Peugeot 207 low oil pressure P15A1 and bottom end pics

Jan 7, 2014
Slimy Mudhole
Here I present some pics of the bottom end of my Peugeot 207 1.6 petrol, but first a little tale of how I came to take these pictures.

The car is ten years old, and it has 106,000 miles. One day I went to the hardware store, as I was leaving, the low oil pressure warning comes on, I stopped the car and check the oil level, which was good, restart the car and the warning was still there. Not much that I could do, so I called for a tow truck.

Once at home, I searched for trouble codes and only one came up: P15A1 - Oil Pressure too low. Regulation permanently on the low threshold.

Started the engine to check the oil pressure. The commanded pressure was 3.5 bar and the measured pressure was only 1.5 bar.

The oil pressure control solenoid is inside the oil pump, so the next step was to drain the oil and remove the oil pump. This took a long time, as removing the oil pan was very difficult because it was bonded with RTV to the block. I passed the old oil trough a coffee filter and could not see any metallic flakes, so I don't think there was any damage to the bearings.

Once the oil pump was removed I tested the solenoid, it had continuity and, when power was applied it didn’t make any sound or discernable movement, so the ECU was right and the solenoid was mechanically stuck, so the plan was simple: replace the solenoid and reassemble; What can possibly go wrong?

Went to the dealership to source the part. The solenoid cost was $600 USD and it would take 2 to 3 months to arrive from Germany. That is an unacceptable amount of money and too much time for my car to be repaired. I searched on several independent part stores and no one could get hold of the part. Finally, one store could get me a new oil pump with the solenoid for $280 USD, but I was not convinced to replace the whole pump just for a failed solenoid. I said that I would think about it and if there would be no other option, I would buy the whole pump.

Then it occurred to me to have a look on Amazon. Found the solenoid for $42 USD with shipping included. I ordered it on a Thursday and it was on my doorstep the next Sunday. It comes from China and maybe it will have a shorter lifespan, but I am not willing to pay 14 times more for the original part.

The oil pan was very sad looking, and the paint was flaking off. So I send it to sandblast and powder coat. I didn’t know what colour to choose; black is just the same as the factory, red seems a little too basic, I was thinking hemi orange, but doesn’t seem right on a French car. I looked outside my window and there was a scrub jay that comes to my house from time to time. Send a pic to the painter and said: can you make the oil pan this colour? Yes, was her response. So the oil pan was painted scrub jay blue. The cost for the powder coat was $28 USD.

Next I reinstalled the oil pump and the oil pan, the car started and stalled several times, finally it started and it was good. I think I should have disabled the fuel pump and cranked it for a minute to prime the oil system.

Finally, the measured oil pressure is the same as the commanded oil pressure, the oil warning light is off and the car drives with no problem,

Now, as for the pictures, I know they are not of the highest quality, but I hope that they are sufficiently clear. I was pleased to find that the engine was somewhat clean. The only visible residue is on the piston undersides, but I don’t know if I should worry about that.

Thanks in advance for any comments and for reading this far.


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Started the engine to check the oil pressure. The commanded pressure was 3.5 bar and the measured pressure was only 1.5 bar.

The oil pressure control solenoid is inside the oil pump,
You went from measuring the oil pressure to knowing it was this solenoid? Great work!
I have no idea what an oil pump solenoid is or does or why it exists......never heard of one before this.

Also great is that a replacement solenoid was available.
I wonder if the pump itself was built as cheaply as this solenoid. Could it be a smarter move to replace the "pump/solenoid" assembly?
Just asking.

SORTA RELATED EXAMPLE: Volvo combined the thermostat and the Coolant Temperature Sensor into one, box shaped replacement part.
I've changed 'stats in cars and CTSs in cars but wondered if, when my time comes, if it'd be simpler to just play their game and buy the replacement assembly. Learning the hard way that a manufacturer used a different 'stat in the new housing design would be a time and money wasting lesson.

Very glad the solenoid you found on Amazon worked.
I believe this is a reasonable facsimile of a Peugeot 207. Nice but my favorite Peugeot is the 505turbo. BTW, that is a very nice French racing blue oil pan.


courtesy of simple wikipedia
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what an oil pump solenoid is or does or why it exists
Not sure what it's function is on a Peugeot, but I know the Chrysler pentastar V6 uses it to vary the oil pump output. If I remember correctly it will command low output at idle and low load, and once you hit a certain rpm and load it cycles it to high. More than likely for no better reason than to make it more efficient at low rpm.