Why Is My BMW Oil Light Yellow?

Driving your BMW and the oil light turns yellow can be a concerning experience. But why did it turn yellow? We researched and consulted with different experts regarding this concern for your convenience, and here’s the answer we found.

If a BMW’s light turns yellow, it could be indicating one of the following concerns:

  • The oil level is less than 1 quart (the oil light turns yellow after engine shutdown)
  • The oil level is less than or equal to 1 quart (the oil light turns yellow while driving)
  • Check the oil level sensor or it has a malfunction (the oil light turns yellow after engine ignition)

After learning the reasons why a BMW oil light is yellow, the next step is to solve the issue that caused this concern. So you should continue reading as we talk about the possible solutions that may help you solve your car’s underlying problem.

How Do I Add Oil To My BMW?

BMW with an opened bonnet parked in the desert

Upon checking your BMW's oil dipstick after seeing the yellow oil light, perhaps you noticed that the vehicle's oil level is 1 quart or lower. If so, refilling the oil reserves may help get rid of the light and restore the car’s normal functions.

Although this particular procedure is reasonably straightforward, you shouldn’t forget about following proper safety protocols. Some preventive measures that should be in place are:

  • Wear protective gear. Shield yourself from possible irritation by wearing equipment like gloves, safety glasses, and long-sleeved clothing.
  • Warm the leftover engine oil. Cold oil might leave a sticky residue and might not escape during the draining part of the refilling procedure.
  • Clean spills immediately. Don't leave an oil spill alone as the liquid can become a health hazard.
  • Dispose of leftover and excess oil properly. You may mix old kitty litter and engine oil before disposing of both items by sending them to your local recycling or garbage collection center.

After taking note of those precautionary actions, you can move forward with this task by following these general steps:

What You’ll Need

  • Drain pan
  • Funnel
  • Synthetic engine oil

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Park your BMW in a safe and well-ventilated area that also has flat and level ground.
  2. Engage the emergency, hand, or parking brake to prevent the car from moving.
  3. Disengage the engine and wait for it to slightly cool before opening the hood.
  4. Place a drain pan underneath the vehicle and remove the oil tank’s drain plug.
  5. Wait for the leftover oil to escape from its container.
  6. Return the drain plug to its original location.
  7. Locate the oil tank’s cover in the engine block and turn it counterclockwise to open it.
  8. Place a funnel in the opening and pour the recommended amount of engine oil into it.
  9. Return the tank’s cover and turn on the engine to check if the yellow oil light persists.

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Warning: Consult your BMW owner’s manual to find out the correct amount of engine oil for your specific vehicle model. Don’t overfill your car’s engine oil or else you may run into other issues.

You can also watch this video to gain additional insights into this procedure:

How Do I Change My BMW Oil Sensor?

Oil pressure warning light illuminated on dashboard.

Generally, a BMW’s oil sensor similarly works with the same component in other vehicles.

As its name implies, the component senses the car’s oil levels. It’s also responsible for sending the correct signals to notify you if your vehicle needs an engine oil refill.

But a BMW's oil level sensor isn't invulnerable to harm. If it encounters damage, it may result in an incorrect oil level reading.

Replacing the unit may help restore your vehicle’s oil-checking functions and remove the yellow oil light on the dashboard.

What You’ll Need

  • Ratchet and socket
  • Panel remover
  • Engine oil
  • Funnel
  • Replacement oil sensor

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Disengage the BMW’s engine and engage its emergency, hand, or parking brake.
  2. Place a drain pan underneath the oil tank under the vehicle.
  3. Remove the plastic splash shield covering the oil tank.
  4. Remove the drain plug and allow the leftover oil to escape from the container.
  5. Return the drain plug to its original location once the tank is empty.
  6. Disconnect the electrical connector from the old oil level sensor in the tank carefully.
  7. Unthread and remove the three mounting nuts securing the oil sensor. Remove the sensor afterward.
  8. Install the new oil level sensor in the same location as the old unit and secure the installation.
  9. Attach the electrical connector to the new sensor.
  10. Refill your BMW’s oil reserves.
  11. Turn on your car’s engine and check if the yellow oil light persists.

Note: The location of the oil level sensor generally differs for each BMW model. Consult your owner's manual to know the site of this component before going through the replacement process.

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You can also watch this video if you need a visual guide for this replacement process:

At this point, you might be curious to know the temperature at which oil burns in a car. If so, follow that link to know the answer.

Why Does My BMW Keep Losing Oil?

Car speedometer with information display - Oil Change Due Info

If your attempted fixes didn’t work and the yellow engine oil light persists, perhaps your BMW has an underlying issue. Troubleshoot your car as it might have a leak or a compromised component like a bad drain plug or a blown valve gasket cover.

Replacing a damaged drain plug is a relatively straightforward task. On the other hand, you may need to follow a series of steps to swap out a blown valve gasket cover.

Keep reading this section to gain insight on how to replace a valve gasket cover, disengage the yellow oil light, and prevent engine oil leaks in a BMW:

What You’ll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Panel remover
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Replacement valve engine cover

Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Disengage the BMW’s engine and engage its emergency, hand, or parking brake.
  2. Wait for the engine to cool before opening the hood.
  3. Use a flathead screwdriver or panel remover to take out the cowling cover. Pull out its attached cable as well.
  4. Unthread and remove the four newly exposed Torx screws.
  5. Unthread and remove the bolts securing the engine cover. Remove the engine cover afterward.
  6. Disconnect the vent line from the valve cover.
  7. Unplug the six coils attached to the engine block. Pull out the coils and set them aside temporarily.
  8. Remove the ground straps and wires. Pull out the wire harness afterward.
  9. Disconnect the oxygen wires and their connected sensor from the engine block.
  10. Loosen and remove the nuts and bolts securing the valve engine cover.
  11. Pry the old valve engine cover with a flathead screwdriver or panel remover.
  12. Install the new valve engine cover in the same location as the old unit.
  13. Go through the previous steps in reverse order to return the removed parts.
  14. Turn on the engine to check if the yellow oil light disappeared.

Note: This replacement procedure typically requires sufficient confidence and automotive know-how. Request help from industry professionals if you believe this job is too much for you to handle using DIY techniques.

You can also watch this video if you need a visual representation of the steps mentioned above:

Can I Drive BMW With Low Oil?

Large size display in modern car interior design showing oil replacement procedure necessity. Close-up view. Notification of required car service work. Engine oil icon on screen.

Although it’s possible to drive your BMW when it’s low on engine oil, it’s not an advisable act to pursue. Driving a car, regardless of model, make, or brand, when it needs an oil refill can increase the risks of engine damage.

You should drive to the nearest car service center upon learning that your BMW needs an oil change.

You can also prevent serious harm to your BMW by paying attention to its required oil change routine.

In particular, you should change or refill a BMW’s engine oil reserves at least once per 10,000 miles. But older BMWs may need an oil change per 1,000 to 3,000 miles.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A BMW Oil Sensor?

White BMW Car model 5 series F10 6-generation in the center of the old town, Why Is My BMW Oil Light Yellow

Replacing A BMW’s bad oil sensor with a new and working unit generally costs about $100 to $130. Take note that the overall costs may vary upon taking into account certain factors.

Certain elements that may raise or lower the oil sensor replacement costs are the specific BMW car model and the location of the automotive repair shop.

Final Thoughts

Remember to check your BMW’s oil reserves and its oil sensor to find the main reason why the oil light turned yellow.

You can then use one of the procedures mentioned in this post as an aide to guide you in getting rid of the yellow engine oil light.

If you’re having trouble with using a DIY technique to fix your BMW, you can still take advantage of reliable automotive repair services.

If you’re looking for answers to other BMW-related concerns, check out these other great posts:

How To Replace My BMW Battery Without Programming?

Where Is The Ground Strap On A BMW? [And How Do You Replace It]?

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