Oil sensor light on

Tiny
LUCKYCARL
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 148,000 MILES
My oil sensor light comes on when my car is stopped or idling and the engine is hot, but the engine is not over heating. As soon as I start driving again the light goes off. Checked the oil and it has the correct amount of oil and has never leaked any oil. I plan on getting the oil changed this weekend, as it is past due for this, hoping it might help. Just started happening the last few days. Any information would be helpful.
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 AT 9:14 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The "Oil" warning light refers to low oil pressure, not level. If you are lucky, the sending unit may be defective. The oil pressure will go down at lower engine speeds. Forty pounds is normal. Most warning lights turn on at around ten pounds.

There are two other common causes of this symptom. The oil gets thinner when it is hot so it is easier to run out of the engine bearings. That makes it harder to keep the pressure up when the engine is pumping it at a low volume at low speeds.

The other cause is worn engine bearings. At the mileage you listed that really should not be a problem yet. If the problem persists after the oil change, your mechanic can check the actual pressure with a mechanical gauge.
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 AT 9:42 PM
Tiny
LUCKYCARL
  • MEMBER
I am going to change the oil myself, but I can barely get my hands on the filter from under the car. Do I need a special tools to take the filter off?
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Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 AT 9:19 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Can't answer that exactly because I have to see where it is and the type and size. If it's the really small spin-on filter, you may be able to loosen it by hand, but GM isn't known for putting them where they're easy to get to. We used to be able to get a band-type filter wrench on almost any oil filter, but now it's common to have better luck with a cup-type tool that you turn with a ratchet. There's a lot of different sizes. You might find the right one by testing them on the new filter, and hopefully the old one will be the same.
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Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 AT 8:42 PM

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