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Oil Light Winking

I have a 02 Volkswagen well maintained ,2 days ago i took it for a preventive maintenance, replacing the trimming belt water pump and tensional.took it for test drive and the oil light stated winking , I checked the oil level and was okay but decided to adding a little more before driving home ,and just after 3 mile of driving it started winking again. Please help.

The diagnosis method is checking your oil pressure via a mechanical oil pressure guage. The likely (hopeful) culprit is either a bad high or low pressure sensor or related wires. Don’t put this off as driving around with oil light blinking due to poor oil pressure will ruin an engine in very short order.

Is it just flickering (winking at any time off and on), or does it come on ONLY at idle?

If it’s happening at any time, then it’s wiring. If it happens ONLY at LOW rpm states, then it’s probably the sender/sensor, but the mechanical check method (as was recommended above) is a good course to take.

…but the odds of this happening out of the blue is obscure, in my opinion. This would be a condition to develop over time or after some severe insult.

You need to have the oil pressure checked with a calibrated gauge. It could be something as simple as a bad sending unit or as complex as worn bearings. It’s probably the oil pressure sending unit but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“It’s Like DeD?j? Vu, All Over Aagain !”

It could have been a New Beetle, but I remember a lady a while back had a similar event. These cars had funky wiring / cluster / circuit issues if my memory serves me.

I’d do as Andrew suggests and get the pressure checked right away.

Then do a little homework. Use the “search” feature on this site and you might find something here.


Moidee, Eureka! I Think I found That Discussion.
*That Service And The Winking Light Might Be More Than A Coincidence.

Click this link:

Don’t know if this will help, but consider it after checking your pressure if it checks out O K.

*Also, if it checks O K have somebody search for VW Technical Service Bulletins for you. I can’t open one, but I tried looking at a 2002 VW Jetta TSB for “Instrument Panel Gauges Or Lights Not Working” and there’s something about wiring harness & coolant contamination at instrument cluster, which doesn’t make a lot of sense in that form.

However, coolant was spilled during your H2O pump / timing belt job. I wonder if a harness connector was saturated or something?

TSB is #97-07-03 dated 5/3/07. Maybe some Car Talk regular can look at it for us.


To the other helpful posts, I want to add that I am concerned by the OP’s statement:
“I checked the oil level and was okay but decided to adding a little more before driving home”

Adding more oil than is called for is potentially just as bad for an engine in the long run as running the engine with too little oil. DO NOT add oil unless the dipstick indicates that the oil level is low, and then only enough oil to bring it up to the “full” mark should be added.

Additionally, the “oil light” is an indication of low oil pressure, not a low oil level. The OP needs to spend some time reading the section of the Owner’s Manual on what his/her warning lights and gauges indicate as well as what they do not indicate.

Also, since VW engines are subject to damaging oil sludge, it is possible that the appearance of the winking oil pressure light is just coincidental to the “trimming belt” replacement. It is possible that the engine has achieved critical mass in terms of engine sludge, so this possibility should not be overlooked.

Moidee ! I Found Another Tidbit.

I copied this from a paraphrased VW TSB (April 30, 2001) for 99 - 01 Jettas, but I think a newer version of this same bulletin is what I was looking for and I’ll bet it pertains to 2002 as well.

Coolant leaking from coolant reservoir bottle wiring connector contaminates the wiring harness. Contamination can result in various malfunctions of the instrument cluster.

I think there is a good chance that the repair shop inadvertently spilled some coolant and caused your problem. Maybe they can access the newer bulletin and see for themselves, clean your connections, and fix you up.


VDC Driver, That’s What I Need ! I Could Use A Trimming Belt.

You and me both.
If you know of a belt that will trim about 4 inches off of my waist, please let me know!