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E60 M5 Discussion The almighty M5. Have you seen one today?

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Old 11-03-2011, 04:59 AM   #11
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SilberGrauE60's Avatar
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Man, I hate to say this, but you really need to read and understand your owner's manual as it pertains to the oil level system. I don't even own an M car (yet!), but I just read the online manual available at this website, and you are clearly not using the oil level system as it's intended.

Just go to the Information section of this website, locate the 2009 M5 owner's manual and search "oil" until you get to "Engine Oil" in the section "Under The Hood"

It clearly explains how the system works (new oil level readings are accomplished on each new engine start) and how to respond to the 5 (five) possible displays you'll see on your dash. It may not be intuitive, but that's why it is clearly explained in the manual.

Go ahead, sh*t all over me for chastising you...
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ZGERMAN View Post
I don't know, guys, but something's just not right with the car:

Since I could not find 10W-60 engine oil in any auto shop in a 10-mile radius around work today, I settled for 4 quarts of 15W-50...which comes closest (so the word in the Interwebs) to the 10W-60 that's supposedly the only one that should be used in any "M" engine.

I gradually added 3 quarts (stretched over the afternoon), but neither that frickin' amber LED display, nor the iDrive show any difference in fill level.They keep reading "0.3L" (display) and "O.K." (iDrive). -- Guys, I'm starting to freak....!!

Any idea what's going on... or how can that be??
It's not like the engine was dry when I drove the first 1,500 Miles, and I didn't get any warnings either. I'd fill in more, just to see if the oil gauges will finally change, but I'm afraid to add any more oil, as I may blow the engine/gaskets by overfilling it... I suppose.


Hi, just saw this thread or would have answered earlier. But, I think you may have messed up big here and suggest you bite the bullet and take the car in for service. If you added 3 additional quarts of oil, you must be way overfilled and that is much worse than a low oil situation.

Id also say perhaps not to pay attention to any other info on this thread as it doesnt pertain to the S85. I dont know what your concerns may have been, but the car doesnt eat oil. It uses perhaps a quart every six months or so based on driving styles, unless you drive lots of miles and very hard. However, do NOT use the lower grade oil you noted, you must use 10W 60, and its not crazy expensive, just go to your BMW dealer and you can get a quart for around $11, or better yet, just buy a case and not have to worry for years as to where to find it.

Now, I would have suggested as SilberGrauE60 did, which was to read the manual, as it described this process in detail and would have saved you alot of grief.

The oil guages work like this, when the idrive tells you to add oil, it means to add a quart to your reserve. You will see this by the dash reading, as well as when checking into idrive to view your oil level, you should only add oil when the idrive shows that the oil is at its lowest reading level. However, even at this lowest level, the manual notes that you should add oil within the next few hundred miles, its not a situation where you have to run out immediately and add the quart, as I noted above and others pointed out, the engine holds alot of oil, and you are not going to go dry because the resevoir is low.
Second, you have to add atleast 3/4 quart of oil for the sensor to read the addition. If you do it in smaller increments, it may not pick it up, and this is also described in the manual.
Third, the oil sensor does NOT work automatically to note the oil you added. It can take some time depending on your situation and the oil temp, and I've had situations where it did not register for a day or more, so never rely on this to measure if you added enough oil, just have faith in what it tells you, if it says add 1 quart, add 1 quart, then run the car and check the next day. Also, understand what the symbols mean, as described in the manual, if you get that clock symbol, it means its trying to get a reading but cannot at that point, could be the oil temp for ex. Use the idrive setting to get a feel if you dont see anything updated on the dash.

Now with all you said you added, Id be quite concerned that you overfilled. Check your idrive reading and see if it says overfilled, if so, Id take her to bmw and have an oil change done, unless you are daring and want to try to take oil out yourself, but then risk the situation of not knowing how much to add back.

It seems a bit tricky, but honestly, this is one of the first chapters in the manual, and owning a car of this level should require an owner to take such steps seriously.

good luck
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:20 AM   #13
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Texas
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(new member, 1st post) I purchased my '08 SMG M5 CPO'd a year ago last August, from a dealership in Scottsdale, Arizona (never again because of extremely high sales taxes !). Drove it the 1000+ miles home to Texas. Then made a 4000+ mile trip to California and back to Texas the next month (Sep). No indication of oil usage but decided to have oil/filter change "just because" of the miles I put on.

the car isn't a DD so other than extended trips there's not a lot of miles put on.

I made a longer West Coast trip this year (6000+ miles on the "new" oil) and had it changed again when I got home (again no indication of usage). After this change, however, I've watched the indicator come "off the top peg" while adding just a few miles locally, a couple of time a week.

that's the 1st time I've seen the indicator in any position other than at the top of the peg - I'm not considering "adding" oil until such time as it gets towards the lower peg - and I've got another "free" oil service coming up in about 3000 miles.

extremely happy with what little oil usage there's been so far.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:40 PM   #14
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New York
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It was purchased originally at BMW Autohaus and then traded in there on a new M5, which is where this gentleman bought it last year.
Car has two issues that he made me aware of:

1. The CEL is on. He said he's had it into BMW three times; they have no idea what it is. The cannot find anything wrong. He thinks it might be something as simple as the gas cap.

2. AM/FM on the stereo stops working after about 15 minutes. The CD-player works fine however.

So, then I asked him if it used oil. He said of course, all M cars use a bit of oil. I asked how much. He said he wasn't sure. He keeps a couple litres in the trunk and checks it regularly. He said it doesn't visibly burn it or leak it, but the level goes down, so he tops it up. He couldn't remember the exact mileage at which he'd add a liter, but he said it may be around 1,000Km. He was adamant that this was perfectly normal.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:50 PM   #15
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Just to chime in, with the risk of reviving a dead horse: I had the same warnings of low oil with the request of adding 1L of oil.

After adding 1L (about 1.1 quart), reset the engine oil reading by pressing and holding the BC button on the turn signal stack.

After about 10-15 minutes, while on my way home, the new reading came up, with almost max oil.

Conclusion: Yes, the S85 likes some oil from time to time. Please read and follow the owners manual and everything will be fine.
Side note: The price was $16 CAD + HST, so not a big deal.

Last edited by TopPMP; 06-20-2016 at 03:53 PM.
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