Just bought a car from a BMW dealer and the guy told me it was sitting for almost 6 months before I came to purchase it. When I left the dealership the oil was above the min mark showing green. Drove the car for 250 miles and the oil was at the min marker. When I started the engine this morning the oil level was yellow. I have added 1L of oil right away and it was still yellow then I added another one. Right now it is almost at max and I drove it for about 20 miles without any loss in level.

Can this be from the car being parked for this much or I should expect a low level tomorrow when I start it again?

Engine is a 3000cc diesel/2013 X6 M50d

  • Have you checked the coolant to make sure there is no oil in there, it is a possibility?
    – HandyHowie
    Nov 22, 2015 at 11:15
  • just to verify, you aren't checking the oil with it running, are you?
    – John Lord
    Jul 29, 2018 at 4:22

3 Answers 3


It could be that the oil level was low before it went into storage.

Upon sitting, the oil will have settled for a few % above low error.

When driving the oil becomes distributed around moving parts and resulting in low oil alert.

If the oil level drops again now you have added more oil, then suspect leak. If not, its just a very wierd coincidence.

  • The OP stated "When I left the dealership the oil was above the min mark ..." I would assume it was driven prior to purchase. When I sold cars, the purchaser always drove the vehicle before it was sold. Nov 22, 2015 at 12:49
  • The oil didn't drop tonight and not during the day when I drove the vehicle for about 50 miles just to make sure so I'm in luck hopefully. Nov 22, 2015 at 16:00
  • @Paulster2 I drove it for 10-20 miles at the dealership before signing. Oil level was ok. Just when I arrived home I got the notification that it's at minimum - still green though. Next day level was below min and yellow indicators. Nov 22, 2015 at 16:17

The oil level is not going to decrease due to it sitting for six months unless a seal went bad. It would appear to me you have an oil leak somewhere. This doesn't mean you are going to have low oil tomorrow morning, but it does indicate you need to keep an eye on the oil situation.

What you can do is to check the ground where you normally park your vehicle and see if you can spot any leakage (spots) on the ground. If you don't, put a large piece of clean card board (corrugated) under the vehicle over night under the engine. You'll want it to totally cover the area where the engine would be at. In the morning pull it out from under the vehicle and see if there are any spots and notice if you can tell what part of the engine the drops are coming from. This might indicate where the oil is coming from. Then you can check that part of the engine to see if you can pinpoint where the leak is occurring.


In my experience it is completely possible since powerful BMW engines consume a lot of engine oil. I have a 2014 X5 50i (4.4 L V8) and every 2000 miles or so I need to add 2 quarts of oil. Dealer told me about this before hand so you shouldn't worry about it. Even they have told me that M series cars require oil top-up every 1000 miles or so. This is due to the reserve requirements of powerful engines, since they want to make sure that you don't face engine problems too quickly. Just remember to use high quality oil and you should be fine. If there were leaks, you would know about it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .