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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Curious Oil Situation

So I killed my 4 year old battery last week. When I jumped the car, I took it for a test drive around the block to see if the "service battery charge system" indicator would go away. Just as I pulled back into the driveway, the message suddenly changed to "oil pressure low stop engine."

We replaced the battery. Being the nervous person I am, I wanted to make sure the oil level was ok before I dared to drive it. I'd hoped maybe the sad old battery had been to blame for the oil message.

I checked the oil level and it was a hair lower than full. As it is such a vital component of the engine, I checked the oil again. The dip stick came out DRY. I added abut a quart and checked it again. Still didnt register on the dip stick. I ran the engine for maybe 5 seconds. Checked the dip stick again and it registered as slightly too full. I wiped the dip stick off and tried to check it again. Not a drop was indicated.

I currently have the car parked until we figure out what needs replacing. Last year the same message appeared and it turned out to be a bad oil pressure sensor which we promptly replaced. Any ideas on what it might be?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-03-2019
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Stupid question, but are you wiping the oil dipstick before checking the level each time? It makes no sense that the oil level would read high once and then bone dry the second time, unless you are not wiping the dipstick before checking the oil the first time...
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-03-2019
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Battery would have no bearing on the oil consumption or loss. Sounds like the message you got about your oil being low was accurate.

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Originally Posted by linker2019 View Post
I checked the oil level and it was a hair lower than full.
Was the car running or had it been just shut off when you checked it?

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Originally Posted by linker2019 View Post
As it is such a vital component of the engine, I checked the oil again. The dip stick came out DRY. I added abut a quart and checked it again. Still didnt register on the dip stick. I ran the engine for maybe 5 seconds. Checked the dip stick again and it registered as slightly too full. I wiped the dip stick off and tried to check it again. Not a drop was indicated.
Oil is running to the bottom of the pan. Car on pumps the oil up and it shows on the stick. You need to check the oil level with the car off and after it has sat.

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I currently have the car parked until we figure out what needs replacing. Last year the same message appeared and it turned out to be a bad oil pressure sensor which we promptly replaced. Any ideas on what it might be?
As low as you likely have been running on oil there may already be damage done. Check for leaks, to be that low the oil had to go somewhere. If it were mine I would drain what is in it and fill with the correct amount of oil for your car. You should post more info on year model and what engine.

My 6 year constantly asks why. What adults can learn from 5 and 6 year olds, to listen with your ears and mind open. Hard to learn when you don't listen ......
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-03-2019 Thread Starter
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My car is a 2008 Impala LS 3.5 V6 with 140k miles.

The car was completely cold when I initially checked it.

I ran the car for 5 seconds just to see if it registered oil when it ran.

I plan to change the oil and filter after work tomorrow. It had been suggested that I could try to flush the system. I'd also heard to try either Mystery Oil or Seafoam.

There are no noises or leaks I can see. The car sounds as wonderful as the day I bought it in 2015.

I've been doing my oil changes every 3 months/3,000 miles since I could drive.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-04-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linker2019 View Post
My car is a 2008 Impala LS 3.5 V6 with 140k miles.

The car was completely cold when I initially checked it.

I ran the car for 5 seconds just to see if it registered oil when it ran.

I plan to change the oil and filter after work tomorrow. It had been suggested that I could try to flush the system. I'd also heard to try either Mystery Oil or Seafoam.

There are no noises or leaks I can see. The car sounds as wonderful as the day I bought it in 2015.

I've been doing my oil changes every 3 months/3,000 miles since I could drive.
Changing the oil and filter is a good way to get a known baseline.
Don't add anything other than oil to the engine. The lifters aren't clattering so there's no need.

If you suspect a leak add some UV dye to the oil and poke around the engine with a blacklight wearing the funny yellow glasses. It will not affect performance and you can just drain it out with the spent oil when you do the next oil change.

Pulling the dipstick without wiping it off isn't how you check the oil. One of your posts read like you just pulled the stick and looked. Pardon me if that was not your intended meaning.
Park on a level surface.
Engine off for at least 5 minutes.
Pull the stick and wipe it off.
Put it back in and pull it back out to read the level.

If your low oil pressure set a P0521 code it'll need to be cleared.
Read your codes and write them down.
Clear them and take it for a short trip... assuming it doesn't instantly complain about low oil pressure.
Read any new codes stored.
The oil pressure sensor is a known failure point but first make sure the wiring is OK and the crankcase is full.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-05-2019
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my 2010 LS 3.5 flex fuel was rough on gaskets. several front and rear main seals, oil pan gaskets. at the end before i sold the car the mechanic said it wasn't leaking (i'd had him replace the seals that were bad when he was doing a trans rebuild) it was burning the oil probably. it still ran great and loved a long road trip, you just had to keep an eye on the oil. i'd check it once a week and see where the oil/antifreeze was at.

are you changing your own oil or is a shop doing it? maybe you need to check after they get done to see if they are filling it back up properly. i'm not trying to patronize you at all here, just trying to help figure out what's going on. i know with my impala i had to wait several hours after starting to for the oil to return to the bottom of the motor for an accurate check. for this reasoning i just checked it first thing in the morning before i started it.
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