: flickering oil light



krimson_cardnal
10-04-05, 11:56 AM
At times - at idle - the oil light flickers on my 96DeVille. Never see it while driving and I can't corrolate the times I do see it at idle. Not frequent by any means, just want to be sure it doesn't get to that point.

Any ideas -thoughts? :hmm: Me thinks it might be the pressure sensor, but I know not of that beastie.

mcowden
10-04-05, 12:38 PM
At times - at idle - the oil light flickers on my 96DeVille. Never see it while driving and I can't corrolate the times I do see it at idle. Not frequent by any means, just want to be sure it doesn't get to that point.

Any ideas -thoughts? :hmm: Me thinks it might be the pressure sensor, but I know not of that beastie.

A few thoughts on this one. This isn't the first time it's come up, so I'll just rehash what I remember from previous attempts:

The oil pressure sensor is mounted above the oil filter adapter. If you replace it, use an OEM sensor by AC-Delco.

Make sure you're using a good quality oil filter. Stay away from standard Fram filters. Use something like a Wix, Purolator PureONE or Premium Plus, AC-Delco, Mobil1, Bosch, etc. I personally like the PureONE, AC-Delco, and Mobil1 filters. Cheap, low-quality filters may have a sufficient pressure drop across the filter to drop the already-low idle oil pressure to a low enough level to trip the sensor. Check out the links at the bottom of this message for a couple of reviews.

The oil pump is driven by compression between the harmonic balancer and oil pump. If the bolt is a little loose, it might not be driving the oil pump sufficiently at idle.

One very qualified expert who used to frequent the forums suggested using Shell Rotella 15W-40 motor oil to help with problems like this. Several others have done this with good success. Personally, I'm not sure I like this idea, especially in winter in cold climate areas (like Chicago or Fairbanks, AK). Then again, I'm certainly no expert. It just seems to me like 15W-40 might be a little on the viscous side to give sufficient protection or crank speeds in cold weather. I'm open to discussion on this one, for sure.

Here are the oil filter review links:

http://www.ntpog.org/reviews/filters/filters.shtml
http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilterstudy.html

Let us know what you do and how it turns out. I'm sure there are several people here who can help a lot more than I can...

krimson_cardnal
10-04-05, 02:53 PM
Thanks again,
I'm ordering a new pressure sensor, will install next oil change. Great info on the filter issue, AC_Delco - all around.

Question on the harmonic balancer thing. Is this something accessable? Shop manual doesn't make it clear - to me... Looking things over, this seems like a long shot, but you seem convinced of it's possibility. I'm supposed to be able to see this bolt w/ vehicle up. Guidance?? What might I look for??

mcowden
10-04-05, 03:27 PM
Thanks again,
I'm ordering a new pressure sensor, will install next oil change. Great info on the filter issue, AC_Delco - all around.

Question on the harmonic balancer thing. Is this something accessable? Shop manual doesn't make it clear - to me... Looking things over, this seems like a long shot, but you seem convinced of it's possibility. I'm supposed to be able to see this bolt w/ vehicle up. Guidance?? What might I look for??

I would say it is a long shot, but if it's easy enough to check it, it can't hurt anything. The harmonic balancer is on the end of the crankshaft on the accessory-side of the engine. It's the large pulley at bottom center. If you take the fenderwell plastic out of the way, you should be able to get to it pretty easily. I don't know the torque spec, but it's pretty high IIRC. If you don't have a torque wrench or can't easily identify or get to it, don't worry about it. install the new sensor, use a good filter, and try the Rotella oil. If the problem gets worse, then get the harmonic balancer bolt checked.