Question about 1999 Pontiac Firebird

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Oil Pressure Gauge

When the vehicle is turned off the oil pressure gauge still shows a reading. Is this normal or should the needle go all the way to the left like all the other gauges? Please advise.

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  • Anonymous Mar 20, 2014

    V6/3800. Over heating, oil gauge going whacky, fluctuating but holding @ 30%. How do I check water pressure? What are steps to add coolant?

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WHATS A OIL SENDING UNIT


it is a pressure sensitive unit in the side of the block that register oil pressure in the oil galleys of the engine
in vehicles with an oil light only it will switch off once a preset pressure is reached and turn back on when the oil pressure falls below that pressure
on other vehicles with an oil pressure gauge, it is a variable resistor unit that changes the resistance of the power from the gauge as the oil pressure fluctuates so altering the reading on the gauge
it is a different unit to an oil pressure sensor which conveys readings to the ECM

Apr 28, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2001 f150 4.6 low oil pressure 2 or 3 minutes first start


Since you already know what your physical oil pressure is at idle I would try to get an accurate spec from Ford. if 10psi is normal the the problem is likely the switch or cluster.
If it is below spec it could be high mileage (normal bearing wear will lower idle pressure) a weak bypass spring in the pump, or a the wrong oil filter or oil.
If you are not hearing any "lifter clatter" or knocking when u start it, I wouldn't be too concerned about a bad pump or engine damage just yet.
Use only 5/30 or 10/30! anything thicker can cause cam damage due to oil starvation. Also going to long between oil changes can lower idle pressure as the oil looses viscosity and thins out.
According to factory wiring diagrams 2001 F150 does not have a pressure gauge , it has a warning light, however when I read the test procedure it talks about a gauge. either way, light or gauge, it uses a switch (not a sender) to signal the cluster that oil pressure is either above or below a certain value. again, I'm sorry, i don't know what that value is.
The instrument cluster receives ground through an oil pressure switch. When oil pressure is above a certain pressure the switch closes and the instrument cluster then turns out the light or indicates "normal" oil pressure. if the pressure is below a certain value the switch is open (the circuit to the cluster is not grounded) and the light will be on or the gauge will read no pressure.
The light or gauge is NOT directly controlled by the switch. If it has a gauge the gauge will show an increase in pressure when engine RPM increases (calculated by the cluster) it is not showing true pressure.
if your idle pressure is normal, you can test the by grounding the circuit at the switch, key on, if the light is out or the gauge reads normal the problem is the switch (assuming that physical pressure is above spec).
If the idle pressure is slightly below spec you could try an oil stabilizer like Lucas or STP and keep your oil change intervals to 3500 miles.
I hope this helps, feel free to contact me for more information

Robert Grove, ASE Certified World Class Technician, Automotive Hall of Fame 1996
Wego2u Mobile Mechanic
Mobile Mechanics in Orange County, CA

Jul 05, 2013 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Oil pressure gauge goes to 80 and stays


Another gauge needs to be connected to the car to check that oil pressure sensor or the gauge itself is not the problem.

If an independent gauge shows the same readings I would suspect a sticking oil pressure relief valve.

Dec 28, 2012 | 2003 GMC Yukon Denali

2 Answers

How can i fix the oil pump


see this tips and fix it. God bless you
The oil pump supplies oil to lubricate your engine. If the oil pump is worn or is not turning, the engine will suffer a loss of oil pressure, which may result in engine damage or engine failure.
The first sign of trouble may be a low oil pressure warning light, a drop in the normal reading on you oil pressure gauge (if your car has one), or the appearance of ticking or clattering sounds from your engine.
As a rule, most engines only need about 10 PSI of oil pressure for every 1,000 RPM of engine speed. Oil pressure will read higher than normal when a cold engine is first started because the oil is thick. Oil pressure will gradually drop as the engine warms up and the oil thins out. So normal oil pressure on a warm engine cruising down the highway is typically 30 PSI up to 45 PSI.
SYMPTOMS OF OIL PUMP TROUBLE
The first thing you should do if any of these symptoms occur is to stop your car, turn off the engine, let it sit for a few minutes, then check the oil level on the dipstick. If the oil level is at or below the ADD line, add a quart of oil to bring the level back up to the full mark. Add as much oil as is needed to raise the level to the full mark. Then restart the engine. If the warning light remains on, or the oil pressure reading does not climb back up to its normal range, or the engine noise does not go away, you may have a bad oil pump.
The other possibilities include a bad oil pressure sending unit, or a problem with the oil pressure warning light circuit or oil pressure gauge.
OIL PRESSURE SENDING UNIT
If the engine is NOT making any unusual noises and seems to be running normally, and the oil level on the dipstick is FULL, but you are still getting a low oil pressure warning light or low gauge reading, the fault could be a bad oil pressure sending unit.
The oil pressure sending unit is mounted on the engine block. On some applications, there is a spring-loaded pressure-sensitive diaphragm with a switch inside the sending unit. This switch completes the circuit to the low oil pressure warning light if oil pressure drops below a certain threshold. The unit may stop working if the diaphragm inside fails, if the switch is stuck, if the small hole that allows oil to enter the sending unit becomes plugged, if there is a loose, corroded or broken wiring connector at the sending unit, or there is a fault in the wiring circuit between the sending unit and warming light.
On vehicles that have an oil pressure gauge (electronic, not mechanical), the oil pressure sending unit has a small rheostat inside that sends a variable voltage signal to the oil pressure gauge when the diaphragm moves. A worn spot on the rheostat or any of the other problems just described for the simple pressure-type oil pressure switches can cause a problem.
FORD'S FAKE OIL PRESSURE GAUGE
On many Ford vehicles that were built from 1980 through the 1990s, the oil pressure sending unit has two switches, a low pressure and a high pressure. These vehicles also have an oil pressure gauge, but the reading on the gauge is not a true indication of real oil pressure. As long as the pressure to the sending unit is between high and low, the gauge will read normal. If oil pressure drops and trips the low pressure switch, the dash gauge will now read low. Or, if oil pressure goes up and trips the high switch inside the sending unit, the dash gauge will read high. Consequently, don't rely on the oil pressure gauge for an accurate reading in these vehicles. It is only a gross indication if the oil pressure is low, normal or high.
OIL GAUGE PROBLEMS
If the engine is NOT making any unusual noises and seems to be running normally, the oil level on the dipstick is FULL, and you have replaced the oil pressure sending unit but are still getting a low oil pressure reading on the dash gauge, the fault could be in the wiring circuit between the sending unit and gauge, or the gauge itself might be bad.
Check the wiring connections on both ends as well as wiring continuity between the sending unit and gauge. If no wiring faults are found, hook up a pressure gauge directly to the oil pressure port on the engine and check oil pressure with the engine running. If the engine-mounted gauge shows normal oil pressure but the dash gauge is reading low, the problem is a bad dash gauge.
On the other hand, if the engine-mounted pressure gauge reads low and you have done all of the above, chances are the oil pump is worn, or it is not picking up enough oil because of a restriction or blockage in the pickup screen in the bottom of the crankcase.
OIL PUMP PICKUP PROBLEMS
The pickup tube has a screen on the end to prevent large chunks of anything bad that ends up in the crankcase from being sucked into the pump. But we are talking BIG chunks of debris, not normal wear particles or carbon or dust or other microscopic-sized abrasive particles that can cause pump wear over time.

Sep 28, 2012 | 1996 Toyota Tercel

2 Answers

My oil pressure gauge (on the top right of the dashboard) randomly shows the oil pressure going down to zero (check gauge light comes on) and then randomly goes back into the normal range. It happens...


Did you compare what your dash gauge read when it was acting up and compare it to the manual gauge at the same time? I know you said you used the manual gauge and it read fine so if you get a proper reading out of the manual gauge and an improper reading out of the dash gauge then your dash gauge needs addressed.

Mar 20, 2011 | 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee

1 Answer

Where is the oil pressure switch/sendor located?


Oil pressure can be checked at the sending unit passage with an externally mounted mechanical oil pressure gauge. To get accurate results from the test, make sure you follow the manufacturer's recommendations and compare your findings to specifications.
Testing the Oil Pressure Gauge
  • Test the gauge by grounding the wire that leads to the sending unit on the block.
  • When the wire is disconnected from the sending unit with the key switch on, the needle on the oil pressure gauge should be either all the way high or all the way low. Grounding the wire should make the needle move to the opposite side of the gauge from where it was before the wire was grounded. If the vehicle is equipped with an oil pressure light, touching the wire to ground and then removing the wire from ground should turn the light on and off.
  • If either happens, the gauge and wiring are good and the sending unit is at fault.
Testing Oil Pressure
Pressure can be tested by temporarily installing an oil pressure gauge in place of the sending unit. Before testing, look up the oil pressure specifications for your vehicle in the appropriate service manual.
  • Bring the engine up to operating temperature.
  • Now shut the engine off.
  • Locate the oil pressure sending unit; usually it is on the lower side of the engine block.
  • Disconnect the wire from the sending unit and use an open ended wrench to remove the sender. Using pliers can damage the unit.
f43-19.jpg An oil pressure sending unit is removed with a special socket. Courtesy of Chrysler Corporation.
  • Tighten the oil pressure test gauge into the hole in the block where the sender was removed.
f11-15_3184.gif Measuring oil pressure. Reprinted with permission.
  • Check the engine's oil level and fill, if required.
WARNING Be extremely careful when working near a running engine. Always wear safety goggles or glasses with side shields when working around moving machinery and be sure that your clothing is not loose.
  • Now turn the engine on and check the oil pressure on the gauge.
    • Watch as the engine warms to note any excessive drops due to temperature.
    • Make sure the engine speed is set to specifications for testing pressure.
    • If necessary, us a tachometer and adjust the engine idle speed.
  • Record the measured oil pressure, then turn off the engine.
  • Compare the test results with the manufacturer's specifications.
    • If the oil pressure is within specifications, this shows that the oil pressure sending unit may not be working correctly.
    • In many cases, replacing the oil sending unit will correct the problem.
  • After the test is complete, reinstall the oil pressure sending unit, start the engine, and confirm there are no leaks.

Nov 20, 2010 | 2002 Pontiac Bonneville

1 Answer

Low oil presure


perform a master oil pressure test. this is done by removing the oil pressure sending unit and installing a oil pressure gauge. if the reading on the test gauge is ok, the sending unit needs to be replaced. if the pressure reads low on the test gauge, there may be excessive bearing wear or you may have worn valve guides. good luck!

Apr 29, 2010 | 1997 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, V6. Oil Pressure Gauge Read High.


it could be the sensor you should look at the oil pressure relief valve

Jun 10, 2009 | 1994 Jeep Cherokee

2 Answers

High oil pressure reading


Oil sending unit bad. Replace.

Mar 01, 2009 | 1989 Pontiac Bonneville

1 Answer

Oil gauge reading?????


okay if you look at the oil pressure gauge the is a mark right below the "o" in oil. once the car is fully warmed up, at idle the gauge should read a little before that mark. at full throttle the gauge should be around the mark to the left of the "H"

Jul 10, 2008 | 1991 Mitsubishi Eclipse

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