oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » May 18th 2010, 1:52pm

Why does my van do this all of the sudden?

When coming to a red light or stop sign, my oil pressure drops all the way down to 0. The slower the engine goes, the lower the oil pressure. Once the light turns green, and I get on the gas, the oil pressure spikes right back up to normal.

I also noticed if I come to a stop while going up hill, the oil pressure still drops, but not nearly as far. If I stop while going downhill, it drops even faster.
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby remark123 » May 18th 2010, 2:05pm

If you haven't looked yet, take a look at your dipstick. When my van does that it means that it is in dire need of more oil! Usually when that happens, you will need to add at least 2 quarts!!
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby tedanderson » May 18th 2010, 3:06pm

I would have to agree. The last time that happened to me I was 3 quarts down.

If the oil level is fine, then I would suggest that you could have worn rings and a blow-by problem. But if that were the case, it would be evident at the exhaust pipe.
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby LEVE » May 18th 2010, 3:12pm

Let's pretend that when you check the dipstick the oil is right up there on the stick.

Has thicker oil been installed in the engine? If so, it may be because the main bearings are worn. I'm
grabbin' at straws on this one...

If it's blowing oil out the tail pipe you will be able to wipe your finger around the inside of the tailpipe and then roll your forefinger and thumb together; you'll feel the oily residue. If this is happening, then you've either not been check oil often enough or the blow-by is a huge issue that has to be addressed.

Then I'd be listening for knocking of the rods or ticking of the valves as the oil pressure goes down. I'd also be cleaning out/replacing the oil pressure sender to make sure it's not lying to me.

It also may be a good time to install an auxiliary gauge and see if it confirms the reading of the OEM gauge.

In any case, oil is the life's blood of the engine, so it's got to be fixed ASAP... or you'll be fixing other stuff if that gauge isn't lying.
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby astroturf » May 18th 2010, 3:18pm

g0t0pless wrote:Why does my van do this all of the sudden?

When coming to a red light or stop sign, my oil pressure drops all the way down to 0. The slower the engine goes, the lower the oil pressure. Once the light turns green, and I get on the gas, the oil pressure spikes right back up to normal.

I also noticed if I come to a stop while going up hill, the oil pressure still drops, but not nearly as far. If I stop while going downhill, it drops even faster.


I will add my two cents here. What are you calling normal pressure (operating range)? Once we have the range in which it is moving, then we can move on to other things. Although not impossible, I find it hard to believe that anyone would allow their oil level to get that low... 2-3 quarts... Come on Fellers, this is a machine that requires observation to obtain optimal results.
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby remark123 » May 18th 2010, 5:37pm

Turf- you mean to tell me that you have never lost oil from your engine, despite your checking of the dipstick? the OP asked what it could be, so I told him what has happened to me in the past. Just sayin'
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby astroturf » May 18th 2010, 6:16pm

You are correct. I didn't see that, or think about the oil cooler line failure possibility. Going back to my hole now... J/K... Sorry, Jim
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby LEVE » May 18th 2010, 7:02pm

Turf- you mean to tell me that you have never lost oil from your engine, despite your checking of the dipstick?
Sorry but Jim's got a point and it's one that I've told my kids and wife time after time... after time: "If you're having a car problem ... STOP and figure it out before you do more damage."

In this case the problem isn't sudden.... the oil pressure gauge as been swinging widely while the driver has been driving down the road watching the gauge go berserk on the hills. Then when he comes to a stop... the oil pressure plummets. Now the guy knows that's not right; at what point does he check the oil level in the crankcase? We don't know because he's not told us the level. I can only assume he's not checked, and that is the first step to correction of the problem.

In theory he should check it ASAP...even if he has to pull off the road to do it. He should have a couple of quarts of oil in the back to get him out of an emergency. I know, when the oil cooler line rubbed through last month I went through 2 1/2 quarts just getting it home. Had I not taken precautions to recover from an emergency the trip home could have gotten a lot more expensive; I would have been changing an engine.

So let's not bet Jim up for asking for simple things to be checked, he's got a good point.
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » May 18th 2010, 10:10pm

It just started yesterday. In the pouring down rain on my way to work.

I wanted to check the oil level, but the possibility was 0.

I posted this this morning in hopes I'd be able to check before I went off to work again. But alas, the rain just isn't cooperating.

I will check as soon as I get in the parking lot, and if it's low, I'll stop at Target (less than 1 mile away) and grab some.

I'll post results here.

I just doubt its low oil though. I just had an oil change done not too too long ago.
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby sfeaver » May 18th 2010, 10:43pm

I had this happen on a 93 Safari, dealer changed the sender under warranty.. Would always go low at idle.. Wasnt really low but the gauge said it was.

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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » May 19th 2010, 2:27am

I checked the oil today and it was low. I added 2 qts, but it still drops down to about 20-30 when coming to a hard stop. It normally hovers around 50. At least its not dropping to 0 anymore.
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby Mr_Bowtie » May 19th 2010, 2:37am

As long as it rises when you press the gas.......20-30 psi isn't bad pressure at all. Pretty sure my '96 goes somewhere below 50psi when idling in drive. My old 3.8L GM would run at 15psi when idling in drive then rise as you press the gas. :D
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby remark123 » May 19th 2010, 6:09pm

2 quarts down on a 5 quart capacity IS pretty low, that's like a 2/3 reduction in oil capacity, on the other hand, 20-30 psi at idle is more than enough pressure. General rule of thumb is about 10 psi per 1000 RPM. I'd suspect that the low oil condition might have contributed to the reduction in oil pressure, depends on how hot the oil got, sometimes the oil does breakdown. Keep an eye on the level. :swerve:
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby astroturf » May 19th 2010, 8:23pm

I would ask at what interval are you checking your oil. Do you have an oil leak. Jim
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby g0t0pless [OP] » May 19th 2010, 9:58pm

No leaks of any kind. This is probably the first vehicle I ever owned that didn't puke on the driveway while parked overnight.
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby chefred112 » May 19th 2010, 10:21pm

when the guage goes to zero..oil level is the first thing I'd check..I would find a parking garage, a roof overhang or even a tree...we can't stress enough about the oil level bein right (I saw this while on the highway in my truck and I immediately pulled over just to confirm that oil level was ok)...I constantly watch 2 guages while driving, temp and oil pressure and if it isn't normal I wanna know WHY at that very moment..
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Re: oil pressure drops to 0 when coming to a stop

Postby Matrixx » May 20th 2010, 7:23pm

20-30 psi at idle is Normal, 50 psi driving is Normal as well.

She isn't going to take to much more of that g0t0pless and that's for sure.

All I can say with this one is Wow.
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