1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible

This car has been in my family since new, it rarely is driven, so lately I’ve been driving it for the Summer, at first the oil pressure light was coming on, and the pressure gauge indicated high, but then as the car warmed, settled down and the oil light would go off, I decided to take the car for a oil change today, now the car is indicating LOW oil pressure, yet the car runs like a Porsche and purrs like one too. Could it be the inside gauge being faulty. How does a car drive with low oil pressure? Will there be smoke or loss in power? Thanks guys for your time and for any information. Oh by the way… now on the gauge the car is riding at about 2, before the oil change it was running between 6 and 8, but would settle at about 5 when the car was running. Thanks again.

How many miles on the car? How often has the oil been changed? It is common for these to have one or more of the oil pressure sending units fail, causing false oil pressure readings/warnings. Have a mechanic hook up a pressure gauge to the oil system and see if it is actually low. Another possible problem is a poor electrical ground (from the engine to the body). As for what will happen, you many not notice much before major engine problems.

Thanks… I will check that all out. (145,000 miles) Changed fairly regularly, but also has sat for long periods of time. But had the oil changed today, along with the transmission and brake fluids.) (Valveline Oil Center)

You have checked the oil level I hope.
If the oil light is flashing or the gauge is reading low this means either the sending unit is faulty (no big deal) or there is a major engine wear problem. (a big deal)

My memory is a bit hazy but some VWs of this era used what was called the Dynamic Oil System and they could be prone to oil pressure and temperature gauge problems. I just do not remember for sure if an 82 was one of them.
Does it have the tiny red diode light by the gauge that flashes several times when you first turn the key on? If so, that’s a Dynamic system.

Considering the fuse block history of these cars it’s also possible to have a poor connection for that circuit on the back of the fuse block. A poor connection means high resistance in the circuit and this will artificially force the oil pressure gauge needle down lower than what the real oil pressure actually is.