OT: Car Advice?

The subject car is a 2004 Corolla, 134000 miles, I have owned it since
new, and have always run synthetic oil.
Car was mildly rear ended and sat in a body shop for three weeks. My
wife picks up the repaired car and drives (8 miles?) to a friend's
house. No problem. Starts to car to go home and the oil light doesn't go
out. Against 3 generations of instructions she drives (4 miles?) home.
Car runs fine. Car is started again, no light. Oil level is good. No ODB
codes. Car runs fine.
The light has not stayed on since then. The car is used by my daughter
at school, hours away, and I want to send it back with a high confidence
level that nothing is wrong.
My initial thoughts were to have the oil/filter changed (filter
failure?) and change the pressure sensor. Suggestions?
Kevin Gallimore
Reply to
axolotl
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There are not many come-and-go oiling problems, but there are a few.
Search the interwebs to see if there is a common oiling problem- some subaru's, for example, have an oil pickup tube that cracks and lets the pump suck air.
Find the oil sender and kust eyeball the connector and wiring.
Make sure the oil pan isn't dented, the pan might be crammed up against the pickup.
Reply to
Dave__67
The "oil pisser switch" is a common failure point - I would replace it at that mileage if there is ANY question. If there is any SIGN of oil leakage at the switch, change it right away. When was the oil last changed? If more than 3000 miles I'd also change that - I KNOW - 3000 miles is WAY too soon to change Synthetic oil according to many people - but you asked for "Car Advice". I'm a licenced mechanic and former Toyota service manager - and if you have had a situation where, after sitting for some time, the oil light stayed on - I'd change the oil and filter if 3000 or more miles since last change.
Reply to
clare
I think your thoughts are on the right track. The sensor probably got tweaked in the accident and I'd probably replace it if it were my car.
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from $7.55.
I'd want to know that the thing worked properly. It's important to know right -after- the fact that your engine is toast. ;)
P.S: I love gauges with an idiot-light backup.
-- Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air. -- John Quincy Adams
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Mild rear end could have moved the engine in the mounts enough to tweak the wiring harness around to cause intermittent problems. I would toss a mechanical gauge on it just to be sure and trace the wiring from the pressure sender up to the dash. Make sure all the interconnects are OK and that the engine has good pressure. If it's OK then I would probably replace the sender and see what it does.
Probably an oil change and filter for good measure. If it all checks out then I would connect up one of the little data recorder units and see what it shows during normal driving.
Reply to
Steve W.
There is a significant difference between oil level and oil pressure. Many vehicles have warning lights for both.. RTFM, and both should be visible when the key is turned to On, before starting the engine, as a check of all the indicators/warning lights prior to starting the engine (although most folks ignore them until one starts flashing or suddenly is illuminated/noticed while driving).
Oil level sensors are a precautionary reminder/alert.. since they're typically in contact with the engine oil they do sometimes operate erratically. The one in my old Corsica (115k mileage and also synthetic oil) will definitely light for no actual reason, and when I restart the car after a brief stop where I shut the engine off for even a few minutes, the light will be off, completely random.
Looking up the particular year/model and symptom online may result in many claims that others' with the same cars have experienced the same thing. Probably not an expensive sensor, maybe just difficult to replace in some cases.
Oil pressure loss will cause the serious damage, not just maybe, but definitely.. and 4 miles would likely destroy many engines.
BTW, checking the oil level on the dipstick should be done after the car has been sitting for a while, overnight is generally most accurate, when all the oil has drained back to the pan. Checking the oil level on the dipstick shortly after an engine has stopped running, will nearly always indicate a low level.. then topping it off to the Full line is actually overfilling/exceeding the required amount (not good either).
Reply to
Wild_Bill
I don't THINK a 2005 Corolla has an oil level sensor. The Toyotal Previas did - along with a reserve oil tank with a pump - that USUALLY didn't work.
Engine warm, 10 minutes will be accurate to within a cup-full - and you don't add oil unless it's down over half way between full and add
Reply to
clare
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I've never seen a car or light truck w/ both...wasn't aware anybody had even done same.
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Reply to
dpb
The subject car is a 2004 Corolla, 134000 miles, I have owned it since new, and have always run synthetic oil. Car was mildly rear ended and sat in a body shop for three weeks. My wife picks up the repaired car and drives (8 miles?) to a friend's house. No problem. Starts to car to go home and the oil light doesn't go out. Against 3 generations of instructions she drives (4 miles?) home. Car runs fine. Car is started again, no light. Oil level is good. No ODB codes. Car runs fine. The light has not stayed on since then. The car is used by my daughter at school, hours away, and I want to send it back with a high confidence level that nothing is wrong. My initial thoughts were to have the oil/filter changed (filter failure?) and change the pressure sensor. Suggestions?
Kevin Gallimore ____________________________
Probably a bad sensor bet check your coolant and trany fluid just to be sure oil isn't migrating to other systems.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Any automobile with an oil level sensor will also have an oil pressure sensor - either guage or lite.
One of my last couple vehicles had an oil level sensor - and it leaked. Cannot remember if it was the 2.9 Liter Mitso-Shitty in the '85 LeBaron, the 3.0 Mits in the '88 New Yorker, or the 3.0 Aerostar. I know I replaced the pan on all 3.
Reply to
clare
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Well, yeah, that wasn't the question/comment. I've only ever seen one and that one is, indeed, oil pressure.
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Reply to
dpb

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