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Tech Forum : Oil light on at idle ...323i...

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      - Oil light on at idle ...323i...
Euro E21 78   Posted Tuesday, Sep 13th 8:11am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Junior Member
Post nr. 1

1978 Euro 323i
So i stated teh problem.... only at idle though... and when the cars cold it wont be on.. only when it warms up itll either flicker at idle or stay on at idle...

aussie323i   Posted Tuesday, Sep 13th 10:41am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 405

1979 323i
Have you changed your oil recently??

My brother inlaws 318i did that when he first bought it- we did an oil change on it and added some heavier oil- no more problem-

I'd say your oil pump is getting a bit long in the tooth, and thus when the oil gets a bit diluted and old, it's struggling to keep the oil pressure up at idle.


Euro E21 78   Posted Tuesday, Sep 13th 11:10am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Junior Member
Post nr. 2

1978 Euro 323i
the car sat for 2 years... but the oil looks great it was changed right before it was stored.....

but... it was changed by jiffy lube or something of the equivalent.. so they might just have put 5w30 in there or something...

im gonna change the oil and put the reccommended 20w-50 in it and see how that works out....

if worst comes to worst i think ill just change the pump

kpeters   Posted Tuesday, Sep 13th 6:36pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 563
San Jose, Costa Rica
1981 320/6 Kastanienrot-Metallic 5spd
Yeah that's a common problem on BMW's on the Hartge a change 4 synthetic oil worked good.

My 320/6 is being having the same problem but when staring cold mostly :S, the light stays on about 1-1/2 second and the won't turn on any other time. Guess our oil pumps are getting old.

DHoang   Posted Saturday, Sep 17th 9:21pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 319
Texas USA
323i, e39 528i, Maserati Spider, Tundra LTD V8 p/up
The other side of the coin is that as the engine sees higher mileage, bearings too will have worn down. More notably, rod bearings that are worn to or below specifications will not produce high enough oil pressure at idle.

So if you have the oil pan dropped ready to install the oil pump, it'd be good measure to take out a rod cap and (crank cap if desired), throw in some plasigage in there and see what your bearings are dimensioning at. Compare it to the blue book specs and make whatever corrections is needed.

Or just go ahead and plan to R&R the rod bearings ($90 for set of six or $20 per each at your local BMW dealer). I've done this with the engine intact under the hood, and it's about an hour's job to service the rod bearings, and another hour to put back on the oil pan.

You'll have her nice n' tight and she'll reward you with a super velvety smooth spin at all revs.

bmw_m_320i   Posted Sunday, Sep 18th 8:31am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 443
Helena, Montana
none right now :(
yeah I see rod bearings do this alot

g323   Posted Tuesday, Jul 28th 7:51am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 339
323i 1982
1 hour for the rod bearings to take out the old ones, put in the new ones, torque down the bolts?

1 hour install oil pan?

30min remove oil pan????

Does the oil pan just come right off?

sunbeam***   Posted Sunday, Aug 2nd 1:20am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 326
wirral UK
1982 323i
im talking from experience here, check the underside of the oil pan for damage or dents.
If the oil pan gets hit it pushes up and hits the oil pump pick up, this will crack the alloy pick up and cause a drop in oil feed at low rpm.
As i say experince, its happened to me.

g323   Posted Friday, Aug 7th 12:05am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 341
323i 1982

and see this video:

All help will eb useful for diagnosis - Im lost!

Yety   Posted Tuesday, Aug 18th 10:58am [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 171
Europe, Romania
About the underside of the oil pan... does anyone have any idea about shielding/protecting it in case it's hit by any obstacles on the road (rocks a.s.o.) ? I'm somehow worried about that as my "new" E21 will be quite low(ered) on the road...

sunbeam***   Posted Sunday, Aug 23rd 11:12pm [Edit] [Quote] [IMS] [View car]
Post nr. 327
wirral UK
1982 323i
Sump gaurd, a must have on low riders or rough roads. simply a piece of 6 or 8mm thick aluminium plate cut to shape and fixed to crossmember with bolts. do a web search on sump gaurd.

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