1998 Nissan Maxima Engine oil pressure light come on and of

Tiny
SANJUGV
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 NISSAN MAXIMA
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 102,000 MILES
Hello, I have been having a leak on this car for a long time and got it fixed recently (oil pan and crankshaft seals). Now the engine oil light comes on when the car is in drive but stopped (like at a red light), but when moving it goes off. There seems to be no leak around the oil pressure switch. The oil is slightly more than full. I had the wheel bearings (front) replaced and am noticing my steering wheel wobbling a bit when slow and when going fast the car vibrates. But then the other day, I noticed that, if I let loose on the brake pedal very slightly to let the car roll like a few inches, the car seems to have a slight wobbly jerk forward but it disappears when running. I also noticed that the car seems to have a slight vibration when completely at a stop but engine running and in drive. My friend says it might be the crankshaft bearings that are shot that cause the oil pressure light to go on and off like mine. Any idea what it is?
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Thursday, January 21st, 2010 AT 12:02 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Hello and thanks for donating!

This is normally caused by a faulty oil pressure sensor / switch. Just because switch is not leaking, doesn't mean that it is still working properly. If switch / sensor is OK then you could have a weak oil pump. Do you hear any rattling type noises from engine compartment when idle and light comes on? How is the idle of the engine? Low idle can also cause this light to appear while stopped.

As for the wheel vibrations, this could be caused by an inbalanced tire. Ensure the tires' balances did not fall off during the repairs of wheel bearings. Front end may also simply need realigned.
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Thursday, January 21st, 2010 AT 5:13 PM
Tiny
SANJUGV
  • MEMBER
Hello, Thanks for the reply. I recently changed the oil pressure switch. The guys also added some additives to the engine oil (to make it thicker they said). The car seems to be a little smoother but the oil pressure light flickers bad (as if short circuit) when idle (in gear or not) and goes off when running. They also said that the oil screen was cleaned when they fixed the oil pan and crankshaft oil leaks. I am not too sure about the idle. When I first start the engine for a while it stays above the 1500 rpm mark and once it is put into gear, it drops down to 500 or so and then goes up depending on the acceleration. There is a whirring sound (no rattling I guess) when the engine is turned on fully. After that I dont hear that. I also hear a wheezing sound for the last several months as if air is escaping out from the engine (probably from the passenger side of the engine. The guys also said that if the crankshaft bearing was worn out, the engine would have persistent knocking when idle or running which I think makes sense. Any idea what is causing the oil press. Light to turn on when at very low speeds or idle. Also could you explain me the idle part properly so I could check. Thanks again.
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Thursday, January 28th, 2010 AT 5:49 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Ok, your idle seems to be doing fine.

Do you know what type of oil they put in it after the initial repairs you had done? If they used an incorrect viscosity that can very well cause the oil light to appear at idle. So say they installed 5 w20, you need to remove and replace with 10 w30.
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Thursday, January 28th, 2010 AT 5:58 PM
Tiny
SANJUGV
  • MEMBER
I am not sure. They had given me 3 or 4 quarts of 10W-30 oil bottles earlier when they had a delay in fixing the oil leak and had asked me to check the oil level and pour in a little each time it goes low. So I am thinking it is 10W-30. They also had mentioned that there is rear valve cover leak which drips a little ( a few drops every day. But I havent noticed a significant drop in oil level at all and hence havent used their oil yet. I am yet to fix that. And about the tires the guys said that the tires were worn uneven. I also came to see that one of the tires had an uneven thread level on one portion. I havent checked the others. I havent doen any alignment or balancing either. But if I could figure out this oil pressure light problem, I could decide on fixing it or not. The guys showed me that it did not turn on when the car was in park with engine running and no added acceleration. But now I see that again. Only difference is that now the light goes off as soon as I give even slight acceleration. Any idea? Thanks for your help.
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Thursday, January 28th, 2010 AT 6:22 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

I would like to see the oil pressure tested with a mechanical gauge first, have the pressure checked cold idle, hot idle and hot 2,000RPM post the results here.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Thursday, January 28th, 2010 AT 7:22 PM
Tiny
SANJUGV
  • MEMBER
Hello, I could find a way to check the oil pressure yet, but when I did an oil change they put 10W-40 and now the light hasnt come on at all.

I also now notice a clattering sound somewhere close to the timing chain area or the passenger side front of the engine block. It can be heard only after the car has run about 15 minutes or so. It comes on and goes off and is heard on idle. Someone said its a heat shield loose. But some say its the rod bearings.

I rotated the tires and balances the front two tires and the steering wheel wobble and vibration is now gone. But the whole car vibrates bad at about past 65 or 70 mph.

Thank you very much and sorry for the delay in replying. I got tied up with some major work at home and stuff.
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Thursday, January 27th, 2011 AT 2:22 AM

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