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Oil pressure gauge reading low

I have a 1995 dodge grand caravan. suddenly the oil pressure gauge started reading low, very low. There is oil in it. It have 137K miles and a small oil leak from bottom near oil pan. What would cause this and how can I fix this without going to a repair shop?

You could have a failed oil pump. The oil pump is similar to your heart, if it stops, your system is still full of blood; it’s just not circulating!

You can’t fix this without going to a good repair shop. If the oil pressure gauge totally read 0, I would speculate you had a bad gauge.

Please drive no further and have this properly diagnosed and fixed, before you have a major expensive engine failure.

Possible causes:

  1. Bad oil pressure sender - Have the actual oil pressure tested.
  2. Major internal engine fault(s).
  3. Oil pump failure.
  4. Bypass valve in oil filter stuck open. (Probably not this if it is “very low.”)
  5. Wrong or contaminated oil.
  6. Bad head gasket.

I would suspect the guage to be the problem since it is so sudden. If the engine isn’t ticking like crazy, its got oil pressure. I wouldnt worry about the minor leak, think of it as undercarriage rust protection.

It should be checked out by a mechanic ASAP. If it just a bad guage or sending unit then the motor is OK and the fix is easy. But it could be really low oil pressure and then you can cause real damage continuing to run the motor.

The guage is there for a reason. Pay attention to it and get this checked out NOW.