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Old 03-20-2010, 12:03 AM   #1
Inspector14
 
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Intermittent low oil pressure light.

I have a 2009 LB, with 9400 miles on it. this morning after driving for about 5 minutes i noticed that the oil light flashed at me a couple of times when i slowed for a light.

as the car warmed up the light started flashing extremely rapidly, like a loose wire or bad connection was causing intermittent contact.

now i understand that when the oil light comes on you should immediatly pull over and turn off the engine. i was only a little ways from my destination, so i continued on and stopped a short while later.

i went into the airport to get a family member to take them to the hospital. returning to the car, and starting it. there was no light. and the light did not come back on until after i had left the hospital 3 hrs later.

i let the car sit for 8 hrs and went to get dinner, and noted a pattern on my scan gauge: the oil light comes on when the RPM drops below 750. but only after the car has been on long enough to warm the oil up. upon start up there is no light, even at a bogged idle of 525 rpm. no light.

after the car warms to operating temperature the oil light comes on steady below 750 rpm. if i hold the accelerator just a hair the light goes out, so im assuming that this means oil pressure is acceptable for operation.

i think that this is a faulty pressure sensor or light. im sure that if the pump was bad, i would not have a running car after the day of operation that i have done.

im taking the car to toyota on sunday, but i have to drive it to work tomorrow, 15 minutes each way. i have no alternative.

will a car that is being starved of oil via low pressure show some sign other than the light? the engine isnt behaving differently, temperatures are not rising, and the car is not sluggish or rough running.

i know that im pushing my luck driving the car. i have no choice right now.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:02 AM   #2
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Check your oil level, if you were low on oil, the light could turn on as well. It's very unlikely on a car that only has 9k miles on it, but it's an easy test...
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:20 AM   #3
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d'oh sorry, forgot to add that i checked the oil twice this morning, it was good. just to be sure, and try to correct a clogged filter... i had the oil changed, and i watched the guy put oil in. its correct, not over full.

sorry i left that out.

im not driving the car until i take it to the dealer, which is 1 block from my apartment :)
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:59 AM   #4
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Change the oil and filter, change the oil pressure light, check for bad connectiions. You arent using anything but 5W-30? (like 0W-20?) Big mistake to drive the car while this is unresolved. I know it may be a pain to walk/arrange other transportation. Yes the light goes out when you rev the engine but you have no idea what the oil pressure is. I dont know how many times Ive seen people blow an engine assuming if the red light goes out under accel it must be OK. Well if the car is under warranty and the engine blows up I guess youre covered. Maybe thats the best thing. If the oil pump is bad you might be dammaging the engine, then it blows later after Toyota changes the oil pump...

Last edited by bronsin; 03-20-2010 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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it could be a real blockage in the oil gallery making
the pump scavenge

or a bad sensor

I am gonna go with.......bad sensor

but you MUST stop driving to make sure. when engines seize they cost thousands to fix

you'll get a overheating light minutes before it seizes. that will be your final warning
if it is about to grenade on you
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:05 AM   #6
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Is this car not in warranty?
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:22 PM   #7
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i have other transport now. car is parked.

car is under warranty, so its going to the dealer tomorrow morning (on a sunday no less).im getting a rental from them. will post again to tell what the dealer finds out.

im gonna go with a bad sensor on this one. i have not done extended oil intervals, and only used synthetic oil. in fact i have short changed on a couple of intervals. methodicaly checked oil levels.

this is just so frustrating, i got rid of my VW because of constant problems, and now a NEW car only made it 9000 miles before its in the shop.
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:38 PM   #8
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If you think in regards to oil pressure the pattern you saw with the oil light would make sense if the oil was severely fuel diluted or the filter was bypassing. I would think if the sensor were the problem you would have the light coming on at "random" times, not just under conditions where the oil was good and hot.

There was a thread here a while back about someone with a similar problem and IIRC his filter was loaded to the point it was bypassing.

You state you just had the oil and filter changed, but what was the oil and filter combo you were using when you noticed the problem, and how many miles on them? Did you keep the old filter for evaluation?

Please let us know what you find out at the dealer. As others have suggested, I certainly wouldn't run the car until you find the source of the problem.

Thanks, REDDOG
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Last edited by R2D2; 03-20-2010 at 03:40 PM. Reason: add
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector14 View Post
i have other transport now. car is parked.

car is under warranty, so its going to the dealer tomorrow morning (on a sunday no less).im getting a rental from them. will post again to tell what the dealer finds out.

im gonna go with a bad sensor on this one. i have not done extended oil intervals, and only used synthetic oil. in fact i have short changed on a couple of intervals. methodicaly checked oil levels.

this is just so frustrating, i got rid of my VW because of constant problems, and now a NEW car only made it 9000 miles before its in the shop.
You made a good move getting rid of the VW and buying a Yaris if you wanted a reliable vehicle. Let this thing play itself out until the source of the trouble is found. You cant make any judgements until then. Really the most important thing is for the dealer to install an oil pressure gauge in place of the oil pressure sender. If the oil pump is putting out good pressure you should have no worries. Good luck and tell us what happens!
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
If you think in regards to oil pressure the pattern you saw with the oil light would make sense if the oil was severely fuel diluted or the filter was bypassing. I would think if the sensor were the problem you would have the light coming on at "random" times, not just under conditions where the oil was good and hot.

There was a thread here a while back about someone with a similar problem and IIRC his filter was loaded to the point it was bypassing.

You state you just had the oil and filter changed, but what was the oil and filter combo you were using when you noticed the problem, and how many miles on them? Did you keep the old filter for evaluation?

Please let us know what you find out at the dealer. As others have suggested, I certainly wouldn't run the car until you find the source of the problem.

Thanks, REDDOG
the oil i was using was Amsoil 5w-30 synthetic with a KN oil filter. i did keep the old filter but i didnt open it up yesterday like i was going to. now there is mobil1 5-30 and a mobil filter. not that it fixed the problem.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:57 PM   #11
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I would not run a high efficiency filter on this car in the winter - the wix 51396 (camry) unit fixed all sorts of VVTi and engine noise issues. Also be aware that certain PAO based oils are sensitive to ethanol dilution. I had to change my Mobil 1 0w3-0 after 2700 mile due to severe loss of viscosity - and I dont do short trips.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:01 PM   #12
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Inspector,

How many miles did you have on the Amsoil/K&N?

Thanks,

R2
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:09 PM   #13
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Good point, SilkySmooth. I'm wondering if this isn't similar to the problem that lead Amsoil to cease recommendation of the EAO filters for Toyota engines. The. high efficiency EAOs were restricting and causing similar issues.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:09 PM   #14
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the oil had 1900 miles on it, and the filter had about 4000.

for the life of me i have not been able to get anything on this filter remove it. i always have to take it some where to replace the filter.

after what has been said im thinking that the oil pump is toast.
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:46 PM   #15
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Great news!

took the car in to Kendall toyota Anchorage this morning at 9 am, got the car back this morning at 11 am.

the techs went over the engine bay and found that the Oil pressure sending unit was bad and was leaking oil badly.

unit replaced, no oil light, everything is good to go.

thanks for the discussion. hope this thread helps others in the future.
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:30 PM   #16
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Sweet!
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:17 PM   #17
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Cool! Thanks for posting and letting us know. Glad it worked out for you.

R2
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:43 PM   #18
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Glad it wasn't anything serious!
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