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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum 550 have a dipstick?
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      06-06-2011, 09:50 PM   #1
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550 have a dipstick?

This may sound like a crazy question, but given a recent BMW model, it is not... Does the 550i have real, old fashioned dipsticks for the oil level and trans level? The reason I ask is the silliness they introduced on the current 3 series "M" models... I had to ask-just to make sure...
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      06-06-2011, 11:05 PM   #2
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There's not one on my 535i. I can't imagine there's one on the 550i.
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      06-06-2011, 11:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibimmer346 View Post
There's not one on my 535i. I can't imagine there's one on the 550i.
You have got to be kidding. These Germans... Being the out of control, anal retentive, freak that I am, this won't work if it is the case... I do all of my own routine maintenance, and more often than not, if one follows the capacity guidance for oil and filter changes, the engine will be slightly overfilled. This amount varies from engine to engine and manufacturer. I quickly figure the amount out after an oil change or two by under filling, then slowly bringing it up to full. The electronic gauge that is found on the M3, and evidently on the 5 is not nearly as accurate. I'm ticked. What is this world coming to?
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      06-07-2011, 01:01 AM   #4
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      06-07-2011, 01:25 AM   #5
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Dipstick? The 550 doesn't have one but it's OK since after a while you'll get used to this. The electronic one has the occasional glitch where it shows 1/4 low and then shows full again, but overall it works alright and you won't miss it much in the end. This is another little annoyance - among many - that you must learn to live with if you want to own this car
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      06-07-2011, 02:25 AM   #6
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yes this kinda sucks imo...
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      06-07-2011, 05:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1HOT BMR View Post
Dipstick? The 550 doesn't have one but it's OK since after a while you'll get used to this. The electronic one has the occasional glitch where it shows 1/4 low and then shows full again, but overall it works alright and you won't miss it much in the end. This is another little annoyance - among many - that you must learn to live with if you want to own this car
This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that was happening on the M3. Remember, I don't sleep well unless I know precisely where that level is after I change it. I am seriously "mental" in that way... That SOB does what you say, jacks around a "quarter up or down"'- and as we say in NASCAR- I'm putting it in the wall. I wonder if the E63 has a dipstick... I know the Caddy V does. This is just silliness...
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      06-07-2011, 08:00 AM   #8
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No dipstick? I didn't know that. That does seem bit off to me.
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      06-07-2011, 08:16 AM   #9
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Almost all of the BMW gasoline engines since the E90 3 Series have had no dipstick.

Only the diesel engines have them now
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      06-07-2011, 08:45 AM   #10
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I know that probably 90%+ of BMW owners do not do their own routine maintenance, so the dipstick issue is one that might not be of any concern, but I'm telling you- it is. The rule, rather than the exception is that your car will be overfilled from the dealer when they change it. They use bulk liquids with digital metering equipment. The equipment itself works fine, and "meters" volumes quite well. The issue is that if a car calls for 6 quarts with the filter at change, they will program 6 qts into the "oil gun" and be done with it. The problem is that most vehicles; I did not say all, but most vehicles-need less due to residual in the various engine cavities. You do not want an over-full situation, even slightly... That digital gauge that BMW now uses absolutely will not catch this occurrence. My 2008 Toyota Sequoia calls for 7.4 qts with the filter at change. If I put any more than 7 qts in it, it will be over filled. I have found that every person that works for me (who does his own changes) and has this engine in the Tundra has found the same. The folks that take their trucks to the dealer that I have talked to really don't have a clue what I'm talking about, as they are not of the type to know or care. I'm not trying to make disparaging remarks, I'm justing pointing out what I have seen through years of working on engines, and a father who worked for a major filter manufacturer for 34 years. Long rant, I know, but this ain't good...
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      06-07-2011, 08:58 AM   #11
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Just called Mercedes dealer, same thing on the 5.5l biturbo... I'm officially in German purgatory... Unbelievable....
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      06-07-2011, 09:15 AM   #12
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Funny thing when I saw this post I just had my first experience with this and have to say I dont like it very much.

Wife was driving the car and lights started flashing that our new 550 was 1qt low on oil, 3k miles on the odometer (another thread altogether), correct this within 200 miles!

I am busy at work, get the call, tell her to come by, freaking looking all over for the dipstick and nothing! Call my SA and he confirms there is no dipstick and not to enter in a full qt as it might not be that low. So luckily I follow his advice and add 1/2 qt and it tops off as full.

Three things that annoyed me about this ...
1. WTF no oil dipstick? I wouldve lost a bet about my own car!
2. Said a qt I would add a qt, good thing my SA said 1/2!
3. Damn digital dipstick wouldnt work, just sat there over and over saying "getting measurement".

I love my 550 but this is by far 1 of 2 things I highly despise about it. The second is the power tailgate which has so far left me twice stuck at a rest area because it wouldnt close. Having that issue being looked at with the dealer.
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      06-07-2011, 10:00 AM   #13
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Two conclusions I have come to.

1) If you see "getting measurement", this means that your oil is not up to operating temp which would give the most accurate measurement. I have waited up to 20 minutes of driving after changing the oil for the stupid sensor to give me feedback, unfortunately, this is normal.

2) I would recomend only adding oil a 1/4 of a quart at a time and then wait for the measurment to come back. (This in the event it shows being down one quart.)

I have noticed on occasion after putting in 7 full quarts with the filter change, that I might be down a 1/4 on the bar graph. But upon putting some additional miles on the car, it eventually goes to full. Why?.......my best guess is that the oil has to get slightly dirty in order for the sensor to read properly. It sucks but that's what we have to live with.
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      06-07-2011, 10:17 AM   #14
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"Pure D" craziness... This is just what I suspected/feared... As for #1 on the post above, the REAL best way to get an accurate measurement is the old fashioned way, when the car has been sitting for a requisite amount of time for the oil to drain down out of the engine, and then check it with the, the, the - - - dipstick for crying out loud. That's "thinkin' with your dipstick, Jimmy!"...

Last edited by GARBAJ; 06-07-2011 at 10:51 AM..
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      06-07-2011, 10:20 AM   #15
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I noticed that in the f2 that a warning message is not displayed until you are one qt low. If you wait till you get the message then you can dump a whole quart.

I believe the electronic dipstick shows full as 1.25 quarts above the minimum. So, by waiting to minimum, you won't overfill it if you use a quart.

If I am wrong then I respectfully ask for one of you guys to correct me so we don't hurt your cars.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ghueser View Post
Two conclusions I have come to.

1) If you see "getting measurement", this means that your oil is not up to operating temp which would give the most accurate measurement. I have waited up to 20 minutes of driving after changing the oil for the stupid sensor to give me feedback, unfortunately, this is normal.

2) I would recomend only adding oil a 1/4 of a quart at a time and then wait for the measurment to come back. (This in the event it shows being down one quart.)

I have noticed on occasion after putting in 7 full quarts with the filter change, that I might be down a 1/4 on the bar graph. But upon putting some additional miles on the car, it eventually goes to full. Why?.......my best guess is that the oil has to get slightly dirty in order for the sensor to read properly. It sucks but that's what we have to live with.
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      06-07-2011, 11:10 AM   #16
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Based on how the bar graph indicates a "Quart Low", I believe the max range it shows is only 1/4 quart above the top line.

I would not add a quart of oil when it says it is a quart low. Once again, the sensor will tell you something different under certain circumstances of temperature. If you get the quart low signal, at the most I would only add 3/4 of quart. I know I sounded cautios with the 1/4 quart at a time.............but I don't trust this sensor and how goofy it changes it's mind one way or the other.
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      06-07-2011, 11:51 AM   #17
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Dont worry too much. The E90 has had these sensors for over 6 years and there havent been too many problems.

It wouls be nice if it had both though. Would make DIY oil changes much easier.



Its not as irritating as the fact you need to take the car to the dealer if you change the battery or the car will start making all kinds of electrical problems. They have to reset the system if you change the battery.
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      06-07-2011, 12:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GARBAJ View Post
I know that probably 90%+ of BMW owners do not do their own routine maintenance, so the dipstick issue is one that might not be of any concern, but I'm telling you- it is. The rule, rather than the exception is that your car will be overfilled from the dealer when they change it. They use bulk liquids with digital metering equipment. The equipment itself works fine, and "meters" volumes quite well. The issue is that if a car calls for 6 quarts with the filter at change, they will program 6 qts into the "oil gun" and be done with it. The problem is that most vehicles; I did not say all, but most vehicles-need less due to residual in the various engine cavities. You do not want an over-full situation, even slightly... That digital gauge that BMW now uses absolutely will not catch this occurrence. My 2008 Toyota Sequoia calls for 7.4 qts with the filter at change. If I put any more than 7 qts in it, it will be over filled. I have found that every person that works for me (who does his own changes) and has this engine in the Tundra has found the same. The folks that take their trucks to the dealer that I have talked to really don't have a clue what I'm talking about, as they are not of the type to know or care. I'm not trying to make disparaging remarks, I'm justing pointing out what I have seen through years of working on engines, and a father who worked for a major filter manufacturer for 34 years. Long rant, I know, but this ain't good...
I agree with you. My solution is to avoid the dealer for everything including the so called free maintenance (oil changes). If they don't have it they can't overfill it Once they start messing with your car it is all down hill from there - it's a new car, it's complicated, they are just guessing and practicing hit and miss on your car

Now I need to figure out how to replace the battery without taking the car in for a "reset". Let me add another annoyance to the list

Despite the glitch of the up and down fluctuating level my electronic "dipstick" works well. I've only had to add one quart so far and I did it after the add oil warning had been on for about 150 miles and the low level had been confirmed after many cold starts. One quart took it exactly back to the full mark. My advice is to wait until you are one quart low before you add any oil.
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      06-07-2011, 03:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1HOT BMR View Post
My advice is to wait until you are one quart low before you add any oil.
Same advice is in the E90 owners manual and should be in the F10 one aswell
Only add oil when it says 1 Quart low and you only have to do it within 125miles of getting the message
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      06-07-2011, 07:02 PM   #20
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Yes, it's been all over the newspapers. Thousands of BMW's ruined by dealers putting in too much lubricant, and no dipstick. The horror.
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