2002 Toyota Sequoia: My oil pressure gauge is fluctuating between the 3/4 mark and the 1/4 mark. Unusual for my car. I have changed the oil and oil filter. Seems to do slightly better once the engine warms up. Can you help?
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Re: fluctuation on the oil pressure gauge reading
The oil pressure sending unit is a sensor with an internal diaphragm, if the internal diaphragm is damaged , or the line to the diaphragm is blocked you can get this kind of fluctuation on the oil pressure gauge.
The oil pressure value must be read by installing a mechanical gauge near to the oil pressure switch and checking the pressure.
If pressure is ok, replace the sending unit. If there is a real pressure drop, check the oil pump.
If you still get fluctualtion after replacing the oil pressure sending unit, replace the oil pressure gauge.
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That is a good sign, it is working, my oil pressure fluctuates like a tachometer, at idle it is low, like 20 lbs, then when I 'm cruising, 35lbs, but it goes up and down when you pump the gas. The pressure gauge is reading the oil pressure at the top of the engine, it will show 45 lbs with only 1 qt of oil in there, it is not an oil level gauge. You might have an oil light buried on the dash somewhere that will light up if the oil gets too low. ,, Now about that coolant leak, it should have nothing to do with the oil pressure. Is it a hose? Radiator? Joint at the top of the engine? Where is it leaking, and what is it doing? Does it over heat? Or did it overheat? Is there oil floating at the top of the radiator? Does it blow steam out the exhaust? Does it have coolant or just water? Check it out. hope this helps.
You need to put a mechanical gauge on it to read actual oil pressure, sometimes the sensor is wrong, have seen the gauge be off (even on newer than yours). The first thing anyone would do is the mechanical pressure test with a screw in oil pressure gauge. That would be my advise.
Assuming you have made sure your oil level is full, I would replace the oil pressure sending unit. The sending unit is located right next to the oil filter on the lower left side of the engine. If I recall it's right on the filter attachment housing. You'll see the sending wire attached to it.
That is the fastest, cheapest and most likely solution.