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Oil Pressure Warning Light

I was getting on US-101 and coming up to speed when the Oil Pressure Warning Light came on and suddenly the engine stalled out. I was able to pull over and then was unable to get the car started again. The car is a 1982 Volvo 242DL, and I hadn’t seen any issues with the oil pressure light coming on as I’d driven down the freeway and stopped at a shopping center before getting back on the freeway, and saw no panel lights coming on until I tried getting up to speed. I checked the oil (which was changed a few weeks ago), and it’s clean and plenty is showing. What could be the issue? When I try to start the car now, it doesn’t fire.

Sorry to hear your trouble, the oil light is disturbing followed by a no start for you, I think you need a person to analyze the problem but my guess is a major component, such as the fuel pump has failed.

Yes, plenty shows on the dipstick.

Maybe the oil light was a symptom rather than the cause of the engine dying.
When you say that you try to start the car it doesn’t fire does this mean the engine is being physically cranked over by the starter motor but it simply won’t start?

With full oil capacity and an engine that cranks over then you need to determine what’s missing; spark or fuel.
You could try spraying some carb cleaner into the intake to see if the engine will start and run for a few seconds. If it does then it’s likely (nothing is ever guaranteed) to be a fuel related problem and a wild guess on my part would say a fuel pump issue. Those Bosch pumps are really high winding units that take a heavy beating and if it’s never been replaced it’s a miracle.

Yep, it seems to be turning over, but there’s no sound of the fuel firing. The battery seems fine, and all of the spark connections were tight. We replaced the fuel pump about five years ago, and the fuel level seemed to be at about a half a tank. The auxiliary fuel pump (located, of all places, in the fuel tank) has been on the fritz for about 8 years and our mechanic (who we trusted implicitly, god rest his soul) told us that replacing it cost way more than it’s worth to do.

Remove the distributor cap and have someone crank the engine while you watch the rotor (inside the distributor) and see if it turns. What engine is in this car? 4 cylinder? Straight 6? V6? How many miles?

Sounds like that’s worth a look. It’s a 4 cylinder with about 217K miles.

I’ll also need to check the cap for burning or scoring and replace it if it seems extreme.