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Flybrian

How to check your BMW's oil - "drain, measure, refill"

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Complexity Creep: BMW's Electronic "Dipstick" Causes Oil Grief
Link to Original Article @ Jalopnik
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What happens when technology answers a question nobody asked? Sometimes billions are made. Other times, needless technical complexity makes for a more complex experience. Such is the case one Car and Driver reader made in the mag's July '07 issue. In a letter to C&D, he directs our attention to the BMW 328i, whose oil dipstick has been replaced with a sensor and on-screen alert icon. But according to the writer, the system has resulted in owners overfilling their crankcases. And according to two dealerships, the only way to check the oil accurately is thus:

I was told the proper way to check the oil is to return the car to your BMW dealership and it will put the vehicle on a rack, drain the oil, measure it, and then reinstall the oil in the car.

It's not a new problem, and BMW isn't the only one; Porsche uses a similar system, which includes an oil-level readout on the dash. Still, if car companies want to be software developers, maybe they should start offering pre-production cars to Beta testers. - Mike Spinelli


I read a related blurb in the 'Women and Cars' area of Edmunds that actually praises this. Goes to show what 'enthusiasts' they are...
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April Fools was two months ago... :huh:

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Is BMW trying to model their business plan after HP's printer business?

"We'll sell you the printer for $100, but the cartridge refills are $50... and if you run out of yellow, you have to replace cyan and magenta too even if they're not empty"

"We'll sell you the 3-series for 27k, but you have to bring the car to us for a $65 oil change."

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It's $65? The VW/Audi dealership I go to does it for $40. The Saab dealership does it for around $42.

Why the $25 premium for BMW?

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$65 actually makes sense if that is truly what it is (relatively inexpensive, actually)...With 8 quarts of Mobil 1 synthetic (about 55 bucks) and an oil filter (another 10 bucks) I'm droppin' about that much when I change my oil.

Regardless, there is no question that it is a stupid design....Needless overengineering. My car has a dipstick, and a sensor, so the OBC will still tell me if the oil is low or not even if I didn't check the dipstick. Granted, BMW's maintenance programs are pretty good, CPO included, but that still doesn't excuse it way down the road when it is out of warranty.

I wouldn't go by BMW's recommended oil changes anyway. I have seen major sludge problems result over time from the recommended oil service levels (on some older engines anyway). Even with my full synthetic, the longest I leave my oil is 5,000.

Edited by Nick
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It's $65? The VW/Audi dealership I go to does it for $40. The Saab dealership does it for around $42.

Why the $25 premium for BMW?

It's more like $90 (6-8 qt synthetic), but the intervals are ~ 12K miles. And all service (oil changes, brakes, wipers, inspections) is covered the first 4yr/50K. You can extend it to 6yr/100K for $1045.

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>>" was told the proper way to check the oil is to return the car to your BMW dealership and it will put the vehicle on a rack, drain the oil, measure it, and then reinstall the oil in the car."<<

Ludicrious... will this &#036;h&#33; ever end ??

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what % of BMW owners actually change their own oil? I can't imagine its very high

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what % of BMW owners actually change their own oil? I can't imagine its very high

I'd say the majority of people take their cars to Jiffy Lube or the Stealership when it comes to changing their oil. The ones who do it themselves know how to change the oil on their own cars regardless of the weird things that need to be done. Most of those people are the car enthusiasts, and you will tend to find that most with much older cars that are out of their CPO/New car warranty covering full maintenance. I can't imagine many owners of newer BMW's with the dipstick-less setup are out of their warranty as of yet.

Hell, even in my car there is something that needs to be reset when you change the oil. There is an inspection light bar on the dash with little bars that gradually go down based on oil consumption, I believe. The bars are green, but when you get down low enough a yellow bar will light up notifying you that it is inspection time, and I think if you go long enough it turns red and the car goes into limp mode...Not positive of that though. But I have a code reader tool which allows me to reset lights including the inspection/service bar.

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No excuse. This is retarded, plain and simple.

It's like not having the foresight to bring a first aid kit to a knife fight.

Every car ever made will at some point leak/burn oil. It's inevidable.

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>>"what % of BMW owners actually change their own oil? "<<

It is likely beyond the capabilities of the average BMW owner, yes.

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>>"what % of BMW owners actually change their own oil? "<<

It is likely beyond the capabilities of the average BMW owner, yes.

That's a pretty ignorant comment, don't you think? I suppose the same can be said for the fools who buy domestic vehicles when the Japanese clearly produce superior automobiles. :rolleyes:

Oh, btw, regarding the topic, I don't like the idea of an electronic dipstick, I think it is stupid, over-engineered bull&#036;h&#33; which a lot of manufacturers, specifically luxury makes, are getting too accustomed to doing. So don't think by my previous posts that I'm trying to justify it.

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