Low oil pressure, is this a common problem?

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No, the x35 uses a straight six engine based on the old 3.0 - the V8 would be a x40. Personally I thought the 3.5 was a hell of an engine... I think mine was just abused.
nate
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I'd be making sure the engine was full of oil. If the oil pump is in the front, and the oil level is low, then the oil pressure will be low too.

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Don't take this as an insult, but are you sure it's the oil pressure (red) and not the oil level lamp (yellow)? In my '91 525i it turns on (well, the CC pings) after hard driving if there's just under half or about a third of oil between the marks. If the sensor is at the front it might the reason.
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Ulf wrote:

On a former 735i, if the oil level was low (but above the lower mark) and the car was worked hard (e.g. up a big hill) then the oil level warning would sometimes if one suddenly eased off (leaving a lot of oil in the head & galleries). Never did it before starting except the time the garage didn't tighten up the filter properly and some ran out.
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Jan Kalin wrote:

I know the difference. It was the red low oil pressure light that was on, and after a few seconds the check control panel started flashing warning messages as well.

Ulf
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How many miles on the car. Chances are the bearing clearances and the oil pump are not going to be as tight as they once were. The combination of larger clearances and oil thinned from the heat of pulling a trailer could trigger the oil pressure lamp.
Did the light go out as you reved the engine on a hill?
You should have a BMW dealer put a real pressure guage on the engine and check it out.
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John S. wrote:

No, only when I got the car level and restarted the engine. I'll do an oil change tomorrow. According to the lights on the dash it's about time, and I've also used two bottles of injection cleaner in the last couple of tanks.

I'll see what happens after the oil change.

Ulf
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If the sump shows full on the level and the problem only appears when on an incline then you need to have it checked out soon. It may be nothing, but the dealer should be able to replicate the low pressure indication with a real pressure meter. The dealer will also be able to go through a complete diagnosis are rule out reasons for the low pressure light to come on.
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John S. wrote:

The oil change I did today fixed it. I parked in the same spot idling for several minutes without any issues. The oil must have been lower than I first thought, or maybe it was too thin...

Ulf
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Ulf wrote:

Did you also have the loaded trailer attached? If not, the car was not at the same attitude as before.
-Fred W
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Malt_Hound wrote:

No, but since the problem was still existed after I unloaded the trailer, it made a very small difference.

Ulf
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Glad it wasn't a problem after all.
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If the oil level was correct, the likely cause is a faulty oil pressure switch. Cheap and easy to replace. My E34 had two replaced in the time I owned it.
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Hello,
Sorry if I am repeat, but I dont have the time to read this entire thread.
The M30 engine is almost indestructable, however, like everything there is an Achilles heel. Lets start with the most infamous culprit- the oil spray bar banjo bolt. If it comes lose the oil pressure will drop and spin the bearings or worse. Another is the plastic check valves located inside of the oil filter housing. Symptom of an ill check valve (check the banjo bolt first) - oil pressure light takes several seconds to extinguish. The check valve allows the oil to bleed back into the oil pan and it takes several seconds for the pump to re-prime and fill the oil galleys again.
The M30 is a truly wonderful engine yet it will still require your affection.
Blake
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

I checked the banjo bolt when I adjusted the valves and it seemed tight.

I think I might have this problem. When I did the oil change and removed the old filter the filter housing was dry, except for a little oil at the bottom. I thought it was strange because I read that oil would splash out when removing the cover, but if the valve is broken that might explain it. The oil light does take a couple of seconds to extinguish, and sometimes flicker, after startup, but I figured that was normal on such an old car.

Ulf
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