Possessed Message

Hello there. I have a 2007 Suzuki XL7 that’s sending me messages whenever the car demons feel the need. From time to time, a message will come up on my console display saying, “TURN OFF ENGINE; OIL PRESSURE LOW.” I shut off the engine and then it stops. Along with the message there is a continuous tone similar to when a door is open. The tone gets loud, then soft, repeat. I find it hard to believe that the oil pressure would equalize after the engine being shut down for about 30 seconds. Could I possible have an electrical problem? I ask this because, as I mentioned before, the tone is loud initially and then soft. When I use the turn signal, the same thing happens. Any suggestion?

When the message appears, that the oil pressure is low, do you check the oil level at the dipstick.

Do you ignore the message.

Or do you shut the engine off…wait a minute…and restart the engine.


Keep in mind that a low oil level is only one possible cause out of many for low oil pressure. Others include bad bearings, a bad oil pump, a constricted oil screen or filter, low oil viscosity due to high heat or thinned out oil.

This sounds to me like you’re letting the oil run low. The warning comes on when the level gets low to the point where the pump is having trouble getting oil to pump. Then, when you shut the engine off, the oil in the engine’s block & head runs down back into the pan and the level gets just high enough that when you start the engine the pump is able to reach the pool.

The way your lubrication system works is that your oil pan contains a pool of oil. The pump draws the oil up through a tube analogous to a straw in a drinking glass and pumps it through the engine’s lubrication channels under pressure. After it does its job, it runs back into the pan where the process starts over. If the oil gets low, the pump’s “straw” has no oil to draw, and it loses pressure.

You need to learn to routinely check your oil level on the dipstick and keep it above the “fill” mark.

One common reason that it gets too low between changes (“burns” too much oil) is normal wear. And, as it bets older and burns more oil, the level drops more rapidly. On a 2007 Suzuki with the “normal” 12,000 miles per year on it, you could easily be using a quart every 1200 miles. Do you know how much oil you’re using?

If the oil pressure truly is low, for whatever reason, you’re killing your engine by doing this repeatedly. If this were my car, it would have been on a flatbed to the shop immediately after the first occurrence, when I would have stopped the engine immediately (if safe to do so).

If your oil level is correct, then the next step is for a mechanic to attach a gauge and measure the actual pressure to see if your pressure sensor is accurate or broken.

Is your oil at the right level or not?

Seconding @lion9car … assuming the vehicle is otherwise ok, the oil is changed according to the owner’s manual specified interval, and the oil used is a major brand and meets the spec’s stated in the owners manual, especially the viscosity rating. If so, first check the dipstick. If the oil is clean and the level is ok, ask a shop to check the calibration of the oil pressure sensor. Those sensors often have rubber diaphragms that can develop a leak and not register the oil pressure correctly. A failed oil pressure sensor isn’t that uncommon a thing.

Multiple electrical & indicator problems = poor ground connection.