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Re: Oil Pressure Always Runs High - 2002 Grand Jeep...
If your oil pressure is running in the red this would indicate too much oil in the system. You should have your oil changed and refilled soon or you run the risk of burning out the oil pump. At idle your pressure should be just over a quarter of what your gauge has. At highway speed it should not exceed 3/4 of the gauge unless your going in excess of 100 MPH. Change the oil and filter and your vehicle should be fine.
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Low oil pressure at idle can be caused by an engine with worn rod or main bearings due to (usually) high mileage . This however does not mean the engine is still not serviceable as long as the oil pressure is low only at idle. The pressure should at minimum get into the normal range at anything above idle speed.Not much oil pressure is really necessary at LOW speed. At low speed, as long as there is oil getting to the bearings, even at low pressure, you are OK. In a high mileage engine the oil pressure is often low at idle simply because the oil pump is turning slowly and cannot maintain higher pressure between the larger than normal crankshaft and bearing clearances. As speed increases the pump turns faster and supplies more oil and the pressure should go higher. Low pressure as long as it is only at idle is not a problem. However at higher speeds the pressure should be in the normal range. Such a worn engine can benefit from higher viscosity (thicker) oil such as 20W-50 in above freezing weather and 10W-40 in winter. That will increase idle pressure and the thicker oil film maintains a better film between the worn parts
The oil pressure will not always stay steady.When the oil gets hot it will read lower and higher with the RPM's.Pressures will read higher when you first start the engine then drop the hotter it gets.If it has not always been this way you may have a oil pressure sending unit going bad.
if the gauge starts a 0 - goes to 1/2 , than full - sounds like gauge is OK - seems to me like the sending unit is bad - you could try removing the sender and trying to clean out the port with "brake clean", letting it dry than re-installing it. the pressure switch is still the least expensive place to start
I think you have a bad ground on your engine gages...but, more importantly, have your oil pressure checked by a mechanic. If it is indeed only 20 pounds the engine is sadly on it's last legs.
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If the weather in your area is colder than normal, your startup oil pressure will reflect this, essentially because it is much thicker when very cold. This high reading should drop to "normal" once it reaches operating temperature. This condition can also be caused by a sticking pressure relief in the oil pump, usually caused by sludge inside the engine. If you regularly maintain your vehicle and use good quality oil, this should not happen. The oil pressure sending unit is also suspect, but in your case, I would not put it at the front of the list. If oil is close to "change time" consider using a good synthetic oil (synthetics flow better at extreme temps) or using a 5W anything oil during winter months. (see manufacturers specs)