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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wifey called today and said that the oil idiot light was coming on when she was on the brakes and/or turning. Went to a mechanic who said that the top end was sludgy and I had him do a flush. He got that done and it seemed to help for a while, but the light came back on later in the day. Took it back to him and he says that the oil pressure sensor/sending unit was leaking and that was likely the problem. Possibly shorting out the sensor.

Anyone else believe that this could be the problem? What else could it be? Anyone seen this issue before? I did a search but all I could find was a discussion on synthetic v. non-synthetic oils.

I would attempt a diagnosis myself but it's dern cold up here this week and I would rather pay a couple of bucks than work outside in sub-zero temps. Just want to make sure I'm not getting fleeced...
 

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Chrysler/Dodge oil sensors are notorious for leaking ......
It's cheap insurance to replace it.

If you want, you can change your cluster (gauges) and have the one with the oil pressure gauge (different sensor). OR install an auxiliary pressure gauge somewhere, even if it's under the hood. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Leaking, yes... but shorting due to leak? And only at idle/when turning? That seems odd to me the more I think about it.
 

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Leaking, yes... but shorting due to leak? And only at idle/when turning? That seems odd to me the more I think about it.
At idle and turning, sounds more like "low oil level". Have you checked the dipstick for OIL, lately?

Replace the sensor, and check the dipstick for oil ?
Sounds like you're 4 quarts low .......
:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
At idle and turning, sounds more like "low oil level". Have you checked the dipstick for OIL, lately?

Replace the sensor, and check the dipstick for oil ?
Sounds like you're 4 quarts low .......
:lol:
That's what I thought when I had her go to the mechanic/oil change place, but he did a full oil change and (obviously) topped it off. Still have the issue...
 

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That's what I thought when I had her go to the mechanic/oil change place, but he did a full oil change and (obviously) topped it off. Still have the issue...
Yes, but DID YOU Check the level ? :ask_wsign

And if you say "Jiffy Lube", we'll ALL SCREAM at you. Too many members have had horror stories and lost engines, by going to "Jiffy Lube". :jpshakehe

PLEASE check your OIL level. Get the sensor replaced.
Can't say it any simpler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, but DID YOU Check the level ? :ask_wsign

And if you say "Jiffy Lube", we'll ALL SCREAM at you. Too many members have had horror stories and lost engines, by going to "Jiffy Lube". :jpshakehe

PLEASE check your OIL level. Get the sensor replaced.
Can't say it any simpler.
Wow... that post doesn't match your "mood" (mellow). :biggrin:

I'm not at the van now, but I will check as soon as I get home. The flush/change was performed by and ASE certified mechanic (ex-dealer guy) at an independent shop that I trust. That said, I will check it as soon as I get home and report back.

Is the sensor an easy swap (read: 15 min or less)? I can brave the temps for that long if it'll fix the issue...
 

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Regardless of what the mechanic said, the sender is a common and cheap part to change in this situation. It's the cheapest part in the system. That said, the only way to know if you have an indication problem vs an oil starvation problem is to remove the sensor and connect a direct reading oil pressure gauge in it's place. This will tell you the true pressure in the system. If it then reads the correct pressure you start with a new sender. If it reads low then you have a bad pump or an oil channel or galley is blocked internal to the engine. It's a simple system with few options to repair.

BTW - Why did the mechanic do a flush? Did he pull the valve covers and see the sludge or just surmise there was sludge. Flushes are a risky proposition.
 

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Regardless of what the mechanic said, the sender is a common and cheap part to change in this situation. It's the cheapest part in the system. That said, the only way to know if you have an indication problem vs an oil starvation problem is to remove the sensor and connect a direct reading oil pressure gauge in it's place. This will tell you the true pressure in the system. If it then reads the correct pressure you start with a new sender. If it reads low then you have a bad pump or an oil channel or galley is blocked internal to the engine. It's not rocket science.

BTW - Why did the mechanic do a flush? Did he pull the valve covers and see the sludge or just surmise there was sludge. Flushes are a risky proposition.
Thanks RIP,may wish to expound on the "risky part" :eekkkk:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay... I'm going to brave the temps (have to snow blow anyway) and swap out the switch tonight. Looks easy enough, and like you all have said, it's cheap insurance.

I'll report back.
 

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Wifey called today and said that the oil idiot light was coming on when she was on the brakes and/or turning. Went to a mechanic who said that the top end was sludgy and I had him do a flush. He got that done and it seemed to help for a while, but the light came back on later in the day. Took it back to him and he says that the oil pressure sensor/sending unit was leaking and that was likely the problem. Possibly shorting out the sensor.

Anyone else believe that this could be the problem? What else could it be? Anyone seen this issue before? I did a search but all I could find was a discussion on synthetic v. non-synthetic oils.

I would attempt a diagnosis myself but it's dern cold up here this week and I would rather pay a couple of bucks than work outside in sub-zero temps. Just want to make sure I'm not getting fleeced...
Man, don't know about your Mechanic. I see no justification for a flush. Furthermore they can stir up a lot of dirt to block otherwise open passages.

Most likely the sensor or a poor connection to the sensor. The cold weather may be a factor in the leak appearing. Cold contracts and leaks occur which may not occur during warmer temperatures or when the engine is warm.

Internally a pressure regulating valve could be acting up (staying open) and maybe only when it is cold.

Does your oil filter have an anti drain back valve? Not an issue in your case, I don't believe, as the problem is during operation, not start-up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Checked the oil... it was full.

Swapped the sensor and it seems to have fixed the problem (so far). Drove it around a while and no light. Woo Hoo! That would have been a much easier job if I removed the filter, but the oil was fresh and I'm a cheapskate.

Thanks for the help!

I am questioning the mechanic now... read up on flushes. Hopefully it didn't do any more harm than the ding to my wallet.
 

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Good advice from RIP. I would hook up a gauge and get actual oil pressure values at idle and other various RPM levels. If low, it could be a bad pump, blockage or (fingers crossed), loose bearings (typically main or rod).

Engine flushes are usually to be avoided because they can disturb years of sludge accumulation and allow chunks of debris to get stuck in oil passages, thereby causing more engine damage than if left alone.
 

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Checked the oil... it was full.

Swapped the sensor and it seems to have fixed the problem (so far). Drove it around a while and no light. Woo Hoo! That would have been a much easier job if I removed the filter, but the oil was fresh and I'm a cheapskate.

Thanks for the help!

I am questioning the mechanic now... read up on flushes. Hopefully it didn't do any more harm than the ding to my wallet.
Congratulations. :thumb: How's the frost bite? :cool:
I should have mentioned to use a trouble light to see and to also use as a hand warmer. I don't envy you working in the cold like that. Did the front disk brakes and rotars on a 93 Dodge Shadow one cold Winter evening (-10 C) and used the trouble light to keep my hands warm. That job required extreme focus to "get it done right" the fastest. I made 0 mistakes. :thumb:

As to your Mechanic, I would question him as well. What filter did he put on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Believe it or not, I really didn't get that cold except for my feet (didn't put on the second pair of socks). Must be all the ice fishing training! :blink: I used a trouble light, but unfortunately it's a florescent so no warmpth to speak of.

The filter was turned so I didn't get a brand name off of it, but I can tell you it's white for what it's worth :nut:
 

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Believe it or not, I really didn't get that cold except for my feet (didn't put on the second pair of socks). I used a trouble light, but unfortunately it's a florescent so no warmpth to speak of.

The filter was turned so I didn't get a brand name off of it, but I can tell you it's white for what it's worth :nut:
The filter had frost bite. :lol:
 

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Believe it or not, I really didn't get that cold except for my feet (didn't put on the second pair of socks). Must be all the ice fishing training! :blink: I used a trouble light, but unfortunately it's a florescent so no warmpth to speak of.

The filter was turned so I didn't get a brand name off of it, but I can tell you it's white for what it's worth :nut:
A lot of owners use the Motorcraft FL1, it has the anti-flowback check valve, as well as is twice the size they typically put on, providing more filtering area. There are some other brands used, but this seems to be the most common and preferred filter. :beerchug:
 

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A lot of owners use the Motorcraft FL1, it has the anti-flowback check valve, as well as is twice the size they typically put on, providing more filtering area. There are some other brands used, but this seems to be the most common and preferred filter. :beerchug:
Look through the small holes in the filter and if you see a reddish or some color (purple for Royal Purple) membrane there, that's the anti-drainback valve. It's not so important on a vertically mounted filter as it is on a horizontally mounted filter.

As for filters, although there are concerns about Fram (construction & value for $), I use the Fram TG16 (small) and TG8A (large) with no problems, nor do I expect any.
 

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Checked the oil... it was full.

Swapped the sensor and it seems to have fixed the problem (so far). Drove it around a while and no light. Woo Hoo! That would have been a much easier job if I removed the filter, but the oil was fresh and I'm a cheapskate.

Thanks for the help!

I am questioning the mechanic now... read up on flushes. Hopefully it didn't do any more harm than the ding to my wallet.
I always like to read about easy fixes. Course weather can be a major player in that determination. Sounds like you're use to it.

We live in southern CA. We flew to upstate NY (near Utica) for the holidays. It was 4 deg when we got there and never got above 30 the whole time. Drove into town in a white out and slid sideways down a good sized hill, luckily hitting nothing in the process. Shoveled snow every other day adding to the 4 foot snow drifts. We we're ever so happy to leave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just got back from Barstow, CA before this oil problem hit. Talk about a shock to the system. Barstow: 68°. Michigan: Move the decimal place left... and put a - in front of it.
 
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