Possible Oil Leak - 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 08-06-2009, 02:53 PM   #1
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Default Possible Oil Leak

Hey everyone i have a 98 Bonnei SSEI with about 111K miles on it. Recently my oil pressure gauge has been bottoming out on idles. However if im sitting at a light and the gauge drops and triggers the check engine light i can shift into nuetral and it will increase again. When i accelerate and continue to drive i also have no problems with the oil pressure levels. I was wondering if anyone had similiar issues or knew a possible solution. I have checked the Oil and it is full, I just topped it off the other day to make sure i actually wasnt low on oil.
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:27 PM   #2
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It happens with older cars. Make sure you have the correct weight. The oil pressure regulator could be sticking or your pump wearing out. But mostly just cause your car is getting up there in years.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:14 AM   #3
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Alright i just wanted to make sure there wasnt a major problem. For now then i will just monitor the fluid levels and make sure everything is runnning smoothly thank you
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:23 PM   #4
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The sensor, or pressure regulator could be a cause as mentioned..as well as the gauge. Our gauges are not known for their accuracy.

I'd toss a manual gauge on there and find out for 100% sure what is happening. If you actually have low pressure and it stays low like you mention soon there will be a knocking sound to accompany it.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:36 AM   #5
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this just started happening to me, but only on hot days when the engine temp starts to rise to 220 or so, and if i rev it in neutral (i only need to go a little above 1000rpms) the pressure rises back up to 40psi. just 3 weeks ago i had an oil change and a new filter put in so it'* not that. someone suggested a clogged oil pump, or a worn out one maybe.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:39 AM   #6
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It has a better chance of being the oil and filter than the pump. Our pumps (forget the name of the type) are mounted on the crankshaft and don't typically wear out, they wear in. Because of the type of pump their failure rate is low, almost non-existant.

Your pressure is appears to be dropping in relation to heat. This usually means the oil is thinning out as it heats up and this causes it to have less pressure.

What type of oil and filter was recently put into your car?
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:41 AM   #7
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For me i know it has been a while since my last oil change (taking it in this week actually). Is there any brand of oil you would recommend over any others for a supercharged vehicle?
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:11 PM   #8
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When the car is cold the pressure is fine at idle, but as the engine gets up to temperature the pressure then rapidly drops to 2 or 3 psi when I come to a complete stop. I checked the dipstick and it'* reading full so no leak. I just recently had the LIM replaced at a shop so they also needed to change the oil and filter because they had to drain it first. The oil cap on the valve cover says 10w-30 and I'm assuming that'* what they put in, but I'll ask. This just started happening about a week ago (I got the car back from the shop about a month ago), the pressure has never been bad before, even in really hot weather.
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:06 AM   #9
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I'm going to say that this may be weak rod/main bearings. Wear in the bearings will cause low oil pressure. Definately have the pressure checked manually and see what it actually is.
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:38 PM   #10
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Here'* what I've found out: the shop put 5w-30 in when it'* supposed to take 10w-30 but the guy I talked to said that shouldn't make any difference to pressure when at operating temp. He then suggested worn rod/main bearings (like the post above), or a bad sending unit.

I did some research and found out that overfilling the oil can cause aeration, and thus low pressure. I checked my dipstick again and it'* actually well above the hatched marks, could this be the culprit? Another cause could be a clogged oil filter (even though mine is only a month old) or a clogged oil pump. Here'* where I found this info... Troubleshoot Low Oil Pressure

Based on my symptoms: only low when engine is at temp, fine when rpms are anywhere above 1000, 5w-30 instead of 10w-30, the sudden manner in which the problem started happening, and no leaks accept for small ones in the valve cover gasket (which I will replace soon), what do you think the problem is???????

The first thing I'm going to do is drain some oil so it'* not over-filled, and if that doesn't change anything, buy a mechanical oil pressure gauge to see if it is actually low or just a bad sending unit.
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