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Replacing Your BMW Oil Condition Sensor
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your BMW Oil Condition Sensor

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, drain pan

Applicable Models:

BMW 325i Sedan (2006)
BMW 325xi Sedan/Wagon (2006)
BMW 328i Coupe/Conv (2007-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 328i xDrive Wagon (2009-12)
BMW 328i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 328i/xi Wagon (2007-12)
BMW 328xi Coupe (2007-13)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 335d/i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 335i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 335i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 335i/is Coupe/Conv (2007-13)
BMW 335xi Coupe (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Oil level sensor, engine oil

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine.

Performance Gain:

Car will display correct oil level, remedy oil leak.

Complementary Modification:

Change oil and filter at same time.
Oil level in your dash no longer accurate? Swap that pesky sensor out in no time!

BMW E90 models utilize an oil condition sensor located in the oil pan. The oil condition sensor is responsible for supplying oil level as well as oil condition information to the vehicle computer system. BMW E90 models use this sensor instead of a dipstick to monitor oil level. You can check oil level via the driver information center. See our tech article on changing your engine oil. The sensor is prone to failure in two ways; it can fail electrically and it can leak oil. When it fails electrically, you will see a yellow oil warning light on the instrument pane. If a yellow oil warning light illuminates on your instrument panel; immediately shut engine OFF and check engine oil level. If oil level is OK and warning light is ON, sensor has likely failed. The DME (engine control module) will likely have a fault code for the faulty sensor. When servicing, have a suitable container to drain and catch dripping engine oil. Have rags to clean any engine oil that is spilled and always wear eye protection and gloves.
BMW E90 models utilize an oil condition sensor located in the oil pan.
Figure 1

BMW E90 models utilize an oil condition sensor located in the oil pan (green arrow).

This photo shows oil seeping out of electrical connector (yellow arrow) and rust around the sensor (green arrow), if you have a steel oil pan
Figure 2

This photo shows oil seeping out of electrical connector (yellow arrow) and rust around the sensor (green arrow), if you have a steel oil pan this could happen to your vehicle. Start by raising and supporting the front of the vehicle safely. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle. Working beneath front of vehicle, remove plastic splash shields to gain access to engine oil pan. See our tech article on engine splash shields removing.

Place container (with a volume of 7 quarts of engine oil); under engine oil pan.
Figure 3

Place container (with a volume of 7 quarts of engine oil); under engine oil pan. Remove engine oil drain plug and allow engine oil to drain into container. If you plan to reuse your engine oil, be sure the container is clean and free of debris. Once engine oil is fully drained, reinstall engine oil drain plug and tighten.

Clean area around oil condition sensor thoroughly.
Figure 4

Clean area around oil condition sensor thoroughly. Working at oil condition sensor, disconnect electrical connector. (green arrow)

Then remove three 10mm mounting nuts from oil condition sensor (green arrows).
Figure 5

Then remove three 10mm mounting nuts from oil condition sensor (green arrows). There is a grounding strap attached to a bracket (yellow arrow). You can leave this attached and allow it to hang when removing the oil condition sensor. If you would like to remove and clean the bracket, you will have to remove the ground.

Remove oil condition sensor from oil pan, be prepared to catch any dripping oil.
Figure 6

Remove oil condition sensor from oil pan, be prepared to catch any dripping oil. Once sensor has been removed from oil pan, clean oil level sensor mounting area thoroughly. The O-ring (green arrow) may be stuck to oil pan, if so pull it down to remove and clean any part of the O-ring that remains on oil pan.

If you have a leak caused by rust around the sensor O-ring, you will have to repair the rust.
Figure 7

If you have a leak caused by rust around the sensor O-ring, you will have to repair the rust. You can either clean the rust from oil pan and repaint oil pan, or replace the oil pan. I have had good success repainting oil pans. It is a more affordable and easier option. To install: Apply a small amount of new engine oil to the oil condition sensor seal. Install oil level sensor into oil pan. Tighten three 10mm nuts and reconnect electrical connector. Fill engine with oil. Start engine and allow to run for 1 minute. Then inspect oil level sensor for leaks. Once you are sure no leaks are present, reinstall plastic splash shields.

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Comments and Suggestions:
2002 Comments: What is the torque spec for the three nuts holding in the oil CBS? My car is a 2009 328i E92 SULEV with a manual trans.
January 18, 2017
Banda Comments: just changed my 320 i e90 oil level sensor but it is still saying inactive, what to do?
November 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the wiring and connector. What fault code is stored? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: If my sensor is working properly but only leaking, can I just fix the rust and replace the o-ring?
October 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. If it is a steel pan, check that the pan is not rusted. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Yangorang Comments: I love RedLine oil and my car runs smoothly with it but every time I change to it my car seems to throw an oil condition sensor fault code 2E9F in the DME. Have you guys ever heard of this happening?

10/30/2015 40000 - oil change to Red Line 5W-30 - kept ECS magnetic drain plug - DIY
3/4/2016 43729 - Dealership replaced faulty oil condition sensor code only no dash light - dealer refilled with OE oil but doesn't look like they changed filter - fault code went away for a while
5/27/2016 46100 - changed engine oil to Red Line 5W-30 and filter - kept ECS magnetic drain plug - DIY
9-3-2016 48575 - When using application to reset window regulators happened to see fault code for oil condition sensor again but no warning light on dash.

Yang Zhou
2008 BMW 328xi
September 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No I have not seen that. You may have an intermittent issue with the sensor itself. Unlikely the oil is causing it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Black Betty cont'd Comments: Black Betty cont'd..... are you suggesting to replace the entire oil pan? If so what other componets should be replaced? rubber seal, bolts, sensor, ect.,? What should I expect as far as pricing for the parts alone?
August 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The pan, fasteners, seal for the pan and a new sensor seal.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Black Betty Comments: Been noticing small oil drips on my driveway - took my 09 E92 N52 to my local mechanic today. he told me it looks like oil leak is coming from sensor area but he's concerned with the amount of rust around sensor bolts and fears breaking bolts when force is applied - is this possible or is he being over cautious?
August 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If he means the oil pan, the steel oil pans are known for rusting out around the sensor and needing replacement. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rdy4ever Comments: How do you chechk oil level if there is no dipstick and the sensor is faulty?
August 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: drain and measure what comes out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cata2Yara Comments: Dear,

i have question that, when i start engine and after 10min i check oil level is max, then after i travel around one hour oil level will be 1/2 and after 2 hours i check again, this will show +1l

that already repeated 3 days
May 31, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: l level sensor may be faulty.

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Molungu Comments: my car bmw 320i of 2007 E90 is leaking oil and i just filled oil and travel more than 2000 kilometre and when i check oil is still full some time 3/4 and 1/2 and will late go to full. what might be the problem
May 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will have to check the engine for signs of a leak. You could have a faulty head gasket. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dave Comments: Just to follow up my last comment. I have used a cheap sensor from E-bay. I have heard that you should use a dealer one as the DME does not accept the cheap ones?
May 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have no experience with the cheap sensors, so I can't comment. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dave Comments: My oil CBS wont reset. I have fault codes saying there is a communication issue with the oil condition sensor. I replaced the sensor, but still have the faults. Could there be a wiring fault or can you code out the sensor as I have a dipstick.
April 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the wiring. I would use a wiring diagram to test the circuit. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
veddyj Comments: can the oil pan be aluminum or steel? If so the steel oil pan is black right? I am replacing my oil pan on 328i coupe with 328i sedan and the pan i am getting is silver while the one i have is black. Starting to confuse me
April 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, black would be steel. Best bet, Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tomas Comments: Hello, so i have 2007 335xi n54, and my engine oil temperature keeps moving from 160F to 250F slowly after the car is running for around 30 min, and then i get yellow engine oil light, the fan turns on max once it reaches about 230F, could that be my engine oil sensor cause ?
Thank you
January 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be. First check oil condition and that the oil level is correct. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Butcherall Comments: If I change my oil sensor will I be able to re-set my service clock on dash board
January 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you have a fault code or warning, you may need to clear the fault after replacing the part.



See here in the case you are referring to service indicator resetting.
http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/BASICS-Condition_Based_Service_Explained/BASICS-Condition_Based_Service_Explained.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
wesk18 Comments: hello,
mine is showing inactive it happened after my alternator went bad on me, was driving when it happen, it also messed my water pump iam getting a 2e84, I bought a new sensor, unplugged the old one and plugged the new still showing inactive I didn't removed the old sensor though didn't want to drain the oil, which fuses should I check? I did check the fuses on the engine compartment no blown, I do get voltage readings from the connectors.
January 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have, but you will need a wiring diagram to identify the fuse for the sensor you are looking to repair. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Calvin Comments: I just replace the oil sensor after I realized it was always reading MAX. I put in 5L after the oil change to test the new sensor but it still show MAX. Do is there a reset button or a fuse box for the sensor?

July 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No reset unless there is a fault code stored, maybe the wiring is damaged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Flipper Comments: This appears to be a simple repair, yet the talent level is marked 5 wrenches. Am I missing something?

Thanks for these tech articles. You guys have never failed me yet!
June 15, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Maybe due to electrical system work. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Canadian_guy Comments: I'm not the swiftest tool in the box but I think that I'm still not understanding this statement from the first step: "If a yellow oil warning light illuminates on your instrument panel; immediately shut engine OFF and check engine oil level."

If the light on the panel is on, indicating that the sensor has failed and is no longer a source of reliable information, then how can I check the oil level without a dipstick? Is there a separate sensor that measures static vs. dynamic oil where one could fail whilst the other keeps…well…sensing?
March 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This is a statement BMW uses to describe the operation of the warning light. I believe the point is, if the light is illuminated, oil level monitoring is unreliable and the vehicle should be stopped.

You would need to check the sensor using a BMW scan tool, if faulty replace. If not, drain and measure oil level. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Eric Comments: Well the E90M must be different from the 3er then, as there's no static measurement for the S65 engine. With engine off and ignition on, holding the BC button does nothing in terms of starting a measurement, unless I'm doing it wrong. Therefore, I still stand by my comment that it's impossible to check oil level with engine off, since the oil must be at operating temp with engine running to be measured.
December 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: M models may be different, your original comment didn't mention a vehicle type. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Eric Comments: I think the comments below are referring to you saying to "shutoff engine and check oil level" to determine if the sensor is bad once the yellow warning light comes on. This is impossible, since the sensor IS the only way to check oil level without a dipstick and for that, the engine must be running...
November 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is not correct. Static oil level is checked with the engine OFF< dynamic oil level is checked with the engine running. The yellow warning light will be ON, with the key off, indicating a fault. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mark Comments: I had the oil sensor replaced by my local mechanic non BMW. He indicated he could not reset the 'service' indicator displayed when I scrow to the oil level indicator on the drivers control panel. Is there a procedure to reset this code or should it automatically reset once a new sensor is replaced? I can't seem to find anything online telling me specifically. The car is a 2006 325i. If the sensor has been replace could it be some other electrical issue causing the oil level indicator to display 'service'?
Thanks
October 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See this tech article for restting the service indicator.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/BASICS-Condition_Based_Service_Explained/BASICS-Condition_Based_Service_Explained.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
chinna Comments: Nick,

How do you check if oil condition sensor is not working correctly to start with?

In my 2007 328i, it always shows full no matter what. Last time I checked by filling only 6qts during oil change, after warmup also it is still showing full with 6qt.
October 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: One way is to monitor the data with a scan tool, if it reads incorrectly, it is usually faulty. That is of course after you check the power and ground to the sensor. usually, the sensor is at fault. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Radek Comments: How do you check oil level with no dipstick??
February 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Through the cluster or idrive.. See this tech article: http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/BASICS-Condition_Based_Service_Explained/BASICS-Condition_Based_Service_Explained.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 1/20/2017 02:24:13 AM