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Engine Tuneups, chips, wires, spark plugs.

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Old 04-09-2011, 03:41 AM   #1
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Default No oil in engine yet no warnings

A few months ago I decided to check my engine because the car was running really smooth (hard to tell engine was running at a stop light). First thing I check was the oil level and to my horror it was bone dry. I replaced the valve seal (which I think was the source of the oil leak), oil filter, spark plugs and wires (was needed) and refilled with oil.

Looking to do an oil change in a few weeks and looking back the thing that bothered me the most was I got no indication my car had no oil. No check engine light, no check oil light. Temperature was where it usually is, just a hair past the middle marker after warming up.

Is there a possibility of a problem with some sensor that I should replace when I do the oil change?

'95 318ti sport. rear light mod. K&N filter. 16" BMW rims.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:35 AM   #2
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Does your car leak oil when parked on a clean surface? Also does it smoke when run? Where do you think the oil is going?

When you check the oil do you do a double dip. Pull the stick wipe it then put it back in to take the reading. If you don't double dip and have good O-rings you will think you have no oil...

John S

Last edited by xxxJohnBoyxxx; 04-09-2011 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:20 AM   #3
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The engine does a very very good job at scavenging the pan. Mine had a oil leak and the pressure light never came on either. I had ot put 4 quarts of oil in it.. Most cars the oil light comes on after the expensive noises start...

The lack of a real oil pressure gauge is one of the more arrogant of BMW configurations, nearly as bad as taking the dipstick off the new models.

How they can build a sport sedan without oil pressure? And a voltmeter...
My plain old jeep has better engine telemetry than my BMW.. Sad.

Dave - PDX
1995 318ti - Active Black and Tan.
2005 330xi - Mtech 1 - 6spd - Orient Blue/Black
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:50 AM   #4
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There were no oil on the garage floor and no smoking. I double, triple, quadruple dipped and nothing, no oil.

I think it just leak out through the valve cover gasket. There is oil residue on the engine block below the valve cover. I believe it was just age and I had gone back to using synthetic oil which I hope is what saved the engine from long term damage.

So I guess the only warning for such an occurrence is not the oil check light but regular checking of the dip stick? Maybe I should check the oil pressure switch?
'95 318ti sport. rear light mod. K&N filter. 16" BMW rims.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:04 AM   #5
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Ok I check my oil every two tanks of gas to be sure. I do have a small leak it the pan where my turbo dumps its oil back into the oil pan. It makes a nice puddle on the driveway but is never more then a half quart low within 2,000 miles. If your 4 quarts low you got a serious oil leak or a lot of oil going out the exhaust. You need to find out where that oil is going? There needs to be a large mess from 4 quarts of oil dumped from your car. This is a fact it didn't just disappear...

Is your dipstick mounted good into the block? I just can seem to understand no oil on the ground and no oil out the exhaust and your so low. Just a few drops of oil each day makes a big puddle in a weeks time and would not cause a quart to be lost over a month.

Check that oil level every week if you are using that much oil. The dummy light only comes on when there is no oil pressure and your motor is tearing up parts.

You really need to find out where that oil is going or if you are maybe not getting a good measurement.

Best, John Smith

Last edited by xxxJohnBoyxxx; 04-09-2011 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:32 PM   #6
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When you say no oil...do you mean the dipstick didn't read any oil? or you opened the drain plug and nothing came out?

I think there are 2-3 quarts of oil in the engine even when the level is below the dipstick.

If that's the case, then the oil light didn't come on because you had sufficient oil pressure. Just do the oil change, and keep an eye on your consumption like the others have said.
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