The E46 M3 oil level sensor is super easy to fix so don’t get lazy and avoid it if you’re having issues. The symptoms of a bad oil level sensor is quite obvious, but two of the most common are:
- Oil light comes on at start, then turns off momentarily. In conjunction, the oil temperature gauge stays at 0.
- Oil light is on, but oil level is okay.
Parts and Tools Needed
- Oil level sensor (12617508003)
- Oil Level Sensor O-Ring (12611744292)
- 8mm socket
- 10mm socket
- 16mm socket
- 17mm socket
- Jack + stands
- Torque wrench (micro)
- Oil change kit
Disclaimer: This DIY does require you to lift your car so please use proper tools and follow all safety procedures if you choose to attempt. This guide is for your reference only. We are not liable for any damages or injuries that result from this guide.
1. Jack up the car.
1.1, straighten your wheel and use the center jack point to lift the front.
1.2, place 2 jack stands to keep the front of the car lifted.
1.3, use jack or tire as an emergency backup support.
2. Remove plastic under tray and under panel reinforcement plate.
2.1, located underneath the car, there are seven 8mm hex screws total to remove the plastic splash guard/under tray.
2.2, remove the under panel reinforcement panel which has eight (8) 16mm bolts.
3. Drain oil.
3.1, remove the drain plug using a 16mm hex bolt.
3.2, drain all the oil and tighten drain plug back to 18 ft-lbs.
4. Remove oil level sensor.
4.1, remove the three (3) 10mm nuts on the sensor.
4.2, replace with new gasket ring and sensor.
4.3, torque the three (3) 10mm nuts to 88 in-lbs or 10Nm or 7.3 ft-lbs.
5. Fill engine oil.
5.1, follow normal procedure to do oil change including oil filter.
6. Reinstall under tray and plate.
6.1, torque reinforcement plate to 43.5 ft-lbs + turn an additional 90º (with a tolerance of +/- 30º).
6.2, tighten the under tray screws.
7. Check for leaks!
Give it a few minutes for the gauges to work. Sometimes it takes a few minutes of driving or when your engine oil is up to temp for the new sensor to work.