Low Oil Pressure - ModernCamaro.com - 5th Generation Camaro Enthusiasts
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-03-2009, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Low Oil Pressure

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGN1-wktJQo

Okay, I picked my car up yesterday. Started after the second turn... not bad at all, huh? Well, the oil pressure shot up to 30 psi, so that was nice, and there was hardly any ticking... it just sounded like a regular engine. So I drove it home (about twenty miles) it's pretty much all highway, I was going 60-65 the whole way and it drove nicely. Well half way home the oil pressure had dropped to 10-15, and when I was pulling into my driveway, the oil pressure was almost a 0, and was in the red, so I parked the car and let it idle and it was ticking like it was last year.

Here's what I have noticed.
-When you put the car in drive, the rpms drop, and so does the oil pressure. The rpms bounce around between 700-1000 rpm and the oil pressure dips and rises with the rpm speed.
-When you let the car sit for a few hours and go to start it, the oil pressure goes up to 30psi and the ticking gets really light but after about ten minutes of idling, the psi drops, and the ticking gets heavier.

I think my guage is reading off, I don't think it's possible to drive a car with 0 psi oil pressure without hearing lots of unpleasant noises.

Do you guys think that this is an oil pump failure or bad bearings? The car runs good, and it doesn't knock. Could it be two seperate cases of a bad lifter and a faulty guage?

I took a video, but I am having trouble uploading it, I'll try again later.

EDIT: the car didn't tick at all before the last oil change...

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post #2 of 11 Old 05-03-2009, 12:22 PM
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What type and weight oil are you running? What type of filter? 10-15psi isn't all that bad at idle. Did it just get lower as you were turning (into your driveway)?

Oil pressure will fluctuate with RPM's and will get lower when the oil temp gets higher. I too doubt you were actually at 0...you'd hear it. Might want to replace the sending unit. Also might want to add in a more accurate gauge (like an autometer). Looks like you need a fuel level sending unit too.

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post #3 of 11 Old 05-03-2009, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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What type and weight oil are you running? What type of filter? 10-15psi isn't all that bad at idle. Did it just get lower as you were turning (into your driveway)?

Oil pressure will fluctuate with RPM's and will get lower when the oil temp gets higher. I too doubt you were actually at 0...you'd hear it. Might want to replace the sending unit. Also might want to add in a more accurate gauge (like an autometer). Looks like you need a fuel level sending unit too.
It was 0 for about five minutes before I got to the house. Drove fine... it really needs a tune up, but it sounded normal. Lol... yeah I need a new fuel gauge sending unit. The last owner (we checked) cut the sending unit right in half. F*cking idiots.

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post #4 of 11 Old 05-04-2009, 05:06 PM
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That ticking sounds an awful lot like a water pump going out. I've see two go and helped replace one and they all made a ticking noise like that. That would explain your rather high cold start temp. Cold start the gauge should be resting at 100, at full operating temp it should be around the hash mark between 100 and 220. Your cold start temp was already on that hash mark. I've also had an Altenator replaced and when it was going it made a ticking noise like that, but your Voltmeter should be reading low.

Another thing that I can think of that would cause that tick is that your oil pump is going out. That would explain the low oil pressure. On start up, my engine is around 60psi for oil and then after it warms up, its around 30psi. Putting the car in gear, revving the engine, and taking rather hard turns will all change oil pressure a little, so that isn't anything to worry about. You need to be running 5 quarts of SAE 5w-30 oil in the engine. That is what the owners manual recommends.

Another thing I can think of that the ticking could possibly be is spark knock from low octane fuel. My engine made a slight tick till I read the owners manual and found out that the engine was supposed to run on 91 octane and higher gas. Once I stopped filling up with 89, my engine ran a lot smoother.

The last thing(s) I can think of that would be causing your ticking is that the AIR pump or AC pump might be going bad. That big black thing on the accessories belt on the right side up top is the AC pump and directly below that is your AIR pump. I've never had mine replaced as far as I can recall, but those are two possible items to check based on location.

My personal opinion on the lifter idea is this: if its going bad, you'd have already noticed it beyond a tick. I've never had a lifter go bad on me, but considering where its located, I can't imagine it going bad and working for much longer after its started to go bad.

It could be your gauges, Third gens weren't known to have great electrical stuff. But IMO, you shouldn't be having electrical problems with that car seeing how low its miles are. I have an 89 RS with 185k miles on the exact same type of powertrain that you do and the only thing that is giving me fits is the gas gauge.

You said that you switched it to TBI from carb after the previous owner had removed the TBI. The more I think about it, the more I think that your engine had an electronic Quadrajet carb on it originally and the owner switched it to a non electronic carb. Some people call any electronic carb a TBI unit. That would explain all the difficulties you had in switching to TBI. The car probably never had any of the TBI systems installed when it left the factory. You'll need to check to see if you got all the sensors installed for the TBI to work properly.

Thats all I've got. Let me know how the bug hunt goes

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Last edited by 89RS; 05-04-2009 at 05:08 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-06-2009, 09:13 AM
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Sell it and buy a mustang.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-06-2009, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Sell it and buy a mustang.
I wouldn't be caught dead doing that... I'd drive a Mustang, but only a new dark gray loaded '10 GT with a 5-speed. Or an Eleanor or a GT-500 Supersnake... lol. Nothing affordable for me right now. I like my car, I don't plan on selling it anytime soon. you for saying that

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post #7 of 11 Old 06-10-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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more than likely the low oil pressure is due to the bearing wear on your bottom end(main and rod bearing), the ticking sound is your lifter starving for oil... lol...
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-10-2009, 03:32 PM
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Sell it and buy a mustang.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-10-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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prob your guage. doesnt matter how man miles exactly. your car still is still 17yrs old. mine only has 80k on it and my guage just went acually. i would check your guage. my battery volts on the guag will be at 13.5 and if i stop at a light it will drop to about 8. i hit the gas goes back to 17. my oil moves back and forth lol. check your guage before you waste money on new parts. good luck. let us know
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-10-2009, 07:01 PM
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Look at the oil sending unit. They do go bad and I have replaced 2 on the same car before. I noticed a bit of oil around the unit, If I remember correctly it was around where the wiring plugged in. The only bad side to your story is the ticking could be related to low oil pressure ( worn cam bearings or oil pump) ticking could also be an exhaust leak.


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