What might cause the oil light on my 1992 Eagle Summit Wagon (284,000 miles on the original engine) to come on? I had driven about a mile from a cold start and it flickered then came on full. I stopped and checked the oil…the sump was full. I took the car home and started it again this morning. Again, after about a mile the light came on. When the light is on, I experience no shudder or roughness from the engine, no smoke or smells… What should I check? Is it safe to drive to a repair shop?
It could be two thing, mechanical failure or electrical. Pray for electrical which is simply an oil pressure sensor. Basically a mechanic puts a mechanical guage on the engine and reads the pressue. If fine then the sensor is bad. Otherwise your vehicle repairs are going to exceed its value by far.
Good luck, cross fingers for electrical problem.
Personally at that age/mileage I would drive if not far to the garage ASAP before doing other driving.
I might guess you have a drop on oil pressure since you say the engine has plenty of oil. Don’t drive it any more. Have it towed to a shop. Driving it in this condition could cost you an engine.
The light means there is low oil PRESSURE in the engine. This may be true even though there is plenty of oil. If you’re lucky it’s just a bad pressure sender. If the engine really does have low pressure, it means it’s nearly worn out, and at 284K miles that’s certainly possible.
I suggest not driving it until you can have the oil pressure tested by a mechanic. Cross your fingers and hope the pressure is OK and a new sender makes the light stay off.
Bad oil pump?
As mentioned by others, you COULD have an Electrical problem. Years ago my wife’s car had the oil light come on on the highway. She immediately stopped the car, called me and I found lots of oil in the crankcase. We took it in for service and sure enough, the oil light had shorted out and stayed on. There was lots of oil pressure. Cheap fix.
Please have both oil pump and electrical components checked. At that mileage, it could be BOTH!!
I had driven about a mile from a cold start and it flickered then came on full… I took the car home and started it again this morning. Again, after about a mile the light came on.
That does sound like a worn oil pump or other worn parts, but it still could be the sensor. Good Luck and don’t put this one off. That could be costly.