yellow oil warning light

Tony Stephanakis

Asked by Tony Jun 14, 2008 at 07:25 AM about the 2001 BMW 3 Series 330Ci

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

when starting my car after about ten seconds the yellow oil warning light comes on, this stays on for about ten seconds and goes out, the oil is not low, this happens every time without fail, so it seems like a programming problem, if any one could help i would be very greatful, its getting on my nerves ha ha, thanks!

15 Answers


Sounds like this is supposed to be happening. Most of the lights come on when you start the car as a self-test. If you feel it is lingering too long you might want to have the oil pressure sensor checked out by a BMW dealership but it doesn't sound out of the ordinary to me.

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
Raheem Sheikh

I have come across the same problem a couple of times and it was the oil level sensor in the sump that was to blame.

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
Danny Wong

If the car still under warranty..bring it back to the dealer and ask for a oil sensor change. It is not uncommon this happen in in all M54 engine, it burns oil according to the dealer's services manager said. Sometimes my yellow oil light came on and i added half quart of Castro Syntec and it would be gone for about another 6000 miles. It is normal.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.
A Facebook user

They usually take 1 quart every month, check the oil level and add more if its low. If you still have the light on after adding more oil, you might have a bad Oil Level Sensor. Here is a DIY to change it, cost $100 and you can save money if you can DIY

17 out of 17 people think this is helpful.

I own a 2001 330xi and have consistantly added a quart of oil every 500 to 800 miles. no leaks or smokey exhaust. Normal??

13 out of 13 people think this is helpful.
Chase Sutherland

no, def not normal. go get a bottle of heartland oil stop leak and add that. it will take care of your problem.

4 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

This is a well known issue with BMW e46 vehicles, and many others that use the same oil level sender. This usually occurs after you have had your oil serviced when they left the key in the ignition turned to ignition position 1. The sender uses a current through a thin wire to determine if the system requires more oil. The oil in turn cools the sender but when no oil is present at all, the sender wire burns out. When you start your engine the light is off for about 6 seconds then turn on for between 10 and 15 seconds and the goes out. That when you know the sender is bad. The few above that said oil level sender is bad are correct.

25 out of 25 people think this is helpful.
Manie De Villiers


2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Tony Brack

Hmm, listening to this I definately have a messed up sensor I've been ignoring for 200,000KM on the 323. :-( Another BMW Warranty dodge, and given that it was ONLY BMW serviced before this started, ... guess who did it! Anyhow, neither my 323 or 330 burn a significant amount between oil changes (I usually do about half the recommended interval). The only oil burner I've had was a 1995 318is 4 banger (still only 1 quart every 5,000 KM).[ I ditched it for other reasons.] I figure I do over 15,000 KMs on less than a quart. My old '86 325e that I sold to a buddy, which now has about 500,000 KM on it, still doesn't burn more than a quart between intervals. ? I guess some of you are having bad luck ?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have a 330ci automatic year 2000 , its covered 118,000 miles and also does the same , yellow light is level not pressure so if your level is ok then its the sensor thats at fault , my 330 doesnt burn any oil , has regular oil changes but the light still comes on every time for about 10 seconds , it runs a dream , i had it checked out and told easy fixed with a new sump level sensor but not urgent as the car is fine. Its very common on this car, dont worry - but if the light stays on then get the sensor changed at around £100 ish. Stu

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

that happen to me when I didn't put enough oil in the car I added one more quart to the engine and it fixed the problem

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I have this problem, whan I shot down my car ,come yellow oil lamp. Oil level is fine. I think is sensor problem. but whan turn on yellow whay not red if is sensor problem??? bmw e46 325ci 2001

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.

Thanks to TitaniumCranium for post this is exactly what,s happened to my 2003 320ci coupe, burnt virtually no oil for a year then took it for oil service since then yellow oil warning comess on for a few seconds , oil level is perfect and it only happens when engine is warmed up and never happened before oil change !!

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

i have the same problem too with my BMW 320i, it appears immediately i start the engine and disappears just in a few seconds. what could be the problem if you don't replace the sensor just in time? ANY DAMAGE TO THE CAR?

7 out of 7 people think this is helpful.
Samantha Gerber

SOS!!!!! Hi guys I have a major problem I heard that the yellow oil light is for water and the red one is for oil so ima bit confused but anyhow my bmw 320d E46 2003 models yellow light normally came on when I started the car then change to red in a few secs and then go of but since this morning it doesn't go of even when I drive or turn of the car and lock it what to do?!?!

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