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Oil light troubleshooting

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Old Nov 19th, 2019, 12:20   #1
1997 V40 2.0

Last Online: Feb 14th, 2020 21:26
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Helsinki
Default Oil light troubleshooting

1997 v40 Petrol 2.0

Oil light came on last night, intermittently with revs at first (would disappear with rpms), then solid. Car is due for an oil change, but otherwise running great. I wasn't able to safely pull over for several miles, but checked oil and found it on the low end of the dipstick. Added a couple liters, no leaks after watching it run a bit. Light is still on. The oil light is on solid from the moment the key is turned, FWIW. Took a chance and drove it home. No knocks or weird stuff but was very worried. Put about 20 miles total on it from the time the light came on.

In two days the car is about to be sitting for the winter so there will be a chance for repairs in the spring, hence my willingness to take a chance and drive it rather than shell for a tow. In the meantime, I've read several threads on this oil light and have come up with the following:

1. I shouldn't run the car until this is resolved. Very short trips may be okay, like to find a parking lot to do the following work in.
2. Replace oil pressure sensor first. This is a screw in spark plug looking thing on the front of the block. If no results,
3. Change oil and filter in case it's simply a blocked filter. If no results,
4. Drop oil pan and clean sump intake screen and the rest of the pan.

This seemed like the rational order based on ease of work and possible cause. My question is, have I missed a step? Also, how easy is it to remove the oil pan and clean the sump? Sounds pretty straightforward, but want to know if anyone who has done this can give a shout. If it's rather easy, I would consider doing that step first rather than risk wasting an oil change.

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Old Nov 19th, 2019, 17:00   #2
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Not on a Volvo but a 2001 citroen saxo 1.1 petrol I had exactly, and I mean EXACTLY the symptoms you said. Cold engine no light but then it crept on, rev the car and the light would go out and flicker and as the car warmed up, the point at which the oil pressure light went off would go up. Initially turning off around 2k, then 3k and so on until just fully stuck on. This was rectified with a ew oil pressure switch. And the oil pressure light never returned again.
Phase 2 1.9tdi V40
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Old Nov 26th, 2019, 23:01   #3
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Replace oil pressure switch (sensor)
Phase 1 MY99 Manual V40 T4
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Old Dec 9th, 2019, 17:31   #4
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It is worth checking the actual oil pressure using a gauge. This shows you idle pressure, working pressure (at 2000rpm) and relief valve pressure.

I don't know how reliable they are but kits like this are less than 20.

If not that bothered just replace the switch. They do fail, especially the cheap pattern ones. Have a look in the electrical connector and see if there is oil in it. If there is, its broken.
'04 V40 1.9D
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Old Dec 15th, 2019, 01:49   #5
1997 V40 2.0

Last Online: Feb 14th, 2020 21:26
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Thanks for the input. If that doesn't help, should I drop the pan and clean the sump/suction thing? Anyone know if the pan can be replaced with gasket maker or if I need to order the gasket?

Also, is there an actual oil pump somewhere that could go out?

I won't be near the car again until the Spring, just planning my attack.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 16:22   #6
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I am about to do the same work. Oil sump off, check-replace oil pump, filter, seals.

Oil light came on taking the wife to hospital, checked oil level whilst she was busy, full. Ran engine and light went off with a few revs. ok only 4 miles, so drove home after the appointment. Engine temp got high and automatic gearbox seems to want to change down at normal road speed. Had no choice but to gingerly drive home. Suspect oil pump failure or full blockage. Hope I have not done further damage, not welcome, having recently got no job.

Well least i got the time. S40 2L petrol auto 2003.

Oil pump failure, is this something that could be a bearing failure on the timing belt drive ?
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 21:26   #7
1997 V40 2.0

Last Online: Feb 14th, 2020 21:26
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Please share what you find, thanks! I won't be back in Helsinki for a couple months am I'm anxiously wondering if this will be an easy parking lot fix of replacing the sensor, maybe dropping the pan and cleaning sludge (let me k ow how easy it is to drop the pan! 5 hour job on my jag x-Type) or if there is a difficult pump replacement ahead of me. Good luck.
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light, oil, pressure, sump

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