Question about 1993 BMW 5 Series

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ENGINE OIL LIGHT

1993 525 with 87k miles. Oil dipstick shows nearly full, but engine oil light comes on. I'm taking it in right away, as this is a concern, but what could it be if the oil is full?

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  • jnoolas May 15, 2009

    One of those sounds like an expensive fix, the other, not so much. At least I know what the likely answers will be, thx.

  • its420_us May 11, 2010

    Could be a bad oil pressure sending unit, or a bad oil pump.

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The engine oil light measures oil pressure rather than volume. The senosr couldf be bad or your oil pump could be failing

Posted on May 15, 2009

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2 questions.
1) Is the oil actually low on the dipstick?
If it is, you might have an oil leak, so you would need to look underneath and see. Also look for puddles when you park.
The most common reason for such consumption would be a burst oil pressure switch, or a leaking valve cover gasket.
Either of these will leak lots of oil.
The last possible reasons, which are really rare, would be engine parts defective,( like oil rings), or a leak in the brake booster which would suck oil from the crankcase into the brake booster.
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Do a simple "rub test" wipe the dipstick between your thumb and forefinger and rub your fingers together. Repeat with fresh oil. If there is a substantial difference in the "oilyness" between the two, then the oil has broken down. The difference will be extremely obvious if fuel contaminated.
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mention it to the dealer when you take it in and they should be able to further diagnose.

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4. Consult the user manual or an engineer on how to add new oil.

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