VW Golf 4 GTI, Oil pressure and vehicle wont start.
If your oil pressure light comes on
Don't ignore it. An oil pressure warning light
(or low gauge reading) means one of two things: either your engine
has dangerously low oil pressure (for a variety of reasons which
we'll get to in a minute), or the oil pressure sending unit that
triggers the warning light (or operates your gauge) has failed.
The question here is whether you have a serious problem or
a minor one.
First, do not keep driving if the oil warning light is on
or your oil pressure gauge has dropped. Stop the engine, let
it sit for a few minutes, then check the oil level.
Is the level low? If the oil level is down more than two
quarts or no oil is showing on the dipstick, adding oil to bring
the level back up to the full mark may be all that's necessary
to make the light go out. Just keep your fingers crossed that
you haven't damaged the engine from running it too low on oil.
If you hear rapping or knocking noises the engine starts, you're
too late. The damage is done and now you're stuck with the consequences.
Note: On some late model vehicles, the warning light will
come on (or a message will appear) if a sensor in the oil pan
detects a low oil level. The light is supposed to come on before
the level gets low enough to cause any damage.
If your oil level was low, it means your engine is either
leaking oil or burning it. Leaks can be fixed by finding and
replacing leaky gaskets and seals. Sometimes the oil filter will
leak if it isn't installed or tightened properly. But an oil
burning problem means the valve guides, rings and/or cylinders
are worn or damaged and more costly repairs are needed.
If the dipstick shows a full oil level, then low oil obviously
isn't your problem. The oil pressure may be low because of a
worn or broken oil pump, a plugged oil pickup screen in the engine's
crankcase, possibly a plugged oil filter or excessive bearing
wear. Or, the oil pressure may be fine but the oil pressure sending
unit has failed. Further diagnosis will be required to determine
Should you attempt to drive your vehicle home or to a service
It's risky. If the problem came on suddenly, your engine
does not have a lot of miles on it (less than 60,000) and you
noticed no unusual noises (no valvetrain clattering or engine
knocking), there's a good chance that all that's wrong is the
sending unit. But, there's no way to know for sure without actually
checking the engine's oil pressure with a gauge, or replacing
the sending unit to see if a new unit makes the light go out.
If the problem is only the sending unit, your engine still has
oil pressure and you can continue to drive it until the sending
unit can be replaced. But, if you're wrong you risk ruining your
If you think you might have a low oil pressure or oil delivery
problem because of a bad oil pump or one of the other problems
we mentioned, do not drive your vehicle. Doing so only increases
the probability of further engine damage. Have the vehicle towed
to a service facility for repairs.
Aug 22, 2009 |
2000 Volkswagen GTI