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Matt
Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21375
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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Got a Peugeot 207 (56 REG) and the head gasket was replaced

Resolved Question:

Hi - got a Peugeot 207 (56 REG) and the head gasket was replaced due to a leak. It transpired that they didn't do a good job because it continued to leak. We only discovered this when the warning light came on: STOP. OIL PRESSURE TOO LOW. There was no oil in the engine - the garage agreed to repair the head gasket at no cost but we are now getting the same warning STOP. OIL PRESSURE TOO LOW but no loss of oil. The garage say its because the oil pump now needs replacing, but they are not accepting responsibility. So my question is: can running an engine on very low oil cause damage to the oil pump?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Matt replied 11 months ago.

hello

yes I'm afraid so

if the engine is run low / out of oil then the oil pump will be damaged and pick up surfaces so create scoring damage on the pump rotors

however before replacing the pump

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I'd 1st suggest measuring the actual oil pressure with separate mechanical gauge - this can be plumbed into the engine via the current pressure switch port - if you use a Tee piece you can keep the pressure switch plumbed in as well and so see if the low pressure light corresponds to a low pressure reading.

As its intermittent and you have no rumbling or rattling noises from the engine its likely to be an electrical fault so 1st check the connection to the pressure switch is bright and clean and check back along the switch wiring for any signs of damage to the insulation

As if the wire is grounded out at any point then this will also turn on the light.

if this is all OK and the oil pressure is at least 1.3Bar ( 20psi) at hot idle then replace the switch

If you do have a low pressure reading and to turn on the light it will be very low about 5psi then replace the oil pump and ensure that the pump pickup in the sump hasn't come loose or is blocked

Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21375
Experience: BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
Matt and other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The garage have measure the pressure with the gauge and they seem convinced it need a new oil pump. I think it is their responsibility to replace it because the damage would have been done when it ran dangerously low on oil, due to the fact that their head gasket replacement wasn't done properly and it leaked out all the oil. They are telling me that running very low on oil will not damage the oil pump. I have no way of knowing but it would seem probable to me that it would damage it - which you have confirmed it would, which I will discuss with them. Any other thoughts? (I assume this conversation is all included in the £27 I've paid?!) Thanks
Expert:  Matt replied 11 months ago.

Hello

providing you don't open another question then yes this is all included in the original price

one other thing to consider is running low on oil can results in other engine damage I'm afraid as bearings can be damaged as they're meant to run on a film of oil, if there's no oil to support the bearing you increase the clearances and can score the crank shaft

if the engine rattles on a cold start then this is a sign that the bearings are worn

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you - are you able to give me an indication of your status, such as years of experience, qualifications etc so I can tell the garage that I have sought an independent opinion. It would help to add credibility when discussing with them. Thanks in advance!
Expert:  Matt replied 11 months ago.

no problem

I have a mechanical engineering degree ( Bachelors) and qualified in 1995 and have been working in the automotive industry ever since

I design, develop and calibrate engines of all kinds on a daily basis have have worked for 12 years in Formula 1 designing engine and car parts

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Fantastic - thanks!

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