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#3411549 - 07/01/14 10:18 AM Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead?
rc84 Offline


Registered: 06/30/14
Posts: 3
Loc: France
Hi,

The oil warning (pressure warning) light flickered when coming to a stop and with engine idling after a period of highway driving. Oil was only 5k km old and is the correct spec fully synthetic (5w-30 and matching all the manufacturers requirements) etc. Level is OK.

So checked the pressures using a plug-in gauge:
cold
@idle 1.75 bar = 25 psi
@2000 3.25 bar = 47 psi

hot
@idle 0.25 bar = 4 psi
@2000 1.5 bar = 22 psi

Replaced oil and filters and re-measured, so cold is while the engine is still warm but with fresh oil in

warm
@idle 1 bar = 15 psi
@2000 2.2 bar = 32 psi

hot
@idle 0.5 bar = 7 psi
@2000 0.75 bar = 25 psi

Tested the next day, so engine really cold again
cold
@idle 1.75 bar = 25 psi
@2000 4 bar = 58 psi

So, need some advice now on interpreting these numbers. When cold the figures are all within engine specifications. Hot, they are too low.

There is no undue noise from the engine, except for the top-end tappets when idling, which I would expect with such low pressures, so I am hopeful that it is not bottom-end problems.

The oil pickup was replaced ~40k kms before and I assume that because the pressure is OK when cold then this is not causing the problem.

Does this imply that the engine is dead (main bearings worn) or that perhaps the oil pump is worn, or better still there is just a sticking pressure relief valve somewhere?

Any advice what to check / do next? Oil pump is a pig to get at behind cambelt etc, so not a quick job to pull off and check.

Many thanks

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#3411561 - 07/01/14 10:30 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
GutsyGecko Offline


Registered: 08/16/12
Posts: 420
Loc: Youngstown, OH
Sounds like one of the two things you mentioned or more than likely a combination. What engine and mileage? Perhaps go to a 40wt oil and see if you get adequate pressure until you have another problem that leads you to removing things that will make it easier to take a look.

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#3411562 - 07/01/14 10:30 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
vintageant Offline


Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 200
Loc: Florida, USA
Need to know year, make, model and # of kms on engine before giving any opinions.
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#3411595 - 07/01/14 10:57 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: vintageant]
rc84 Offline


Registered: 06/30/14
Posts: 3
Loc: France
It is Volvo V50 1.6d (110hp) with 210k kms.

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#3411609 - 07/01/14 11:05 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
expat Offline


Registered: 05/12/09
Posts: 3795
Loc: Canada
Back in the Bad old Days a situation like this would just mean I would start using progressively heavier oil.

I remember on one car, a Sunbeam Stilleto, I was running 20w-50 AND STP oil treatment.
I put several thousand miles on that car before it went to the wreckers yard.

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#3411654 - 07/01/14 12:00 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 26346
Loc: a prison island
The turbine engineer in me says to check the instrumentation first...i.e. pressure sender.

If you have both a switch AND a pressure sender, then you probably have a genuine pressure problem. If the switch is computed off the sender, I'd swap senders just to check.

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#3411665 - 07/01/14 12:11 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
rjundi Offline


Registered: 03/16/04
Posts: 6165
Loc: New England
The definitive test is using a mechanical oil pressure guage and then move forward.

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#3411677 - 07/01/14 12:44 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rjundi]
heynow Offline


Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 310
Loc: Nevada
Originally Posted By: rjundi
The definitive test is using a mechanical oil pressure guage and then move forward.


Originally Posted By: rc84

So checked the pressures using a plug-in gauge:

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#3411737 - 07/01/14 02:05 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 13347
Loc: Upstate NY
I had a voltmeter in my Bobcat that would never show more than 12V with engine running. I brought the alternator to a rebuild shop and they said it was fine. I could not test it with a DVM as the Bobcat would "creep" down the drive if I was not in the cab. Finally got a chance to test it with DVM with someone else in the cab. It was fine.

There was buildup of sawdust in all gauges and the voltmeter could not go past 12V.
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#3411754 - 07/01/14 02:29 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 11260
Loc: apple valley, ca
cold oil pressure means nothing so stop posting that info. 4 psi is a little low assuming its idling at around 700 rpm. id bump it up to thicker oil and drive it till it dies.
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#3411803 - 07/01/14 03:59 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 3592
Loc: north carolina
If the 4 psi is correct( like Shannow suggested, a real gauge, not a reading of the current sender.) then the main bearings may be worn. A thicker oil is what i would do. The old rule is 10 psi per thousand rpm. I don't think that works for newer variable displacement oil pumps. Perhaps a 0w 40 would do better.


Edited by spasm3 (07/01/14 04:00 PM)
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#3411831 - 07/01/14 04:36 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
bigjl Offline


Registered: 09/06/12
Posts: 1694
Loc: London, England
I had a mk1 Focus estate tddi with the old 1.8 turbo lump

The oil pump was so worn the oil light would come on at tickover when hot, as soon as you raised the revs it went off.

I did 10k miles like this, with the precaution of keeping the revs above tickover when stationary.

Sold the car with mega miles on it via eBay, advised the new buyer about the oil pressure issue, he changed the pump and it was fine from then on.

It is possible to use a thicker oil I suspect.

Though from my research the 1.6d is specced for 5w30 in all makes it is fitted to.

I would be looking at getting the sump off and making sure the pickup is clear and changing the oil pump regardless of how hard it is to do.

Why was the pickup changed?

Was it blocked?

If it blocked once it could block again.





Edited by bigjl (07/01/14 04:38 PM)
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#3411844 - 07/01/14 04:58 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
Kiwi_ME Offline


Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 653
Loc: New Zealand
I would do anything. Thicker oil may give you a higher idle pressure and turn the light but that doesn't mean you get more flow.

Decades ago I drove an old Skoda with a completely worn bottom end around for months with no measurable hot oil pressure and it didn't stop running. Only the annoying vibration made me fix it.

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#3412022 - 07/01/14 09:02 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
artificialist Offline


Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 6714
Loc: Florida
I once encountered an engine that triggered the low oil pressure light without having bearing clearance problems. The customer had a turbocharged Chrysler PT Cruiser, and overheated the engine. By the time the owner stopped at our repair shop, the oil light was on, even there was no bearing noise or lash adjuster tick. Once we repaired the cooling system, the light never came back on.

Do you know exactly what your engine coolant temperature is? Coolant temp sensors often fail without causing an error code. That is because they can fail by displaying a normal engine temperature, instead of having too little or too much resistance to clearly cause an error code.

Since there is usually one temperature sensor, there may be parts of the engine that heat up differently. This often happens when a plastic water pump impeller cracks, or if air bubbles are trapped in the cooling system.
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#3412395 - 07/02/14 09:53 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
vintageant Offline


Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 200
Loc: Florida, USA
If it were mine, I'd change to a diesel oil, such as Shell Rotella 15W40, to test and measure.
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1925 Alvis SC 12/50 roadster
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#3412741 - 07/02/14 05:03 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
OVERKILL Online   content


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 25968
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Assuming your "plug in gauge" noted in the OP is in fact a reliable mechanical oil pressure gauge and not an electric gauge of some sort that leverages the factory sending unit I would indeed agree that you have a worn bottom-end, likely rod bearings, which tend to wear-out before the mains do in most engines that I have experience with.

If this is the case you can't really do anything about it without a tear-down or at least a partial tear-down. You could roll-in new main and rod bearings assuming the journals are OK, but of course that requires inspection, which will of course require a partial tear-down.
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#3416868 - 07/07/14 07:49 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
rc84 Offline


Registered: 06/30/14
Posts: 3
Loc: France
Hi,

Many thanks for all the replies.

Yes by 'plug-in' guage I meant a mechanical pressure guage. I do not know how accurate it is but it is new and a reputable brand, so maybe a bit off but not too much.

I will replace the coolant / thermostat / sensor, check & clean the EGR values and check & clean the oil cooler etc. in case this brings down the temperature. But tending to agree with everyone that it sounds like main bearings .. gulp.

If anything positive will post back.

Thanks
Russell

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#3417112 - 07/07/14 12:15 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
yvon_la Offline


Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 714
Loc: quebec canada
Remove oil pan and check oil pickup area for issue .if it isnt bent or clogged ?replace the oil pump
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Nissan versa note s 2014
Mechanicly inclined

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#3425494 - 07/15/14 01:00 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
Greasymechtech Offline


Registered: 07/11/14
Posts: 225
Loc: Paradise of Florida
Step up to a 0w40 or 5w40 full synthetic oil.
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#3426134 - 07/16/14 03:14 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
riggaz Offline


Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 216
Loc: England
According to my data system on that engine you should have between 2.3 - 3.7 bar @ 2000 rpm (hot) so you obviously have a pressure issue, something in the oil circuit is definitely worn.

If there are no noises coming from the engine then I'd be looking towards the oil pump.


Edited by riggaz (07/16/14 03:16 AM)

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#3426145 - 07/16/14 04:16 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
chrisri Offline


Registered: 06/01/14
Posts: 259
Loc: Fiume,Croatia,EU
Does your car run with DPF? If not switch to ACEA A3/B4 5w40 oil and you will gain oil pressure. If however your car have DPF then use C3 5w40 oil. This is a low saps oil but with a minimum HTHS viscosity of 3.5 mPa.s and are superior to a A5/B5 oils.
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#3426189 - 07/16/14 06:25 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
yvon_la Offline


Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 714
Loc: quebec canada
Oil filter plugging up!same thing happen on cummins isx.put a bigger version of oil filter
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Truck driver
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#3426190 - 07/16/14 06:26 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
yvon_la Offline


Registered: 05/20/14
Posts: 714
Loc: quebec canada
That sooth and particulate come from the oil.might want to change oil brand .
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#3426202 - 07/16/14 06:40 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: rc84]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 1653
Loc: Illinois
This is common on the Ford Taurus SHO V6 Yamaha motors after 100k or so. They usually just drop the oil pan and change out the rod bearings. The oil pump is hi flow low pressure so any wear and the idle pressure drops when hot. I did mine in the driveway in about 4 hours. Found one of the bearings cracked. The Main bearings are usually OK and seldom changed.

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#3426651 - 07/16/14 03:46 PM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: Chris142]
Rollins Offline


Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 114
Loc: Europe
Hello,


It seems that you have the infamous DV6 engine .

When the injector seals go south hot gasses from the cylinder make their way to the valve timing area (no gasket between the cylinder head and its upper part ...just some silicone !)

http://www.motor-talk.de/forum/aktion/Attachment.html?attachmentId=685547

You can imagine the result ...

http://www.theturboguy.com/uploads/1/0/3/5/10358883/api-presentation_1.6_hdi_carbon_issues-3-2.pdf

http://images.forum-auto.com/mesimages/511236/Fuitejointsdinjecteursexplication.jpg

Usually injector seals failure manufests itself with with some gas/oil leak around the injectors(lifting the plastic cover at least once a month is a must here).The sooner you catch the problem the better.

Althought this may not be the case here, I'd have it inspected ( dropping the oil pan-preferabley- or removing the vacuum pump would tell if there was any deposits)...
There is plenty of info about this design flaw affecting severals brands using this engine...


Why was the oil pickup replaced anyway? I hope it was not an attempt to get rid of the deposits caused by injector seals failure...it would take greater efforts to do the job.

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#3442579 - 08/01/14 08:22 AM Re: Oil Pressure Question ... is my engine dead? [Re: Rollins]
riggaz Offline


Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 216
Loc: England
I'm not sure it would cause his low oil pressure directly but excessive carbon/sludge deposits could have caused excessive wear, I think his turbo would have failed before any oil pressure issues arose though.

If you have one of these HDi engines it's always best to just change the injector seals out as a service item, apparently number 3 is usually the one that fails.

The Volvo lads say that the fault is not so epidemic as it is in the PSA/Ford cars, wonder what oil Volvo are using and whether that has anything to do with it.

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