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2001 Toyota Camry oil pressure light

I have a 2001 Toyota Camry with about 164,000 miles on it. After driving the car for about 20 minutes or so, doesn’t matter if it is highway or stop and go traffic, when I come to a stop light or stop sign and the engine drops to idle speed the oil pressure light comes on. It will go off as soon as I start accelerating.

To help other respondents could you give the configuration and size of the engine, example V6 3.5 liter.

The next step is to take this to a mechanic to have the actual oil pressure measured with a calibrated pressure gauge. If you have good karma going for you, the pressure will turn out fine and the oil pressure sensor switch will be bad.

Good luck on this. Keep us apprised of your progress.

So. . obvious question but you didn’t say. . .Have you checked the dipstick to see if you’re low on oil?

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Good advice, but a low oil level wouldn’t normally have this exact symptom. Normally, this is a symptom of a worn out oil pump or worn out engine bearings. Sometimes, it is just a bad oil pressure sender.

The engine is a 4 cylinder 2.4 litre (I think). I check the oil once a week when I get gas. Once I get an oil change the problem will go away for awhile. If I change to a 5w30 oil the problem will be gone for about 1500 miles, if I go with a 10w30 oil the problem will be gone for about 3000 miles. Once place I went to refused to put in 10w30 because they said it would put too much stress on the engine at startup and I just just go to an autoparts store and get an oil treatment to add to the oil and it would do the same thing.

It appears that as the oil shears with age, the light appears. It could still mean the sender is off, but there’s a reasonable cause and effect thing going on there. The place that “refused” just didn’t have any 10w-30. They’re both 30 weights. The only time the 5w is valid (it’s not a weight) is @ -30F. 10w reacts the same at -25F. At any normal ambient they’re close enough to each other. Oil is a very misunderstood thing.

Do you experience any consumption? Any engine noises?

Could be a bad oil pressure sending unit but gambling money says it’s worn crankshaft bearings; at a minimum.

No oil consumption that I have noticed. No engine noises.

That sounds expensive. If I leave it go and keep up with oil changes and constantly monitor the oil level will I do worse damage?

If you really want to go cheap, just have the sensor changed. Even forget the mechanical gauge diagnosis. The labor for that is more than the sensor change out.

If the condition is still present, no matter what the garage/service center says, go to a heavier oil. Even go to a 5w-40 synthetic like Rotella T 5w-40 which is available quite reasonably priced at Wall Mart.

There are practical ends to things here. I personally cannot see this being a serious condition as others are fear factoring here without consumption or other obvious issues. It would be VERY RARE that you would have low oil pressure due to wear without it showing up in the form of noise and/or consumption. Possible, but EXTREMELY unlikely.

5w-30 oil is a 5 weight base oil with viscosity index improvers in it so it doesn’t thin out much as it heats up and at operating temps it is the same viscosity as a straight 30 weight oil with no improvers at that temp.
10w-30 is twice as thick at room temp and needs less improvers to equal a 30 weight when hot.
Viscosity index improvers break down with use which is why the oil light comes on at a lesser mileage with the 5w-30 than the 10w-30. I would just go to 10w-30 and change it at 3000 miles- the light is only a nuisance as long as it goes out as soon as the rpms move. You have a lot of life left in this engine.

Greetings guys. Don’t want to disturb you from your silence but i just need to share my experience on the same issue probably to help others in the future. So for owners who have Toyota repair questions, this one is for all of you. So it happened that I have a 02’ Toyota Camry and i owned this car for long. One day when i was driving home it had a problem. After about 20 mins of the low oil pressure light comes on any time engine rpms is above 1500. The motor had 155k miles, runs fine. What i did was that i checked the oil pressure and found out a problem. The sending oil unit got bad and hence i replaced it. Replaced yet another problem had happened - the oil pressure builds higher rpms and thus i had no choice but to bring it to the repair shop. The mechanic has found out the problem. The oil pan gasket was damaged and was totally worn out. He did some repair and my car is running once again…

Something I think would be good to check is if a fuel injector is leaking fuel pressure off once you shut the engine off. Over time this would thin oil down which could explain symptoms. If this is taking place your oil would have a fuel smell. This is a easy check with a fuel pressure test for loss of pressure once engine is turned off. Good luck.

My best guess your engine is warning you it is getting old, I have seen many put on quite a few miles with the same symptom, but starting to think about an alternate means of transportation is probably the best idea.

Edit just realized like a 2010 post, maybe the driver will let us know the outcome.

@liveright316 responding to a >5 year old post is probably useless to the OP