Low oil pressure light on our dashboards!

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OK, I have seen a lot of people saying that someone is running low on oil, 2 qt low in a 4 qt system or even 3 qt low in a 4 qt system. Is the low oil pressure light on the dashboard suppose to light up? How low will it light up? For instance, in my 86 Civic beater, I am sure the oil light is working, it light up when I start the enigne and off in 2 second or so, but I was running low oil(didn't even see an oil on the dipstick last time I check it, I check about once a month) and the low oil pressure light still didn't come on, why? Does anyone know how low is the oil before it will light off? I know it's probably deopends on the model and the brand, but in general, who know how it works?
 
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There's really only one way to find out for your particular vehicle, and you seem to be doing all you can to find out. Good luck. [Razz]
 
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It works by a sensor that detects pressure below a setpoint. Usually quite low. On mine it is <7psi. So basically for it to come on solely due to oil level, it would have to be so low that the oil pickup is not submerged! Why didn't yours come on? It's a pressure indicator, not level, as you already stated. [Wink]
 

rgl

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From experience with a previous girlfiend's Taurus, the light turns on when you are running on tar.(wasn't my doing) In contrast, my former Explorer would light up to let you know it was a quart low. But it said this in the manual. Barring such exceptions, my understanding is that the "OIL" light is generally to let you know you need to buy oil to put in the new engine you are about to buy. [Frown]
 
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On my Audi it works like this: The oil pressure light will come on when - the engine is off (ignition on) and the oil pressure switch is closed ---> pressure switch is defective - if the coolant temp is under 60 degr C and the pressure switch is open at >300 RPM - if the coolant temp is over 60 degr C and the pressure switch is open at >1500 RPM - if the oil pressure switch opens three times for more than 0.5 seconds > 1500 RPM (---> not enough oil pressure, warning light remains on at all RPM)
 
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My 1988 Mustang GT has a low oil level light as well as an oil pressure gauge on the dashboard, but it's never worked in the time that I've owned it. It's supposed to come on when the oil is a quart low.
 
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luvs2drive, that is true and I agree, but using a pressure guage to verify oil level is only going to get you a blown engine, whether it's an idiot light or full analog.
 
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On my John Deere tractor the oil pressure idiot light came on 7 hours after I changed oil over to Amsoil 15W40 and an Amsoil SDF22 filter. I swapped out the sender to a gauge, and low and behold low pressure. On a lark, I changed the filter out to a John Deere OEM. Oil pressure came back up. It seems the SDF22 filter does not have a bypass valve. [Mad] The Amsoil must have really cleaned the engine good to plug that filter. I am now running Rotella T with a Baldwin filter on this OCI. I wish I would have kept the SDF22 and cut it open. I often wonder what the inside looked like.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by moribundman: There's really only one way to find out for your particular vehicle, and you seem to be doing all you can to find out. Good luck. [Razz]
[LOL!] [LOL!] [LOL!] [LOL!] [LOL!]
 
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bigjason, I'll try to put this as simply as I can. The dipstick is what you use to check the oil level . Preferably, regularly and often, like every other fill-up of gasoline. The low oil pressure light on the dashboard is there to tell you to when to shut the engine off as catastrophic failure in imminent.
 
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I can tell when my '72 plymouth is a qt low because when I slow down a little bit more briskly, like a red light pops up all of a sudden, the light comes on for a few seconds. I figure thats bad and I don''t let it get low anymore. My$0.02
 
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I have 2 on my car(1991 Lexus LS400): light with a pic of a oil lamp: low pressure light with a pic of the oil lamp over a wave: low oil level
 
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quote:
Originally posted by nthach: I have 2 on my car(1991 Lexus LS400): light with a pic of a oil lamp: low pressure light with a pic of the oil lamp over a wave: low oil level
Somehow I don't think a 86 Civic beater has the same accoutrements. [Big Grin]
 
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Most people are not "gearheads", they could have 12 temp gauges on the dash telling them the temp of every component and they would be looking at the scenery. The best way to insure you have oil in the car is to do what it says in the manual - check the oil level frequently. My system is real simple. Check the oil level every Sunday morning. Home, away, no matter what - every Sunday Morning. Works like a charm.
 

Patman

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quote:
Originally posted by Ugly3: Most people are not "gearheads", they could have 12 temp gauges on the dash telling them the temp of every component and they would be looking at the scenery.
My C5 has probably too much information in the driver's information center, as I bet most Corvette owners don't even check most of them. It tells you not only the oil pressure, but the oil temperature, coolant temperature, tranny temperature, battery voltage, tire pressure in each tire, average MPG, and more. It even has a function where you can retrieve the trouble codes that might be stored in it's history. But most of the people that drive these cars probably never use any of this info. I am though! I just love knowing all this stuff.
 
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From experience with my first car, a 1975 Plymouth Scamp, the oil light will come on about 15 seconds after you engine throws a rod !!!! [Frown] .
 
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