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Oil pressure guage is acting up...


NAXJA Forum User
Souderton, PA
I have a 97 Sport with 100+K on it. Changed the oil like clockwork, but recently after it gets up to temp. the oil pressure guage drops to zero when I come to a stop and the "check guages" light comes on. Then when I step on the gas, the guage goes back up into the normal operating range and the light goes out. Works fine as long as I'm moving. There's oil in it, and it's running perfectly. Is there some sensor that could be on it's way out? I'll drain the oil and replace the filter tomorrow to see what it looks like. Anyone else ever have this problem?


have the sending unit checked. I wouldn't think that the oil pump is bad after only 100k. That might be a dealer check or a local shop to check the oil pressure. If the pressure is fine, than the sensor is out. 4wd.com has them and a lot of other places do.
rigidsteel.com is another place to check.
Id check the sending unit/gauge. But from what you said sounds like to me your bearings are going bad. I hope not, but thats what it sounds liek to me.
Hook up a mechanical gage to the sender port and check your pressure. It's likely you just have a failing sensor, the timing is about right... It's a pretty simple fix, and the sender is usually next to the distributor boss on the passenger side, midway back.

I second 5-90's reply. Actually it is incredible the OPSU lasted that long!! If you aren't the first owner, i'd bet it's been replaced before. Mine went bad on my '98 at ~45k miles and had pretty much those same symptoms. Frankly, i wouldn't even bother with the test-gauge check at first- just install a new OEM sender and see.
Sending unit is about $10 from any parts store. It sounds like you have an internal short in the sending unit at somewhere close to the 40 psi measurement. I consider this sending unit as a consumible to replace with the 60K tune-up.

Edit: Thought I would add that your pressure won't go from nothing to normal with bad bearings. it is either normal through all rpms or below normal through all rpms.
Deyman, my erratic oil pressure was solved by simply tightening the sender unit wire. As the others have said though, your sender is probably bad.
check the oil pressure switch.. sometimes if you knock it just enough taking the oil filter off it will crack it just enough to give horrible readings.. i had this problem.. also if you do replace it.. do not use a Pepboys switch.. bite the bullet and get the switch fromt he dealer.. its much high quality and doesnt give false readings.