2003 Honda Accord oil light woes

2003 Accord with 161K+ miles on it.
notice several months back that the oil light would blink about 1 to 5 minutes into driving. I would turn the engine off, sit for 10 or 15 seconds, and start it back up and never see the light again the entire day.

this would happen once a week or so, until I would get the oil changed, then I wouldn’t see it again for 2000 or 3000 more miles.

Had Honda check it out, they found nothing wrong.

Lately it happens more often, always first thing when driving, 1 to 5 minutes from starting.

Today I noticed something that makes me think it is a bad sensor;
I have to make a U turn today and I took it quite fast. As I was in mid turn I noticed the oil light KIND of flashing/blinking/trying to come on… like a light does if you hold the switch around the middle, flickered dimly. After I completed the U turn the light did not stay on.

So what do you folks think?
Thanks in advance!

I think that you should leave it overnight with a trusted, local mechanic. I think that in the morning the mechanic should put an actual oil pressure gauge on it, start the car and monitor the oil pressure. Then the car should be driven, with the gauge visible, until it gets up to full operating temperature for a while.

If no anomalies are noted in the actual oil pressure then the wiring to the pressure sending unit should be inspected and tested, and if that checks out then I’d probably replace that pressure sensor.

You state you change the oil and do not see this light flash on for 2 to 3 thousand miles.
Should I ask if you are ever actually checking the oil level in this 2 to 3 thousand miles period or are you relying on sheer luck that the oil will always be at the FULL mark?

The car is aged with 161k miles so some oil consumption could be expected. If it drops a quart or two the light can flash on due to oil slosh.

Thanks OK4450. THats what I am starting to think.
I guess since I bought the car new and am the only owner I am under this impression that it still works and runs like it did the day I bought it (which amazingly, it does… for the most part).
I just got to work but will check the oil level before I get back in the car today to see what the level looks like.
Cigroller: It would be very hard for me to leave it overnight with anyone. I work 45 minutes from home and am new to the area. The only option I might have would be to find a mechanic near my home and leave it on a holiday or hope there is one open on a saturday.
Thanks all!

Look In Your 2003 Honda Accord Owner’s Manual.

Find the part about when and how to check the engine oil. Post that information here and we’ll have a look at it to be sure it’s correct. Sometimes it’s confusing to folks.


I don’t think there’s a need to leave it overnight.
Get a mechanic to measure oil pressure with it warmed up at idle, that’s when a problem will be most obvious.
That test shouldn’t take long.

Manual says every 10,000 miles (sheesh!) but I checked my oil level and it was quick low :-/
Just had it changed at the local dealer, and had my tanny fluid flushed out since I havent done that in quite some time. A little spa treatment for my car :slight_smile:

If your oil was low, and your model still has a distributor, look under the distributor for oil build up. Its a simple fix, replace the distributor O ring if that is it. These just tend to leak on the 4 cylinder engine.

If it is leaking, you need to fix, it should be less than $100 even at the dealer, because it will ruin the heater hose just under it. and when that goes, you could overheat the engine, Hondas don’t like getting too hot. If that hose shows any swelling, get it replaced asap. That will be a little more costly as it is a bear to change.