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OIL warning light!

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by Mart, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. Mart
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    Mart Active Member

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    [Mar 8, 2009]
    Hi fellow members.

    Need some help, my car has started flashing the Dripping Oil symbol on the DIS on the dash.

    I've checked & have got plenty of oil in the car, about half way up the dip-stick. It seems to flash a few times, and then go off, and a bit later it may flash again. - This happened while the I doing 50 on a dual carriage way - on a straight line.

    Oil was changed about September last year, and prob done about 6000 miles since then (do roughly 12k a year), so wouldn't of thought it was due to change yet.

    Any ideas? - Could it just be faulty wiring or something causing it to flash. & What damage could this be causing!

    thanks
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  3. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 9, 2009]
    There are two warnings you may get, one is oil level, and the other oil pressure.

    Oil level is as you've guessed indicative of the level in the sump. Oil pressure however is MUCH more serious. I'm not sure a 1997 model will have the level sensor though, and pressure usually comes up in red, and i think has a secondary warning light inside the speedo?

    These engines are known for sludging up when ran on crappy oil, or serviced with too long intervals. The usual first signs are a loss of oil pressure and if you dont rectify it immediately your looking at a dead engine and turbo.

    6k miles is about the maximum i'd run my oil for, i usually change it around 5k, and if crappy oil has been used, at 6k its likely to be toast.

    If it is pressure, I suggest you try flushing the motor and doing an oil change. Since your getting pressure warnings i'd suggest an aggressive flush like diesel. The procedure here would be to get the engine warm then drain the engine oil out, and refill with straight diesel. Fire the motor up and run it for around 10mins. I usually try to do my flushes at fast idle (1500-2000rpm) however you can also let it idle for most of the time and only bring the revs up to fast idle for say 30 secs every few minutes if you wish. Fast idle helps keep the oil pump spinning faster and gives you more chance of keeping the pressure up. Its important not to rev it hard enough to let the turbo spool up.

    Once you've done the 10mins, drop the diesel out, replace the oil filter with a new, primed filter, and refill the engine with some 5w40 fully synthetic oil.

    If your lucky, that will cure it, although it might be an idea to get a pressure guage fitted for future reference, if your still getting warnings afterwards, then i'd look at fitting a pressure guage to see whats acutally going on, as it might be the oil pump is irrepably damaged and will need replaced.
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  4. Mart
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    Mart Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2009]
    thanks for this info.

    Fingers crossed.
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  5. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 9, 2009]
    Does the red light inside the speedo come on too?

    I'm not 100% sure what the difference is between the DIS warnings for pressure and level, but pressure should bring on a red oil symbol inside the speedo as well as the dis warning, (the pressure light will illuminate when you first turn the ignition on then go out when you start it)
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  6. Mart
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    Mart Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2009]
    Hi aragorn,

    I have to say, I've never seen another oil warning light inside the speedo. There is only one light on, that's the one in the DIS. - When I start the car, it says OK on the DIS, then turns off. I see nothing else. - I drive it's fine, and maybe at some point for no reason it'll come on again, but doesn't stay on, prob does a few flashes then turns off.

    This morning on the way to work, it didn't come on, but I have a feeling that it will be back again, as it spent Sunday randomly coming on and off.

    Thanks again
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  7. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 9, 2009]
    maybe it is the level warning then?

    Can anyone else confirm wether or not a 97 1.8T would have had a level sensor?
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  8. Mart
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    Mart Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2009]
    According to the Dip-Stick I've got pleanty of oil, it's well over the half way mark (between Min & Max) - Unless the reading here can be wrong of course.

    The bit that throws me, is why does it flash & then stop again?
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  9. SonicDeathmonkey
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    SonicDeathmonkey Member

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    [Mar 9, 2009]
    Perhaps some sneaky bar-steward put a longer dip stick in your motor!!!
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  10. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 9, 2009]
    Mart: you really need to identify which it is. If its the oil level, then it could be a faulty sensor in the sump causing the flickering reading, or some faulty wiring.

    If its pressure, then again it could be the sender, or it could be an actual pressure problem, and if it is a pressure problem, it needs fixed now, not tomorrow, assuming you want to keep your engine in one piece

    Check the cars handbook to see if it shows you which symbols mean what.
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  11. Mart
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    Mart Active Member

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    [Mar 9, 2009]
    So far all I can see is the handbook says pull over, don't drive the vehicle & seek advice. - If that light comes on -
    I'll ring a local Audi garage tomorrow and see what they say about the light!

    Guess I'll have to book it in to a local VAG specialist to have a look.

    If it's a small fortune to repair, I'll prob just look at Part Ex it for something else. - As don't want to spent a massive amount on it
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  12. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    You havent said what mileage is on it?

    Also what does the engine oil look like? Black or golden brown? If its Black its well past its best and needs changed.

    As i say you might get away with a flush and an oil change, which will cost you about 3quid for the derv, and 20quid for a filter and gallon of oil from a motorfactors, and assuming you can manage to wield a 17mm spanner you should be able to do it yourself.

    A specialist is going to charge more than that to open the bonnet...

    If the flush and oil-change doesn't fix it your looking at a new oil pump. Although before i went down that route i'd be getting an oil pressure guage on the car to see whats going on, to rule out the sender and its wiring. The pump itself is about £100, and probably half a days labour as you cant get the sump off without at least partially dropping the subframe.
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  13. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    no level warnin on a 97, its the pressure warning light. Assuming it had a level warning it would be a yellow warning,not red.
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  14. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    Aye thats what i thaught Mark, but obviously couldnt be sure, I know ours certainly doesnt have any oil level sensing. It's odd that its not bringing on the other oil lamp in the speedo though?
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  15. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    Cars with DIS don't have the additional oil pressure lamp. Its all done on the display
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  16. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    hmmm, i'm sure ours has an oil lamp next to the ABS and airbag lamps inside the speedo?

    Might be wrong though.
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  17. Lee Goodall
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    Lee Goodall ..got my head together!

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    Mine's a 96 and I've only ever seen the DIS oil pressure warning.
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  18. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    hmm thinking about it its ABS, Airbag, Battery and Handbrake that comes up in there isnt it?

    For all the ropeyness of our motor, ive never actually seen the oil pressure warning lamp come on.

    Its probably disconnected or something lol!
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  19. Lee Goodall
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    Lee Goodall ..got my head together!

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    I've only seen the warning when the oil pressure sensor started p!ssing oil out.

    I didn't even get a warning when the oil pressure had dropped to half of the spec'd pressure but I checked it with a kit and changed the pump as soon as I saw the lack of pressure.
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  20. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    Yer, its odd because vagcat says the AEB pressure sender is set to 1.4Bar, yet for the lifters to start rattling you'd think it was below that.

    What did yours measure at before you changed the pump?
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  21. Mart
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    Mart Active Member

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    Thanks for all your help so far.

    It's just ticked over the 150,000 miles, a week ago. - With it's last major service, all belts, all filters, oil etc etc done at 144,500.

    Still haven't seen the oil light come on again since... I'll get the bits, and give it a oil change, see what happens.
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  22. Lee Goodall
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    Lee Goodall ..got my head together!

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    Just found this info from when I changed the pump..

    4.2 bar cold idle (a bit low)

    1.1 bar hot idle (low but within spec by .1 bar)

    Under 4 bar at 3000 revs (too low.. under spec by 1+ bar)

    ..that's using the spec'd pressure from the Haynes manual for an AEB.

    I checked it because I was getting a bit of valve noise at normal/warm running temp.

    The oil pick-up/strainer was clean so I presume the pump was worn.

    Pressure is bang on now with no unusual engine noise.
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  23. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    hmm, i really need to check ours. Its a hassle to change and the engines nearly been to the moon and back, but i guess 80-100 quid for a pump and half a day or so to change is better than £3-500 on an engine and a few days without a car!

    Ours only ever starts ticking when hot and the oil level is below about half way on the dipstick.
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  24. Lee Goodall
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    Lee Goodall ..got my head together!

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    You got a test kit?
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  25. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    Nah, but i've just bit the bullet and ordered a gauge from ebay.

    Just need to get one of the adaptors from M10 to whatever the gauge comes in.
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  26. Lee Goodall
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    Lee Goodall ..got my head together!

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    Ok, I have a test kit if you need it mate.
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  27. Broken Byzan
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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    Mine has unfortunatley dropped to 3PSi at hot idle( according to the Guage) so i am gonna whip my engine out to change the clutch instead of dropping the box. I can double check the strainer and relief valve then. I hope the pump hasnt gone as its not done any more than 10k and with the spring festival coming up ect i can ill afford a new pump. And by the same token is it worth sticking a new one in anyway seeing as the car will be apart.... GGGRRRR I dunno !!!
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  28. Lee Goodall
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    Lee Goodall ..got my head together!

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    Maybe it's just the strainer that's blocked and when your turbo went POP some sh!t went down the turbo oil drain pipe straight into the sump.

    There wont be any need to change the pump surely if it's only done 10000 miles? Couldn't you pull the pump and check the tolerances are all within spec?
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  29. Broken Byzan
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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    hats the Plan Lee, it could just as easily be a sender glitch, but as i have work to do on her anyway it can't hurt for peace of mind to check. I am gonna pll the pump and make sure all is good. IIRC there is no gasket to put it on, did you silicone yours?
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  30. Lee Goodall
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    Lee Goodall ..got my head together!

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    [Mar 10, 2009]
    I cheated and got somebody else to do the hard work while I was at work!

    The sump is siliconed though AKAIK.
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  31. Mart
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    Mart Active Member

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    [Mar 15, 2009]
    After a long sit back & think, I've decided to sell the A4, going to replace it with the new shape Passat. Going for a 2litre TDI Sport.

    Never made it to the garage, decided I didn't want to mess around with it, it's done 150k miles, I've had it since 93k so, doesn't owe me anything personally.

    Thanks for your help with this one, I'm going to put the A4 up for sale, so if anyone is interested in buying it off me, for parts or what ever, let me know, with a price.

    thanks.

    P.S. - Anyone know of what site I should sign up to once I have the Passat, or are you all kind enough to help with that too. :)
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  32. stub
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    stub the matrix is comin

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    [Mar 17, 2009]
    it sounds the same as mine. which is the oil strainer. it gets choked up over the yrs no matter what oil you use. an to be honest if you don't get it done soon you will end up with a new oil pump and sometimes a turbo too. since havin mine done i've not had a prob at all.
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