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Motors Low oil light on intermittently

Discussion in 'General' started by profqwerty, 6 Apr 2010.

  1. profqwerty

    profqwerty New Member

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    So we've got this hilux pickup 1993 model; starts very quickly after sitting for a while so good engine, but the oil light comes on.

    It comes on after about 20secs of running, turn the engine off and wait a minute, turn it back on and the light is off again. wait 20secs and it's back on.

    I'm guessing with the engine off the oil's draining into the sump, and once it's on the oil's pumped out of the sump into the engine so it registers as low.

    however, on the dip stick it's within the markers, probably about 2/3s the way up to full.

    Any ideas???? Many many thanks in advance...can't get it MOTed til this is fixed.

    On a side note anyone want an old hilux pickup? :D
     
  2. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    check to see if the oil return line is blocked
     
  3. Moriquendi

    Moriquendi Bit Tech Biker

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    When was the oil filter last changed?

    Oil filters have a anti-drainback valve and a bypass valve. Either could be malfunctioning. The anti drainback valve should stop oil flowing back into the sump through the filter, if it's bust then the oil will have to fill the filter and lines before reaching the important bits. The bypass valve prevents a blocked filter starving the engine of oil if it's blocked and the filter is old then that would also cause low oil pressure.

    I don't think the fact that it only comes on after 20s means that its getting proper pressure for the first 20s, there's probably a low pass filter so that bumps and sloshes don't turn on the light.

    If it's been sitting for a while it may be that one of the galleries has become blocked or partially blocked with gunk.

    Also I'm not sure that the oil light means low oil, I think it means low oil pressure.

    Moriquendi
     
  4. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    Yeah, the oil light means low pressure, not low level. I found that in the manual!
     
  5. GreatOldOne

    GreatOldOne Wannabe Martian

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    If the oil warning light is on, as the other chaps have said, it's pressure, not level. That is unless you have a seperate level light, which some cars do have (the old beemer I stripped for the gooster had one).

    If it's the pressure light, I'd check for blockages - It could be crap in the oil pump strainer that's starving the engine, or possibly a clogged filter.

    Do you have any oil leaks on the engine? Could it have lost a lot of oil? If it is a level light, and you have lost some oil it could be that it's picking up oil to circulate, which is then droping the level in the sump enough to trigger the warning.
     
  6. profqwerty

    profqwerty New Member

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    Sorry yes I should've said low oil pressure light :)

    No oil lost... been sat on a piece of plywood for a few months and nothing on that at all! It's been sort of sat - just started / idled/revved occassionally for the past like 5 months or so...but I think it was on before that anyhow.

    I see what you mean about the blockages...I'll changed the filter and see what happens!

    cheers :)
     
  7. bestseany

    bestseany New Member

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    Oil pump might be knackered
     
  8. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    Might be as simple as the oil pressure sender uinit giving a false reading.
     
  9. xrain

    xrain Member

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    Uh oh, Its a sign from the Engine gods!!! :eeek: You must sacrifice a burnt offering to appease their anger.

    Or, you could change your oil filter, and oil if its sat for 5 months, and since it has sat for 5 months, drive it around for a bit and give it a kick in the pants some to see if you can break up the crap built up inside the oil lines.

    And also, does the light turn on and off when you rev it/let-up, or does it seem to be completely random and not correlate with engine rpm at all. If it is completely random (aka flickers), good chance there is a short, or the sensor/receiver is about to bite the dust.

    But if it isn't just flickering randomly, you probably have a partial blockage, and using some royal purple motor oil might be able to clean out the engine, but the stuff is kinda expensive and might not fix the problem. Id imagine the light would be more than just intermittent if your oil pump was dieing on you. But stranger things have happened I suppose.

    If changing the oil and driving it for a bit doesn't solve the problem, I'd just take it to a shop, and have them test it to see if it really is your sensor system or if there really is a blockage/ failing oil pump. I cant imagine a test like that being all that expensive. And de-clogging, or changing the sensor can kinda be a pain.

    At any rate good luck :thumb:
     
  10. cdb

    cdb No comment

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    Best case it could just be a faulty sender (very common on all cars)
    Worst case it could be the engine telling you it's worn and needs a rebuild.
    It could also be a worn oil pump, faulty pressure relief valve on the pump, or blocked pick up in the sump.
    Could be worth changing and topping the oil up to the full mark on the dipstick.
     
  11. profqwerty

    profqwerty New Member

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    Argh so many options! And each option = time + money lol.

    I shall start with the oil change...not got time at the moment grrr. Or money. It's an issue :p

    Thanks for the suggestions though, I'll save this thread and start checking them out over the next week or so :)
     
  12. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Shouldn't be too hard to find a new sender in a scappy, only cost you a couple of quid.
     
  13. Moriquendi

    Moriquendi Bit Tech Biker

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    Yup, cars are expensive when they go wrong. As far as I can work out the possibilities are;

    Blocked filter + bypass valve.

    Blocked gallery / tube.

    Dead sensor/ bad sensor connection.

    Dead pump.

    Of these the most likely is a dead sensor and as krikkit says that shouldn't be too expensive to fix. Your main problem is that the sensor is likely to be fairly inaccessible though you might get lucky.

    Changing the oil and filter would probably be a good idea anyway if it's been sitting for a while, particularly if you don't know when it was last changed.

    Moriquendi
     
  14. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    The sensor is easily accessible - it's just screwed into the side of the engine. Replacement ones are £47 though :/
     
  15. profqwerty

    profqwerty New Member

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  16. Moriquendi

    Moriquendi Bit Tech Biker

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    Check the connections to it before you buy a replacement, you'll kick yourself if you buy a new one only to find the wire came off and that's all that was wrong.

    I'm used to dealing with cars and bikes where an anorexic earthworm would have difficulty getting into the engine bay.

    Moriquendi
     
  17. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    We've already checked the connector - it's a single pin spade connector for the signal itself and the sensor body is chassis-grounded. If you disconnect the sensor, the oil light stays on permanently.

    You sure you don't want to clean the oil filter before buying a new sensor? There was only one guy on the Hilux forums who'd had a dead sensor...
     
  18. Brooxy

    Brooxy Like a boss (but not a boss)

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    Top Gear went to great lengths to kill a hilux - they burnt it, drowned, crashed and finally blew one up, and it still worked.

    And you're worried about a warning light?
     
    GreatOldOne likes this.
  19. GreatOldOne

    GreatOldOne Wannabe Martian

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    That's a very good point! :lol:
     
  20. nissanskyrice

    nissanskyrice Terminally Lazy

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    +1 Rep

    Hiluxes dont die. EVER

    You could replace the oil with sand and it'll still run.
     

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