Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Oil light problem

My oil light has been coming on for a wee while but it only ever does it when I first start the car. And the funny thing is, the light goes off once I rev the engine. Any suggestions on what could be causing this? I have a corsa sxi 08 plate since it’s not letting me select from the drop down menus!

If the engine isn’t making any unusual noises when the oil light is on, try replacing the oil pressure switch.


Is the light red and does it have a picture of Alladin’s Lamp on it?

Yes it’s the red light with the oil lamp symbol

My timing chain sounds a bit rough when first started but I’ve been told by mechanics that I’ve still got a couple of years to go on it. That noise also goes away once revved!

Ok, that means low oil pressure. Check your oil level first. How many miles on this Corsa?

Check the oil level periodically, 78,000 miles

It is indicating occasional low oil pressure. It could either be a bad reading from the oil pressure sender (cheap) or actual low oil pressure. The only way you would know for sure is if a mechanic hooked up an actual pressure gauge as a test. The only time I had that I just replaced the sending unit and all was fine again, but if you really want to know you can spend more money first. If it is actual low oil pressure, that indicates a more serious issue like worn bearings, bad pump, clogged pick up screen etc. If it were me, I’d just replace the sender first to see if that takes care of it. If not, you likely are not going to have major engine work done anyway.

1 Like

Perfect! Thank you so much!!!

Possibly your oil lfilter is lacking an anti-drainback valve. If this is only a cold weather problem,
perhaps you are not using the right oil viscosity. In either case, your car is not getting oil soon enough after startup when it has been sitting a good while. This could make the oil light come on until it is revved up. In other words, I am speculating that your oil light is giving a true message and your engine is oil starved.

So I might need a new oil filter? As I’m using the correct oil

yes, I had that problem on a Chrysler minvan using a Chrysler or Fram filter and I solved it with a Motorcraft Filter, a tip I picked up on a Chrysler minivan forum.

Yes, might. Be sure it has an anti-drainback valve.

Same here. It’s fast and cheap - no need for an appointment and a wait.

If the oil level is ok, the next step is to have a mechanic hook up a temporary mechanical oil pressure gauge up in place of the existing sending unit, to determine what the true oil pressure is. The business of the timing chain making noise until the pressure comes up is a very bad omen.

1 Like

assuming the engine oil level is correct, the next thing you can do for free is this . . .

Unplug the oil pressure switch’s electrical connector with the engine off

If there’s oil inside the connector, replace the switch

And when you say you check the engine oil level periodically . . . can you be a little more specific?

Once a year?

Once a week?

1 Like

I have no idea where I’d find those things haha could get my boyfriend to give it a bash! And I check it every week.

I’m not familiar with your particular car, but the engine oil pressure switch may very well be near the oil filter . . . that is common on 4 cylinder engines, for what it’s worth