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Old 07-18-2007, 08:24 AM   #1
racingrex
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Default Oil light flickers, comes on dimly, intermittently

I have a stock 1990 integra LS 4 dr. after some spirited driving yesterday I noticed the oil light on the gauge cluster came on. It seems like it is not fully lit, like its not as bright as when you just turn the car on. In addition it is intermittent and random. I saw it come on and immediatley pulled over and killed the car in case I had dropped a filter or something. I drove home gingerly and parked it over night thinking it was oil temp or something of that nature causing a drop in pressure. I checked the level and it is full. I'm running quaker state 10w-30 high RPM synthetic blend (got it on sale).

This morning I drove it to work and for the first couple miles of my commute it was on and off and dim just like last night; then it went out and stayed out.

Any thoughts?

Thanks guys
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Oil light flickers, comes on dimly, intermittently (racingrex)

Same problem with my 1990 LS Integra. oil light is not that bright but dimly intermittently.

Here's what I did so far:

1) replaced the oil sensor switch. No go. same problem with on and off.
2) going to install a new oil pump and see if that's go away.

Someone told me to flush the engine which might loose up the gunk inside the engine. I was going to do an oil change with engine flush. However, when I told the mechanic about why I was doing it for. He strongly disagreed as it might cause more problem. (My car has over 200K miles already).

Replacing the oil sensor switch is pretty cheap like around $60.00.

Hope it helps.
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Old 07-18-2007, 03:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Oil light flickers, comes on dimly, intermittently (lovemyintegra1)

Update:

Oil light went to full bore flash on and off indicating, to quote the owners manual "a severe loss of oil pressure"

does this mean oil pump? or is there anything else in there?

please help!!!!
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Old 07-18-2007, 06:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Oil light flickers, comes on dimly, intermittently (racingrex)

You must determine if you actually have an oil pressure problem or an oil warning system problem. Don't just start replacing parts. You must test the oil pressure with a gauge to see if you have an oil pressure problem.

The oil pressure is checked after a short drive to warm up the oil and car to normal operating temps. The hotter the oil is, the lower the pressures will be, so I make sure to test after a good drive. You should have a minimum of 10 psi of oil pressure at idle, and 50 psi of oil pressure at 3K rpms. These are minimum specs given in the Helms. My pressures are 17 psi at idle and 70 at 3K, and thats with 304K miles on the engine. When the oil is cold, the pressures will go way up.

An oil pressure gauge is a good idea on any car, so why not install one now to see your actual oil pressures and always keep an eye on them.

If you oil pressures are fine, then you have an oil pressure warning system failure. It can be caused by a bad sending unit, short in the wiring, moisture in the connection or poor connection, or a failing Integrated Control Unit (ICU). Every function on my ICU had been starting to fail, so when I started having the oil pressure light come on, I had a feeling it was the ICU. I installed a gauge and confirmed my suspicion, my oil pressure was fine.

I love having the oil pressure gauge, and if you make it a habit of glancing at it very often, it can give you an earlier warning than the original warning system that waits until you are dangerously low in oil pressure before coming on.

Oh ya, one more thing, a flashing oil warning light means that you had a momentary loss of oil pressure, and a solid light means a constant loss of oil pressure. This is all from memory when I researched it for my oil problems, pretty sure this info is correct.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Oil light flickers, comes on dimly, intermittently (Sam92Teg)

my car also has quite a few miles on it 255k.

I replaced the oil pressure sender unit thingy, it was cheap and easy so I thought what the hey, could be an easy fix. Anyway, it wasn't. I replaced that, fired up the car; oil light was dim and slightly flickery again.

I had an oil pressure gauge sittin' around that I had never hooked up. I went to the hardware store got some plumbing and fittings for it and hooked it up. I turned on the car again, the pressure gauge pegged out at 80 psi. I let it sit for a while to warm up. the temp gauge on the dash got to halfway between C and H, and engine was warm/hot to touch. At this point oil pressure gauge read about 20-24 psi and i could rev it to 2k and the reading would shoot to about 80 psi. Is this TOO high??

With that said, it sounds to me to be electrical. I replaced sending unit. Thats not it. The connection to sending unit was pretty ratty, it was old and cracked and I'm not sure about good connectivity, or how sound the wire is. Also I'm not too familiar with the ICU, any more info?


RECAP:

1: Replaced oil pressure sending unit - didn't fix it

2: Plugged in pressure gauge - getting good pressure - 20psi @ idle / 80psi @ 2k

3: wires were kinda ratty connecting to oil sending unit

4: what is ICU and what can I do about it

THANKS GUYS!!
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Oil light flickers, comes on dimly, intermittently (racingrex)

The ICU is located behind the interior fuse panel and controls many items. One thing that it controls is the oil pressure warning circuit and when it fails, it gives false warnings. It cost over $200 new, that is why I am using an oil pressure gauge.

My ICU has failed on the intermediate wipers, the oil warning circuit, the rear defroster timer, the blinker signals and some interior beepers. My blinker signals work, but I get an odd flash out of the opposite side marker. As for the rest, doesn't bother me at all.
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oil light flickers, comes on dimly, intermittently (Sam92Teg)

Sam92Teg.

The problem with your ICU can be fixed for around $5.0.

I can dig up the link tonight if you want.

Some of capacitors was fired (it appears to be known problem...)
which caused your wiper and defroster problem.

The link will show you where to replace the cap and you are good to go.
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