BMW's with no dipstick, how do you approach topping up?

BMW's with no dipstick, how do you approach topping up?

Author
Discussion

5to1

1,721 posts

206 months

Tuesday 12th February 2013
quotequote all
Tim330 said:
If enough of us ask BMW perhaps they will add a dipstick to the options list for the next model.
I think they have enough tick boxes already to lighten your wallet, no need for us to give them more ideas biggrin Next they'll charge you for a spare wheel, oh wait :/

g3org3y

18,601 posts

164 months

Tuesday 12th February 2013
quotequote all
Patrick Bateman said:
E38Ross said:
5to1 said:
I agree they should have left the dipstick in. But I don't think it's a pointless technology exercise to add sensor based measurent, many people aren't very proactive/knowledgeable about maintenance/checking their cars. Therefore, I could see the sensor based mechanism saving some people a costly repair bill :/
This exactly.
Having the electronic one along with a physical one would be ideal.
And that has been on BMW check control systems for ages.

How does one check the condition of the oil sans dipstick?

This is a pointless 'innovation' imo.

Patrick Bateman

11,340 posts

147 months

Tuesday 12th February 2013
quotequote all
By electronic one I meant one actually showing you the oil level, not a warning when it was low.

E38Ross

29,372 posts

185 months

Tuesday 12th February 2013
quotequote all
g3org3y said:
Patrick Bateman said:
E38Ross said:
5to1 said:
I agree they should have left the dipstick in. But I don't think it's a pointless technology exercise to add sensor based measurent, many people aren't very proactive/knowledgeable about maintenance/checking their cars. Therefore, I could see the sensor based mechanism saving some people a costly repair bill :/
This exactly.
Having the electronic one along with a physical one would be ideal.
And that has been on BMW check control systems for ages.

How does one check the condition of the oil sans dipstick?

This is a pointless 'innovation' imo.
well, i think it's useful.

why?

most people don't check their oil, this is a way of ensuring it's gets checked....throw a warning up once it needs topping up.

you can't check the "condition" of the oil? i'm sorry...but the car tells you when the oil needs changing, and it tells you how many miles until it needs changing....within this time frame it will be fine. synthetic oils still work very well even if they appear black so that old "check the colour" is a very out-dated method.

lastly, if the reading isn't working, it will tell you.

it's an innovation that maybe "pointless" to you or I (i think it's great, but i check my oil with a dipstick but only because i have to) but for 99% of customers it saves them hassle or saves them leaving their car with little oil in it.

E38Ross

29,372 posts

185 months

Tuesday 12th February 2013
quotequote all
Patrick Bateman said:
By electronic one I meant one actually showing you the oil level, not a warning when it was low.
but the electronic reader does show you the level in 0.25L increments (except the M6 which is 0.1L increments, not sure about E65 7 series or M5....but the M3 is at least

Patrick Bateman

11,340 posts

147 months

Tuesday 12th February 2013
quotequote all
E38Ross said:
but the electronic reader does show you the level in 0.25L increments (except the M6 which is 0.1L increments, not sure about E65 7 series or M5....but the M3 is at least
I know, that's what I was meaning, coupled with the normal dipstick.

Locknut

647 posts

110 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
E38Ross said:
most people don't check their oil, this is a way of ensuring it's gets checked....throw a warning up once it needs topping up.
I think that the sort of people who don't check their oil are generally the same people who don't know what the warning light on the dash means, so they drive on because it can't be that important if the car is still going.

g3org3y

18,601 posts

164 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
E38Ross said:
g3org3y said:
Patrick Bateman said:
E38Ross said:
5to1 said:
I agree they should have left the dipstick in. But I don't think it's a pointless technology exercise to add sensor based measurent, many people aren't very proactive/knowledgeable about maintenance/checking their cars. Therefore, I could see the sensor based mechanism saving some people a costly repair bill :/
This exactly.
Having the electronic one along with a physical one would be ideal.
And that has been on BMW check control systems for ages.

How does one check the condition of the oil sans dipstick?

This is a pointless 'innovation' imo.
well, i think it's useful.

why?

most people don't check their oil, this is a way of ensuring it's gets checked....throw a warning up once it needs topping up.

you can't check the "condition" of the oil? i'm sorry...but the car tells you when the oil needs changing, and it tells you how many miles until it needs changing....within this time frame it will be fine. synthetic oils still work very well even if they appear black so that old "check the colour" is a very out-dated method.

lastly, if the reading isn't working, it will tell you.

it's an innovation that maybe "pointless" to you or I (i think it's great, but i check my oil with a dipstick but only because i have to) but for 99% of customers it saves them hassle or saves them leaving their car with little oil in it.
As I said above - BMWs have informed the driver for ages (inc my 1986 E30) via check control whether the oil needs topping up thus 'saving people a costly repair bill'.

So, that hasn't changed.

All that has happened is that a new sensor has been introduced (which has potential to fail/give false readings) and the physical ability to check the oil to confirm/deny has been taken away. This is good how?

The non enthusiast isn't going to top up his/her oil from 3/4 to maximum for no reason based on the dashboard reading. They will only do anything once it gets to minimum (and as mentioned - if they previously had check control, it would have been flashed up anyway).

So tell me again, how is this 'saving engines/costly bills/bunny rabbits' etc compared to the old system?

As far as I'm concerned this is yet another uncalled for 'innovation' like the electronic handbrake. If it ain't broke...

premio

1,020 posts

137 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
Regarding the above comment, from my point of view it saves me time and hassle because all I have to do is press a button and I know if the oil is correct whilst driving, I don't need to wait until a cold engine, open a bonnet, get a rag and check it then wash my hands afterwards.

What could be easier?

volvos60s60

458 posts

187 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
The point everone misses here is what happens when you do a DIY oil change. How much to put in? If you have to run the engine for 5 minutes before you get an accurate reading, you will cause damage if that reading tells you there is far too little oil.

To solve this, I measure how much comes out at change time, & then put the same amount back in. I would also say that the information from the electronic dipstick, even once the engine is warm, can be a bit variable.

Dipstick is the answer. Looked online to see if there is conversion kit - alas not

JNW1

5,889 posts

167 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
premio said:
Regarding the above comment, from my point of view it saves me time and hassle because all I have to do is press a button and I know if the oil is correct whilst driving, I don't need to wait until a cold engine, open a bonnet, get a rag and check it then wash my hands afterwards.

What could be easier?
These innovations are really just pandering to non-car people who just want to get from A to B with as little effort as possible; little or no interest in how a car works, don't want to be bothered maintaining it and (usually) little or no interest in driving and/or improving driving skills. As my dad would say, women of both sexes who should be on public transport!


E38Ross

29,372 posts

185 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
JNW1 said:
premio said:
Regarding the above comment, from my point of view it saves me time and hassle because all I have to do is press a button and I know if the oil is correct whilst driving, I don't need to wait until a cold engine, open a bonnet, get a rag and check it then wash my hands afterwards.

What could be easier?
These innovations are really just pandering to non-car people who just want to get from A to B with as little effort as possible; little or no interest in how a car works, don't want to be bothered maintaining it and (usually) little or no interest in driving and/or improving driving skills. As my dad would say, women of both sexes who should be on public transport!
i.e. 99% of customers - the people who buy the cars.

for 99+% of people i can guarantee you that they'd rather read an on board read out than manually check. so why not offer it?

you're making a fuss over a non-issue in reality.

clockworks

3,986 posts

118 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
You guys moaning about the "electronic dipstick" on BMWs, spare a thought for us owners of older Porsches!

As well as my E61 525D, I've got a 1992 911 (964). These cars have an oil level gauge, and a proper dipstick. Because the dipstick and gauge measure the level in the oil tank, rather than the engine, we have to run the car for at least 20 minutes to get everything nice and hot (oil thermostat open, and flowing round the cooler), then park up on a level surface, leaving the engine to idle for 30 seconds. Pull out the dipstick, take a reading, and compare it to the dash gauge.
For most owners, full on the dipstick is somewhere around halfway on the gauge.

In normal driving, one soon learns to ignore the gauge, as it generally shows empty, or bounces around erratically.

In comparison, the BMW system is simplicity itself!

JNW1

5,889 posts

167 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
E38Ross said:
i.e. 99% of customers - the people who buy the cars.

for 99+% of people i can guarantee you that they'd rather read an on board read out than manually check. so why not offer it?

you're making a fuss over a non-issue in reality.
Yes, 99% of car drivers ought probably to be on public transport! I also suspect many of them won't be any more inclined to check their oil level via an electronic read-out than they would via a dipstick; in all probability they'll just take it in for a service when the indicator tells them to!

I'm actually not against offering an electronic check, it's the lack of an ability to check manually that I object to. These electronic devices will inevitably become unreliable over time and they also tell you nothing about the condition of the oil either; a visual check via a dipstick takes a matter of seconds and IMO gives better information than some fancy graphic on the i-drive display.

JNW1

5,889 posts

167 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
clockworks said:
You guys moaning about the "electronic dipstick" on BMWs, spare a thought for us owners of older Porsches!

As well as my E61 525D, I've got a 1992 911 (964). These cars have an oil level gauge, and a proper dipstick. Because the dipstick and gauge measure the level in the oil tank, rather than the engine, we have to run the car for at least 20 minutes to get everything nice and hot (oil thermostat open, and flowing round the cooler), then park up on a level surface, leaving the engine to idle for 30 seconds. Pull out the dipstick, take a reading, and compare it to the dash gauge.
For most owners, full on the dipstick is somewhere around halfway on the gauge.

In normal driving, one soon learns to ignore the gauge, as it generally shows empty, or bounces around erratically.

In comparison, the BMW system is simplicity itself!
Fair comment but just because the system on a 964 is - err- cumbersome doesn't make all manual dipsticks a bad thing!

E38Ross

29,372 posts

185 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
JNW1 said:
Yes, 99% of car drivers ought probably to be on public transport! I also suspect many of them won't be any more inclined to check their oil level via an electronic read-out than they would via a dipstick; in all probability they'll just take it in for a service when the indicator tells them to!

I'm actually not against offering an electronic check, it's the lack of an ability to check manually that I object to. These electronic devices will inevitably become unreliable over time and they also tell you nothing about the condition of the oil either; a visual check via a dipstick takes a matter of seconds and IMO gives better information than some fancy graphic on the i-drive display.
why should BMW care whether you think 99% of drivers shouldn't be on the road? they're a company to make money. they should look after those who buy their cars, not those who don't.

secondly...what do you mean by manually "checking the condition of the oil"? do you mean checking to see whether it's not black? well....have you read research regarding whether fully synthetic oils and their ability to still do a very good job when they look black? because they do. just because it's gone dark, doesn't mean it's no longer working.

also - i'm talking about condition based servicing with oil changes....the computer tells you before it needs changing, so why the seemingly imperative need to "check the condition of the oil manually"?

JNW1

5,889 posts

167 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
E38Ross said:
why should BMW care whether you think 99% of drivers shouldn't be on the road? they're a company to make money. they should look after those who buy their cars, not those who don't.

secondly...what do you mean by manually "checking the condition of the oil"? do you mean checking to see whether it's not black? well....have you read research regarding whether fully synthetic oils and their ability to still do a very good job when they look black? because they do. just because it's gone dark, doesn't mean it's no longer working.

also - i'm talking about condition based servicing with oil changes....the computer tells you before it needs changing, so why the seemingly imperative need to "check the condition of the oil manually"?
I never said BMW should care about who should be on the road and who shouldn't; that's obviously a matter of opinion (mine was slightly tongue in cheek!) and of course BMW's primary interest is in selling cars and servicing them.

I'm fully aware that oil goes black fairly quickly after a change but what if you look on the dipstick and it's (say) a bit milky; perhaps a problem with coolant getting into the oil but how would you know without a visual check? Ok, I accept that's not a common problem on BMW's but it's an illustration of how a quick look at a dipstick can tell you something a dashboard display won't. The smell of oil is also a sign of its condition but again how do you know if you're just looking at a graphic on a dashboard?

I guess the answer is in your last paragraph; most people just rely on the computer to look after them. That's fair enough and is fine so long as all the electronic trickery continues to work; however, there's surely nothing wrong in people wanting to do checks themselves? My car has tyre pressure sensors but that doesn't stop me checking manually and on occasion I've found some adjustment to be necessary even though the monitors suggested all was well (albeit I accept the changes needed were relatively modest). If people want to put blind faith in the electronics that's up to them but for me these graphics showing engine oil level are a solution to a problem that never existed; nothing wrong with a dipstick and I still say looking at that (if my car had one!) would tell me more than looking at the display on the i-drive!

E38Ross

29,372 posts

185 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
JNW1 said:
I'm fully aware that oil goes black fairly quickly after a change but what if you look on the dipstick and it's (say) a bit milky; perhaps a problem with coolant getting into the oil but how would you know without a visual check? Ok, I accept that's not a common problem on BMW's but it's an illustration of how a quick look at a dipstick can tell you something a dashboard display won't. The smell of oil is also a sign of its condition but again how do you know if you're just looking at a graphic on a dashboard?
nothing you stopping taking off the filler cap and having a look under that is there?

premio

1,020 posts

137 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
JNW1 said:
These innovations are really just pandering to non-car people who just want to get from A to B with as little effort as possible; little or no interest in how a car works, don't want to be bothered maintaining it and (usually) little or no interest in driving and/or improving driving skills. As my dad would say, women of both sexes who should be on public transport!
I have zero interest in the workings of my engine, I have no need to and just get a mechanic to do that for me. As for having little or no interest in driving or improving driving skills, how exactly does a dipstick do that? Maybe it's you that doesn't have a clue about engines if you think a metal rod makes a difference to driving skills.

g3org3y

18,601 posts

164 months

Wednesday 13th February 2013
quotequote all
premio said:
JNW1 said:
These innovations are really just pandering to non-car people who just want to get from A to B with as little effort as possible; little or no interest in how a car works, don't want to be bothered maintaining it and (usually) little or no interest in driving and/or improving driving skills. As my dad would say, women of both sexes who should be on public transport!
I have zero interest in the workings of my engine, I have no need to and just get a mechanic to do that for me. As for having little or no interest in driving or improving driving skills, how exactly does a dipstick do that? Maybe it's you that doesn't have a clue about engines if you think a metal rod makes a difference to driving skills.
Point. Missed.