Acura Vigor Flashing Oil Light

Tiny
FLASHN
  • MEMBER
  • ACURA VIGOR
1992 Acura Vigor GS, 125000 miles, automatic.
Background:

(1) Oil light was flashing. Had it towed to the shop. Oil level was found fine. Engine was running smooth.

(2) Drove it for another 500 miles. Oil light came on again. Took it in, replaced oil sending unit. Also blew out screen, small debris. No more flashing oil light. Engine still running smooth.

(3) Oil light came on again. Somebody else drove it, timing belt broke.

(4) Had engine torn apart, found camshaft oil-starved, engine ruined.


Questions:

(1) Your best theory?

(2) Should I not have driven the 500 miles before replacing the sending unit? Could that have caused damage that resulted in the broken timing belt?

(3) Could it be that the debris in the screen had been around for a long time, starving the cam?
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Thursday, September 13th, 2007 AT 1:02 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it! When the oil light started to indicate did the mechanic do an oil pressure test? If they did maybe they would of found that the oil pressure was far to low, the debris in the strainer may have be part to blame but the real fault is the low oil pressure. The cam being at the end of the line so to speak will suffer first with insufficient oil pressure, there may be a blockage in the gallery so the bottom end is OK, but the top is lacking to the point that it seized. Oil lights are only an indication that something is amiss, better to spend a few dollars to have it checked properly than hope for the best.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Thursday, September 13th, 2007 AT 1:13 AM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
There are two belts under the timing cover and they both resemble timing belts. One is the timing belt and the other is the one that runs the oil pump. I would venture that it went out and now the head is starved of oil. Is it trully the entire engine that was damaged or was it just the head. I would start there.
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Thursday, September 13th, 2007 AT 8:50 AM
Tiny
FLASHN
  • MEMBER
Thanks, Mark and Bruce.

Yes, in hindsight, the oil pressure should have been checked. But my mechanic tells me that there would have been other signs - like a rough-running engine - if oil pressure was an issue. So they didn't check it, becuse the engine was really running very smoothly. So they figured the sending unit would need to be replaced, which I got done in step 2.

So - if the sensor is flashing, and the oil level is fine, would you automatically go check the oil pressure next, even if there are no other warning signs e.G. A rough-sounding engine?

Thanks - FlashN
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Thursday, September 13th, 2007 AT 3:56 PM
Tiny
FLASHN
  • MEMBER
Just the head was damaged.
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Thursday, September 13th, 2007 AT 5:33 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

if the oil pump drive failed the oil pressure would drop to zero and there would be plenty of audible warning that something was wrong. If the pump belt was slipping, this would cause low oil pressure at high load requirements, a faulty oil pressure relief valve can also be at fault. It is not uncommon to see foreign material such as excessive sealants being sucked into the oil strainer causing issues, or just dirty oil with lots of carbon deposits floating around getting lodged in galleries and causing fatal blockages, we mere mortals can suffer from the same problem. So there are many reasons why this disaster occurred, but for my money flashing oil lights are a cause for real concern. A full post mortem will reveal all.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Thursday, September 13th, 2007 AT 5:58 PM
Tiny
DUCKBOY88201
  • MEMBER
Ok I took my car to the mechanic to get my water pump replaced and when I got it back the chyeck engine light was on and I asked him about it and he didnt know what to say so he said if something major happens to come see him, second my car was ideling at about 3,000 rpms and he said he didnt touch the idle control and he adjusted it anyeways but then when I left and went home my car started jumping idle some people car it honda virus cause the engine would go up to about 2,000 rpms and drop to 1,000 rpms and go back in forth until I took off but now the battery loight keeps flashing on and ofgf sometimes and I dont know what to do now the battery is only a few months old and plus my oil light keeps flashing and I dont know what to do so if you can help me out I would really appreciate it very much thank you
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Sunday, October 7th, 2007 AT 1:37 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
Your mechanic is not too much of a mechanic. Did he only replace the water pump or did he do the timing belt? The water pump being done would indicate that the coolant was low. Did it get filled back to capacity? Did the cooling system get purged of air? The air in the system or low coolant can cause some of the problems you are experiencing. The oil light flashing might be an indicator that the belt to the oil pump was installed wrong or is broken. I would consider having the oil pressure checked. My recommendation is not to return to this mechanic unless you have left out a lot of what transpired.
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Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 AT 8:07 AM
Tiny
DUCKBOY88201
  • MEMBER
Yea he did replace the timing belt but I dont know if he purged the air from the system but the only time the oil light flashed is when my tach goes off for a little while and comes back on I dont know how to stop my tach from going off and comming back on if u can help with that then I would really appreciate it thanks for the other info though
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Friday, October 12th, 2007 AT 7:17 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
Quite frankly your problem could be VSS (variable speed sensor) or it could be a short in the dash wiring to the tach ie loose connection, etc.
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Monday, October 15th, 2007 AT 6:26 PM
Tiny
DUCKBOY88201
  • MEMBER
Yeah when the tech goes off it will come back on like an hour later and when it does come on the oil light flashes and I was also wondering on how to turn my check engine light off cause when I took it to the mechanic it came back with it on but the carstill sounds good and I got rid of the honda virus I had but also yesterday I had top put water in m, y radiator cause it was overheating do u think it has something to do with my waterpump he just put it
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Wednesday, October 17th, 2007 AT 8:07 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
More likely some other things come to mind. For instance, the thermostat could be plugged or failing. During the installation of the pump maybe some contaminants got in to the system. Possibly he did not refill the system completely or did not purge the system of air. Also check the radiator and hoses. During the installation he would have to take off the belts and this means loosening the A/C compressor, power steering etc and it is possible during that work to knock something loose or put a hole in the radiator, etc.

About the CEL. I would have the codes pulled first. Then when the codes are pulled have the system cleared. You can do this as well by disconnecting the battery. There is a fuse as well that can be pulled but I don't remember which one. The OBD2 scanners also can clear the codes. Then see if and what comes back.
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Friday, October 19th, 2007 AT 9:41 AM

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