Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Oil Light is on

I have a 2004 Grand Caravan 3.8 engine. For the last 2 months the oil light has been coming on when car is first started. If I stop engine and start again the light will be off. I don’t think its actual oil pressure because the car runs fine with light on or off. I’m thinking a bad pressure sensor?

How long does the light stay on after you start the engine?

Bad anti drainback valve??

The oil light is one of the lights on the dash that always does come on when you start the car. In fact - that one should regardless because when you are starting the car the oil pressure starts at zero. Normally it goes straight to normal once the engine starts so the light doesn’t stay on. So what does it mean to say its been coming on?

In any case, you can’t assume anything about the oil pressure. The best idea is to have it checked with an actual gauge. If your idea of how to tell if its ok is to wait for the engine to run oddly - well, then the engine would already be dead at that point.

I seriously doubt if it’s a bad sensor. My guess is that the sensor is telling you that it’s taking a moment for the pressure to build to acceptable level. That can be the result of a bad drainback valve in the oil filter (a tip of the hat to Joe), or simple wear. You neglected to tell us how many miles are on the vehicle, so it’s hard to guess which.

In any event, it isn’t serious. If a vehicle is regularly driven, enough oil remains in the imperfections in the wear surfaces in the cylinders and held between the wear surfaces elsewhere to protect it for a few moments until the pressure comes up. Just be sure you monitor the level and change the oil and filter regularly and you’ll be fine.

Which begs the questions: how often do you change the oil? Do you monitor the level?

I have a 06montecarlo, low oil warning light goes on and off ,but dipstick reads full




You need to stop driving the car immediately

Have a mechanic hook up a mechanical oil pressure gauge

Please post back with the results

Bad censor???

Dgipp, in order to get help you need to start a thread of your own. Otherwise the reply posts get all screwed up and nobody gets good answers.

How do I start thread?


click on “New Discussion”

Sorry for the late response! The van has 120k. I always change the oil regularly. I have changed the oil filter and have the same outcome. The oil light will stays on when first starting the engine and will stay on no matter how long I drive until I shut down the engine and restart. After restarting the oil light will be off, and all is fine until starting cold the next day.

+1 to mountainbike’s recommendation.
I can’t figure out why people try to tag onto threads created by other people, about vehicles of a different make. Only by creating a new thread will the OP get answers with as much value as possible.

And, the OP should be aware that, while the moderators of this forum do occasionally censor comments, they are NOT bad censors.


What happens if you start the engine, turn it off immediately, and restart it? Will the oil light stay off then? Or does the engine have to warm up first before you can make the oil light go out by restarting?

i think you might be on the rite path bad sensor or it could be a wiring problem or a bad oil filter

With this revised description of the symptoms, I’m going with the sensing system. I don’t have access to the schematic, but I suspect there’s a relay through whose contacts the circuit for the light travels. I’m guessing the relay has a flakey contact. Anybody here got a schematic?