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'02 Civic Oil Pressure Light


The oil pressure light in my '02 Civic (~96K) has been randomly flickering on, for a second or less, at different speeds, road conditions, length of time in the car, etc. I have taken it to a good reputable shop and to a Honda service shop, and neither of them can pinpoint the problem. The good shop thought it might be a faulty sensor, but Honda shop guy said he’s never replaced a sensor in his career. I’ve been driving ~400 miles per week since August. I had the alternator replaced at the good shop a couple months before the oil light started flickering. The Honda shop just said that the alternator was charging too high, but they didn’t say if that was related to the oil light coming on. The battery was replaced in August, the oil level and pressure are good, and I got the oil changed two weeks ago when the good shop checked out the oil light problem.

Any suggestions for what is causing the oil light to come on??


An oil pressure sensor can go bad, even if a mechanic has never seen it before. But, you might also have a failing oil pump, or a pick up screen semi-blocked with gunk.

I’d have the pan pulled and then you can view and clean the screen if it needs it. That eliminates or confirms one possible without too much labor and parts. You could replace the sensor, not sure where it is located but shouldn’t be too expensive. Hopefully it is one of these 2 possibles and not the oil pump itself.

If the oil pressure has been checked with a calibrated gauge, the sensor must be bad. The advise of the Honda shop guy means nothing. Just because he personally has not ever replaced the sensor doesn’t mean they don’t go bad. I’ve seen them fail and turn a light on, and I’ve seen the fail and leak oil. It is rare, but it does happen.

BTW, the sensor is fairly cheap and easy to replace.

Agreed start simple and cheap, replace the sensor… I bet if you walk into any autoparts store they have it in stock, which BTW they would not if it never ever failed.