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Oil Light Problem- *UPDATE*
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PatterBon
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:31 pm    Post subject: Oil Light Problem- *UPDATE* Reply with quote

Hey guys,
As most of you know, a little over a year ago I rebuilt my engine and have been taking good care of it ever since. But within these past 2 week, while going to my girlfrieds, my oil pressure light has started to flicker at idle. Her house is only a 15 mile trip away from mine but it's all highway driving. I know that the official VW manual says that after the engine warms up after a bit its normal to see the light flicker. But being cautious, I read up on oil and changed my oil for straigh 30w to 10w-40 to try and increase case pressue.

I started feeling better after driving to her house a few days ago after the oil change and the light stayed off..I figured I had fixed the problem.

But today, after going on a 24 mile trip, the light came on and would stay on at idle, it wouldn't flicker it was just on. The second I started to go again, it would go off..But still it is a point of concern..I have just over 10,000 miles on the engine and don't drive it rough at all so I hope its just a switch issue and not the bearings Shocked

So I just want a second opinion from you guys..I'm thinking its the oil pressure switch because I don't abuse my engine and I change the oil constantly. What do you guys think?
Thanks fellas!
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Last edited by PatterBon on Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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69 Jim
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are the rpm's at idle?
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PatterBon
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I set them to 900, so its right around where it should be. Not to low and not to high I don't think, I'll take a video and we can listen by ear. But the closest access that I have to a tach is 36 miles away and when he's open I'm at school or work. But I'd say 900.
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PatterBon
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, the light went off after some "smoother" driving at lower speeds..it only does it while highway driving..
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hay are you on the olydubs site, or bugswest?? I know there are guys in you neighborhood that have A tack.. When your oil light comes on reeve the motor up A little(just A little) vroom,vroom,vroom,, if the light wount go off Stop driving it..
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Paul Windisch
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try to get the oil light to flicker and come on then install an oil pressure gauge to see what the actual oil pressure is. You may have a pressure switch going bad. Certainly you are in tune now to how the engine is supposed to sound, so if you don't hear any unusaul noises, my bet is on the switch going bad. Check it out before you assume, though.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine does the same thing.I put in a new switch and it still does it.It's a single port out of a 67 that I put a new top end on.It runs perfect and has no endplay.If I set the idle to 1000 it won't come on.I've put about 5000 miles on it since the rebuild and it's done it since day one.I'm going to check my oil relief spring and piston on my next oil change.
Someone one on here says that theirs has come on at idle since 1973. Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A flicker at idle when hot is ok, but Patterbon said at one point it came on solid while he was reving it, that's no good and needs to be sorted out.

EDIT: I mis-read. It did not stay on while reving / driving. Either way, make sure the actual oil pressure is within spec and proceed from there.
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PatterBon
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wilco, I'm trying to get my hands on a pressure switch, to and from school it does just fine and the engine runs like a champ, takes hills really well, the whole 9 yard..But I can't express my concern about having the engine in top shape..I don't want to do rebuild #5..John Morris suggested pressure switch, releif plugs, and oil pump..but he's a good 45 minute highway drive from here and I'd rather not risk it..If you know what I mean..
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easiest thing to do is spend $5 and get a new oil pressure sender switch and screw it in. As already suggested, yours may be going bad.

Your OReilly auto parts store has one in stock. $7.99
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detail/BWD0/S402...;ppt=C0039

After a new switch is installed and the light still comes on, get a gauge and see what pressures you are really running.

Dave
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PatterBon
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will do, I'll go do that tomorrow after school..Thanks guys..I'll report back and let you all know..Dave, is there any way to tell if the old switch is bad once its out? Or should I just take the beetle on a drive and see how she does?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like your Beetle is jealous of you going to your girlfriend's place Laughing

The pressure switch sounds like it's going bad. They aren't that expensive and at today's gas prices it's cheaper than driving to where you can get access to a tach.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatterBon wrote:
Will do, I'll go do that tomorrow after school..Thanks guys..I'll report back and let you all know..Dave, is there any way to tell if the old switch is bad once its out? Or should I just take the beetle on a drive and see how she does?


Not really any way to check. The spring inside goes bad, the seals leak, etc. Keep in mind that even new ones have been known to be bad. Shocked most often they are fine but on occasion.........

Careful when you install the new one, don't overtighten, it is a taper thread.

Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figure (especially after reading the oils sticky) that the ACVW engine runs hotter than H2O cooled gas engines. And diesels run hotter. So putting 2 and 2 together, I switched to Shell Rotella 15W-40 diesel engine oil.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought, what oil are you using, when was it last changed etc, the new modern thin 0w/10 oils and other synthetic oils for modern engines arent really suitable for a VW air coole lump.Try a 20w/50, worked for me with similar issues in my Vanagon. Sorry if Im teaching granny to suck eggs but a good quality mineral or maybe semi synthetic oil and frequent changes is in my opinion best for a VW Air cooled car, the others get too thin and can cause this issue and leaks. A friend had an old 911 Porsche, complained to me of smoky start ups and oil light flicker at idle when hot. The correct oil cured the problem.
Hope this helps, Mark
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marklee wrote:
Just a thought, what oil are you using, when was it last changed etc, the new modern thin 0w/10 oils and other synthetic oils for modern engines arent really suitable for a VW air coole lump.Try a 20w/50, worked for me with similar issues in my Vanagon. Sorry if Im teaching granny to suck eggs but a good quality mineral or maybe semi synthetic oil and frequent changes is in my opinion best for a VW Air cooled car, the others get too thin and can cause this issue and leaks. A friend had an old 911 Porsche, complained to me of smoky start ups and oil light flicker at idle when hot. The correct oil cured the problem.
Hope this helps, Mark


From the OP's first post,
Quote:
But being cautious, I read up on oil and changed my oil for straigh 30w to 10w-40 to try and increase case pressue.
He mentioned that it was done within the past 2 weeks.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marklee wrote:
.....Try a 20w/50, worked for me with similar issues in my Vanagon..........


Yep, that's an old water cooled VW trick. Worked for me also, on a 1985 Cabriolet.

I say do the 20w-50 oil trick. Bet it cures it. Cool

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PatterBon wrote:
I set them to 900, so its right around where it should be. Not to low and not to high I don't think, I'll take a video and we can listen by ear. But the closest access that I have to a tach is 36 miles away and when he's open I'm at school or work. But I'd say 900.


You really need to pick up a cheap dwell/tach meter. Should be part of any VW toolbox. You don't need to install one on the dash, Just pick up a cheap portable one. Less than $30. Until then, give me a call and borrow mine. I think mine is 20 years old.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Semper_Dad wrote:
PatterBon wrote:
I set them to 900, so its right around where it should be. Not to low and not to high I don't think, I'll take a video and we can listen by ear. But the closest access that I have to a tach is 36 miles away and when he's open I'm at school or work. But I'd say 900.


You really need to pick up a cheap dwell/tach meter. Should be part of any VW toolbox. You don't need to install one on the dash, Just pick up a cheap portable one. Less than $30. Until then, give me a call and borrow mine. I think mine is 20 years old.
PatterBon,, See I told you there were guys in your neighborhood Wink
And if you know John Morris? then your in good hands Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dan macmillan wrote:
marklee wrote:
Just a thought, what oil are you using, when was it last changed etc, the new modern thin 0w/10 oils and other synthetic oils for modern engines arent really suitable for a VW air coole lump.Try a 20w/50, worked for me with similar issues in my Vanagon. Sorry if Im teaching granny to suck eggs but a good quality mineral or maybe semi synthetic oil and frequent changes is in my opinion best for a VW Air cooled car, the others get too thin and can cause this issue and leaks. A friend had an old 911 Porsche, complained to me of smoky start ups and oil light flicker at idle when hot. The correct oil cured the problem.
Hope this helps, Mark


From the OP's first post,
Quote:
But being cautious, I read up on oil and changed my oil for straigh 30w to 10w-40 to try and increase case pressue.
He mentioned that it was done within the past 2 weeks.



I agree, but if the wrong type or grade of oil was used it couldve been done an hour ago the trouble would still be apparant.....
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