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Oil Icon comes on and oil tank is full

I hit a pot hole and after that my oil lamp icon has started to go off and on. I had the oil changed and subsequent oil checked twice and the mechanics say it is full. There is no leak that I can tell. Does anyone know what could be the problem?

You need to get the Owner’s Manual out of the glove box and determine exactly what this warning light indicates.

If it is supposed to be an indicator of low oil level in the crankcase (oil tank, to you), and the crankcase is actually full, then there is not too much to worry about.

On the other hand, if this warning light is supposed to indicate low oil pressure, then you might have a significant problem–or maybe not.

Find out exactly what that light is supposed to indicate, and then come back to this same thread (bookmark it so that you can find it again!) and report your findings. And, if that light is an indicator of low oil pressure, don’t go on any joy rides!

Edited to add:
It would be really helpful if you filled in some blanks regarding your mystery Cirrus.
Model year?
Engine type?
Odometer mileage?
Maintenance history?

Most likely this is an oil pressure light, not an oil level light. Doesn’t your manual say anything about this light? If so, tell us what it says.

If it is the oil pressure, you could be damaging your engine each time you drive it. You need a mechanic to attach a gauge to read the pressure and see if the sensor is working correctly or not.

Thanks for the reply. My car is a 1998 Chrysler Cirrus with about 56,000 miles on it. I will look in the manual and see what the icon means. If it is the oil pressure I will have it looked at. I did take to the service station twice, and they couldn’t give me a good answer. I’ll take it back and tell them it is an oil pressure problem.


Hmmm…I think that you may have given us a clue to a possible low oil pressure situation.
Since your 12 year old car has only 56k on the odometer, your car has been driven–on average–less than 5k miles per year, and that is a potential problem.

All too often, people change their oil and do other maintenance on their cars only on the basis of odometer mileage when it is also vitally important to factor elapsed time into your maintenance schedule. I am speculating here, but if most of your driving is limited to local, short-trip errands, that is VERY bad for your engine (as well as some other parts of the car). As a result, car manufacturers consider that type of usage to fall under the category of Severe Service.

If you normally do mostly local, short-trip driving, have you maintained the car in accordance with Chrysler’s Severe Service Maintenance Schedule? I don’t have that schedule for reference, but it most likely specifies changing the oil at least every 6 months, even with limited odometer mileage since the previous oil change.

If the car has not been maintained in accordance with the Severe Service Maintenance Schedule, it is likely that there is a build-up of damaging oil sludge in the crankcase, under the valve covers, and everywhere else that lubricating oil is supposed to penetrate. Over time, this sludge acts like a build-up of cholesterol in your arteries. This sludge impedes the flow of oil and accelerates engine wear–thus leading to reduced oil pressure.

I sincerely hope that I am wrong, but if I am on the right track, I would suggest that you take the car to another mechanic. A mechanic whom you use on a steady basis should help to advise you on required maintenance, and if nobody told you to change your oil more often, that is not a good indication of their competence or interest in their customers.

Please post back with information regarding how your car has been maintained, just so that I know whether my theory has any bearing on your case.

Thanks for the in depth information. I appreciate your reply. Actually, a lot of this mileage has been many trips back and forth to NYC from NJ. Of course, most of the trips around where I live are short. I did call my mechanic and he mentioned something about a switch that needs to be reset from my last oil change. I did not know there is such a thing as severe maintenance schedule. I have not been maintaining the care according to Chrysler maintenance since it is so old, I have just been going to my local service station. I will take your advice and get six month oil changes. It is alarming that this sludge might be the problem. I’ll let you know what happens. I have an appointment next week. Thanks.

The problem started when you hit something. You’ve mentioned no lifter noise that I can see.

Hello everyone who replied to my situation with the Chrysler Cirrus. I did go to my mechanic and he found that the oil pressure switch was leaking. He installed a new switch and and added Lucas oil treatment and a cleaner. So far so good, I haven’t seen the icon again.
Thanks again.