Question about 1999 Volkswagen Golf

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My 1999 VW Polo oil pressure warning light and buzzer comes on regularly after driving for approx 8 miles - oil level & pressure both appear to be ok and water level too. Both sensors replaced and new thermostat but to no avail. Local garage unable to rectify believing an electrical fault to be the problem and suggest I simply ignore or fork out for an expensive diagnostic check by a VW agent. Is this a common problem and if so is there a cheaper solution please?

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The oil pump is relatively easy to change with the engine in situ if it is (commonly) at fault,
Get an oil pressure gauge with a pipe and brass fitting ready on, (borrow or buy cheap from boy racer shop), unscrew the sensor (or ask the garage to for a £5) and plug it directly into the sensor hole after you've been for a run.. When warm, mine sits about 40 at motorway speeds, ten at tickover.

Posted on Jan 04, 2010

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1987 Volkswagen Transporter campervan,petrol driven Oil pressure warning light and warning buzzer comes on after driving approx 17 miles even though temperature guage is in normal range;people reckon...


First make certain you have sufficient oil.
Then check coolant level.
If both are OK, you may have a goofy sensor. The one in the expansion tank is particularly prone to cracking and giving weird readings.

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My car is Volkswagen polo 2001 1.4 automat. After driving 8-10 miles at a low speed(30-40 mile/h) oil pressure warning appear at the dash board. When I push the accelerator the oil pressure warning...


Do not assume that the low oil pressure warning is a false one or that you only have a faulty oil pressure sensor. Your engine may in fact be running with low oil pressure once the oil heats up and thins out. 8-10 miles of running is enough to get the oil hot. It is significant that you only get the low oil pressure warning once the engine oil is warmed up.

If the oil pressure in the engine is low, engine lubrication will be impaired and the engine can be badly damaged so you need to run an engine oil pressure check.

1. How long has it been since you have changed the oil in the engine? If it has not been changed in the past 6 months then change it and change the oil filter at the same time. You must only use the oil specified by VW for that particular engine.

2. When new oil is heated it thins. If it is old and contaminated it will be even thinner when warm. You will get less oil pressure when the oil is thin and hot and more oil pressure when it is thick and cold. Fresh new oil is a little thicker as it has not been diluted with petrol and other contaminants.
Oil pressure also varies with engine speed (RPM). At idle or low engine RPM the oil pressure is lower.

3. OIL PRESSURE CHECK
After the oil is changed the car needs to be run to check if the oil pressure warning still appears. (I suspect that it probably will). If it does appear then an independent oil pressure gauge needs to be connected up to the lubrication system in the car to check the engine oil pressure. This is best done when the engine oil is hot because this is when you are getting the low pressure warning. Any competent mechanic will be able to do this. ( The useless ones will not). The oil pressure can then be properly checked on the gauge at various engine RPM. If there is a low oil pressure reading from the gauge then there could be a problem with the oil pump, the oil pick up or the oil pressure relief valve in the engine.

4. You mentioned that you see the oil pressure warning disappears once you accelerate. I suggest this is only occurring because with an increase in engine speed (higher RPM) the oil pump speed is increasing and the low oil pressure problem is being overcome temporarily. However as soon as the engine RPM drops the oil warning will appear again which means the engine is running with below minimum oil pressure at that RPM.

Even when you get no warning, the oil pressure in the engine could still be running significantly below the optimum level.


5. It is possible that the oil pressure is fine and that the problem is an electrical gremlin as these cars suffer from a variety of electrical faults. However from what you have described I think there is a problem with low oil pressure in the engine and until it is properly checked it is unwise to assume that you are just getting false oil pressure warnings.

I hope this helps.

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1 Answer

My 2001 VW Polo oil pressure warning light comes on regularly after driving for approx 8 miles - oil level & pressure both appear to be ok and water level too. Oil sensors replaced but to no avail....


Have you checked your thermostat. Some cars do not have gauges for all componants of the car located on the dash board. A bad thermostat could drive the oil pressure gauge up, if there is not a coolant level gauge on the dash board.

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Measure your oil at normal operating temp, without the engine running of course. This will give you a more accurate reading once the oil has circulated in the system.

The system works like this:
  • With the ignition on, the oil pressure indicator light on the dash should come on and flash. Once the engine is started, the light should go out and stay out as long as the engine is running.
  • If the oil pressure drops below approximately 0.3 bar or 5 psi when the engine is running below 2000 rpm, the light will flash.
  • If the oil pressure drops below approximately 1.8 bar or 27 psi when the engine is running above 2000 rpm for more than 3 seconds, the indicator light will flash and the buzzer will sound.
If either this two warnings occur:
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The oil pressure light and alarm keeps going off on my 2000 vw polo. it is only when the engin is warm after approx 10 miles. sump and strainer have been cleaned and also new sensor been fitted and oil...


Incorrect level. Check level at operating temps and while the engine is running. By sump and stainer you meant that you removed the oil pan off the car and cleaned the pickup tube of the oil pump? I'd suggest hooking up an oil pressure gauge so you'll know which part of the engine is starving oil and setting the warning.

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Get someone to check oil pressure with a mechanical gauge, to verify whether you have oil pressure or not. These engine/vehicles, have 2 warning sensors & a control module in the instrument panel. Once you know you have pressure for sure, then you can proceed from there.

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your oil pressure switch is a great place to start. since the oil was really thick you could have a horrible oil sludge problem. about 50-100 miles before your next oil change take a bottle of Transmission Fluid and dump in with your oil. and Drive for the remaning 50-100 miles with the Trany fluid still in the oil. The Transmission Fluid is a great Cleaner for sludge.
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Gauges say no pressure in engine 1995 vw golf


There are two pressure switches. One for oil pressure and one for a dirty oil filter. Are you sure you've changed the right switch. If car drives for 30 mls it doesn't sound like you need an engine. The spluttering is likely to be completely unrelated to the oil warning I suspect.

Cheers John

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this would not be in effect of any oil leaking i would say your oil sensor has gone and would need to be checked out by a auto electrician. i hope this helps .

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