1998 Pontiac Grand Am oil pressure light on occasionally

Tiny
XIAOLONG77
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 PONTIAC GRAND AM
Electrical problem
1998 Pontiac Grand Am Front Wheel Drive Manual 94000 miles

My car has been running well since the glutch got repaired in April, 2007. A few weeks ago, the oil pressure light suddently came on and the engine stopped immediately. Afterwards, the chance for the oil pressure light to come on is growing. Last week on Nov. 2, 2008, the engine oil was replaced in Walmart to see if the problem goes away or not. Unfortunately, the situation is getting worse. The oil pressure light will come on more frequently. Furthemore, it is hard to start the car smoothly after the oil pressure light come on and I restart the engine.

More specifically, when the problem happens (the oil pressure light comes on; the engine seems to stop working; the steering wheel becomes stiff), I immediately turn on the alert light, turn the key into "off" status and restart the engine, and all settings are correct then. After that, when I pull my left foot off the glutch and meanwhile push the accerator pedal, the speedometer does not turn as usual till I push the accerator hard. Also, it seems that the ABS light will suddently come on very often after the "oil pressure light" problem happens.

Note: I have been using the oil change service. And the oil type is SuperTech 10/30.

My question: how to precisely classify the problem and accurately pinpoint the cause for this problem? Can this problem be easily fixed? Which kind of shop should I go to? Transmission shop?

thanks very much!
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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 AT 9:18 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

The first thing you should do is get the oil pressure tested with a master gauge, as this will give you a true indication of the engine oil pressure, do this first and report back your findings.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 AT 9:55 PM
Tiny
IMPALASS
  • EXPERT
Hello

What I need you to do is go to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and for free they can pull the codes to the car. Most important. Once they check your codes, if they find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that. While there for free also they can bring their tester out and check your battery, alternator and starter.

Each time the oil pressure light has come on is there oil in the system? How does your oil pressure look. Do you have a guage?

Also, please tell me the specific engine you have - a 4 or 6 cylinder and the Liter of it.

Let me know the results and we can take if from there.
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Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 AT 9:55 PM
Tiny
XIAOLONG77
  • MEMBER
Thanks, mark and impalass.

My car is Pontiac 1998 Grand Am Sedan 4 doors. The mileage reading is 93000. I will provide as much information as possible.

1) Each time the oil pressure light comes on, the fuel gauge drops to the bottom. There is no in-dash gauge about the oil pressure. The car only comes with a light indicator.

2) The engine is 4 cylinder 2.4 L.

3) The battery, alternator and starter are tested in O'Reilly, all running great.

4) I got an oil pressure gauge, but have trouble in locating the oil pressure sending unit.

That is all I have so far. My question is where is the oil pressure sending unit.

I checked both the top and bottom of the engine: a) underneath the car, next to the oil filter, there is no unit looking like the oil pressure sending unit; that is, there is no component connecting a wire with a duct. b) Instead, on the top, in the front side, next to the radiator, there is a unit looking like the oil pressure sending unit. (please see the attached picture)


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/267046_DSC_0035_1.jpg


A close view is here:


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/267046_DSC_0037_1.jpg



Next I unplugged the wire from the "possible" sending unit and see if this is the sending unit. The surprising thing is that when I started the engine, the oil pressure light ran as usual; that is, it was "off" when the engine was running. (My argument is that if the right wire to the dashboard is disconnected, the oil pressure light should be "on" all the time. Am I right?) So, I have no idea of the location of the oil pressure sending unit.

So, Where is the oil pressure sending unit of this car?

thanks
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Friday, November 7th, 2008 AT 6:06 PM
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

The switch is located on the engine block at the R/H/Front corner of the engine, the switch will look like this.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/61395_switch_3.jpg



Mark (mhpautos)
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Friday, November 7th, 2008 AT 6:30 PM

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