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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, my wife has a 2000 Chrysler T&C, around 153k mi.
Today the oil light started to blink and ding occassionally when she pressed the brakes. Oil level is at max.

From a forum I just read, it looks like my problem might be a bad oil pressure sensor. Does that seem likely and can someone walk me through the steps to replace? BTW, is the oil pressure sensor the same part as the sending unit?

Thanks,
BenB
 

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Generally, when the oil pressure light comes on, next to checking the oil level, changing the sensor is the next step since they are cheap anyway and usually fix it. If you have the 3.3 or 3.8 ltr engine it's located to the left of the oil filter. Verify the connection is in good shape then use a wrench to remove. May have to remove the oil filter first. If you're still having problems after changing it connect a direct pressure gauge to verify what pressure in there.

Sensor/sender same same. If you haven't changed the oil lately you might consider it. Low idle rpm good be the culprit. How's that look?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the quick answer! rpms normal on a short test drive I took. As luck would have it, we have a trip to the in-laws tomorrow, 3 hrs each way, so the van will stay parked and I won't have time to replace the sensor until Sun. I'll let you know if I need more help or report back with results.
 

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Bumping up this thread, because we're having the same problem. Our 2000 T&C with 179,680 miles and 3.8 did the low oil pressure light/chime thing twice tonight. It has never done it before. I immediately checked the oil, and it was almost at the "full" mark/top of the crosshatched area, and it doesn't use any, so that's good. Running 10W-30 Havoline with a Purolator PureOne filter. It was about 35*F outside and raining, and it was idling both times around 700 - 800 RPM (normal). Later, after the temp dropped 10 degrees and the rain turned to ice, not a single problem. This was the warmest weather we have driven the van in since I finished fixing it, so I think that's why it only happened those 2 times. I'm guessing it's only going to get worse in the spring.

So, looks like the first thing to do is replace the OP sensor. I'll give it an oil change at the same time (10W-30 synthetic blend). I just replaced the front timing cover gaskets, O-rings, shaft seal and water pump a couple months ago, and really can't pull the engine apart again right now. The inside of the engine had thin black sludge baked on, so the previous owner probably didn't keep up with oil changes or used bad oil. Maybe that's a contributing factor? If I have to open up the engine again, I'm replacing the oil pump and timing chain/sprocket set; I just hadn't planned on needing to do that until the van had 230-250,000 miles on it.

If a new OP sensor doesn't fix the problem, can I baby this thing along with heavier oil in the summer, and bumping up the idle speed a little in the winter? I'm wondering if idle speed can be raised by slightly opening the throttle plate with the set screw? Just throwing out ideas here. Since the original poster didn't answer his own thread with an answer, I'll try to remember to update this. :)
 

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If a new OP sensor doesn't fix the problem, can I baby this thing along with heavier oil in the summer, and bumping up the idle speed a little in the winter? I'm wondering if idle speed can be raised by slightly opening the throttle plate with the set screw?
You can, but your transmission will hate you...
 

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There is no screw.
Not even under the aluminum pressed in plug? I've popped those plugs out of other engines to change the idle speeds.

As for the trans, increasing the idle speed 50-100rpms at hot idle will be no big deal. 700rpms at hot idle is not much more than the 6-650.
 

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Not even under the aluminum pressed in plug? I've popped those plugs out of other engines to change the idle speeds.

As for the trans, increasing the idle speed 50-100rpms at hot idle will be no big deal. 700rpms at hot idle is not much more than the 6-650.
Right, 100 RPM is not a big deal. However going from 700 RPM to 1500 RPM is a big deal. And no set screw for idle that I am aware of. Idle on the engines is controlled by the PCM.
 

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Bought a new OEM oil pressure switch today at a dealer, for $19.93 - - so much for it being around 10 dollars like others have posted! Did they really raise the price that much, or do you think the particular dealer marked the price up that high for profit? If it fixes the problem though, it's totally worth the $20 to me so that I don't have to open the engine up again. Now I just have to track down a new oil filter and wait for the weather to warm up enough to change the oil. :)

Yeah, and I would only set the idle speed up by 100 RPM. It should have a set screw for the throttle plate closing stop, to prevent it from slamming shut and sticking. Probably won't need to do that, hopefully.
 

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Update: just did an oil change saturday night (a few days ago) and changed out the oil pressure switch. We've had a little warmer weather now (around 36-40*F for highs) and no more oil light/chime during idle/in drive. I hope it stays fixed now! There was a little oil inside the electrical connector of the old sensor, so maybe that was causing it to fail. I'm running 10w-30 semi-synthetic generic brand oil and a Purolator PureONE filter.

Also discovered the van is leaking trans fluid from the diff cover on the transaxle - - here we go again! Van has 181,670 miles now. :)
 

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Also discovered the van is leaking trans fluid from the diff cover on the transaxle - - here we go again! Van has 181,670 miles now. :)
Considering every time I look under the van that cover always appears to be wet, I'm wondering if mine has the same leak. Any ideas on a fix? Is this a: unbolt it, scrape/clean gasket RTV off, and reapply situation?
 

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The diff and side covers are exactly like doing the trans pan with RTV. However, the diff cover is a PAIN to do while the side cover is very easy.
 

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The diff and side covers are exactly like doing the trans pan with RTV. However, the diff cover is a PAIN to do while the side cover is very easy.
Care to elaborate?

I don't know how I'm going to figure out where it's leaking. (Side cover or Diff)... I somehow have to get that entire area clean, and appear dry so I can see where it's coming from specifically.
 

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I have small hands but it was still near impossible to get at the upper bolts with a wrench. Don't even think of using a socket up there either. I think it took me 3-4 hours to get the cover off due to stuck bolts and the small space.
 

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Yeah, room to work is at a premium. There are holes in the aluminum cradle that you can work through, but you have to have small hands. It was the first thing I fixed on the van, and I did it last July. I put a jack under the bellhousing area of the transmission, and pulled the bolts out of the 2 motor mounts. That rear motor mount is hard to get to! I think I even removed the front motor mount bracket that attaches to the engine. I removed the 2 bolts holding the transmission mount to the frame, and slid the engine/transmission forward a couple of inches. That gives you enough room to reach the upper diff cover bolts, and clearance to remove the cover. I think I had also removed the battery and it's tray, air filter box and ducting before starting. I made my own gasket out of black silicone and let it cure for a day (apparently it didn't work). The whole process took 3 days.

I could do it all again, except the weather is too cold, we need the van for family transportation, and we need to move in a little over a month. I'm tempted to let a shop fix it this time, but it's still something I know I could fix myself if I can get the time, space, and conditions right. Darn personal pride. :) I wonder if NAPA has one of those reuseable rubber gaskets for the diff cover? They work great for the pan (no leaks there!) so I'd seal it to the cover, and smear a thin layer of RTV on it before installing it. So much work to do, so little time...
 

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One last update: the oil pressure light/chime appears to be fixed, so I'm happy about that! The weather has been around 60* F for highs, and all is well. I double checked, and the factory pressure switch was just under $20.

I still have to fix the transmission fluid leak from the diff cover. I found out that Chrysler just seals it with RTV; no gasket available. I've only found diff cover gaskets at NAPA; a cork one and an updated fiber one. I'll either have to get a fiber one, or make my own gasket. I've found the ATF eats the cork gaskets, so those are no good at all. That's all I have to add to this thread. :)
 
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