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  #1  
Old 08-08-2005, 06:13 AM
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E300D - Oil low warning light mystery

Hi
was driving my E300D OM606 yesterday , started from cold drove about 5 miles so fully warmed up and suddenly the low oil level warning light comes on. Thinking I had quite recently topped up I pulled over to check the dip stick. Gave it a quick wipe and sure enough it was on the bottom mark. After a mile or so the light went off and never came back on. When I got home checked the d.s. again and it was on the top mark

Anyone any idea whats going on here? I am slightly concerned there may be an oil way blockage or something but really have no idea.

Keith
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Old 08-08-2005, 07:17 AM
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I think that the two experiences are unrelated - here's how:

If you check the oil right after shutdown it will read relatively low because it takes a long time for all of the oil to drain back down into the pan. How long depends on many factors but some say that with synthetics it can take overnight before all of the oil drains back down. I would say if you waited at least 10-15 minutes after shutdown to read the dipstick that you will probably have gotten a fairly accurate read, though it might still be lower than it would be if it sat overnight. So, is it possible that your first reading was made right after you shut the engine down and the second one after an extended period where the oil drained back down??? If so, that would explain the different readings.

As for the low-oil level warning - I believe the oil level would have to be well below the "add" mark before that warning should be triggered. I've removed the sensor that triggers the low oil warning and it is a float on an arm attached to a switch. Based upon my observations the oil would have to be 2-3 quarts under "full" before the low oil warning would be triggered, or at least 1-2 quarts under "add" on the dipstick. You might have a faulty connection at the sensor or a bad sensor causing a false alarm. That would be my guess anyway. I would say if it goes on again have the sensor checked and replaced...it does not take very much time to replace it (30 minutes max including lifting the car) so it would probably cost about $50 plus the cost of the part to replace it.
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Old 08-08-2005, 10:10 AM
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It could be that the car went round a corner or a over a bump and it sloshed the oil away from the sensor momentarily. AFAIK, you let the oil settle down and see where it lies. It should be between the min and max marks. That is why I check the oil after sitting the car overnight so there is no mistake.
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Old 08-08-2005, 11:15 AM
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As far as I know the 'low oil light' will also come on if you have insuffient oil pressure.

Not having an E300 I don't know if it also has a pressure gage. Is your oil pressure good? Could just be a faulty sensor. I'd get the oil pressure checked.
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Old 08-08-2005, 11:23 AM
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My 99 E300 does not.
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2005, 12:20 PM
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"nhdoc" is right-on when he states that if you check your oil level immediately after you shut-off the engine it will indicate low. Especially if you use synthetic oil.

The oil level sensor on my own car (95 E300D), is extremely sensitive as well. It will come on whenever the oil level is down even 1/4 Quart. This happened when I short filled the crankcase by 1/4 Quart after an oil change. At first I panicked, but now I know to keep the level just a hair below the Max line. My car does not burn any oil, so the light never comes on anymore.

Phil
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Old 08-08-2005, 01:36 PM
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Mine doesn't till the oil is a little below the "min mark" or at the mark
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2005, 04:37 AM
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oil pressure

Thanks guys

I am somewhat reassured that this must have been a freak occurance. I have rechecked the level manually when cold (yes I am using fully synth btw) and it is up to the bottom of the max so no problem with the level.

Btw the 95 E300D (at least the one I have) does have an oil pressure warning light separately which never came on. I cant believe a 99 E300 does not have one - are you sure?


Keith
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Old 08-14-2005, 02:11 PM
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You can try the following:

If you are so equipped, and a bit knowledgeable, than using an OHM meter you can test the Oil level sensor, and its associated single wire yourself. Alternatively you can have have someone knowledgeable do it for you. Its quick and easy. Should be less than 30 Minutes for tests (2) and (3) below. However try (1) first. The problem may be due to a a dirty contact, if so, this may solve your problem

(1) Unplug the single wire going to the oil sensor. Its located in the lower driver's side of engine towards the front. If you have long arms than its reachable from the top. Clean the contact points of both the oil level sensor and the wire, than push it back. Drive for awhile, If the light still comes on, than go to step (2)

(2) Measure the resistance between the single pin on the oil level sensor and ground. It should be less than .10 Ohms. If higher than you have a defective oil level sensor.

(3) If OK, than measure the resistance of the unplugged Oil level sensor wire between the end that connects to the oil level sensor and socket 5 of the 15 pole plug at the back of the instrument panel cluster (Instrument Cluster panel must be pulled out). It should also be less than .10 Ohms. If higher, than you have a defective wire.

Phil
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Last edited by pberku; 08-14-2005 at 07:23 PM.
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