Question about Chevrolet Cavalier

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1999 Chevy Cavalier w/ head job done 400 miles ago. Shortly after work done, the oil light would come on very occasionally, then whenever at idle, now any/every time I let off the throttle for even an instant. Oil level is fine. What are some issues that would cause this loss of pressure & where could I begin my troubleshooting?

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  • Chevrolet Master
  • 8,841 Answers

Hi, first check to make sure the pressure switch is not leaking. This is a clue that the switch is bad. If it isn't leaking, you might want to change it anyway just to make sure you aren't getting a false indication. The cause of low oil pressure is either a bad pump or worn bearings that open the passages too much, but it is difficult to determine which is the cause. Obviously replacing the pump is easier than rebuilding the engine, so that would be the next thing to do. If you remove the oil pan, you can check bearing clearances. Grab the connecting rods-especially the ones nearest the pump, and try to move them against the crankshaft. Also see if the chenkshaft will move at all in its bearings. If there is any play, you know the engine needs rebuilding. If not, replace the pump.


2.2L Engine

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. Drain the crankcase. Raise and support the front of the vehicle.
  3. Unfasten the exhaust shield and disconnect the exhaust pipe at the manifold.
  4. Remove the starter motor and position it out of the way.
  5. Remove the flywheel cover.
  6. On care equipped with automatic transaxle, remove the oil filter and extension.
  7. Unfasten the oil pan bolts and remove the oil pan.
To install:
  1. Prior to oil pan installation, check that the sealing surfaces on the pan, cylinder block and front cover are clean and free of oil. If installing the old pan, be sure that all old RTV hae been removed.
  2. Apply a 1 / 8 in. (3mm) bead of RTV sealant to the oil pan sealing surface. Use a new oil pan rear seal and apply a thin coat of RTV sealant to the ends of the gasket down to the ears and install the pan in place.
  3. Tighten the oil pan retaining bolts to 89 inch lbs. (10 Nm).
  4. On care equipped with an automatic transaxle, replace the oil filter adapter seal and replace the oil filter adapter.
  5. Install the remaining components in the reverse order of removal.

2.3L and 2.4L Engines
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2. Properly drain the engine oil and the cooling system into suitable containers.
  3. Remove the flywheel housing or transaxle converter cover, as applicable.
  4. Remove the right front wheel and tire assembly, then remove the right splash shield.
  5. Remove the serpentine drive belt.
  6. Unfasten the A/C compressor lower retaining bolts.
  7. Remove the transaxle-to-engine brace.
  8. Disconnect the engine mount strut bracket.
  9. Unfasten the radiator outlet pipe bolts, then remove the pipes from the oil pan.
  10. Remove the exhaust manifold brace.
  11. Unfasten the oil pan-to-flywheel cover bolt and nut.
  12. Remove the flywheel cover stud for clearance.
  13. Disconnect the radiator outlet pipe from the lower radiator hose and oil pan.
  14. Detach the oil level sensor connector.
  15. Unfasten the oil pan retaining bolts, then remove the pan and gasket. Inspect the gasket for damage. If it'e O.K. you can reuse it. No sealer is necessary.
To install:
  1. Position the gasket, then install the oil pan. Loosely install the retaining bolts.
  2. Place the spacer in its approximate installed location by allow clearance to tighten the pan bolt directly above the spacer. Tighten the oil pan bolts to the specifications given in the accompanying figure. Position the spacer into its proper position, then install the stud.
  1. Fasten the oil pan-to-transaxle nut.
  2. Attach the oil level sensor connector.
  3. Connect the radiator outlet pipe to the oil pan and fasten with the retaining bolts.
  4. Install the engine mount strut bracket.
  5. Fasten the transaxle-to-engine brace.
  6. Secure the A/C compressor bolts.
  7. Install the serpentine drive belt.
  8. Fasten the right splash shield, then install the wheel and tire assembly.
  9. Install the flywheel housing or transaxle converter cover.
  10. Fill the cooling system and engine crankcase with the correct type of fluids.
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.

Posted on Mar 24, 2011

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Mar 24, 2011


    2.2L Engine

    See Figure 1

    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

    2. As outlined earlier, remove the engine oil pan.

    3. Unfasten the pump to rear bearing cap bolt and remove the pump and extension shaft.

    4. Remove the extension shaft and retainer.

    Fig. Fig. 1: Oil pump mounting-1995 2.2L OHV engine shown

    To install:

    1. Heat the retainer in hot water prior to assembling the extension shaft.

    2. Install the extension to the oil pump, being careful not to crack the retainer.

    3. Fasten pump to rear bearing cap bolt and torque is 26-38 ft. lbs. (35-51 Nm).

    4. Install the oil pan.

    5. Connect the negative battery cable.

    2.3L and 2.4L Engines

    See Figure 2

    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

    2. Remove the oil pan.

    3. Remove the balance shaft chain cover and chain guide (tensioner).

    4. Unfasten the oil pump bolts, then remove the pump cover.

    5. Pull the housing to disconnect the gear from the balance shaft. Remove the oil pump housing assembly from the balance shaft assembly.

    Fig. Fig. 2: On the 2.3L and 2.4L engines, the oil pump mounte to the balance shaft

    To install:

    1. Position the oil pump and cover to the balance shaft housing. Tighten the pump-to-block bolts to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm).

    2. Install the balance shaft chain tensioner. Tighten the bolt to 115 inch lbs. (13 Nm).

    3. Install the balance shaft chain cover. Tighten the bolt to 115 inch lbs. (13 Nm).

    4. Install the oil pan.

    5. Connect the negative battery cable.



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