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Old 08-20-2009, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Low Oil Pressure problem....HELP!!!

initially i was driving my 1995 chevy impala ss and noticed the low oil level light comes on for a few seconds then the check engine icon lights up. at first i could continue driving but now it shuts down whether i'm at a stop or going 70 mph on the freeway within about 2-3 miles . i replaced the oil pump, oil pump screen (it was clogged up), oil level sensor(which was basically melted off), oil pressure sensor and it still shuts down. i was told that my oil isn't migrating properly and to check the venemous system, parts well, and oil gallery. when we removed the valve covers the valves were not pumping oil as they should, some hardly at all. I must admit that i foolishly used a oil stop leak product early last year that didn't work worth a damn. so i'm thinking that it caused a clog. well i ran 2 motor flushes and did notice the new oil that i used just for the flush was dirty. afterwards the valves were pumping oil much much better....all of them.....into the oil gallery. BUT.....the car still kills!!!!! same problem....the oil pressure gauge dips all the way to red and the low oil level light appears quickly followed by the check engine icon. another point is even with 5 qts of oil (the recommended amt) the oil pressure gauge is still reading rather low (just passed 1/4). i just found out that there was an oil pressure sensor relay for this car but none of the diagrams in the under hood nor dash fuse boxes mention it.....anybody knows where it is located????? another point to think about is the dip stick read low even after i replace all of these parts AND added 5 qts, however it read correctly after the engine flush was done but the oil pressure gauge in the dash is STILL reading low and constantly dips.......aaarrrggghhhhhh!!!!!! SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!! could it be the oil pressure sensor relay or do i need a real flush at a mechanic shop....i hate going to shops because i can see their fangs drop when they see my car $$$$$.

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Old 08-20-2009, 01:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well where to start here.........ok, You have more issues at hand here than a motor flush is going to solve. For the pump and screen to be clogged there is something much more serious going on here. First I must suggest to STOP driving your car before you completely kill the engine. First thing I would do is remove the intake manifold and see how much crap in laying in the valley. After you scrape all this tar/coal out you should drop the oil pan and see how clogged the screen is again.


If you have been using a cheap oil, stop. If your using a decent oil but not changing it every 3000 miles and letting go alot more (standard oils not synthetic) then you need to change your habits. It seems like there is alot more to this story of why the engine is having these issues. We have never had a plugged LT1 oil pick up screen and we have seen some nasty motors.


Let us know what you find and take pictures whenever possible.

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Old 08-22-2009, 02:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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oil pressure problem...cont'd

thanx man but i may have overstated the clogged issue. the pump was fine just old and the screen did have residue but it was still far more open than not, however at the time the cost of replacing both was not so bad. i have stopped driving it as soon as it began faltering due to growing tired of being stranded or towed. i'll have a look at the intake manifold as you suggested but as i said after the flush the dipstick began to read correctly, which i could be wrong but that should be an indicator no blockage of the intake manifold

as far as oil quality, i always use royal purple or a fully synthetic every 3-4 thousand miles and always replace the filter on each change. the oil pan did have gook in it when we first began this project but i haven't run it since we cleaned it so it should still be clean.

do you happen to know the location of the oil pressure sensor relay??? i didn't know it had one at first and i'd like to get it tested at least to make sure it's not the problem...i looked at the under hood box and the one on side the dash but have no idea of which one it could be or where....as i previously stated the oil pressure gauge isn't reading as it should and it quickly dips to red right before the car kills.....once again THanx!!!!

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Old 08-23-2009, 10:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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have you ever put an external oil pressure gauge on to see what actual oil pressure is? At least figure out if it is mechanical and electrical for sure.

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Old 09-07-2009, 06:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm new to the Impalas (I've only had mine a couple weeks), but I've had an LT1 Camaro for years. When we rebuilt my Camaro motor the top of the oil drive shaft had a plastic collar that had broken. We put in a new (High pressure) Melling oil pump with a new shaft which had a metal collar. It most definitely fixed my oil pressure problems. When you changed out the pump did you get a new shaft with the metal collar? If it is still plastic it could be broken and your oil pump may not be turning the way it should.

Also, when you pull your intake I would remove the oil pump drive adapter and make sure it is not damaged. It has a plastic housing too and could have fractured.

Lastly, I'm not sure if they put them in the Impala LT1s, but the Camaro LT1s had an oil cooler plumbed in just above the oil filter. I got rid of mine all together, and when I pulled it out it was about 60% clogged. Also it lets me run a longer truck type filter.

Also, plugging in a mechanical guage is rather easy to do. You can pick one up at just about any autoparts shop. On my Camaro I used the port just above the oil filter to confirm my guage was reading correctly. That is always a good idea to confirm your dash guages are correct.

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