I just bought a 91 Accord, and my oil light has been blinking. My dad checked the oil, and it seems to be okay, so we're assuming the car is trying to send a different message. I've poked through the manual I downloaded from this site, but I'm not having much luck. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi, good that you are writing in.
when you say "blinking", how often and how long does the light stay on? is it mostly when you are idling, or does it do it while you are going down the road??
It is an oil pressure light, not an oil level indicator per se, although it can come on for a very low oil level because that will starve the oil pickup tubes on the oil pump, which won't be able to "suck up" enough oil to maintain pressure. However, in most cases, its telling you that you have low pressure only. On the 91 accord it indicates that the oil pressure sending unit is detecting pressure less than 3.6 psi, which is verry low. Oil pressure is supposed to be 10 psi at idle and something like 30 or 50 psi at 3,000 rpms. I don't believe the light blinks to indicate low pressure, it just stays on for low pressure. But if the oil pressure is fluctuating below and above 3.6 psi, that's one thing that would cause the blinking. This would be caused by a failing oil pump, which is possible with a 91.
This is an engine-threatining condition if it goes on, if indeed this is what is going on.
However, It could be just a problem with the pressure sending unit giving a false reading. In any case, what is necessary is ASAP get an oil pressure test or do it yourself if you are handy. If the sending unit is bad (you have good pressure but the thing keeps blinking)then you are lucky because it is a $25 part and maybe 1/2 hour labor if you pay to have it done. But hard to get at, it's just above the oil filter and you can only access it from below with the oil filter off.
It is threaded in British pipe thread, don't know the gauge off the top of my head.
Since you have a manual, look up "oil pressure sending unit" and "oil pump". Look in the engine section.
Take this care of as soon as possible. I would strongly strongly suggest not driving the car further till you have the oil pressure tested.
The upper end of cost for this situation if you take care of it promply is about $600 i believe. That is, If the oil pressure light is correct and you have bad oil pressure thruought the range, it is the oil pump which is maybe a 600 dollar job if you have it done for you, but you can get the timing belts and water pump changed on the way out and kill two birds with one stone if that's the case.
If you don't take care of it you probably know that you are looking at quickly wrecking the engine, and the upper end for that is higher, so don't delay.
you may want to consider the possibility of pursuing getting your $$ back if it has bad oil pressure. my question would be, how long has this been going on? and if you just bought it, and your state has laws protecting car purchasers, a $600 repair in the first month will probably trigger it. Things to keep in mind. However, if you like the car otherwise, and the engine is working fine,and in good shape, putting a new oil pump in will keep it running for however long you want to keep it.
has the car had its timing belt changed? did you know to ask this? If not, depending on the mileage of the car, it may be due for one and the oil pump is just one level deeper for the mechanic to dig. That's what I mean by "two birds with one stone".
good luck and keep us posted.
Last edited by batever; 09-14-2008 at 04:42 PM.
hi, I just read a thread on cb7tuner.com that had some interesting info on the oil pressure light.
apparently, the the oil pressure sending unit will make the light blink if it experiences an intermittent drop of oil pressure below 3.6 psi that lasts less than half of a second.
The light will stay on if the pressure stays below 3.6 psi for longer than that, then it will go out once pressure is restored.
My other advice still holds. However, if it's an intermittent problem that happens inconsistently, it might be hard to find out what's really going on unless you have installed an an in-dash oil pressure gauge, which is a bit of project, along with the oil pressure sending unit. If you had one of those, you could double check and see if the oil pressure fluctuated when the oil pressure light blinks on.
if the oil pressure test doesn't find low oil pressure (it's supposed to be done at running temperature, after the fans have come on at least twice) then I would start by replacing the oil pressure sending unit and see if the blinking light goes away. If it were me, I'd install the oil pressure sending unit on a "t" fitting and put an oil pressure gauge line (electrical or mechanical) into an oil pressure gauge installed in the driver's control area. That way you'd be able to actually monitor the oil pressure occasionally as you drive, and you'd be able to see if there was a "blip" downward in oil pressure at the same time that the warning light goes off.
Again, the final stop is to replace the oil pump. If you are having the timing belt changed, I would have it done along with that
If that doesn't fix it, dig deeper--probably at the oil pump.
If it was super intermittent
Last edited by batever; 09-14-2008 at 08:47 PM.
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