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Oil warning light came on while driving

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by 97 FZJ80, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. 97 FZJ80

    97 FZJ80

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    Something really weird happened today. The 80 has been running for about 5 minutes, or about 2 miles from home. Water temperature is in the normal range as was the oil pressure (on the first notch of the OPG cruising at 40MPH). All of a sudden, the oil warning light came on. I quickly backed off the throttle, put the truck into neutral, and coasted onto the side of the road while checking over the gauges. When i finally pull over the truck and came to a full stop in a safe area, and before I was able to turn the engine off, the oil warning light extinguished itself. All along the oil pressure gauge never registered any lost of oil pressure. FWIW, the truck ran perfectly and the oil level was normal.

    Some questions:

    1. What does the Oil warning light indicates? Is it low oil pressure or low oil volume?

    2. Does the oil warning light and the oil pressure gauge run off the same sensor?

    3. What might cause the oil warning light to be lit?

    My LX450 has 79XXX miles, runs Toyota filter (the newer, smaller, "good" model) and synthetic 10W30 oil. Synthetic oil changed every 5k miles and 4XXX miles since the last oil change. Oil level check this past weekend. No oil loss (<.25 qts) since last oil change.

    I must admit, this experience left me thinking about the need for a audio warning system. I normally monitors only the gauges and never thought to look for the oil pressure light (my other car only has an oil pressure gauge and NO oil warning light). Any thoughts on this "incident"

    John
     
  2. Beowulf

    Beowulf

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    >> 1. What does the Oil warning light indicates? Is it low oil pressure or low oil volume? <<

    There is a warning light for the oil level. It comes on when the engine is about 1 qt low. Since it is a "float" type of sensor you will notice that it may come on and off depending on the angle of the truck even though you may be just a little low.

    -B-
     
  3. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

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    John, B-wulf is right that it just means low oil. Not sure how you could fail to see the oil warning light come on even for a moment. Scary isn't it?

    Just curious whether it came on after a stretch of highway driving when you were decelarating. Mine flickered on last night for the second time ever. Both in exactly the same place, on a level grade after a short 1 mile section of highway merged back into city street speeds. Both times I was down to just above the add line, but I've been at that level before without a flicker.
     
  4. 97 FZJ80

    97 FZJ80

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    [quote author=semlin link=board=2;threadid=11058;start=msg99893#msg99893 date=1076009655]
    John, B-wulf is right that it just means low oil. Not sure how you could fail to see the oil warning light come on even for a moment. Scary isn't it?

    Just curious whether it came on after a stretch of highway driving when you were decelarating. Mine flickered on last night for the second time ever. Both in exactly the same place, on a level grade after a short 1 mile section of highway merged back into city street speeds. Both times I was down to just above the add line, but I've been at that level before without a flicker.


    [/quote]

    I was paying extra attention to the driving condition and not really looking at the gauges in my peripheral vision. It was pouring rain and the visibility was low.

    The light came on after 1/2 mile of 40MPH cruising on level road. The oil level reading was 1/4" above the low mark. Since I plan on changing the oil this coming weekend, I didn't bother to top it off.

    I suppose Toyota is being extra cautious with the oil level indicator light.

    John
     
  5. the shed guy

    the shed guy

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    If it were really cold I guess if the oil was extra thick from the cold, it could of been taking its time getting back to the sump, enough to make the low level light come on.
     
  6. MH_Stevens

    MH_Stevens

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    I have same thing here are more details. Start from cold is normal. After about 2 miles when engine warm Oil Warning light comes on. After another good run when engine hot light goes off and stays off until cold again.
     
  7. Darwood

    Darwood

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    The oil level light is how I know when to change the oil. :hillbilly:

    If the light isn't red, i.e. it's orange, then it's just a warning and something that should be looked at when you get a chance but doesn't really necessitate immediate action.
     
  8. rmcmanus8a

    rmcmanus8a

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    As stated above, mine will come on when I am 1 quart low on oil.
     
  9. RetiredLifeguard

    RetiredLifeguard

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    Mine comes on when I'm a quart low.
     
  10. Atticus

    Atticus

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    I have the exact same thing. I stopped and checked the oil as soon as it happened last time, and I was about 2/3 up the fill mark on the dipstick. I don't know what the deal is.
     
  11. arndog123

    arndog123

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    My '97 did the same thing running Mobil-1 5w30 oil. It stopped doing it when I switched over to Mobil 10w30. Decided to stay w/ that oil weight because that's what my trucks use including my Integra.
     
  12. Atticus

    Atticus

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    Were you leaking oil at the lighter weight?
     
  13. arndog123

    arndog123

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  14. 70sguy

    70sguy GOLD Star

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    I have to hand it to the Toyota engineers.... the light comes on when you are a quart low.. first time you kinda freak out and then only add a quart to top it off and then know the next time you see the light you can deal with it next time you fill up or whatever.. cuz you have 8 quarts left.

    Now my VW TDI.. ya.. the low oil light comes on about 30 seconds before you start sucking air off the bottom of the oil pan.... Nice.
     
  15. Ebag333

    Ebag333

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    I got my oil changed Friday. And yes, it's topped off.

    The oil light came on today while driving. Lets just say that my oil light is *VERY* sensitive.

    Now the :princess: truck comes on at darn near exactly a quart low.

    I'm half tempted to just pull the bulb since it's on so much. I should probably replace the sensor, but it doesn't look particularly simple....
     
  16. breadbox

    breadbox

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    Mine will come on at 1/4 of a quart low, I would say that the sensor is sensitive, I freaked out the first time as well, but since then it will come on and turn off then I know it is time to add some oil or do an oil change depends on the amount of time between oil changes.
     
  17. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew SILVER Star

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    Dudes...I've never seen the light.:cool: I've never had to add oil between changes. If I saw the light, I would check the level. This motor has tons of reserve. Keep it topped off and don't worry about it.
     
  18. lndcruz

    lndcruz

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    Haha, last time i rode in my sisters 80 that light was on and she had no idea what it was. I was like have you checked the oil? Her response was she still has pressure!
     
  19. 94SRUNNER

    94SRUNNER GOLD Star

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    Indcruz, those sound like some famous last words there! Ha!

    I have only had my oil light come on once and it went off a couple seconds later. I checked the oil and everything was fine.
     
  20. bpassmore

    bpassmore Site ***** SILVER Star

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    x2. same here.