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BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: wurm
Date: December 03, 2018 06:32PM
My wife bought a 2010 BMW convertible last spring. She wanted a convertible and that's what she found. I'm uncomfortable in it, and I must admit, it was nice tooling around in it on a beautiful warm summer day. But she likes it, which is all that matters.

Anyway, I thought I'd be a nice guy and check the oil over the weekend while I was checking mine. I popped the hood and looked all over for a dipstick, to no avail. I swallowed my pride and checked her owners manual to see if I could discover where it was hidden. Turns out it has some wacky electronic oil level system. There is no dipstick. What a pita. This is one case where I'd rather thrust my eyes than some electronic computer thing that could malfunction.

It's the first time in a long time I've felt really out of touch with technology. Is this a sign of things to come or is it just a BMW thing?
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: December 03, 2018 06:40PM
Have you watched this?
How to check oil in BMW with no dipstick

It's not just a BMW thing, my '16 VW has no dipstick for the transmission,
it's checked thru the OBD-II and changing it is not a DYI option.
They use a machine that sucks out the old while pumping a ‘special’ cleaner thru so the cooler gets flushed. Then a precisely measured amount of new fluid is pumped in. Good news, it’s once every 30K miles or so and many independent shops have the equipment. Cost < half what a dealer charges.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2018 06:44PM by MrNoBody.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 03, 2018 06:41PM
typical German over-engineering.

I do not own a Mercedes, but there was one video on youtube where a guy shows how the CanBus that runs in these cars had all sort of errors codes, many of which are false positives. for example, they even have a code that pops up on the dashboard when the lightbulb in the trunk burns out. Do you really need to deal with software that tells you the light bulb in the trunk is out? don't you see that when you open the trunk?

so yea, it's very possible there is no dipstick.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: wurm
Date: December 03, 2018 06:46PM
Yes, I've seen the YouTube videos. It was just a shock to me that there would not be a simple, non-electronic way to check one's oil. Seems a bit absurd to me.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 03, 2018 06:47PM
yes it is.

I worked for and with Germans. It was not easy.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: Bo
Date: December 03, 2018 07:03PM
Quote
wurm
Yes, I've seen the YouTube videos. It was just a shock to me that there would not be a simple, non-electronic way to check one's oil. Seems a bit absurd to me.

It is infuriating!

We have a 2010 535i and the lack of dipstick annoys me to no end. Even a slight incline throws it completely off.

Our driveway slopes a little bit and if I start the car and don't drive off with a couple of minutes, it gives me a low oil warning and shows that I am almost completely empty of oil. Then I drive away and 10min later it tells my I almost completely full.

Manually going through iDrive to check it sometimes takes 10-15min of driving before it registers.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: December 03, 2018 07:07PM
Seems a bit absurd to me. Maybe, but not as absurd as Boeing programming 737MAX flight controls to require two mechanical toggle switches be flipped to over-ride the MCAS system even with the plane in manual mode.

Like the dude on MotorWeek explained, you don't do 'tune-ups' on new cars, you do system checks and recommended maintenance (what a computer tells you to do).



39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: December 03, 2018 07:08PM
Yep, that's modern German cars for ya: Why have one unnecessary plastic cover over a regularly-serviced item under the hood held on by three or four normal fasteners like screws or bolts when you can have 3-5 unnecessary plastic covers over a regularly-serviced item under the hood that are held on by umpteen oddball fasteners that require a special tool to remove and must be taken off and replaced in a very specific sequence that openly defies any known logic? Audis are the worst offenders in this category, but BMW and Mercedes are hot on their heels.

The sad part is that in the pre-Lexus period, Mercedes cars were chock full of clever, elegant, simple engineering solutions that seemed obvious once you saw them in practice and made you wonder why all manufacturers didn't do stuff that way.



Lie to me if you must, but don't lie to me and insult my intelligence in the same sentence.

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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: December 03, 2018 07:11PM
What would be absurd is to have both an electronic and mechanical method to checking oil.

Yes, there is 'more to go wrong' and people like to proclaim how it was simpler the. Some old guy told me how he hated the new fangled powered windows because there's just more to go wrong and people are getting lazy. He didn't mind the electric starter on his car, though, or automatic spark advance.

My first bikes had kickdstarters, and one of them didn't have an electric starter. Now there's maybe one Honda that has a kick starter. And sometimes something happens with the electrics and a kick starter would be nice. But that's rare.

The benefit of checking oil electronically is that any non-technophobe can do it without ever getting one's hands dirty. How many member's of a family check the oil level, or check it every, until the idiot light comes on? Few to one, or none. They could even get a warning that the level is low before oil pressure is nil.

'I check it every...' blah blah blah. Most don't care and some never check it. That's the job of Oil Changers or the dealer.

Speaking of the dealer, he could possibly see the oil level when connecting the car to diagnostic kit during a service. Even BMW bikes (newer of course) get connected to electronic kit for a routine service.

There are downsides, but I don't care. It's not like that would put a kick starter back on my bike.




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must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: wurm
Date: December 03, 2018 07:20PM
Quote
RAMd®d
Now there's maybe one Honda that has a kick starter.

Seriously? Is that true for most bikes or unique to Honda? The convenience of electric start is great, but I would appreciate backup.

All of this stuff seems like it's just a way to keep customers coming back to the stealership for service. But maybe that's just the cynic in me.

And yes, I'm an old(er) fart.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: wurm
Date: December 03, 2018 07:44PM
Wow. This article says it all...and it's from 2010. [jalopnik.com]
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: December 03, 2018 07:48PM
Quote
wurm
Wow. This article says it all...and it's from 2010. [jalopnik.com]

As someone who has owned 2 VW Jettas with the disintegrating dipstick tubes that ruin engines I'd rather have never had a dipstick. Better off with a sensor.



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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: December 03, 2018 07:59PM
Quote
RAMd®d
What would be absurd is to have both an electronic and mechanical method to checking oil.

I want both. Why? I had an oil pressure sensor go bad on my way up a mountain pass. If it was truly a problem, I risked destroying the engine if I kept driving.

In the modern world, I'd cancel my trip and have the car towed 100 miles or so.

Fortunately, the car also had a dipstick. I checked it and it was fine. I drove to a shop and they found the sensor went bad.




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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: Fritz
Date: December 03, 2018 08:28PM
no dip in my last 2 Volvos nuther. It's the future.



!#$@@$#!

If there are spelling issues, please pardon, Owen the cat is sitting on my keyboard.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: December 03, 2018 08:48PM
When I was maintaining communications gear for the Air Force, there were of course monitors built in. When a piece of equipment went into alarm, the very first thing to do was to check whatever parameter was being measured and verify whether or not there truly was a problem.

Sensors/Idiot Lights...well
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: December 03, 2018 08:51PM
Shoot, I don’t know how I would change my own oil without a dipstick! It’s not like I have a nice clean measuring oil can. I pour oil out of a gallon jug and then some so unless the car used exactly one gallon I would be screwed. And, no, the translucent strip on the jug isn’t good enough to do it right.

My ‘03 Jetta didn’t have a transmission dipstick. What a pain when the tranny would unlock when below zero on the first corner in the morning. Was it low or was something wrong? I had to take it to the dealer to get it checked which set me back nearly $200. Jeez.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: davester
Date: December 03, 2018 08:53PM
There's a 90% chance that my next car will have no dipstick because it will be electric.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: December 03, 2018 08:55PM
Quote
davester
There's a 90% chance that my next car will have no dipstick because it will be electric.

thumbs up



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: hal
Date: December 03, 2018 10:16PM
I haven't EVER heard of a car owner that wished to have the old hand crank starter just in case that new fangled ee-lectric starter thingy failed - good point.

Quote
wurm
Quote
RAMd®d
Now there's maybe one Honda that has a kick starter.

Seriously? Is that true for most bikes or unique to Honda? The convenience of electric start is great, but I would appreciate backup.

All of this stuff seems like it's just a way to keep customers coming back to the stealership for service. But maybe that's just the cynic in me.

And yes, I'm an old(er) fart.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 03, 2018 10:23PM
Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?

Only behind the wheel... emoticon-tv-015



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: Don C
Date: December 03, 2018 11:03PM
Reminds me of the Car Talk puzzle. Guy escapes from jail but cannot start the getaway car parked outside. While he was in the pen, cars changed over from hand cranks to electric starters and he did not know that.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: December 04, 2018 12:05AM
Self-driving cars, Autopilot??



dats crazy talk



39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: December 04, 2018 12:19AM
Quote
hal
I haven't EVER heard of a car owner that wished to have the old hand crank starter just in case that new fangled ee-lectric starter thingy failed - good point.

Quote
wurm
Quote
RAMd®d
Now there's maybe one Honda that has a kick starter.

Seriously? Is that true for most bikes or unique to Honda? The convenience of electric start is great, but I would appreciate backup.

All of this stuff seems like it's just a way to keep customers coming back to the stealership for service. But maybe that's just the cynic in me.

And yes, I'm an old(er) fart.

The changeover from hand crank to full reliance on electric starters wasn't instantaneous. The small hole at the bottom of this 1934 Ford's grille is where you'd insert the hand crank for the engine if for some reason the electric starter didn't work. Almost all cars of the at least early thirties have a similar provision, though a lot of them covered the hole with a piece of either painted or shiny trim.





Lie to me if you must, but don't lie to me and insult my intelligence in the same sentence.

Resist the Thought Police: George Orwell's book 1984 was meant as a warning, not an instruction manual.

"Political correctness is just intellectual colonialism and psychological fascism for the creation of thought crime" - Steve Hughes

"I don't see color, I just see ugly" - Joe Jitsukawa



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2018 12:21AM by Thrift Store Scott.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: December 04, 2018 01:14AM
This modern dirt bike still has a kick starter.

[www.dirtrider.com]
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: max
Date: December 04, 2018 03:02AM
My first car, Peugeot 404 had that hole, in the bumper, and I did had to start it with the crank twice....

This not mine. but looks about the same....
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: December 04, 2018 05:30AM
Seriously? Is that true for most bikes or unique to Honda?.

As far as I know, Honda makes one motorcycle with a kick starter. Most motorcycle manufactured to day don't have one.

Do you have a back up for your car?

Sure, it's called AAA.


The convenience of electric start is great, but I would appreciate backup

Do you have a back up for your car?

Sure, it's called AAA.

A starter circuit can fail on a bike just like on any car you're driving. But overall, the reliability is great enough that it's just dead weight 99.9-100% of the time, and it simplifies the manufacture of the engine.


The changeover from hand crank to full reliance on electric starters wasn't instantaneous.

Just like that of motorcycles. People had to let go of the fear of not having a hand crank. Besides when one was available, many drivers would never use it anyway. There was a real fear of breaking your wrist of you weren't careful and failed to keep all your thumbs on one side.


This modern dirt bike still has a kick starter.

That's good, because it doesn't have an electric starter or a battery, and a bike that can only be bump started won't have much curb appeal, unless maybe some poseur wants to play Ricky Racer. It's a tiny, weak bike and an electric starter and battery would just weight it down. I believe its bigger brother does have an electric starter. Just in case something happens to the kick starter in a get-off.

Now walk into any bike showroom and count the number of bikes with kick starters.

For extra credit, count the number of cars sold in the US without power windows. Maybe keep a crank in the glove box as a backup.

I put a lot of miles on a Model A Ford, and used to start it with the crank because I could. But that got old quick, so I used the electric starter.

Parachutes on commercial jet liners! We can play DB Cooper.

I do agree the BMW iDrive has confounded a lot of owners, and I don't know if it's improved since its inception. Phone navigation has improved over the years, so there's hope.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: Cary
Date: December 04, 2018 07:49AM
BMW iDrive has gotten much better, but still not great. BMW auto shifters still suck.
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: December 04, 2018 08:19AM
Quote
Cary
BMW iDrive has gotten much better, but still not great.
Yep, even the car magazines, who would wet themselves with glee and insist on doing a full stand-alone road test every time BMW did so little as introduce yet another shade of metallic grey paint, hated the iDrive from Day One and still don't like it.



Lie to me if you must, but don't lie to me and insult my intelligence in the same sentence.

Resist the Thought Police: George Orwell's book 1984 was meant as a warning, not an instruction manual.

"Political correctness is just intellectual colonialism and psychological fascism for the creation of thought crime" - Steve Hughes

"I don't see color, I just see ugly" - Joe Jitsukawa
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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: billb
Date: December 04, 2018 09:43AM
thrusting your eyes sounds potentially painful and permanent



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Re: BMW owners: no dipstick?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: December 04, 2018 03:52PM
Quote
max
My first car, Peugeot 404 had that hole, in the bumper, and I did had to start it with the crank twice....

This not mine. but looks about the same....

My father had two Peugeot 403s (early '60s), which came with cranks. I used them once or twice to start the car when needed. Very handy. Hole is between bumper and grill.


(That's not his, either.)

Re dipsticks, my 2013 Ford Expedition has no transmission dipstick. It does have an oil dipstick, thankfully. Even though I've stopped changing my own oil, I'm still in the habit of feeling the oil on the dipstick to see if it's dirty enough to change. I used to change my oil every three months or three-thousand miles, whichever came first. Now my mechanic says, with better-quality oils, it's not necessary: six months, or even a year (with low mileage) is OK. Freaks me out.

Re power windows: my driver's side window froze up a couple weeks ago. Wouldn't go up. Probably got water in there after heavy rains, and nighttime freezing temps. But a royal pain; I would have loved a window crank. Should be an option, dammit!

/Mr Lynn



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2018 03:54PM by mrlynn.
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