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Sludge build up on tube screen of oil pump location

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That's normal, just wipe it off and don't worry!

Posted on Jan 13, 2013

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Sometimes my oil light flashes at idle on my 1996 Nissan maxima GLE. I changed the pressure sending unit last year, so what can be the cause?

First, verify that there is no oil leakage at the new sensor. I've had that happen a time or two.

If that isn't the issue, it could be a worn oil pump, or general engine wear and internal oil leakage exceeding the pump's capacity to maintain oil pressure.

Another possibility is a build-up of debris (sludge) on the pump intake screen. It may be tempting to try an engine cleaner oil additive to remove sludge, but I've heard of too many people blowing up their engines doing that. Cleaners may be helpful for a small amount of sludge, but a large blob of loosened sludge going through the pump and into the oil galleries is bad news.

It may be time to drop the oil pan and inspect for sludge, and perhaps also check some bearings for excess wear. I'm not familiar with Nissan oil pumps, but those I've seen from other makes can be disassembled for inspection, or the service manual may provide specifications for replacement wear tolerances. (Service manuals are usually not cheap, but you may be able to get your local Nissan dealer service department to give you a copy of the relevant pages.)

Jun 12, 2017 | Nissan Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

My car isnt getting oil up in the values

? do you mean valves? could be a bad oil pump, clogged oil pick-up tube, too much sludge from never having an oil change, or possibly the engine is just worn out completely and can't build up enough pressure to get oil to the valves.

Dec 24, 2010 | 1995 Buick Regal

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Oil light coming on at idle

Possiblity 1. Sludge in the oil pan has entered the "pickup tube" for the oil pump and you must remove the oil pan and unclog the tube with a stiff wire or a piece of weed trimmer line. Possibility 2. The oil gauge sensor is not working properly and must be replaced. This is the easy fix, but 90% of the time does not fix the problem so use a junk yard part or "loaner" to test this. Possiblity 3. The oil pump itself is not working properly and requires replacement. Possiblity 4. Worn bearings in the motor are not permitting oil pressure to build up to the normal pressure unless the RPMs are high.

Jul 25, 2010 | 2001 Dodge Intrepid

1 Answer

No oil pressure in my rover v8 engine. The car is a TVR 350i 1988 fitted with Rover V8. At the track today it lost oil pressure after a few laps and have no pressure and the oil light is also on. Engine...

You may have sludge in the "pickup tube" which would prevent oil from circulating through the oil pump into the motor. Remove the oil pan and inspect and use a long piece of weed trimmer line to unclog if the tube has any nasty sludge in it. Do NOT alter the length of the tube. Make sure to remove any sludge build up in the pan.

Jul 25, 2010 | 1995 Land Rover Range Rover

2 Answers

Tryin to find low oil preesure problem before having to replace oil pump already replaced oil sending unit and gauge

need to find out the pressure the pump is putting out hook up a mechanical pressure gauge most use the sensor port to hook into and test pressure if pressure good than u may have a sludge problem where a flush might help-if pressure low possible clogging [sludge build up] of oil screen-[which a flush or back blow-compressed air -to clear or clean pick up tube and screen should help ]--or internal engine problem or oil pump bad

Feb 12, 2010 | 1996 Chevrolet Blazer

3 Answers

My bronco lost oil pressure when it idles it knocks when i give it gas it doesnt knock.what should i do.

typically loss of oil pressure at idle but ok pressure at higher rpm can indicate worn camshaft bearings or main bearings. small possibilty that oil pump is tired or pickup tube for pump has sludge or debris clogging screen.

Nov 07, 2009 | 1993 Ford Bronco

2 Answers

Come to stop 99 Ram oil pressure drops to 0 check gauges light.

Change the oil! The 318Cu in V8 (5.2 liter) engine has a problem with sludge build up on the oil pump pickup tube screen. This engine requires oil changes at or before 3500 miles with a high detergent oil.

Jul 06, 2009 | 1999 Dodge Ram

1 Answer

Premature oil pump failure 04 A4 3.0 Quattro

Absolutely - the 1.8T engine is known for sludging issues. If they diagnosed oil sludge then your engine is covered no matter the mileage. The oil sludge builds up in the 1.8T no matter how well cared for it is, and the sludge can block the oil pickup screen on the oil pump (it's an extremely fine mesh), causing oil starvation and taking out the engine in the process.

Go to and do a search there for "oil sludge" and the information will come up. You can learn all about it there. But if your engine has the sludging, and you have receipts proving the oil was changed at the proper intervals, you will get a new engine free of charge - one of the members there is an Audi technician and I remember him posting that he'd changed out a 180k mile engine under warranty due to sludge.

May 26, 2009 | 2001 Audi A4

4 Answers

97 explorer engine taps

what this sounds like is that your engine is starving for oil and the tapping noise is yuour rocker arms. this could be due to sludge build up on the intake screen of your oil pump or the pump itself is weak and no longer is providing the needed oil pressure. another place for sludge to build up is the valve covers and until the engine heats up very little oil is circulating to the push rod,rocker arms, and lifters. my suggestion is to clean the valve covers, drop the oil pan and remove the pump to look at the gears to see if there are missing teeth. also clean the screen of the pick up tube. replace the oil filter and put in new oil also use lucas additive this will do a good job of keeping the sludge build up to almost nill. if the problem persists then i would say that one or more of your hydraulic liftyers is weak and then they will need replacing.

May 13, 2009 | 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

2 Answers

Lost oil pressure

Highly unlikely that you need a pump, but it is possible that the pick-up tube that extends down into the oil pan, from the pump, has become loose or broken and dropped off it's mount and into the oil pan. It is also possible that the screen on the pick-up tube has become covered in sludge build-up and is no longer allowing oil into the pump. The next course of action would be to remove the oil pan and have a look at the condition of the oil pump pick-up tube and go from there

Apr 13, 2009 | 2005 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

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