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  1. #1
    Ultimo Miembro Fantástico Gigantesco Doowstados will become famous soon enough Doowstados will become famous soon enough

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    Default Oil light on, oil level good. Ideas?

    I know the oil light can come on for a variety of reasons. I'm just hitting 3,000 miles on my car since it's last oil change. Oil level is good; just below max. I have a known leak coming from my oil pump's O-Ring. I'm maybe losing a quart every month and a half to two months which I plan to fix when I do my next oil change.

    What is more likely:

    - Clogged oil filter (Last oil change was this cars first in probably 10,000 - 15,000 miles, blame prior owner. I changed the filter but maybe new oil knocked some crud loose?)

    - Problem stemming from oil leak despite good oil level

    - Something else?


    Also, how difficult is it to change that o-ring? I don't have access to a garage at the moment and any work would have to be done on the curb. Possible?



    EDIT: I use part synthetic Castrol GTX high mileage oil. Probably doesn't matter, but thought I would throw that out there. Previous owner probably used cheapo generic crap.
    - Dustin J.

    1991 Toyota Celica GT

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  2. #2

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    oil light on with proper leve is possibly catastrophic. Could be a clogged pickup but Im about 99% sure a filter wouldnt cause that. could be enough pressure bleed off from the pump seal but most likely you have a failing pump.
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  3. #3
    Ultimo Miembro Fantástico Gigantesco Doowstados will become famous soon enough Doowstados will become famous soon enough

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Facime View Post
    oil light on with proper leve is possibly catastrophic. Could be a clogged pickup but Im about 99% sure a filter wouldnt cause that. could be enough pressure bleed off from the pump seal but most likely you have a failing pump.
    How can I test this?

    Also, the light has been kinda flickering on and off the past few days. It finally stayed on today beginning at about a block from my house. Startups have been a bit more rough than normal recently but barely noticeable. I didn't even give it a thought until just now.
    - Dustin J.

    1991 Toyota Celica GT

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  4. #4

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    You need a mechanical guage to see what your actual pressure is first and under various conditions (cold pressure, hot pressure, pressure rise with RPM). The light could also just be a failing sender.
    “It's amazing how once the mind is free of emotional pollution, logic and clarity emerge...
    Yet, it's our emotions and imperfections that makes us human.”
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  5. #5

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    A correctly working oil pressure switch will cause the oil light to come on around 2.5 psi or lower. That is very, very, ...., very low, and usually by the time an oil pressure light comes on when the engine is running, you may have caused engine damage. Have you had the car for a long time with no problems, and this issue just suddenly developed? Or are you a new owner and bought this problem?

    When I got my 93 Celica vert, it had been taken care of extremely well until the last year before I bought it. I think that owner just didn't do any maintenance. There was plenty of sludge that was under the valve cover and above the oil pan and in the oil pan. What a mess to get out. And, after using some Rislone after sludge removal, it cut some loose that wanted to get stuck in the oil pickup screen. Shut the engine off immediately, start it back up, and all was good. Had to take the oil pan off twice and clean out that screen both times. Later, my oil light came on occassionally at hot idle and flickered. I was worried too. Put a mechanical gauge on it, and the gauge read 10 psi at hot idle. Replaced the oil pressure switch with a new Toyota OEM one for the 5S-FE, and the light has never come back on. So somehow, my oil pressure switch good out of calibration. Maybe that could have happened to you.

    Until you put a mechanical gauge (I now have a 3-gage pillar pod which includes an electronic oil pressure gauge), you really don't know for sure what is going on. I would recommend this approach first to understand more what is going on.

  6. #6
    Ultimo Miembro Fantástico Gigantesco Doowstados will become famous soon enough Doowstados will become famous soon enough

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    I figured out the problem. My wire came loose from the flimsy little clip that connects to the sensor on the head. It grounded when it fell out and turned the light on. Whew! Scared me

    I'm installing a gauge cluster with battery/water, oil temp/volt meter now.

    Anything tricky about this? If I remember correctly it is supposedly hard to find the proper connector for the gauge?
    - Dustin J.

    1991 Toyota Celica GT

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  7. #7
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    You'd want an oil pressure, not oil temp. Sure oil temp is handy, but pressure > temp if you can only pick one.

    Also be careful if it's a mechanical gauge. Hot oil spraying in the cabin is not fun.
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