week and seem to not see any major leaks. Has this happened to anyone else and have any ideas?

Last edited by J Roc 328i; 11-25-2019 at 05:12 PM.. Reason: More detail
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      11-25-2019, 11:44 PM   #2
BashShah
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change the level Sensor, it's cheap and easy to do.
but you will need to drain and refill your oil again.
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      11-26-2019, 10:59 AM   #3
Efthreeoh
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Step one is get a BMW scan tool and check for trouble codes. Step 2 open the connector and clean it with electrical contact cleaner.
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      11-26-2019, 12:14 PM   #4
J Roc 328i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Step one is get a BMW scan tool and check for trouble codes. Step 2 open the connector and clean it with electrical contact cleaner.
I see you drive an E90 as well. Has this ever happened to you? Do you have links to any other places I can read about this? I haven't been able to find too many people that have been having particularly the same problem.
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      11-26-2019, 12:17 PM   #5
J Roc 328i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BashShah View Post
change the level Sensor, it's cheap and easy to do.
but you will need to drain and refill your oil again.
That is what I have been thinking to do. Do you by any chance know of any other links that may have the same problem? Most of the other forums and sites I have checked have had more problems with inconsistent readings than not reading at all for a full hour of the vehicle running. It didn't give me a sensor inactive signal its like it was stuck in a measuring sequence.
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      11-27-2019, 04:58 AM   #6
BashShah
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This sensor does not per say measure oil, it only senses pressure and then the computer calculates if there is enough oil or not.

just curious, how are you scanning your car, what tool are you using?
if it is not BMW special Diagnostic scanner, then you may not be seeing a code, and no engine check light will be thrown.

I know it is a stupid design, but you gota go through the hopes to see what exactly is causing the issue.
Also, when you drain your new oil, measure it to see if it is actually correct amount.

Good luck.
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      11-27-2019, 06:02 AM   #7
Efthreeoh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BashShah View Post
This sensor does not per say measure oil, it only senses pressure and then the computer calculates if there is enough oil or not.

just curious, how are you scanning your car, what tool are you using?
if it is not BMW special Diagnostic scanner, then you may not be seeing a code, and no engine check light will be thrown.

I know it is a stupid design, but you gota go through the hopes to see what exactly is causing the issue.
Also, when you drain your new oil, measure it to see if it is actually correct amount.

Good luck.
Okay, so you really don't understand how the oil level sensor works. It actually measures the oil level in the engine and it does it quite accurately.

Rather than rewriting how the oil level senor works read this:

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1533444

The how the oil level sensor works by using capacitance is not new technology. The technology was developed several decades ago in the machine tool industry as an aid for manufacturing plant equipment maintenance. BMW was innovative enough to apply the technology to automobile engines. Electronic oil level sensing is quite useful in engines that use an oil pressure-drive cam adjustment system like BMW's VANOS. The N52 is not BMW's first use of the technology.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission.
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      11-27-2019, 06:26 AM   #8
Efthreeoh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Roc 328i View Post
I see you drive an E90 as well. Has this ever happened to you? Do you have links to any other places I can read about this? I haven't been able to find too many people that have been having particularly the same problem.
The sensor operation is quite simple. There are no moving parts in it. Read the link I posted above so you can familiarize yourself with it, which helps with diagnosing the problem. Being the sensor is purely electrical, if it fails, it is an electrical fault, which is why the first step in diagnosis is to scan the car for manufacturer-specific fault codes. You need a BMW-based scan tool to do this. There are numerous scan tools available for BMW, go to the coding subforum to find out what scan tools you can get.

So first off, as you indicated, the last oil change is within 2,000 miles, and you have no major oil leaks, so it is a safe assumption that the oil level is in the safe operating range and will remain as such. This means you have time to get a scan tool and diagnose the issue. The failure can be either in the sensor electronics (very rare) or with the connector (contaminated or damaged), or on the CAN bus circuit that the sensor sends its data over. The alternator, coolant pump, and oil level sensor all communicate on the same CAN bus circuit. There have been several threads on the subject. It could be as simple as the sensor's temperature probe has malfunctioned. The oil needs to be at operating temperature for the sensor to take an oil level reading. Usually the CBS menu brings up an "inactive" notification if the sensor has failed in such a manner.

Have you tried to get a reading since the appearance of the fault?

So I have replaced the oil sensor in my engine, but not for the fault you are experiencing.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 11-27-2019 at 06:31 AM..
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      11-27-2019, 02:07 PM   #9
BashShah
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Yup I stand corrected. I don't know how they work.
I don't want to know. I just want to know that it is working or not.
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