We have a 1999 honda civic that recieved an inspection and maintenance in Nov. 08(including an oil change)Since then the oil pressure light has occasionally lit. When the car starts the light seems to stay on longer than usual but then goes off. When driving it will come on for a few seconds then off. The car is only driven occasionally. The manual indicates this is a serious issue but I have also been told it could be the connection to the light. How do you tell the difference. Admittedly I don’t have a long trusting relationship with the mechanics we went to so I’m seeking information before returning for their advice. Lastly, this car had the “hairy tail pipe” experience last summer so we also have a new exhaust pipe, and muffler
First, check the oil level. If it is good, then you need to get the oil pressure checked.
The oil pressure light is connected to a pressure switch screwed into the engine block. The switch is typically set to turn on the light if oil pressure drops to 8 psi or less. The way I always tell it, 'If the light comes on, the damage is done." Oil pressure this low usually means oil starvation in the cylinder head, which is killer on overhead cam engines.
However, sensors do go bad. The best test is to use a mechanical gauge, and check the running pressure that way. If the pressure is good, replace the switch. If the pressure gauge indicates a problem, find out what the problem is. Since this happened right after the oil change, maybe a new filter will fix it. If you have your mechanic do it, just get another oil change.
Are you sure the engine has enough oil in it? You haven’t stated that you checked?
Do that first, then have someone check the oil pressure. If you’re lucky you just have a bad pressure sender, but you don’t want to be driving the car if the pressure really is low.
Did the manual also tell you how to check the oil level?
Well, what are you waiting for?
Oil level is primary concern, then what weight of oil and type was installed, you could have a defective seal on filter or filter failing. I had a dealer change oil once on my Toyota Avalon that had a 7qt system, but they only put in the normal 5 quarts. I always check level after change and didn’t see oil on the dipstick. Service manager tried to tell me the oil was “so clean” I just couldn’t see it. I guess I really look dumb. I told them to put more oil in until it showed on dipstick. after 2.5 more quarts it was fine. Their fast service oil change artist forgot to change the delivery amount for this car…they do make mistakes.
Also check for too much oil. The correct about is between the two marks on the dip stick, anything MORE or LESS can cause low oil pressure. Yes too much can cause low oil pressure.