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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was slightly disturbed the other day when the yellow oil level light lit up on the 330i 'Vert, about 150 miles after topping up. Concerned about a sudden rapid burning or leaking of oil, I checked the level, and it seemed okay. The light came on again a couple of hundred miles later on the same day, so I added a drop of oil, just in case my manual readings were out.

The light came on again a few days later, and I checked the level and it was fine.

I know the sensors can fail, but in my mind this normally only happens when the ignition is turned on with the oil drained from the sump, well for genuine sensors anyway.

Preparing for the worst, I searched around for a bit and was a bit shocked at the price of genuine sensors from BMW (over £100), but also knew this is one sensor that most people recommend going genuine for. Surprisingly I found what is advertised as a genuine Hella (OEM brand) sensor for £37 on EBay, from a seller in Poland with an excellent feedback score. Hella have a factory in Poland so I wonder if some are escaping the official supply chain? Correction (thanks to BMW325TI) - apparently these are fake and leak so avoid the cheap EBay sensors calling themselves Hella ones.

To double check what the sensor was reporting, I whipped out my Delphi diagnostic tool, and connected it to the car. If the sensor had burnt out I was expecting a dodgy (constant) reading, or no reading at all. Well in fact there were readings from the sensor, but up and down all the time, even with the engine off they were jumping all over the place.

Anyhow, in the past I had an issue with a dirty connector to one of my DSC pressure sensors, causing the warning light to come on intermittently, and the signals were all over the place on that too - this oil level fault felt similar to that fault in its nature.

So, I sensed a dodgy connection somewhere. I jacked up the car, removed the wheel, managed to get mole grips on the oil level sensor to release the clips. Then I cleaned up the connections with brake cleaner, blew dry, and then tightened the contacts slightly with a small screwdriver. I plugged the connector back in and fired up the laptop. The result, well the readings from the sensor are now constant and stable, how they should be.

Fingers crossed I've just saved a few quid! If only all jobs were this cheap.
 

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Good stuff mate:thumbsup ..........did you have that little 'saved me some pennies' smile on your face.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had the common oil light on startup but paid 70 for a Hella sensor. Damn.
Never mind, if it makes you feel any better I bought a new middle section for the exhaust and nearly cut my hand off fitting it, to find out the old one was fine, it just had a tiny crack allowing some water to seep out, but was in great shape overall.

With the oil sensor, I like to rule out all the options before splashing the cash. Irealised that with the DSC sensor fault code and warning lights, it seems everyone just replaces them, but for me cleaning the contacts sorted it out. Sometimes a back to basic approach works out well before spending out and replacing parts..
 

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Ahhh you have been scammed!

Ik have emailed seller to asked if this is a real Hella.
He said yes, so I bought one....

Within a year oill was leaking at oil pan.
First I thought it is sensor gasket, so added some sealant.
Too bad still leaking, after many frustrations.
I have found sensor is leaking from sensing oil hole and oil could escape from electric connector.

I bought a new one this a REAL Hella.
No more leaking and I have compared this fake one to real Hella.
Many differences, I can find mine pictures I will post them :)

So I didn't save any pennies......:frown
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great, thanks for sharing your experience. How annoying, those kind of problems are really frustrating, knowing you have to spend more money on a new sensor, oil, filter etc. to fix, and spent time getting dirty again under the car.

So these cheap EBay Hella sensors are fake and rubbish!!

I didn't buy one as I fixed mine by cleaning the contacts, but I hope this helps someone else avoid the problems you had with them.
 

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When my oil sensor failed a couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to get a genuine new Hella sensor Motormec was selling on Ebay for £55. It was that price because the BMW logo was scratched off the sensor. Apart from that, it was exactly the same as the old one. They are usually £75 or more, so I was well happy about that. No problems since. I was amazed seeing some at £25, and even one for just over a fiver being sold as new. As advised, when it comes to sensors, avoid the cheap knock-offs on Ebay.
 

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Yeah OEM sensors are Hella if you buy Hella or Febi ones, you will see logo Hella and BMW has been scratched off.

Also if look at Alibaba you will find some ones as on Ebay...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
When my oil sensor failed a couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to get a genuine new Hella sensor Motormec was selling on Ebay for £55. It was that price because the BMW logo was scratched off the sensor. Apart from that, it was exactly the same as the old one. They are usually £75 or more, so I was well happy about that. No problems since. I was amazed seeing some at £25, and even one for just over a fiver being sold as new. As advised, when it comes to sensors, avoid the cheap knock-offs on Ebay.
Yes if it sounds too good to be true.... I have never seen such a blatant lie being made by a seller before on car parts to be honest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ALAS I SPOKE TOO SOON! The oil warning light came on again with plenty of oil in the engine. Shame, as cleaning the connections worked perfectly to sort out my DSC pressure sensor issues.

I cleaned the connectors again today and it seemed fine once again, but once the engine warmed up the readings from the sensor started jumping about again. I don't think this is normal. If the oil warning light comes on I will post back, and delete the thread, so as not to mislead anyone coming across my advice.
 

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ALAS I SPOKE TOO SOON! The oil warning light came on again with plenty of oil in the engine. Shame, as cleaning the connections worked perfectly to sort out my DSC pressure sensor issues.

I cleaned the connectors again today and it seemed fine once again, but once the engine warmed up the readings from the sensor started jumping about again. I don't think this is normal. If the oil warning light comes on I will post back, and delete the thread, so as not to mislead anyone coming across my advice.
Your sensor is just dead.

I had the same problem, sometimes I have no oil light and sometimes light lit up.
After replacing sensor no more oil light.

I have found my digicam with fake Hella sensor pictures.
Will post them soon...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks, yes I think it has died of old age. It did last 150,000 miles so cannot complain too much.

It will be good to see the fake Hella pictures if you have got some, thanks.
 

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I thought I have pictures of fake Hella oil sensor, but I have only made pictures of real Hella oil sensor.
Forgot to make pictures of counterfeit one, when removed from car.

If I remember fake one, with stamped letters are less quality and product finish is very low.
If you don't look closely you will think waauww this a real Hella oil sensor.
Until you have a real next too and compare, you will cry:D

This how a real Hella one looks.
Auto part

Joystick Technology Input device Electronic device
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks BMW325Ti, I will make sure I get a premium Hella sensor (and pay the price). I will just wait first for the oil light to come on again now before doing that, in case the fluctuating readings with the engine hot are actually okay, and to make sure cleaning the connector has not solved the problem.
 

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As BMW325ti says. That was exactly how mine looked, genuine Hella and I paid £55 for it when they usually cost almost double that depending on where you go. Worth doing it when you're due an oil change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Cheers Mr. M. If the light comes on again on mine I'll get a genuine Hella one and swap it with the oil, which is due soon.

The Ebay ad. for the fake one was so convincing, so blatant about it being a genuine part. Not sure how they have such positive feedback on EBay when all they sell is those sensors and a couple of other things, anyhow, it certainly doesn't paint the true picture it seems.

I'd be very annoyed if I paid out for one like you did and did an oil change, only to find out the new sensor was rubbish.
 
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