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Oil Light

MY oil light flickers on and off when the engine is warm. Sometimes it comes on when the car is idling and sometimes when it’s between 2500 and 3000 RPMs. I took it in and they replaces the oil pressure switch and that didn’t fix the problem. Then the guy told me that the rod bearings needed to be replaced. $700 later and the light still comes on. Any suggestions on what it might be?

What kind of car, make model, year, engine option, and mileage? None of us are mind readers, and every car is different. Do not go back to this mechanic every again. They were just guessing at the cause, and replaced the rod bearings, but never checked the mains? Did they ever put a mechanical gauge on the car? I smell something bad here.

I’m guessing you have a low oil pressure problem due to wear. The only real fix is a rebuild. However, it may not be economically feasible, depending on the make, model, year, engine option,and mileage.

$700 to fix rod bearings and oil pressure sensor is too cheap on ANY car except maybe the original 60’s bug.

The oil light can be caused by a loose connection to the oil pressure switch. I hope this wasn’t the problem, if it was you got hosed.

I assume there is sufficient oil in the crankcase as well.

Assuming that there is actually a low oil pressure situation, I would just head for a rebuilt engine. You don’t give engine milage or anything so I’m shooting in the dark, but this is a symptom of a lot of wear.

Sometimes you can “band-aid” the engine for a while by using thicker oil (i.e. 20W50) but this is just slowing the engine’s demise.

Sorry. I forgot to say that it’s a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer with 126K miles. After the guy replaced the rod bearings, he said it must be the oil pump going out and that would cost another $700. Honestly, I just lost my job and can’t afford another $700, especially if that’s not the problem. Is there any way to test an oil pump instead of just replacing it?

You need a mechanic that will check the oil pressure with a gage over the operating range of the engine to start with.

I’ve got to agree something stinks with the process here. Not checking oil pressure with a gauge before giving a bad rod bearing diagnosis is stupid.
Failure to change main bearings along with the rod bearings is also stupid.

The 700 dollar price also sounds way high to me for replacing bearings, even if the mains were replaced also.

Just offhand, sure sounds like a case of throwing mud at the wall and seeing if some of it sticks.

Have a reliable mechanic check the oil pressure with a mechanical gage…If there is a problem, start shopping for a used Toyota…

I remember the labor my first VW shop charged for a complete (cut the valve seats included) overhaul $200.00,thats in the days when mechanics and shop split labor 50/50, after I had one done I had my rent for the month.

Oil light after 126k? I don’t think it was rod bearings to start with, however if car was lacking maintenance (oil changes) and have been abbused there is possibility. Check oil pressure sensor and related wiring, maybe loose connection. Bearing failure would be with steady light, not with on/off. On top of that 700$ for rod bearings is sound too little, it would require engine removal, crankshaft removal. Best advice look for a better mechanic.

I’ve replaced rod bearings without removing the engine from the car or dropping the crankshaft. Of course you can’t check the crank journals that way.

Why not? I’ve done it. One bearing cap at a time to plastigauge it, and if you need to replace it, you can slide the bearing out from the block side around, since the indent to hold it in position is only on one side.