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Three New Oil Sending Units in Nine Months

 
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Old 16 Sep 2010, 11:14 pm
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Default Three New Oil Sending Units in Nine Months

2004 PT Cruiser Touring: For the past year, the oil light has been coming on the first time I start the car each day. I read in another forum that if you turn the car off, and restart it immediately the light will stay off. I found this to be true. I got tired of looking at the light, so took it to my mechanic. I found no leaks in my driveway and the car does not burn oil. At my oil changes (10W30) about every 3500-4000 miles, the oil level might be down a little but not dangerously so. Mechanic said it was the oil sending unit, replaced it. One month later he replaced it again because the oil light was back on. I took it to another mechanic one month after the second installation, (because the oil light was on again) and he said, "Don't worry about it. I'd drive this car thousands of miles without worrying about the light." I'm getting ready to take a road trip in this car through some pretty isolated places, so I took it to a third mechanic, who replaced the oil sending unit AGAIN (he said there was a serious leak. He could see oil when he put it up on the rack). I drove it home from his shop today, pulled in my driveway and the oil light came back on! Help! Three oil sending units in less than a year, and the light is still on! What now? Is it the computer? Is it a clogged line? Is it the oil pump? I'm out of ideas. Help!

Last edited by WolfCreekGal60; 16 Sep 2010 at 11:20 pm. Reason: My descriptions were vague; I wished to clarify them.
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Old 17 Sep 2010, 06:55 am
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Default Re: Three New Oil Sending Units in Nine Months

Seems to me that your problem is not the sending unit. Perhaps a clogged pick up, or the oil pump itself is wearing out. The oil light tells you that oil pressure is inadequate, not that your oil level is low.

I would start with an engine flush (some kerosene-type fluid that you add to the crankcase, then let the engine idle for 5 minutes before doing an oil & filter change). This will clean out the small oil passages in your engine and dissolve any sludge and gunk that is accumulated in the bottom of your oil pan. If the light still comes on after that, I would replace the oil pump.

And don't EVER use oil additives of any kind (i.e. Restore, DuraLube, etc)- they're all snake oil.
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Old 17 Sep 2010, 08:58 am
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Default Re: Three New Oil Sending Units in Nine Months

Maybe it's a short circuit or a faulty computer? I don't know how the sender works so i may be way off.

Haynes Manual says you can hook up a pressure gauge to the same hole as sender unit.

readings should be close to numbers below

at curb idle: 4 psi (27.5 kPa) minimum
3000 rpm 25 to 80 psi (172 to 552kPa)

good luck!

Last edited by calcuaz; 17 Sep 2010 at 09:08 am.
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Old 20 Sep 2010, 02:54 am
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Default Re: Three New Oil Sending Units in Nine Months

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danno View Post
Seems to me that your problem is not the sending unit. Perhaps a clogged pick up, or the oil pump itself is wearing out. The oil light tells you that oil pressure is inadequate, not that your oil level is low.

I would start with an engine flush (some kerosene-type fluid that you add to the crankcase, then let the engine idle for 5 minutes before doing an oil & filter change). This will clean out the small oil passages in your engine and dissolve any sludge and gunk that is accumulated in the bottom of your oil pan. If the light still comes on after that, I would replace the oil pump.

And don't EVER use oil additives of any kind (i.e. Restore, DuraLube, etc)- they're all snake oil.
Ok, first off, the oil light can alert you to a low oil level. Low level=low pressure.

Secondly, NEVER flush the engine on a higher mileage car. This can cause sludge chunks to become dislodged and clog oil passages. I've see this first hand lead directly to engine failure due to clogged passeges and starving the engine of oil. All from one attempt to "flush" the junk out.

The oil light is an indicator that your pressure is low. It does not mean the sender is bad and it does not mean the pump is bad. They need to be testing the oil system to find out why the pressure is low. It's either the sender and they've been using aftermarket parts that really aren't compatible with the car or the PCM is bad and will need to be replaced.

Or as said above it could be related to the oil pump.

If you want to clean out your engine, just use a good quality oil that has detergents in it to clean out oil passages rather than using a "flush" method.
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Old 29 Sep 2010, 03:44 am
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Default Re: Three New Oil Sending Units in Nine Months

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danno View Post
And don't EVER use oil additives of any kind (i.e. Restore, DuraLube, etc)- they're all snake oil.
Just wanted to chime in-- there's absolutely nothing wrong with name-brand oil additives. There have been thousands of people who have reported legitimate cases of blow-by, stuck lifters, etc. that were remedied or at least alleviated through the use of quality oil additives. Don't knock something without justifiable evidence against it.
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Old 10 Oct 2010, 03:05 pm
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Default Re: Three New Oil Sending Units in Nine Months

My 03 GT is doing the same thing. Three sending units in 3 months. The dealer put a mechanical oil gauge, and said the pressure is normal. The last time, they said they fixed a wiring issue. Going in Monday for the 5th time.
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