: Low oil pressure



lawnpatio
04-03-06, 01:49 PM
Hey guys,
Last year when it got about 85 degrees out my low oil pressure light would beep and turn red. So I changed the oil with 10W-40, and the problem was solved. However, the light came on a couple last week and it was only 40-50 degrees outside (I still use 10W-40). The gauge never shows the pressure in the red zone but it sure gets close. Once I'm not idling the pressure is fine. For instance I would drive 100 miles on the freeway and then as soon as stopped at the exit ramp light, the oil light would come on. Any ideas???

meyema03
04-03-06, 03:45 PM
I have the same prob. I live in cincinnati and most my trips are less than ten miles but when i get her out out on the higway and the oil warms up and i come to a stop the oil pressure will get dangerously low. Last oil change was with 5w30 Mobil Clean 7500 just yesterday I changed it to 10w40 Mobil Clean 5000 the heavier weight oil I am hoping will keep the oil pressure up but with 110,000 the oil pump might be showing signs of its age. I am going to hope for the best as an oil pump will likely be an expensive repair.

guardian
04-03-06, 04:23 PM
Hey guys,
Last year when it got about 85 degrees out my low oil pressure light would beep and turn red. So I changed the oil with 10W-40, and the problem was solved. However, the light came on a couple last week and it was only 40-50 degrees outside (I still use 10W-40). The gauge never shows the pressure in the red zone but it sure gets close. Once I'm not idling the pressure is fine. For instance I would drive 100 miles on the freeway and then as soon as stopped at the exit ramp light, the oil light would come on. Any ideas???

No disrespect. Honest. It's not my style.

But in a post like this you really have to tell us how many miles are on the engine. Without that, it's all guesswork.

Assuming you have significant miles on the old mill:

I agree it could be the oil pump. It also could easily be that the bearings are worn.

If your engine is relatively fresh:

It might be a sensor or gauge failure. Or you may have a low oil level or a malfunctioning oil filter bypass valve.

Is the engine using oil?

lawnpatio
04-03-06, 07:53 PM
No disrespect. Honest. It's not my style.

But in a post like this you really have to tell us how many miles are on the engine. Without that, it's all guesswork.

Assuming you have significant miles on the old mill:

I agree it could be the oil pump. It also could easily be that the bearings are worn.

If your engine is relatively fresh:

It might be a sensor or gauge failure. Or you may have a low oil level or a malfunctioning oil filter bypass valve.

Is the engine using oil?


I have 127K on the engine. It never have to add oil between the standard oil changes. Any way to tell if its the oil pump?

guardian
04-03-06, 10:08 PM
That's not small miles.

You can probably forget about it being a bad oil filter relief valve.

I can't answer your question. You need inputs from other owners here having cars with that many miles, or more. Have they needed to replace an oil pump and if so at how many miles.

Have they needed to change out the bearings, and if so at how many miles.

Also questions you can pose to yourself:

Has the oil been changed regularly? Is the car wound up to high revs routinely, or has it been babied.

You have enough miles on her now to where the chickens could be coming home to roost.

I can't tell you what to do.

I can tell you what I would attempt to do:

I would drain the oil and try to get the oil pan off. Then I'd replace all the bearings I could reach and remove, including crankshaft and rod bearings. You would need a torque wrench at the very least to get the caps back on right.

The bad news:

It's often impossible to change out the rear crank bearing this way because of engine construction, seals, etc.. And that's the one that wears the fastest because it's carrying the weight of the flywheel.

Also if your journals are worn you are not able with this approach to put things right.

But however:

ANY bearing inserts you can renew will very likely raise your oil pressure. You do not have to renew them all to have a positive impact. Get the oil pressure up as best you can and it might be enough to squeeze another ten or twenty thousand miles out of the car.

And while you're down there looking up at your bottom end you can size up your oil pump and maybe even change it.

I have not performed this work on the Cat engine (have done this on other engines), so if I'm steering you wrong I hope another poster will chime in and set both of us straight.

Wishing you good luck. It is sounding as if you need it.

97cateraowner
04-04-06, 03:05 AM
I had this happen on the Catera at 186K. The first thing I had the dealer do was to confirm the low oil pressure with engine hot with a mechanical guage. Replacing the oil pump did raise it from 14 psi to 25 psi. We have 264K on it now so I felt that is was a good call. I read somewhere that a reader had replaced his oil cooler with a auxillary one and his pressure went up. You might also try getting your coolant system to run cooler by cleaning the gazillion bugs off the front evaporator.

david_gabriel15
04-23-06, 08:56 PM
Around how much would a new oil pump installed and everything cost?

97cateraowner
04-24-06, 10:00 PM
Around how much would a new oil pump installed and everything cost?

Total cost $1800 with tax and a wheel alignment.

guardian
04-25-06, 05:27 AM
Total cost $1800 with tax and a wheel alignment.

[gasp]

I'm still catching my breath here, OK. It's more difficult to type when air is scarce.:)

However just to offer you a little perspective:

Am currently considering purchase of a 1999 Cat with 48,000 miles, in nice shape. Cannot give a lot of detail here for (what I hope are) obvious reasons. But the repair cost you are quoting us is very roughly a third of the price of this ENTIRE car!:holycrap:

Changing out a Cat oil pump is not rocket science. And, as I suggested above, while you have the pan off you should renew as many bearing inserts as you can, too.

If you have money to burn :bling: forget this.

Otherwise:

Keep a sharp lookout.:eye:

Try to buy the oil pump cheap. Check with a Saturn dealer and don't overlook the various auto parts suppliers here and in Europe, via the net. Also, there is eBay.

Then find yourself a good, solid, reputable local mechanic and have him or her install the pump for you.

Whoever quoted you $1800 must be on drugs or maybe is just nuts.:wacky:

JMHO, of course. I'm outta here. :getaway: