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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Oil pressure idiot light

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Scomber


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Posted 29 December 2011 - 04:17 PM

Mine is on. What are the odds? It could be the sender, or the pump. I haven't had a chance to get it checked with an actual mechanical pressure gauge yet.

If the pump is bad, what kind of bill am I looking at to get it fixed? I just had the timing belt done a couple months ago. I sort of wish I'd had it looked at then.

It's a '98 Legacy, 2.2L, 5 speed (if it matters), 206k.


Edited by Scomber, 29 December 2011 - 04:21 PM.

#2 Olnick


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Posted 29 December 2011 - 04:28 PM

Yeah, 20/20 hindsight (if it's the pump.) Who did your timing belt? Should always check out everything possible while the front end is opened up.

Hope it's a simple fix for you.

#3 Fairtax4me



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Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:20 PM

Yeah these pumps have an issue with the screws that hold the backing plate on getting loose and backing out. It's a simple fix but the pump has to be taken off to get to them.

#4 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:04 PM

That light is improperly named - it should be the "You're totally hosed - go directly to used engine dealer - do not pass go, and do not collect $200". Those idiot light sending units only take about 2 to 5 psi of oil pressure to turn the light off. If the engine is running with pressure that low - it's garbage in very short order. And one has to consider that the pressure has probably been dropping for a while before it got low enough for the light to come on.

Either that or the wire came off the sending unit and it's grounded to the block or sending unit is bad. You would be the first I've heard of for that happening though.


#5 the3rsss


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Posted 31 December 2011 - 05:32 PM

Wow. 3 to 5 lbs? Seriously? Then its useless! Anyone know of an upgraded one? Maybe ten lbs? Id like a little warning.

#6 john40iowa


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Posted 31 December 2011 - 05:33 PM

you might want to consider a true oil pressure gage:burnout:

#7 porcupine73


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Posted 31 December 2011 - 09:04 PM

If that light is on, check it out before driving it more. Because if the oil pressure is really that low, engine damage is sure to follow.

It takes just above zero pressure to make that light go off. A couple psig at the most.

I just had an issue with a plugged oil filter on my '94, and without an oil pressure gauge I would not have known, since the light was never on.

With thin hot oil at idle, the pressure might be pretty low, so I think they want that oil pressure switch to have a really low pressure so it doesn't flicker or give nuisance indications.

#8 Scomber


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Posted 01 January 2012 - 12:22 AM

Being New Years Eve, I haven't been able to get it properly checked yet, but the light has gone out. I did speak with a local Subaru mechanic and he says a bad gauge sender is common enough. I'll get it done as soon as possible (Monday, I hope), but there are no suspicious noises coming from the engine.


#9 jp98


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Posted 01 January 2012 - 10:35 AM

Usually when suspicious noises start it is too late.

#10 newsoobdude


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Posted 01 January 2012 - 07:00 PM

I was driving my 98 Outback that was still on the stock motor at 140k and new head gaskets and all that fun junk when I had an inspection window form on the top of my block where the "EJ" casting was. Idiot light never came on but oil pump died and heard an awful clatter before the new window appeared. Took all of 30 seconds for it to become a boat anchor. Still need to replace the idiot light with a true gauge.

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