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Question for newer BMW owners. How do you check your oil?


I’m asking because I don’t have a BMW of my own. I’ve got some friends with newer BMWs,one a 2009 335 conv. Anyway, they had a low oil warning message come on saying to add 1 qt. According to them there is no way to check the oil other than the engine management system. Kind of implying that the level is electronically monitored. I’m fairly certain that there’s got to be a dipstick. Can’t physically check, so just wanted to see if anyone can verify for me. Thanks

I hope there is a dipstick because those oil level monitors in the previous generation of BMWs (early 2000s) are notorious for gunking up and failing.

Call your dealer?

Why don’t you ask to borrow an Owner’s Manual overnight, and see what the manual states regarding this topic? It may turn out to be very interesting reading.

The owners manuals are available online from the BMW site. It does say that it has electronic oil level monitoring and you check it with a combination of switches. I just find it hard to believe that there isn’t a dipstick in the engine bay at all. The owners manual says nothing about a dipstick under the hood. Anyway, thanks for the input. I’ll certainly have to check for myself next time I have the opportunity.

Maybe BMW had an old Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engineer design the engine. On my old lawnmower, I just remove the oil fill cap and make certain the engine has oil. However, the newer lawnmowers do have dipsticks.
I don’t have anything against an oil level monitor and I have had vehicles that have one, but I check the oil once a week with the dipstick anyway.

I don’t like the idea of oil monitoring or tire air monitoring for that matter. The main reason is that sensors fail like the ones in the windshield wiper fluid reservoirs on most used vehicles. I don’t think technology has gotten to the point where foolproof sensors are a mainstay. They could have least put a sight glass on the oil pan…something. Toyota is finding out the hard way about drive-by-wire technology. It’s all about quality and reliability of the part.

a simple search… BMW oil dip stick … this web site This indicates the dip stick was replaced by sensor system!

It pays to read the owners manual . There’s a readout that you access through the menus .

Yep, it has none. Google ‘why the dipstick is dying’, there’s a new article out on that very issue.

How many engines will BMW have to replace under warranty before their engines sprout dipsticks again? They must have absolute faith in the monitoring system…I suppose at some point the system will shut the engine down before it destroys itself…But these systems are not 100% reliable…

My next-door neighbor bought a new 5000 watt generator…Today it is scrap metal after the “low oil shutdown” feature failed to shut it down and it seized up…He never bothered to check the oil, depending on the automatic system. An $800 mistake. With a BMW, the stakes are higher, about $6 Grand…

Probably less engines than those that depended on the driver to check the dipstick. This board seems to be proof that most of the general population never check it.
(Of course, it would be great to have both the sensors and the dipstick.)

This reminds me of the story about how NASA spent all that money developing a pen that will write in zero gravity, while the Russians solved the problem by using a pencil. I guess at BMW, they can live with out the K.I.S.S. principle.

System been in use for many years now. Think about how many people never pull the stick even if there is one. Why is it so hard to accept that a oil level monitoring system is within current automotive technological limits?