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oil light/pressure

 
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:26 AM
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oil light/pressure

so i've been trolling this forum for awhile but this will be my first post/thread. I have a 98 base manual prelude and the oil light keeps coming on after I've been driving the vehicle for awhile, and then slow down or come to a stop. I've been searching for clues as to what this could be, but all i could find was a thread in the 4th gen section (same engine h22?). Was thinking of buying an aftermarket oil pressure gauge to help diagnose the problem. The oil level seems to be ok, but i do have a problem with oil leaks and burning. My car also smokes a little when I down shift, vtec. I was planning on replacing my cam shaft seal and doing a valve adjustment to see if that cures some of that. Just trying to get some clues to help me, my mechanic can only think of replacing the oil pump.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:24 PM
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Re: oil light/pressure

Vtec's are notorious for burning oil in vtec, since it operates off oil pressure. If you just got the car, you gotta learn to check the oil at basically every gas-up, since that's how much they're known for burning, especially being as old as they are now.
Also, fix all your oil leaks.

The OEM oil light is pretty much a dummy light; by the time it comes on, usually its too late.
I'd DEF get an aftermarket oil pressure gauge just to be safe. If you don't have adequate oil pressure, say goodbye to your entire motor.

As oil heats up, it gets thinner (less viscous). Thinner oil = lower oil pressure, which is why your only getting the light with a warm engine. You just wanna make sure oil pressure isn't TOO low.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:07 PM
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Re: oil light/pressure

Check the main seal, oil pan, and cam seal. You're Hemorraging.

STOP VTEC-ING YOU ARE STARVING YOUR ENGINE.

I dunno how many times, I've said it, keep an oil log/diary. Regular cars need to be dip checked every 500 miles, Hondas with vtec like every 200. Rings or walls are buring off the oil.

Pressure gauge only helps if you keep an eye on it. Just to be on the safe side, make the gauge mechanical, so you get analog and very accurate readings
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:56 PM
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Re: oil light/pressure

I guess I was one of the fortunate ones that did not get a Prelude that burns/leaks a ton of oil... Have owned it since 2003, never had to worry about it.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:00 PM
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Re: oil light/pressure

are you checking your oil level correctly? engine at operating temp, shut car off, wait like 10 min, or time enough for a cigarette, then take out the dipstick, wipe off, put in, pull out, check, wipe, put in, pull out, check?

if your oil light blinks on turns, stopping, etc, your oil shifts inside the engine, and if low enough will cause the light to blink.... check oil like i said above.

if your oil pressure is low, i am sorry to say this but how much mileage does your engine have? because oil pumps do not create pressure. the bearings do... the pumps do the minimal ammount of pressure, yes they pull the oil through, but the pressure is caused by the passages becoming smaller. its like putting your finger over the spout on a garden hose, if it is 100% open, it only sprays about 2 feet or so, but when you put your finger on the spout 95% its gonna shoot out about 20+ feet. thats where you get pressure. inside of an engine, there is a pressure spot at the pump, but usually when you start loosing pressure in a high mileage engine, its at the bearings in the block, and starving the head.

listen carefully for valve slapping, or even knocking... those are you signs to shut the car off immediatly to prevent further damage... but even at that point, you need to build or replace the engine because enough damage has been done at that point...

Question: when you get the oil light, do you shut off the car, wait a minute then restart? if yea, does the light stay on? or go away?
if it goes away till you hard stop, or turn the next time, then add a quart of oil, then take a hard turn, of course check your oil before doing so, but i bet it wont come back.....

if you have significant leaks, yes it can drop oil pressure, but if you use synthetic then stop now!!!! it will continue cleaning out old deposits where the gaskets have broken down over the years. use a high mileage oil that has additives to help seal those deposits until you can afford to fix the leaking gaskets, and then switch to full synthetic afterwards to prevent the breakdown of the gaskets, and keep your engine sludge free.

a oil pressure gauge is not a bad idea at all, you will be able to monitor it by exact number and determine whether or not your engine is worn, and needs bearing/seal replacement. but hey, like sideswipe said, did you bother checking your main seal for leakage? that would drop your pressure significantly

Last edited by ProjectPrelude95; 10-26-2013 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:10 PM
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Re: oil light/pressure

Thanks for all the great info. my car has +185k and I've had it for 3-4 years now and have only used synthetic oil, so i guess I'll be switching to conventional until I get my seals replaced. The only seal i know is still leaking is the oil pan gasket, although it could be others, i've already replaced the v-tec valve when I first got the car, and the valve gasket about a year or so ago, thats when the problem seemed to get worse. The light does go off when I turn off the engine for min then restart the car. I haven't really driven the car much in the past year because I had to rebuild the front end twice. I've also had the timing belt/ water pump etc replaced in the last year. I don't think I've replaced the main seal unless that was included in the timing belt replacement, I'll have to check on that. I'll have to find some time to get that oil pressure sensor put in, anyone have a suggestion on brand?
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:43 PM
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Re: oil light/pressure

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Originally Posted by ProjectPrelude95 View Post
are you checking your oil level correctly? engine at operating temp, shut car off, wait like 10 min, or time enough for a cigarette, then take out the dipstick, wipe off, put in, pull out, check, wipe, put in, pull out, check?
I always thought oil had to be checked on a cold engine, I usually keep the oil between the lower and upper dots (dipstick) and whenever I change the oil (4000km) it usually has dropped to just above the lower dot. I have a small drip leak around my oil pan.
If I understand correctly, between the lower and upper dots would be 1 litre of oil, I'm losing 500ml/4000km, not that bad, if I had the leak fixed I'm sure I'd only be losing 200ml/4000km.
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:38 PM
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Re: oil light/pressure

Go with high mileage conventional at the reccomended viscocity.

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Last edited by bykfixer; 10-28-2013 at 08:40 PM.
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