Quirky oil light coming on



So, here’s the deal.Every time I make a left hand turn onto my street, the little light that looks like an oil can lights up for a few seconds. Probably about 10, then goes off and doesn’t come on again until the next time I turn left onto my street. This doesn’t happen every time I make a left mind you, only onto my road. I’ve checked the oil and it’s fine. So, what do you all think? Gremlins?


I’d immedietly suspect the oil pressure sender. I think the fact that it comes on only when you turn into your home straight is purely coincidental and is probably due to the fact that the engine is hot by that time.

An alternative cause is you have a Twilight zone oil pressure sender that is signalling your cat that your almost home.


It may be a faulty oil pressure sending unit assuming the oil level is checked correctly.
Another possibility could be if you have oil changes performed somewhere and someone inadvertently put the wrong dipstick back in the engine. This could lead to a false reading of the oil being higher than what it actually is.
(Don’t laugh; I’ve seen this a couple of times after catastrophic damage was incurred. Once on an engine and once on a manual transmission.)

You could try overfilling the oil a bit (say 2/3 or a full quart) and see what happens then. This should not harm the engine at all.


why overfill??

why not just ensure that the oil is at the top level on the dipstick?

as far as wrong dipstick, your analogy of questioning the correct dipstick, then advising overfilling the engine dont make sense? if there is a wrong dipstick that is one problem, why would you advise anyone to overfill an engine??? ever???


the advice should be to ensure the correct dipstick is on the engine, and filling the oil to the correct mark.

the next question concerns having to take the car to a mechanic to have the oil pressure sender replaced.

this should be (at a reasonable mechanic) about a $100 dollar repair. 10.00 for a pressure sender, and 90 for labor. if you go to autozone you can buy the sender for your car, and a fairly competent mechanically inclined person could swap it out for cheap. you buy the sender and look on the engine until you see the old one, unplug the wires, reomve the old, install the new, and reclip the plug.


Because how is the OP to know if the dipstick is the wrong one or not since they are not marked with a part no. and it’s unlikely they have another for comparison?

My point is that if the dipstick is the wrong one making sure the oil level is at the FULL mark means nothing. In the case of both the engine and transmission I mentioned (Subarus) the oil level WAS at the FULL mark in both instances.
The transmission turned out to be a real headache before that problem was ever figured out. A dealer in CO had rebuilt the manual trans and had mixed up the dipstick with one from an automatic. The level showed FULL but by the time he hit OK the upper bearings on the mainshaft were roasting and trying to seize due to lack of splash lubrication.
Without going into the entire story, I replaced the bearings, shift forks, etc., put it back together and it promptly roasted those bearings again within a few hundred miles.
At this point I verified the oil level was FULL (it was) and decided something was goofy. After a day or so of pondering this problem, the dipstick thing hit me, I went out on the lot and pulled a stick out of an auto trans.
That stick was about an inch longer but exactly identical in appearance otherwise, so this meant that the FULL mark on the wrong stick was giving an erroneous reading. The trans was not as full as it needed to be, FULL reading or not.

Overfilling an engine by 1 quart to see if the problem goes away is not going to hurt one thing.
Matter of fact, I routinely overfill both the engine and transmissions on all of my cars and have been doing so for almost 40 years with no problem, although I generally don’t go a full quart. Usually 1/2 or 2/3.