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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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