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View Full Version : Oil light came on....now a problem but I'm stumped



dave80jc
08-24-2007, 08:41 PM
Ok so a few times in the past 2 or 3 weeks, my oil light would come on but then go off right away. Each time i checked the oil level and it was good, so I was somewhat confused.

Tonight I was driving from Philly to my hometown 200 miles away. Halfway through the trip, oil light comes on but doesn't go off this time. I pull over and check oil level and everything is fine - oil is where it is supposed to be. Funny thing happens though. When I stop and the engine goes down to idle, the light goes off and it doesn't come back on until I start driving and putting the engine under the strain of driving. Also, while I am cruising on the highway, I try and push the clutch in and let the motor go down to idle and the light stays on.

I am thinking that at this point that I have a bad sending unit that is causing the pressure to read low and causing the light to go on. Anyway, everything is fine with the car for 95% of the trip. 15 miles from my house, I start to hear a noise as I come up to a stop light, so of course I get worried. As I start going though, the noise goes away once the engine gets over 2k rpms and the second the motor drops below 2k it starts up again.

I finish driving to my house and going through town its making that same noise, but every time I take it over 2k it goes away and sounds normal. The noise sounds almost like a rod knock, but much faster. Its also definitely not a rod knock though and sounds more like a top end noise (possibly the chain rattling or something in the valves maybe?)

Why would the oil pressure light not come on at idle, but come on at idle while the car is driving or under load. Shouldn't the pressure increase if anything as the engine speed builds?

Also, is there anything in the head that is controlled by oil pressure? Could something be faulty/leaking that was causing the low oil pressure readings? I am going to pull the valve cover off tomorrow morning and go from there but any suggestions would be helpful.

darth tater
08-24-2007, 08:50 PM
99% chance its a sludge problem and your oil pump pick up is clogged.

What year is your car?

Audi extended the warranty on this to 7 years unlimited mileage if you can prove you did all your services on time.


as for the light.. It setup to go on over 2k rpm if the pressure is not over a set pressure.


whatever you do stop driving the car now.. you risk more damage conintiuing to drive it.

capea4
08-24-2007, 08:55 PM
had this happen once. The bolt for the oil cooler had loosened a bit during an oil change. It kept the filter from tightening all the way. It was enough to seal at lower oil pressures but when it climbed it would loose pressure. Remove the coolant bottle and check the filter, sounds like what I was seeing, I just didn't keep driving.

kjgarreau
08-24-2007, 08:55 PM
The system starts to check the oil pressure at 2000 RPMs, which is why at idle you're "fine" - you can replace the pressure switch, sometimes they are faulty... but you should pull the valve cover and take a peek. I see about 25-30 psi at idle, spec for a 2001 AWM motor is 45-50psi at 2000 RPM IIRC.

What year is your car?

dave80jc
08-24-2007, 08:58 PM
Yeah I have to take it about 3 miles to my friends garage and then its getting parked.

I guess I should have already said this but I have a 2001 1.8 TQM with the AWM motor. The motor does have 145k on it though.

How am I supposed to prove that I did my oil changes on time if it is a sludge issue? I change my own oil and never get it done at a shop.

kjgarreau
08-24-2007, 09:35 PM
Changing your own oil = SOL. AoA ftl.

Just pull the valve cover, take some pictures and take a look. It'll be obvious if it's sludged up. If it is... you'll have to pull the pan and clean everything out. Sludge can also take out the cam chain tensioner. It'll also rot your PCV system from the inside out.

dave80jc
08-24-2007, 09:44 PM
I wonder if the cam chain tensioner is starting to fail and thats whats making that noise (if there isn't proper tension on the chain).

I just don't understand why it would make that noise until 2k and then immediately go away once the motor goes above 2k.

Valve cover will be coming off and I'll just hope for the best. At least I know that the bottom end should be ok at this point but we'll see what happens tomorrow.

darth tater
08-25-2007, 08:27 AM
if you have noise get it to the shop asap.

Also proof of just buying the oil is enough, so if you happen to keep the receipts then you would stil be covered.

just make sure you don't write notes on it that its for your jeep and not the audi like one person I saw did once... idiot...

DGAFxxx
08-25-2007, 08:30 AM
the noise is probably your valves ticking from low oil pressure... I would also bet you have a sludge problem. I had the same problem, gave it a couple autorx and seafoam treatments, and it cured my low oil pressure problem.

dave80jc
08-25-2007, 09:16 AM
Pulled off the valve cover and this is what i found:

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb297/dave80jc/IMG_0279.jpg

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb297/dave80jc/IMG_0280.jpg

Doesn't look to be too bad does it? Now I am debating on whether or not I should just pull the oil pan and change out the oil pump just to be on the safe side.

Also, anyone know a good place to get an OEM oil pump cheap?

kjgarreau
08-25-2007, 09:51 AM
Autohausaz.com, purems.com for the oil pump. If you want someone on the east coast though, call Adirondack or Carson @ Riverside Audi.

It doesn't look terrible for that mileage, but definitely clean up the valve cover. Low oil pressure diagnostics from AoA:

- Remove bearing caps and check for scoring, if none are scored:
- Remove cam chain tensioner, check for damage to pads in contact with chain
- Inspect oil pump, replace oil pump and turbocharger oil return line if obstructed
- Inspect oil filter bracket housing and clean if oil deposits are found
- Replace all PCV system components
- Flush engine with engine oil cleaner

That's the basic summary.

dave80jc
08-25-2007, 10:01 AM
Is there a link or maybe just a list of parts on what all I need to replace for the PCV system components?

kjgarreau
08-25-2007, 11:48 AM
Sure, try this:
http://www.passatworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=196909

(get the AWM parts)

Call Carson at Riverside Audi, he can get you the parts fast and cheap. (201)-758-1600 Ext. 122

kjgarreau
08-25-2007, 11:50 AM
Also, having done the AWM PCV r/r already... I will tell you this: get an intake manifold gasket and a throttle body gasket. You *could* do it without pulling the manifold, but taking it out will make life 10x easier. Also consider getting a new oil dipstick tube. The costs of the gaskets and the dipstick tube is like $10 for all 3, so it won't break the bank :)

beejohn
08-25-2007, 05:36 PM
what kind of oil and what intervals were you changing it?
i don't suppose you were using the larger filter?

dave80jc
08-27-2007, 12:19 PM
I used Castrol GTX on almost every oil change. I didn't use synthetic. Maybe that was my problem. I use a Bosch oil filter - don't remember the number but it seems pretty big to me. The only times that I didn't use Castrol were if there was a sale on Valvoline. I drive a ton of highway miles, and I would do a change every 4k on average I would say.

I hooked up a mechanical gauge and there is no reading for oil pressure, so I'd say my pump is probably the issue. I didn't bother to pull the oil pan yet because I didn't have the time and I didn't have the part anyway.

I am going to install the new pump and then do an AutoRx treatment and switch to synthetic after its done. I'll probably make a trip to the dealer and just buy some of the larger OEM filters so I don't have to worry about the problem. That oil pan job doesn't look fun at all.

darth tater
08-27-2007, 12:32 PM
That looks really bad, not even close to the worst I have seen but not good.

The cam caps appear dry which is good that means you were getting some circulation and the caps aren't hot enough to burn it off.

you don't need the whole pump just the pick up..

the cap that usually goes first is the exhaust one closest to the cam tensioner. But check them all.

If there is even the slightest scoring.. time for an engine..

Militant-Grunt
08-27-2007, 12:36 PM
I used Castrol GTX on almost every oil change. I didn't use synthetic. Maybe that was my problem. I use a Bosch oil filter - don't remember the number but it seems pretty big to me. The only times that I didn't use Castrol were if there was a sale on Valvoline. I drive a ton of highway miles, and I would do a change every 4k on average I would say.

I hooked up a mechanical gauge and there is no reading for oil pressure, so I'd say my pump is probably the issue. I didn't bother to pull the oil pan yet because I didn't have the time and I didn't have the part anyway.

I am going to install the new pump and then do an AutoRx treatment and switch to synthetic after its done. I'll probably make a trip to the dealer and just buy some of the larger OEM filters so I don't have to worry about the problem. That oil pan job doesn't look fun at all.

These engines must get synthetic because normal oil just doesn't cut it. That and you need to systematically change the oil every 3k other wise you're going to go down a dark expensive road. Mobil 1 filters are gigantic compared to stock.

dave80jc
08-27-2007, 04:27 PM
Well the good thing is that there was no scoring on the caps. Does anyone happen to know the torque specs for the camshaft cap bolts? I tried doing a search on Audizine and audi world but I couldn't find anything. Maybe my searching skills need to be improved though.

urban96
08-27-2007, 05:12 PM
That looks really bad, not even close to the worst I have seen but not good.

The cam caps appear dry which is good that means you were getting some circulation and the caps aren't hot enough to burn it off.

you don't need the whole pump just the pick up..

the cap that usually goes first is the exhaust one closest to the cam tensioner. But check them all.

If there is even the slightest scoring.. time for an engine..
where can u get just the pick up? could the stocker be removed/cleaned?

seatown88
08-27-2007, 05:32 PM
where can u get just the pick up? could the stocker be removed/cleaned?

i took my pump apart and cleaned it as well as took the pick up tube off and cleaned it really well. there was tons of crap and sludge causing blockages of the pickup and low oil pressure. since then i have put 3000 miles on the car and the pressure is great. if you clean the screen well enough, then you should be alright

dave80jc
08-28-2007, 06:32 AM
They are definitely two different parts. I called the dealer and they are sold separately. I think the new pickup tube is like $17 so after some thought I might just buy a new pick-up and see what kind of shape my oil pump is in before I buy a new pump as well.

I guess for $17 it's just not worth the hassle of trying to clean out the old oil pickup. After I get the problem corrected I am also going to do the AutoRx and the PCV R&R as well.

kjgarreau
08-28-2007, 06:56 AM
Even for ~$100ish for a new oil pump it's not worth balking. I asked my local shop about an oil pump r/r just out of curiosity and they said $1100. It's a whole lot of labor involved.

NFryan
08-28-2007, 07:35 AM
Oil Pump Fast!

darth tater
08-28-2007, 07:48 AM
I have done well over 50 oil sludge updates at the dealer and probably close to 20 engines.. last one I did finally got the time down to under warranty pay :).. one of the few to ever do it... and that was seperate block and head.. under 12hrs with initial diag. Dealer was not happy when I left since I was the only idiot who liked doing the updates.. and the only one who actually did them right.

I have never seen a car need a pump.. Just the pick up.. you can certainly just pop it of and clean it but for under 20 bucks I would just replace it and reduce any risk of it being contaminated still


The sludge procedure calls for replacing all the PCV parts, plus the oil feed and return line.. cleaning out the valve cover.. replacing the pickup.. Then running the car for 30 minutes at elevated rpms to heat up the oil and melt the sludge.. Then drain the sludge when its hot.. drop the pan again.. clean off the newly replaced pick up and then put it all back together.

If you have any questions let me know.. Unfortuantely I don't have the part numbers but I think I have a copy of the bulletin somewhere with the picturs of what parts need to be replaced.

darth tater
08-28-2007, 07:48 AM
I guess for $17 it's just not worth the hassle of trying to clean out the old oil pickup. After I get the problem corrected I am also going to do the AutoRx and the PCV R&R as well.

becareful with the autorx as that can loosen up the sludge and reclog it...

andys
08-28-2007, 10:25 AM
99% chance its a sludge problem and your oil pump pick up is clogged.

What year is your car?

Audi extended the warranty on this to 7 years unlimited mileage if you can prove you did all your services on time.


as for the light.. It setup to go on over 2k rpm if the pressure is not over a set pressure.


whatever you do stop driving the car now.. you risk more damage conintiuing to drive it.


having a similar problem myself , where can i get proof of this audi 7 year unlimited mileage from as audi have maintained my car from new

darth tater
08-28-2007, 05:29 PM
if you are in england I am not sure what is or isn't covered.. This was released in the USA, so any documation I would have would be from AOA which would not apply where you are.

dave80jc
08-31-2007, 03:12 PM
I have never seen a car need a pump.. Just the pick up.. you can certainly just pop it of and clean it but for under 20 bucks I would just replace it and reduce any risk of it being contaminated still


Looks like this is correct. I got the oil pan pulled down today and the pump looks as good as new, but there is all kinds of sludge caked in the pickup screen. There are also some small pieces of plastic i think around the outside as well. I pulled a rod cap off and the crank looks flawless and no damage to the bearings so it looks like all I need to do is to put everything back together and should be good to go. Let's hope this is the way that things go.

urban96
08-31-2007, 06:04 PM
those pieces of plastic are probably from the cam chain tensioner

darth tater
08-31-2007, 08:33 PM
quick check for the rods and main is if they are dry or super dark looking.. if the bearing is not getting oil the metal will get hot enough to just coke the oil right on the outside of the metal.

dave80jc
08-31-2007, 09:02 PM
Ok so I got everything back together (well the oil pan back on at least) and things are looking good so far. I had a mechanical oil pressure gauge hooked up in place of the sending unit before I took the pan off and there was absolutely no reading at all. Now with a clean screen, I'm seeing around 25 psi at idle and as I was revving to 3k it got up close to 70 psi.

There is still a little bit of noise at idle but since I didn't put the subframe back yet I'm going to wait and see if it goes away after I get that done. I can't tell if it's something in the head or if its something rattling (which it really sounds like). I figure right now I know the bottom end is fine so the worst case scenario would be that I would have to pull the head, so I'm happy so far.

On a side note, I did get quite a bit of smoke out of the exhaust after I started the car up. Last weekend I ran some seafoam through the car (just in the crankcase) before going through the trouble of pulling the oil pan but it didn't smoke at all. Now that it is getting oil where it should, could that cause the smoke (as in the Seafoam helped to loosen things up some but they didn't clean things out because of the low oil pressure)? It definitely was the worst when I first started it up, and by now it is pretty much gone.