Jan 5, 2015 update to the BMW M235i project car

Change the Oil at the Dealer?!

Step One: Drop the car off.
Step Two: Sign a piece of paper, then eat their breakfast.
Step Three: Drive away.

12,000 miles–that’s a lot. It’s also the number of miles our BMW M235i rolled onto the odometer as we pulled it into our local BMW dealer. Why? It was due for it’s first oil change.

No, no–we aren’t vehicular sadists. 12,000 miles sounds like a lot, especially for a turbocharged car that visits the track regularly. But, modern cars and modern oils are pretty darn clever, and BMW told us to wait until 12,000 miles.

Still, though, why the dealer visit? This is GRM, right? We can change our own oil. The answer is simple: time and money. The M235i doesn’t have a dipstick, so changing the oil requires graduated cylinders and a keen eye for required fluid amounts. Plus, oil changes are free for a few years if you buy a new BMW. Going to the dealer meant a free continental breakfast, no expensive oil to purchase, and fewer opportunities to drastically over- or under-fill the oil on a new BMW. Sign us up!

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Comments
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DaveEstey
DaveEstey PowerDork
4/1/15 11:10 a.m.

Are we really praising BMW for not putting a dipstick on a car?

yamaha
yamaha MegaDork
4/1/15 11:13 a.m.

In reply to DaveEstey:

Shouldn't be, but I praise them for actually doing complementary maintenance.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
4/1/15 11:13 a.m.

No, we're saying it makes changing the oil a pain.

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
4/1/15 11:17 a.m.
DaveEstey wrote: Are we really praising BMW for not putting a dipstick on a car?

How could you possibly infer that from the sentence regarding no dipstick?

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
4/1/15 11:18 a.m.

You guys didn't happen to keep any to do an oil analysis with, did ya?

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UltraDork
4/1/15 11:19 a.m.

No dipstick? Another candidate for the "Why we hate modern cars" thread. How berkleying stupid is that?

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
4/1/15 11:22 a.m.
DeadSkunk wrote: No dipstick? Another candidate for the "Why we hate modern cars" thread. How berkleying stupid is that?

Just wait for the German electronic sensor to tell you when the oil is low, duh!

Oh. Oh wait.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
4/1/15 11:22 a.m.

Seems were confirming the fact that BMW is building cars for people that buy a new one every few years-- and sell before the warranty expires. And for people who don't mind taking a huge depreciation loss because fewer people will buy a car that is so difficult and expensive to maintain, especially in the period of its life that requires more maintenance. I wonder what percentage of sales are leased instead of purchased?

And it confirms that I will not buy a new or used BMW, as much as I think they are great cars to drive.

DaveEstey
DaveEstey PowerDork
4/1/15 11:24 a.m.
z31maniac wrote:
DaveEstey wrote: Are we really praising BMW for not putting a dipstick on a car?

How could you possibly infer that from the sentence regarding no dipstick?

"and fewer opportunities to drastically over- or under-fill the oil on a new BMW. Sign us up!"

slowride
slowride Reader
4/1/15 11:29 a.m.

I assume a BMW dealer would be better (maybe not), but my Mazda dealer included 3 years of oil changes when I bought my car, and I have not found it to be a great service. They use bottom of the barrel filters, pretty consistently put in too much oil, and I suspect they've been using 5w-20 instead of the specified 0w-20 (this will seem weird, but the oil they use smells exactly like Castrol GTX).

I thought it would be convenient since I don't have a garage, but they won't give me a ride to work either, so I have to sit there and wait. Sometimes it takes 2 hours.

Luckily, a friend said I could use his driveway so now I will be doing it myself instead.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy PowerDork
4/1/15 12:14 p.m.

I'd take my car for an oil change if it was included in the price of the car. Oil changes are pretty crappy work. Oil everywhere, having to dispose of said oil, etc etc.

Now, on the other hand, I will not pay a shop to do a $100 oil change with synthetic when I can do it for $40.

4Msfam
4Msfam Reader
4/1/15 12:17 p.m.

My 128i doesn't have a dipstick. Oil changes couldn't be easier... oil filter on top, easy to get to drain bolt on bottom. Done in 15" - 20". I put 5 quarts in, and top off with a 6th. The electronic feature is pretty cool ... you can check your oil from the comfort of your heated seats in the winter.

I will say that I think 12K miles is a LOONNNGGG time! I still change mine every 3-4 months.

The_Jed
The_Jed UberDork
4/1/15 12:22 p.m.

No dipstick!?

How's a guy like me who buys cars when they're old and leaky supposed to keep an eye on the oil level 15 years from now?

No dipstick... There's just... I can't even...

atm92484
atm92484 Reader
4/1/15 12:27 p.m.

To BMW's credit they did replace the unreliable dipstick with very reliable and dependable German electronics. Oh wait....

Pat
Pat HalfDork
4/1/15 12:27 p.m.

I feel like I just read the script of a BMW commercial.

etifosi
etifosi HalfDork
4/1/15 12:35 p.m.

The "no dipstick" thing was an unfortunate result of a blend of cultural and linguistic translation errors. See, when BMW's engineers heard the "...difference between a BMW & a porcupine" joke, they consulted their translators and after lengthy deliberation with a dictionary and thesaurus, decided to remove the obvious source of this particular stereotype.

It appears to have worked, as now I see more "dipsticks" in Audis.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/1/15 12:42 p.m.
atm92484 wrote: To BMW's credit they did replace the unreliable dipstick with very reliable and dependable German electronics. Oh wait....

If this were about MINI's and their crappy, difficult to read and easily broken-off-in-the-tube dipstick, I'd be less miffed.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk UltraDork
4/1/15 12:48 p.m.

Can BMW's oil sensor distinguish between oil and an oil/coolant mix in case of a head gasket failure?

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
4/1/15 12:56 p.m.

im going to create an aftermarket dipstick for these cars and become rich!

novaderrik
novaderrik UltimaDork
4/1/15 1:01 p.m.
HiTempguy wrote: I'd take my car for an oil change if it was included in the price of the car. Oil changes are pretty crappy work. Oil everywhere, having to dispose of said oil, etc etc. Now, on the other hand, I will not pay a shop to do a $100 oil change with synthetic when I can do it for $40.

how do you get oil everywhere when doing an oil change?

Jerry
Jerry SuperDork
4/1/15 1:09 p.m.

The Abarth came with 3 free oil changes, used 2 so far. After the 3rd is used up, then it's time to decide worth the hassle in my driveway/garage, or my local SCCA-member owned garage that doesn't charge a fortune.

evildky
evildky SuperDork
4/1/15 1:20 p.m.

I take my tundra to the dealer for oil changes. It takes 8 quarts and they do the job for $30. It also helps me stay on top or recalls.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed SuperDork
4/1/15 1:26 p.m.

No dipstick? Should be interesting in a few years when that electronic nanny gives out and there is no way to tell at all. I have friend that has a newer land rover that has no drain plug in the oil pan. You have to suck it out through the top. Or rather the dealer has to suck it out through the top. Mere mortals can't do it.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
4/1/15 1:29 p.m.

In reply to Feedyurhed:

Huh? Top-side oil-suckers have been around for years.

92dxman
92dxman Dork
4/1/15 1:44 p.m.

In reply to atm92484:

German electronics replacing a dipstick doesn't sound good at all

Jeff
Jeff SuperDork
4/1/15 1:56 p.m.
Pat wrote: I feel like I just read the script of a BMW commercial.

Could not agree more.

Xceler8x
Xceler8x UberDork
4/1/15 1:57 p.m.

Meh. My previous 335i had a display in the dash that told me the oil level. It worked well. No harm there. I didn't miss the dipstick under the hood. Especially when the same dipstick was behind the wheel.

This conversation reminds me of the same conversations I had in the late 80's and early 90's about hot rodding fuel injected cars. OH NOES! That new fangled injection is going to stop hot rodding cold! We all know how that turned out.

Jamey_from_Legal
Jamey_from_Legal New Reader
4/1/15 2:08 p.m.

For 30 years, the automotive world has contended with a huge class of drivers who think the glowing red oilcan "no oil pressure" idiot light means the car is just low on oil, no biggie.

Now the difference is, they will be right, most of the time.

I don't understand why I can't have the sensor AND a dipstick. But if I want to look at the oil and see if it's foamy with coolant, I can get a REALLY good look on these BMW motors, because the oil filter is a canister unit, top-mounted by the front of the valve cover.

What if it's an auto, and I want to check the transmission fluid dipstick? There's not one. But there's not one in a Ford F150 now, either!

This is hilarious because I knew this really irritating rich kid in school whose family made a fortune in . . . manufacturing dipsticks for Ford.

The thing that really bugs me is this: whenever the automatic headlights turn on, there is a little green indicator that glows between the speedo and the tach. WTF!!!

aw614
aw614 New Reader
4/1/15 2:18 p.m.
92dxman wrote: In reply to atm92484: German electronics replacing a dipstick doesn't sound good at all

well in the case of VW/Audi there have been cases where the plastic dipstick handle broke off the dipstick...

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy PowerDork
4/1/15 2:21 p.m.
novaderrik wrote: how do you get oil everywhere when doing an oil change?

Probably by topping yourself off with a quart of ethanol-based liquid ahead of time.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
4/1/15 3:10 p.m.
novaderrik wrote:
HiTempguy wrote:
how do you get oil everywhere when doing an oil change?

Here's the ways I've done it. You are free to invent your own:

1) Moss sent me the wrong spin on oil filter adapter and the oil pumped out when I started the car. 2) Put the o-ring in the wrong place on one of those stupid three-piece Toyota oil filter canisters. 3) Hit drain pan with my elbow while trying to tighten drain plug and it was VERY full. 4) Dumped oil out of the filter after/while removing it. It is impossible not to spill oil out of one of those topside filter canisters-- it is just a matter of how well you catch it.

Of course, each of these was a one-time learning experience and have not been repeated at every change.

I recently bought one of those vacuum driven topsiders and it has made my life much easier...

belteshazzar
belteshazzar PowerDork
4/1/15 3:24 p.m.

i hate the concept of not having a dipstick. not as much as i hate synthetic engine noises, but close.

dropstep
dropstep HalfDork
4/1/15 6:42 p.m.

As a guy who changes oil for a living I cringe every time a new bmw or Porsche shows up. Nothing like having to check the oil via the dash. On the other hand I don't trust anyone else to service my cars, even the boring dailys.

We also tend to recommend whatever the owners manual calls for and that tends to anger the customer. instead of the 0w20 or 5w40 full synthetic recommended they want to use a base 5w20 or 10w40. Why does it seem like everyone who buys a fancy new car wants the cheapest crap they can find thrown in it?

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 Dork
4/1/15 7:39 p.m.
dropstep wrote: As a guy who changes oil for a living I cringe every time a new bmw or Porsche shows up. Nothing like having to check the oil via the dash. On the other hand I don't trust anyone else to service my cars, even the boring dailys. We also tend to recommend whatever the owners manual calls for and that tends to anger the customer. instead of the 0w20 or 5w40 full synthetic recommended they want to use a base 5w20 or 10w40. Why does it seem like everyone who buys a fancy new car wants the cheapest crap they can find thrown in it?

I think that some of it is that they're cheap bastards that want to show off to their friends and co-workers.

In reply to DeadSkunk: Some aftermarket companies make a dipstick and tube for the E90 and F10 3-series (I believe), but they cost big money.

Raze
Raze UltraDork
4/1/15 8:49 p.m.

I think y'all are missing the point...in 5 years we'll all be driving electrics...fluids are for Dinosnooooores...(sarcasm)

wspohn
wspohn HalfDork
4/1/15 9:13 p.m.

I just had a client toast his Subaru engine by running it out of oil. He said "I didn't think these modern cars needed to be checked between changes...."

When my wife bought a new Mazda 3, we ponied up the loot for a life time free oil and filter. Pay back time is about two years (they do it every 4 months) and goes on for as long as they are in business. Of course it is a come on to get you in and get other business from you - they once rotated the tires without asking and didn't get paid for it, so we are slowly training them.

edizzle89
edizzle89 Reader
4/2/15 6:57 a.m.
Jamey_from_Legal wrote: What if it's an auto, and I want to check the transmission fluid dipstick? There's not one. But there's not one in a Ford F150 now, either!

back in early 2009? i did some work on brand new ford trucks that had the new 6 speed auto. they had the wrong fluid in them so we had to do a trans flush and put an additive in it but they had hidden dipsticks. there was a really tall bolt on the passenger side of the trans that was hollow. when you take the hollow bolt off there is a short yellow dipstick that is only about 3-4" long inside the hollow bolt

the best part is we had the get the trans hot so it would flush easier and the dipstick was right next to the cat... still have a scar from that burn

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
4/2/15 7:07 a.m.

Having oil changes at the dealer at the proper interval looks good if you ever need something covered under warranty. Granted you can always do extra changes between their intervals.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
4/2/15 7:30 a.m.

In reply to wspohn:

My local independent tire shop gives free pressure check, rotation, and tire patch (if necessary) to all of their customers.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/2/15 7:48 a.m.

I get "free" oil changes for the first 2 yrs of ownership of my Sonic … I'll probably let them do it … after that I'll just do my own like I've always done

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
4/2/15 8:09 a.m.

To clarify: you can't check the exact level via the dash, either. You can only check the status. There's a picture of the car's drivetrain on the display. If it's green, you're good to go. If it's yellow, it's a quart low. I'm scared of what red might mean.

Frankly, this terrifies me. There is no way to know if it is .9 quarts low or 1 quart overfilled.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/2/15 9:06 a.m.

don't see me EVER buying a car where I can't check the oil

get off my lawn dammit

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
4/2/15 9:18 a.m.

You can still check the oil... you just don't need to open the hood. Do you pull over and stick a wooden dowel into the gas tank to see how much fuel you have left?

So... pro-dipstick folks... you trust an electronic oil PRESSURE gauge, electronic temperature gauge, electronic fuel injection, TPMS, anti-lock brakes, jets not to fall from the sky... but not a simple electronic oil level gauge or your own ability to add the correct amount of oil at a change?

Must we bitch about everything that isn't the way it was back in the day? I mean, I'm a berkeleying luddite about a lot of things like clutches because I enjoy using them but there has been a pretty reliable oil level sender in BMWs back to the E28 and pretty much every oil cooled Porsche made since 1968. I think they have proven the concept.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/2/15 9:27 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: You can still check the oil... you just don't need to open the hood. Do you pull over and stick a wooden dowel into the gas tank to see how much fuel you have left? So... pro-dipstick folks... you trust an electronic oil PRESSURE gauge, electronic temperature gauge, electronic fuel injection, TPMS, anti-lock brakes, jets not to fall from the sky... but not a simple electronic oil level gauge or your own ability to add the correct amount of oil at a change? Must we bitch about everything that isn't the way it was back in the day? I mean, I'm a berkeleying luddite about a lot of things like clutches because I enjoy using them but there has been a pretty reliable oil level sender in BMWs back to the E28 and pretty much every oil cooled Porsche made since 1968. I think they have proven the concept.

actually no … mechanical oil pressure gauge … if the fuel injection quits … all the car does is stop … if the oil pressure electronic gizmo dies, I'm out several thousand $ … no TPMS, or anti-lock brakes … and if a jet falls out of the sky, I'm betting I won't be in it's path …LOL

and regardless of whether or not there has been a reliable oil level sender in BMW's for all this time … there was still a dipstick

you can do whatever you want … ME.. I'm not planning on buying a car I can't check the oil level myself … now like I said .. get the berkeley off my lawn ..LOL

DaveEstey
DaveEstey PowerDork
4/2/15 9:32 a.m.

In reply to Giant Purple Snorklewacker:

With this, you can check what level the fluid is within the oil pan. You have no information about what that fluid is.

Oil level is only one thing a dipstick reveals.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
4/2/15 9:43 a.m.

In reply to DaveEstey:

Remove fill cap. Sniff. See any foam?

atm92484
atm92484 Reader
4/2/15 9:45 a.m.

Those gauges are all fairly reliable. Even before BMW dropped the dipstick, their oil level senders were known to regularly fail around 50k.

I don't have heartburn over new gizmos - I care about "better" systems that are maintenance pigs.

rotard
rotard Dork
4/2/15 9:49 a.m.

How often do you need to check the oil in most cars that were made within the last 10 years? I checked it very often with my RX8, but checking the dipstick has become a formality that I do once a month on everything else. Hell, unless something is wrong, I bet most of the people bitching about it rarely check the damn dipstick.

I've also noticed that some of you guys seem to attack Tom for "not being GRM enough" when he posts things on here. It's obvious that the main reason he took it to the dealer was because the oil change was free; it only reads like a BMW advertisement if you're wanting it to sound like one. That said, I prefer to pay to get my oil changed because I don't like having to deal with the waste. It's a pain in the ass.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/2/15 11:29 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: In reply to DaveEstey: Remove fill cap. Sniff. See any foam?

you would need a mirror to see (even if you could then) down my Mom's Fit's oil fill hole

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/2/15 11:31 a.m.
rotard wrote: How often do you need to check the oil in most cars that were made within the last 10 years? I checked it very often with my RX8, but checking the dipstick has become a formality that I do once a month on everything else. Hell, unless something is wrong, I bet most of the people bitching about it rarely check the damn dipstick. I've also noticed that some of you guys seem to attack Tom for "not being GRM enough" when he posts things on here. It's obvious that the main reason he took it to the dealer was because the oil change was free; it only reads like a BMW advertisement if you're wanting it to sound like one. That said, I prefer to pay to get my oil changed because I don't like having to deal with the waste. It's a pain in the ass.

no attack on Tom here … I don't blame him for going to the dealer for the oil change … what I dislike is NOT being able to do it myself (in the manner I want and know) … not whether I should / could get it done by them

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
4/2/15 11:31 a.m.

In reply to wbjones:

Is this a trick to goad me into making a "Your Mom's fill hole" joke?

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/2/15 11:39 a.m.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/2/15 11:39 a.m.

I'll get pic of the oil fill on her Fit … talk about a design eng. needing his/her butt kicked

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
4/2/15 1:25 p.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: You can still check the oil... you just don't need to open the hood. Do you pull over and stick a wooden dowel into the gas tank to see how much fuel you have left?

Yes, in my MGTD I do.

As others have pointed out, the sensors aren't precise nor are they particularly reliable as the car ages. I'd be fine with new technology if it were more useful, economical and efficient than the old. This is just another sign that BMW builds cars that are designed to go 60k miles and then be so expensive or difficult to maintain that they are not worth the initial high price.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UberDork
4/2/15 1:56 p.m.
novaderrik wrote: how do you get oil everywhere when doing an oil change?

Please go change the oil and filter on a 2002 Cavalier, a 2008 GMC 2500HD, a 2004 GMC 1500 4x4, a 1993 GMC 1500 4x4, and 2014 Sonic RS.

Report back when you are done. Needless to say, all of these vehicles will end up with oil in places besides the drain pan due to filter location and various plastic sheets that are in the way.

T.J.
T.J. PowerDork
4/2/15 2:18 p.m.

Had one of those free oil changes for life deals once. The second, and last time, they touched the car they put in the new oil, got distracted, came back put in new oil and gave car to my son. Yep with 2x amount of oil in it. He made it a few blocks and pulled over because the car was running funny and smelled.

atm92484
atm92484 Reader
4/2/15 3:53 p.m.
HiTempguy wrote: a 2008 GMC 2500HD

Get a piece of sheet metal about 6"x12" and fold it along the long axis so you have a 12" long channel. No more spilled oil. ;)

(it takes less time to make than it does to clean oil off of the skid plate)

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UberDork
4/2/15 5:42 p.m.
atm92484 wrote: Get a piece of sheet metal about 6"x12" and fold it along the long axis so you have a 12" long channel. No more spilled oil. ;) (it takes less time to make than it does to clean oil off of the skid plate)

Sure, BUT, I don't have random sheet metal laying around. I could go get some, but I pointed out that oil changes can easily get messy quickly, and spilling oil on anything sucks. So, I stand by my statement of why getting someone else to do your oil changes isn't a bad thing.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
4/2/15 6:22 p.m.

Time>Money.

I do my own. It takes about 15 minutes on all my vehicles (old simple stuff, with dipsticks). Oil is bought by the case and filters 4 at a time, so the stuff is usually on the shelf.

Even with free oil changes, I'd probably still do them myself. Getting in and out of a oil change place takes forever and I have better things to do than sit in a waiting room.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/2/15 6:36 p.m.
HiTempguy wrote:
novaderrik wrote: how do you get oil everywhere when doing an oil change?

Please go change the oil and filter on a 2002 Cavalier, a 2008 GMC 2500HD, a 2004 GMC 1500 4x4, a 1993 GMC 1500 4x4, and 2014 Sonic RS.

Report back when you are done. Needless to say, all of these vehicles will end up with oil in places besides the drain pan due to filter location and various plastic sheets that are in the way.

don't know about the others … but what's so hard about the filter on a Sonic RS ? on my '14 Sonic LT it's a piece of cake … but then I'm prepared for the dripage from the filter and have a rag handy

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy Reader
4/2/15 8:33 p.m.

I wouldn't buy a car without a dipstick. I tend to check my oil when getting gas- I've got a few minutes to kill anyway.

Question about the sensors- if working as intended, they tell you if the oil level is low. But do the tell you if it was overfilled, as a dipstick would?

Our new Sienna has free maintenance for two years. I did the first change early, and have let the dealer do the free changes since. I think I'm going to regret it. They overfilled it last time, and spilled oil without cleaning it up. I pulled off the freeway due to the burning oil smell. It makes me sad that the engines in my 10+ year old vehicles are cleaner than my new van.

Opti
Opti Reader
4/2/15 9:30 p.m.
wbjones wrote:
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: You can still check the oil... you just don't need to open the hood. Do you pull over and stick a wooden dowel into the gas tank to see how much fuel you have left? So... pro-dipstick folks... you trust an electronic oil PRESSURE gauge, electronic temperature gauge, electronic fuel injection, TPMS, anti-lock brakes, jets not to fall from the sky... but not a simple electronic oil level gauge or your own ability to add the correct amount of oil at a change? Must we bitch about everything that isn't the way it was back in the day? I mean, I'm a berkeleying luddite about a lot of things like clutches because I enjoy using them but there has been a pretty reliable oil level sender in BMWs back to the E28 and pretty much every oil cooled Porsche made since 1968. I think they have proven the concept.

actually no … mechanical oil pressure gauge … if the fuel injection quits … all the car does is stop … if the oil pressure electronic gizmo dies, I'm out several thousand $ … no TPMS, or anti-lock brakes … and if a jet falls out of the sky, I'm betting I won't be in it's path …LOL

and regardless of whether or not there has been a reliable oil level sender in BMW's for all this time … there was still a dipstick

you can do whatever you want … ME.. I'm not planning on buying a car I can't check the oil level myself … now like I said .. get the berkeley off my lawn ..LOL

All the ones Ive seen looked like this.

Also in some cars if the fuel pump dies you can kill an engine, Ive seen more than one melted top ends, from running lean in the upper rpms, caused by a dying pump.

Plus you really cant call most oil pressure gauges mechanical, because if you even have a gauge it probably has its signal dampened and only moves if its too late. Oil pressure sending units fail all the time, most of them arent the example of reliability, and its the same thing, if it fails you cant go verify you have oil pressure (unless you have a tester), but it doesnt necessarily mean you killed an engine.

Most cars now arent coming with a trans dipstick, because people dopnt know how to check it anyways and if they did they wouldnt be bothered to. Go look at a 06+ Hemi Charger, they have a tube for a dipstick but the customer doesnt get one, only a cap, dipstick is a seperate "tool" mechanics use to check level.

Im also seeing more manufactures doing the honda thing, and having the autos checked and serviced the way manuals have been in the past, pull plug, if full you're fine, to service, pull drain and refill to fill plug. I greatly approve of this.

I do not care about BMW doing this because from what Ive seen they are reliable enough to not be a big deal, and if I buy a new one for some reason and it fails its not my problem, thats why I have a warranty, and if I buy a used one, someone will have already figured out if its a problem or not.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/3/15 6:10 a.m.
HiTempguy wrote:
atm92484 wrote: Get a piece of sheet metal about 6"x12" and fold it along the long axis so you have a 12" long channel. No more spilled oil. ;) (it takes less time to make than it does to clean oil off of the skid plate)

Sure, BUT, I don't have random sheet metal laying around. I could go get some, but I pointed out that oil changes can easily get messy quickly, and spilling oil on anything sucks. So, I stand by my statement of why getting someone else to do your oil changes isn't a bad thing.

refer to T.J.'s post above … way to many horror stories out there about the disasters that result from others doing your oil change

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/3/15 6:19 a.m.
Opti wrote:
wbjones wrote:
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: You can still check the oil... you just don't need to open the hood. Do you pull over and stick a wooden dowel into the gas tank to see how much fuel you have left? So... pro-dipstick folks... you trust an electronic oil PRESSURE gauge, electronic temperature gauge, electronic fuel injection, TPMS, anti-lock brakes, jets not to fall from the sky... but not a simple electronic oil level gauge or your own ability to add the correct amount of oil at a change? Must we bitch about everything that isn't the way it was back in the day? I mean, I'm a berkeleying luddite about a lot of things like clutches because I enjoy using them but there has been a pretty reliable oil level sender in BMWs back to the E28 and pretty much every oil cooled Porsche made since 1968. I think they have proven the concept.

actually no … mechanical oil pressure gauge … if the fuel injection quits … all the car does is stop … if the oil pressure electronic gizmo dies, I'm out several thousand $ … no TPMS, or anti-lock brakes … and if a jet falls out of the sky, I'm betting I won't be in it's path …LOL

and regardless of whether or not there has been a reliable oil level sender in BMW's for all this time … there was still a dipstick

you can do whatever you want … ME.. I'm not planning on buying a car I can't check the oil level myself … now like I said .. get the berkeley off my lawn ..LOL

All the ones Ive seen looked like this.

Also in some cars if the fuel pump dies you can kill an engine, Ive seen more than one melted top ends, from running lean in the upper rpms, caused by a dying pump.

Plus you really cant call most oil pressure gauges mechanical, because if you even have a gauge it probably has its signal dampened and only moves if its too late. Oil pressure sending units fail all the time, most of them arent the example of reliability, and its the same thing, if it fails you cant go verify you have oil pressure (unless you have a tester), but it doesnt necessarily mean you killed an engine.

Most cars now arent coming with a trans dipstick, because people dopnt know how to check it anyways and if they did they wouldnt be bothered to. Go look at a 06+ Hemi Charger, they have a tube for a dipstick but the customer doesnt get one, only a cap, dipstick is a seperate "tool" mechanics use to check level.

Im also seeing more manufactures doing the honda thing, and having the autos checked and serviced the way manuals have been in the past, pull plug, if full you're fine, to service, pull drain and refill to fill plug. I greatly approve of this.

I do not care about BMW doing this because from what Ive seen they are reliable enough to not be a big deal, and if I buy a new one for some reason and it fails its not my problem, thats why I have a warranty, and if I buy a used one, someone will have already figured out if its a problem or not.

I have oil actually running into the back of my gauge (is that a mechanical ?)

as for the BMW thing, that's all well and good if you buy new (or CPO) but buy that same car 20 yrs from now and tell me how great the sensor system is going to be (and yay for the lack of warranty) … shrug … I own a 2014 car, it has a dipstick, I'll change my own oil (disposal is simple… sealable 5gal containers, and 3 mi to a collection place) … I'll know that the job is done right, I'll know how much oil went came out, how much went in, I'll know the oil THAT is going in is what I've specified, I'll know the drain plug is tightened correctly…. etc … there are lots of things in my life that I can't control, this is one that I can

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
4/3/15 8:01 a.m.

Meh. My DD e30 has 200k miles and is 26yrs old. Original oil level sensor works great. The same was true on the other 3 e30's I've had, with similar mileages. Original oil level sender on my 25 year old 964 works well too.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
4/3/15 11:21 a.m.

good for you … but as far as I'm concerned … it's just one more thing to go wrong that isn't needed … and I'm betting it was a bean counter mandated thing … the sensor and all the associated hardware… yada yada yada … can't be less expensive than a simple tube / dipstick … and while several in this discussion have mentioned broken dipsticks … these are the first I've ever heard of in 50+ yrs of driving … so I'm betting that dipstick maintenance / replacement is considerably less than sensor failure / diagnostic / replacement

so to me the doing away with, and replacing with … is nothing more than an exercise in "hey look at what we can do" that then translates into being able to charge more for the car to people that don't know any better and would / are impressed by this type of thing

Opti
Opti Reader
4/3/15 2:24 p.m.

Maybe they do it because the vast majority if clowns driving can't read a dipstick or even find one.

evildky
evildky SuperDork
4/3/15 4:07 p.m.

Looks like Your FM (Formulated Motoroil) is at 99.1 percent!

Schump
Schump New Reader
10/31/15 11:00 p.m.

I would make sure to chastise BMW personally for selling you a car without a dipstick. That's obnoxious. The sensor doesn't sound accurate enough either. Besides Tom, you're part of GRM and your parents own GRM so you have more clout than the average Joe aka myself or other readers. Just the same, you can tell them, "Our circulation is X, we are speaking for all of them, and some of them will certainly consider purchasing a BMW in the near future."

Referring to broken dipsticks, VWs are really good at breaking dipstick tubes. The ones I've replaced were orange if that matters, perhaps the same supplier for BMW and VW.

Schump
Schump New Reader
10/31/15 11:09 p.m.

As others have lamented about "spilling oil everywhere while changing my own oil," I haven't quite done this. It wasn't my oil, it was the oil in my X g/f's boss' 85 Mercedes ragtop with a small V8. The drain plug is HUGE, so big, in fact, that the drain hole in the plastic oil drain pan with the funnel built in is way too small. So, I "luckily had a few quarts of old oil spill all over the concrete parking space next to my X's house. I couldn't manage to get the plug back in. A large jug of Purple Power and an hour of scrubbing and a roll of shop towels got rid of the mess. So before you remove a drain plug on a car you've never serviced, make sure that the hole leading out of the funnel to the oil reservoir is as big or bigger than the drain plug!

EvanR
EvanR Dork
10/31/15 11:20 p.m.

My Acura has always had it's oil changed at the dealer. For twenty-five years. The tech who did the most recent change likely wasn't even born when the car was new.

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