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A mystery! I need help with disappearing oil.

6386 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  HooosierDaddy
I decided to change oil in my '18 718 after 500 mi. I decided on 5W-50 Amsoil full synthetic an approved viscosity). Manual says 6 qts, which I assume includes filter.

I drained the oil, replaced the filter, and added 6 qts Amsoil. After driving a couple of miles, I got a dash message that said I have too much oil in engine and that I should get it checked by dealer pretty soon (didn't sound like an emergency). I tried to suck out some oil thru the filler hole, using a flexible plastic hose abt 1/4" diameter. No luck, not a drop. Phooey, sez I (or something like that).

So it's back up on the hoist, remove drain plug over a clean container. All that would come out was 1 cup (1/4 qt.). SAY WHAT?!

I tried blowing gently into the filler neck, no luck. I tried vacuuming from the drain plug. No luck. I tilted the front of the car up about a foot, no luck. Then the rear up, no luck.

So I went out for a 10 mi. drive at speed to see what would happen. I was on the expressway, so I used earplugs. No signs of anything amiss (e.g. smoke from exhaust). But when I got off the expressway, I took out the earplugs and noticed a loudish whine, proportional to RPM. Never heard it before. I guessed it might be oil pump noise. Or? Manual says that too much oil can cause cat damage. Oil temp and oil pressures were normal.

So, guys, where's the oil? It's trapped in the engine somewhere. Where? I assume this is a wet sump engine. If not, is the oil trapped in a tank?

Obviously, I can -- and will if I can't get some oil out -- call the dealer. But really! Oil's gotta be in there somewhere.

I didn't used to believe in black magic, but now, I'm not sure.

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There was a follow up thread somewhere here where he asked for the transmission oil brand. According to that everything was resolved when the transmission oil was refilled - allegedly no damage.
To me the lesson from this is to never buy a used car that does not come with dealer service records.
That's no guarantee. My friend had a brand new air-cooled 911 back in the day. He took it in for the first service and although he couldn't see the work being done, he could look out of the waiting room and saw the mechanic start off on a test drive. In a little while he saw the mechanic pushing the car back to the service area and saw him pouring oil in the engine. Obviously he drained the oil but forget to add oil before driving the car. The dealership refused to admit their mistake and swore up and down that nothing had gone wrong. The service was done in Kansas City and my friend was on his way back to California where he lived, so he was in a bit of a bind. They refused to give his car back until he paid for the service, which he reluctantly did. The car burned oil for the remainder of the time he owned it; however, it never did self destruct.

The point being, that getting service at a dealership is not always a perfect experience, But your point is made because there is an even greater chance that the DIY guy will screw up.
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I had a BMW 740 iL. After an oil change, they delivered the car, I started the engine and the oil pressure light came on. I called the mechanic, who, in my presence, pulled the (bone dry) dipstick and changed to a bright red. They'd forgotten to put in new oil after they drained it. Thankfully, they didn't test drive it dry, because I was in a hurry, they just brought it straight from the service bay. There was no harm done.
BMW, like Porsche, is not ashamed to charge an arm and a leg for service events. That's because their "certified" mechanics are so wonderful. But you didn't get the "wonderful" experience you paid for.

Everyone can make a mistake, and that includes things like forgetting to put on a new oil filter or replacing the drain plug when you perform an oil change. I've done countless oil changes in my long lifetime and although I don't recall ever making these mistakes, I realize that I'm perfectly capable of doing so. That's why I ALWAYS immediately check for oil pressure when starting a car following an oil change. On my racing engines I used to disable the ignition and crank the car for a few seconds to build oil pressure after an oil change or a rebuild. It isn't rocket surgery.

So your fancy BMW mechanic made a mistake. OK, we all make them. But you gotta' ask yourself why if you noticed the obvious oil pressure problem immediately after starting your car, why in the world didn't the "certified" mechanic notice it when he drove it from the service bay to the customer pick up point? Even the guys at Jiffy Lube holler out "No Leaks" and "Oil Pressure OK" when they start a car after changing the oil.
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