Alfa Romeo Forums banner

Oil Pressure Light

2342 Views 20 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Graham D
Hey guys, long time no talk.

Just got the car back from a shop; there was a driveline issue that had to be resolved.

Question though. The oil pressure light flicked on the first time I was driving it, so, naturally, I checked the oil. The car burns some oil, and the oil level was right above minimum. I put two quarts of 10W-40 in it, and it brought it up to about 2/3 level I suppose. I didn't have another quart on hand but I figured it would do for a while. Anyways, the problem didn't come back for a day or so, but now has come back and it continues to stay on (flashing) even while the pedal is depressed. The gauge hovers at around 3 bar at idle (right below the quarter mark) and at cruising speeds (or RPM's, rather) it hovers around 4 bar (middle mark) at about 2800 RPM or so (this is of course with a hot engine). Is the sensor light faulty or am I really having some oil pump problems? Should I go to a 5W-40 oil instead? I believe a synthetic is in there now (not my choice, and yes I was irritated) but if you guys think it is best to get some good regular oil (it'd be great if someone had input on weights and types, please!) then I will do that first.

Just looking out for the little engine. They're so few and far between these days that I can't bear to see mine go! :eek:

Thanks again, guys. Always a great help! :)
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
fist check that the wire is on the sender.
it is the small sender on the left head facing the firewall.
if the wire is on. then replace the sender. it is cheap and easy to get at.

as a rule if there is anything showing at all on the gauge at all the light should be out.
I think the light is set to a very low setting.
Do they oil pressures sound okay for the car though? As in, do you think there's a chance it could be the pump or, as I read a little bit on around here, the relief valve?
Relax. Replace the sender, IAP # 34264 $5.95 (NFI). It's a tight fit back there as the sender is right next to a heater hose. I used a 21mm deep socket with a vice-grips. Rotate 60 degrees, reposition the socket, do not loosen the vice-grips. Sounds crude, but it works. A piece of duct tape on the cover-plate stud on the back RH head will save some skin and a drop of Hylomar on the sender threads will prevent leaks. Do this, have a beer, all will be well.
Okay, I'm relaxed. :)

Well, I'll just ignore the thing until that new sensor gets here. I'll keep an eye on the gauge just in case, like I always do. :p

Oh, I'd have that beer, but unfortunately I'm 16. :rolleyes:
21mm coming out, 24mm (15/16") going in. Do loosen and re-lock the VG on the socket. Enjoy a Rootbeer; it's good too.
Hi guys.

Took a look at it today and apparently all is not well. Oil has been leaking out of the oil gauge sender unit, I believe, or the round boot-ish thing next to the light sender. The light sender is snug and tight although is covered with oil. I don't know how to get at the gauge sender. Any ideas?
With age the warning light sender often leaks through the housing (so even if it is tight in the head it may leak). You should be able to remove the sender for the gauge - the bulky sender. Fit a wrench "underneath" it - forget the size, could be 13 mm, 15 mm, or 17 mm, ...

Would it be advisable to go ahead and replace both senders? Also, is the car at least a little driveable with this problem or should it not be run at all?
Besides the nuisance of the oil leaking (and possibly burning off on the exhaust) I don't think there is any issues with running the car.

BTW, think you need a crow foot to get at one of the senders...

Thanks guys. I'll take a look at both those senders and replace them if needed.
change the lite first. it can spray a fine jet on to the other sender making it look like it is leaking. change clean it up and see if there is a leak on the other sender.
the light type leak when they go bad. the gauge sender does not leak as a rule they just go bad inside. They can leak but that is uncommon. and it is a pain to change and that sender cost $$$
if you have a rare working one I would not change it. some times you get one that will last a long time. but sometime the new one will only last a month or so.
The sender is a biatch. I just changed mine on my Verde. I had to cut a 14mm wrench in half. Seems to work well now though.
Some early 87 milano's had press fit senders for the oil light. If your not careful they shear off and then the fun starts. (don't ask how I know):(
I was only going to take out the light sender anyway first, but I might go ahead and get another gauge sender just in case. They aren't that expensive.

I'll be careful about removing it, but is there any way to tell? I'm pretty sure this is a threaded one because it tightens clockwise but I don't really know. :confused:
I was told by IAP that senders for 87 are NLA. I didn't check with anyone else.
I ended up leaving the stem in since there didn't seem to be any way to drill it out to the proper ID. I ended up making a short tap and sealed it with a small machine screw.
The fellow at IAP told me they (87)were a press fit, I never confirmed.
yea I never have seen such a thing as a press fit. my 87 and my shop books show a threaded for both senders. they might have ment how the sender was put together?

if it shered off it might look that way.
BTW which part was NLA the light or the other one? if it is the light. try the local auto place. It is a common part that is used on most of the jap cars too. I never have had a problem getting one at the local places.
as long as the threads are the same I think there are only two types. NC and NO

BTW the 164 is the opposite type so the light is on when you have oil and out when you do not.
Right, well, I picked up the new part down here locally and they only had one left and weren't positive it was the right one. It wasn't. Good news is one of the guys down there agreed to replace my power steering rack for me in a few weeks so I'm glad I went there anyway.

Got home and took the old one off with many a dropped wrench and quite oily hands. New one wouldn't fit, so I put the old one back on and tightened it a bit. I happened to notice that it wasn't very tight to begin with, but I figured I might as well install the new one anyway. This seems to have solved the problem; no more warning light after a 30 minute drive or a 15 minute idle session. Gauge pressure didn't change much at all. I'll have a look-see in the morning to see whether any of the oil spilled out, but my dad and I checked it after 15 minutes of idling and none was leaking out.

Thanks for your help guys! I've decided I'm going to get this thing running like a top with some money I've made from work (my original savings for a new car :D). My mom's not too happy about it, but she'll get over it. :)

I'm sure I'll be back soon! :)
See less See more
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.