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Opeler
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
had an interesting experience tonight... was driving through the parking lot to the video store, went around a corner and put in the clutch, and suddenly i notice my oil pressure idiot light on...

okay, i think... maybe i just lost a little bit of oil and the corner pushed it all to one side... tapped the gas to bring the pressure back up, and it drops back down to almost nil... light would glow continuously at idle... parked the car, shut it off, and went in to rent my movies... no visible drips below the car that were oil... hard to tell tonight, though... very wet, water was dripping...

got home, popped the hood, and checked the oil... showing only at the very tip of the dipstick... unusual, changed the oil yesterday and had good pressure from then untill tonight... don't think i could've lost that much oil that quickly... put a quart in, no changed on the pressure, dipstick showed the low level line... put a second quart in, slight change in pressure... i'm up to 1/3 of the way to the #1 on the gauge, and normally i never go below it when the engine is running...

drove around a little bit, to see if i just needed to circulate the oil a little bit to get the pressure back up... after about a mile, i ran up to 6000 or so, and noticed that oil pressure never indicates past the 2.5 mark... odd, usually i'm at the 3 at 3000-3500 cruise...

the only viable conclusions i've came to are that my oil pressure sensor is loose, and giving a low reading, or that my oil is for some reason getting extremely hot, and thus not allowing for as much pressure... 45 seconds flat in the upper echelon of 4th gear give the same low pressure, but the oil cools back down to acceptable pressure levels within a couple minutes...

if it's a sender/gauge problem, now's a perfect time for me to put an aftermarket gauge in...
 

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Old Opeler
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5,564 Posts
Check the relief valve in the oiling system to make sure it is seating completely. If it has a bit of grit or gunge stuck under it the oil pressure will bleed away. Some engines have this pressure relief valve on the oil pump bottom cover and others up in the front cam drive cover (this one is obvious as there will be two hex plugs on the side of the cover above the oil filter - the upper hex plug is the pressure relief valve)
 

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Member
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1,181 Posts
If you added a quart of oil and it still was at the bottom of the low level line, you were two quarts low. I hate to be the one to bring bad news, but it sounds like you were driving with 1 quart of oil, went around a corner and starved the engine of oil. If you are not able to restore oil pressure by bringing the oil level back to normal, you wiped engine bearings and will need major engine work. You must have a major oil leak to loose two quarts in such a short time.
 

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Opeler
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
update on my troubles...

was able to drive around today when the engine was fully warmed up (work is 1 mile away, usually don't wait the 15 minutes to warm it up for the 2 minute drive)... when the car is cold, pressures reads almost normally (for cold)... it gets to be a bit warmer, and the pressure slowly goes away... i haven't checked the oil again yet, will do so shortly, but it just amazed me that i could lose that much oil, in that short of time, when there was no other instances of losing oil that quick... i usually add a couple quarts per 3000 miles, not per 300...

idle is 750rpm or so, pressure is 1/3 of the way between 0 and 1... when never see past the 2.5 mark when the car is warm, yet still rises quite quickly when cold... car seemed to be running slightly warmer than normal today, which is odd for it being cool and rainy...
 

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Old Opeler
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5,564 Posts
Just a long distance thought: Have you had an oil change recently where the oil filter was replaced? If the filter is not tightened on correctly huge amounts of oil can escape very quickly. Also , what weight oil are you using? 10W-40? straight 30? If so, try checking that the filter is sealed and on tight and replace the oil with 20W-50. The Opel oiling system is a "volume" system not a "high pressure" system and relys upon sufficient oil flow rather than high pressure supply. The numbers on the gauge are metric measures of pressure called "Bars" ( 0ne "Bar" is roughly equal to 14 psi ). Opel CIH oil pressure is normally only about 2.5 Bars maximum (35 psi) at 2,000 rpm.

BTW - correction to an earlier post: The pressure relief valve in the front cover is the LOWER hex nut if there are two on the side of the cover. If there is only one that is the UPPER one which is the cam chain tensioner.
I was looking at the thing upside down :(
 

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OPEL-LESS!!!
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2,116 Posts
when the oil was changed, did you fill the filter before putting it on, and how much oil total did you use when you changed the oil?
 

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Opeler
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
1 Bar ~ 14.5 psi :) ... friends with turbo'ed cars, learned quick... i figured that's what the gauge read, just wasn't sure... about 1.5 bar at 2000rpm... never above 2.5 bar now... for the 30,000 miles or so before this, 3500 under load would read 3 bar...

i believe it's either 10w-30 or 10w-40 in there... not sure this time around, had a shop change it this time... when you're broke and overdue, it's nice to have those lifetime oil changes...

the oil i put in was 10w-30... had used same weight for previous oil change, before this one...

i've both filled the filter up, and left it mostly empty, and had the same pressure readings in both cases... it's usually around 3.75 quarts that go in...

filter is changed with every oil change, habit i got in to when i had my honda... hard driving dirtied up the oil quick on a used motor... have previously run 20w-50 and 5w-30 in the car, maximum of 5 psi difference in pressure... i'm on 10w-30 and still getting less pressure than the lowest i've gotten with 5w-30
 

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Old Opeler
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5,564 Posts
Check out the "Similar Threads" at the bottom of this page - more info there.

If there are no nasty noises coming from the motor it may pay to hook up a mechanical oil gauge to the port that the sender is in ( watch it as that is a metric thread - not a pipe thread!) and physically check the pressure. As long as the motor is getting sufficient oil to lube the bearings it will run OK.

One of the usual "leaks" that reduce oil pressure is worn cam bearings - so I was told in the Chat section. Not easy to do a quick fix up there though.....
 

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Opeler
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
checked the oil level again... i'm now a quart high... odd... i haven't added any since the two quarts...

on the plus side, though... pressure is mostly normal now... haven't driven around enough yet to guarantee that the engine is warmed up, but maybe today or tomorrow i will to see what the pressure is... maybe it just auto-magically fixed itself... we'll see...
 

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Moderator
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5,294 Posts
merlindavis said:
1 Bar ~ 14.5 psi :) ... friends with turbo'ed cars, learned quick... i figured that's what the gauge read, just wasn't sure... about 1.5 bar at 2000rpm... never above 2.5 bar now... for the 30,000 miles or so before this, 3500 under load would read 3 bar...

i believe it's either 10w-30 or 10w-40 in there... not sure this time around, had a shop change it this time... when you're broke and overdue, it's nice to have those lifetime oil changes...

the oil i put in was 10w-30... had used same weight for previous oil change, before this one...

i've both filled the filter up, and left it mostly empty, and had the same pressure readings in both cases... it's usually around 3.75 quarts that go in...

filter is changed with every oil change, habit i got in to when i had my honda... hard driving dirtied up the oil quick on a used motor... have previously run 20w-50 and 5w-30 in the car, maximum of 5 psi difference in pressure... i'm on 10w-30 and still getting less pressure than the lowest i've gotten with 5w-30
Check your "new" oil filter! There was a thread some time ago about some brands being restrictive to oil flow, thus lowering pressure! :eek: OR, maybe you just got a bad one . . . it HAPPENS!
 
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