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Ross
Ross, Diagnostic and repair technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1180
Experience:  Licensed diagnostic and repair technician
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I have a 1998 9-5 v6 Saab petrol motor, with around 56000

Resolved Question:

Hi I have a 1998 9-5 v6 Saab petrol motor, with around 56000 miles on the clock after an engine rebuild, this was working ok for around a year now, but after around about say 20 miles driving when the engine is really warmed up, and standing in traffic the oil can light flickers on and off and the warning triangle keep beeping, bloody annoying, I have checked the engine oil level and that's all ok, and I have refilled the brake fluid cylinder up and checked the brake pads, there all fine, but someone said I will have to have an oil pressure test, now all I need to know is what's causing the oil light to flicker on when the car is just standing idle, please advise
Regards
Mike
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Ross replied 2 years ago.
Ross :

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you today. I am a licensed diagnostic and repair technician, I look forward to working with you.

Customer:

Hi Ross

Customer:

any answer to my saab 9-5 v6 oil light flickering problem

Ross :

You will need to get the oil pressure tested. Unfortunately low oil pressure can very quickly destroy an engine so it's important not to run the engine until its been checked. It is going to be difficult for me to give a diagnosis of this problem as there can be many causes.

Oil pressure is not nesasrily related to oil level, as the light only flickers at idle there is very little risk of engine damage at this point but this does need to be looked at ASAP. There are several causes for low oil pressure at idle, the oil pump can cause this if its worn, these generally start to show signs of low pressure at lower RPM

Ross :

Another possibility is oil starvation, lack of regular oil changes causes oil to thicken and clog the oil pickup with sludge, this is fairly common but with your relatively low millage, providing it has had oil changes approx every 10,000 miles this shouldn't be a problem

Customer:

ok I'm having the oil pressure done tomorrow at my local garage, if it is the oil pump roughly how much will this cost to do

Customer:

I will ask them to check for oil sludge build up as well then

Ross :

Finally is mechanical engine wear due to very high millage (half a million can be done on a modern engine before i would expect to see this) if the bottom end bearings are heavily worn they will not hold the oil pressure as they should, again this can cause low oil pressure, but generally comes with a tapping noise which quickly becomes a heavy knocking noise by the time the oil light comes on. so this is highly unlikely.

I would advise first to get the oil pressure checked, as this may simply be a faulty oil pressure sensor, if the physical pressure shows up as being low at idle, the sump needs to come off. Once the sump is off they will be able to see the oil pick up, if its fully of sludge it can be cleaned, re-assembled and a good oil change and flush carried out. If there is little sign of sludge, the oil pump should be removed and inspected, then replaced if necessary

Customer:

ok I will get this done so long as its nothing too major to correct the problem as I cant afford to pay out too much

Ross :

The oil pump usually comes in at around £150, depending on where they get it from. You can expect to pay 2-3 hours labor for sump removal and pump replacement. Possibly 4 hours if they need to clean it out, then inspect the pump and then choose to replace it after checking the pump. The engine will also need an oil change as the oil needs to be removed to remove the sump, and with a new pump this is always best practice. Expect to pay on average £350 - £450 but this is a very rough figure.

Customer:

thanks for your help Ross, you've thrown some light on this problem for me

Ross :

No problem! Good luck getting it all sorted. I hope I’ve provided the information you were seeking. If you need more help, please use the reply tab to continue our conversation. If you do not require further assistance, kindly rate my service. Thank you, Ross.

Ross, Diagnostic and repair technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1180
Experience: Licensed diagnostic and repair technician
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