Possible Causes of Low Oil Pressure Warning Light:
A low oil level (check the dipstick), bad oil pump, or defective oil pressure sending unit, oil pressure gauge or warning light switch.
First, determine if the oil is full or low by checking the dipstick. NOTE: On some engines, there is an oil level sensor in the engine's oil pan that will turn on the oil warning light if the oil level is low. If the dipstick shows a low oil level (the oil level is at or below the ADD line, or no oil can be seen on the dipstick), your engine may be leaking oil, burning oil or both. Good diagnostic tool,
Oil leaks are a common cause of oil consumption and a low oil level in the engine. Oil leaks can occur at the valve cover, oil pan or timing cover gaskets, or the front and rear crankshaft oil seals. Inspect the top, sides and bottom of the engine for signs of oil leakage. Look for greasy stains, heavy accumulations of grease, or oil dripping on the ground. The higher the miles on the engine, the more likely the gaskets and seals may be leaking. If your engine is leaking oil because of a bad gasket or seal, the leaky gasket or seal should be replaced.
If the outside of the engine is clean and there are no obvious oil leaks, and the oil level is low, the engine is probably burning oil due to worn piston rings, valve guides or valve guide seals. This may be the result of high mileage wear or neglect. Either way, this kind of oil consumption problem is expensive to fix because it may require rebuilding or replacing the engine. NOTE: On many engines, replacing the valve guide seals will significantly reduce oil burning if the original guides and seals are worn.
If the oil usage is not too severe (say less than one quart of oil every 1000 miles), check the dipstick often and keep adding oil as needed. If the engine is using a lot of oil (say more than a quart every 500 miles), check the dipstick constantly and keep plenty of oil onhand. An engine that is burning a lot of oil is worn out and will soon have to be overhauled or replaced.
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Friday, April 13th, 2012 AT 10:35 AM