oil pressure - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 01-23-2008, 08:52 PM   #1
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today when driving, my check engine light came on a few times at stoplights. the oil pressure gauge was down into the red, but went back up after accelerating.. and the check engine light went off quickly.
I have suspected for a while that my dash is a little screwy, because the temp. gauge does crazy things even though the sensor is good. the gauges are also a bit sticky.

is there a way to tell if the gauge is reading correctly, or not? will a scantool read oil pressure? keep in mind the car is OBD-I
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:55 PM   #2
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Your sensor has two outputs. One to the gauge, one to the PCM. If the PCM side gets too low, it'll throw the light. If it gets lower, it will cut fuel flow off and stall the motor to protect it.

It sounds like your gauge agrees with the light.

I suggest you get a mechanical gauge on there ASAP and consider the possibility that you may be losing the motor.

Coolant history? UIM manifold or LIM gasket history?
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:47 PM   #3
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what do you mean by a muchanical gauge? how is this done?

i know the UIM was replaced, but not sure on the LIM.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnevillan
what do you mean by a muchanical gauge? how is this done?

i know the UIM was replaced, but not sure on the LIM.
A mechanical gauge works on the principle of a bourdon tube rather than an electrical sender and only needs to be connected to a fitting in the oil pressure system to read properly. These can be had for about $10 -20 at most parts stores. The dash gauges and the sending units supplied by the factory are often found to be inaccurate. Usually, the oil pressure sender is removed and is replaced with a fitting (1/8" pipe typically) that will allow the attachment of a nylon tube that connects at the other end to the mechanical gauge. The fittings needed are normally supplied with the aftermarket mechanical gauge.

Some other things to check. Is the oil level up to normal? Low oil can cause low pressure. Smell the oil for the presence of gasoline. Severely thinned oil will produce low pressure readings if you have a leaking fuel injector. Old, worn engines with high miles may do better on higher viscosity oils. For example, in my tired old '95, I run 15W-40 which produces a higher pressure than would 5W-30 winter oil.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:06 PM   #5
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the oil was down towards the bottom of the crosshatches on the dipstick... i filled it up, and it hasn't happened since. but i don't really think that that would be enough to throw a CEL. i'll keep an eye on it.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnevillan
the oil was down towards the bottom of the crosshatches on the dipstick... i filled it up, and it hasn't happened since. but i don't really think that that would be enough to throw a CEL. i'll keep an eye on it.
You are saying a "check engine" light, not a "check gauges" light, right? If the CEL came on, you should be able to pull the code and see what it was. I didn't know low oil pressure would set a CEL
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:22 PM   #7
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hmm. i may have mis-spoken. the light-up engine logo illuminated, and it MAY have said check gauges. honestly, i cant remember. it dinged, and i was busy staring at my oil pressure (or lack of it)

it happened for the first time today since i posted the original topic
i have been reading that FRAM filters are bad... i used one ... could that be the problem?

in any event, my code reader is OBD-II only, and checker doesn't have a code reader that can do the OBD 1.5 hybrid... the other local shop charges $99 for a code read..
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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I just bought a 95 NA SSE, having the exact same problems. I got it cheap, knowing I may have problems. Mine only did it once the car was warmed up. I had one guy tell me it could be a spun bearing, everyone else said check the oil pump. I get it back tomorrow, I'll let you know how it goes.

My mechanic said my oil pump was toast, sent a pic, it was. He also sent me a pic of an 8 inch crack in my timing cover. I had that replaced too. If those fix the problems, I have a perfect 1995 Bonne for $600. 5 for the car and 100 for repairs (I do marketing for his shop...I'd call it a good deal still!)
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:52 PM   #9
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It sounds like the chime and light may have been the check gages light for the oil level sensor, and if that'* the case, that system sounds like it'* working correctly, but I've never driven with a low oil level so I can't comment on what would typically happen to the oil pressure reading on the gage. Maybe the pressure does drop quite a bit when the level is that low.
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