Nissen Quest Oil light on

After we had driven in our 95 Nissan Quest (105K) about one hour into Pennsylvania from Ohio, the oil light came on along with a noise. I checked the oil and it was full, so I restarted the car and oil light went off. I got it checked at a Nissan dealer service station and they suggested that I change the oil since a change was long overdue. I got the oil change and the next day, I had been on the road for 20 minutes and was climbing up a hill, when the oil light came on again. I went back to the station and they checked the oil pressure and they said it was all right. However, for safety sake, I cancelled the trip and drove back to Ohio. The light has not come on again since I drove out of Pennsylvania. Is there anything I need to watch out for? I turned off the overdrive when I was driven in Penn. I kept the overdrive on when I had to return to Ohio. Was the overdrive related to the problem? I will probably need to drive to the mountain area again soon. Please advise me and thank you very much.

Sorry about your trip. There is a well-known problem with Nissan Quest oil lights in the hills of western PA. You start climbing those hills and BAM, the light comes on! KIDDING, just kidding.

Have your mechanic or local Nissan dealer measure the oil pressure again. Assuming it’s OK, perhaps the oil pressure sender on your Quest is faulty, and needs to be replaced. This is not an expensive part. I’m surprised the Dealer you consulted in PA didn’t replace the sender.

It could just be the oil pressure switch ( $10 ). Or, it could be that the oil isn’t getting picked up by the oil pump pickup in the oil pan because the oil level is too low in the oil pan. The engine may have the correct amount of oil in the engine; but, if the oil isn’t draining back to the oil pan quickly enough, the oil level could be low in the oil pan. Motor oil that is too thick (“weight”, or has high amounts of suspended solids) could puddle under the valve covers, and not drain down quickly enough. The oil pressure switch may be ok. May not. Make sure you change the oil, and filter, at the recommended intervals, use the correct “weight” (10W 20 or 10W 30).

When you say the oil light came on “along with a noise”, I’m curious to know, what kind of noise? Also, I’d like to add that I hope they checked the oil pressure when the engine was HOT. Oil pressure in a worn engine can vary drastically depending on how warm the engine is. When an engine is started cold, the oil is thick and the engine parts are cold, changing tolerances. When everything warms up, engine parts expand, and the oil thins out somewhat. I’ve seen engines have normal oil pressure at startup and drop to near zero once warmed up. It also may be because of the design, that the oil pickup was cavitating (sucking air) when your vehicle was at an angle, climbing the hill. Or the pickup screen may be partially clogged or intermittently picking up debris in the oil pan. Hopefully it’s just a sensor problem.