Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I've got some questions.

My subaru has always been weird with oil. If i pull over, fill up, and check the level, it usually will show nothing. If it leave it for a few hours or overnight, it will show full oil

so on my recent trip to montana, about 1800 miles in, i pulled over after 4 hours of freeway driving and the oil pressure light was flickering on and off. kinda scary. so i added oil, and the next morning had the goodyear change my oil. they claimed that not a ton had come out, but not like it was hardly any.

anywho, so now my oil is still at a good level, 1000 miles after the last change, and the oil pressure light flickers for 1 second as i turn the engine when its cold. if the engine is warm, it doesn't flicker. i also hear a slight ticking when the light flickers.

my recent studies have been either a faulty oil pressure sender, or a failing pickup tube or oil pump.

it seems the pressure sender on my 2004 cali outback (gen 2) is sort of under the alternator and i'd have to pull that off to replace or look at it. I unclipped the connector, and it looks good.

whats the next step, replace the sender, or bring it to a shop to get them to pull the pan? I read you need to lift the engine to pull the pan, arg, what a pain.


I've also read that sometimes the noise and light can be caused my a bad oil filter. should i change the oil first, see if that helps?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
Hi,

I've got some questions.

My subaru has always been weird with oil. If i pull over, fill up, and check the level, it usually will show nothing. If it leave it for a few hours or overnight, it will show full oil

so on my recent trip to montana, about 1800 miles in, i pulled over after 4 hours of freeway driving and the oil pressure light was flickering on and off. kinda scary. so i added oil, and the next morning had the goodyear change my oil. they claimed that not a ton had come out, but not like it was hardly any.

anywho, so now my oil is still at a good level, 1000 miles after the last change, and the oil pressure light flickers for 1 second as i turn the engine when its cold. if the engine is warm, it doesn't flicker. i also hear a slight ticking when the light flickers.

my recent studies have been either a faulty oil pressure sender, or a failing pickup tube or oil pump.

it seems the pressure sender on my 2004 cali outback (gen 2) is sort of under the alternator and i'd have to pull that off to replace or look at it. I unclipped the connector, and it looks good.

whats the next step, replace the sender, or bring it to a shop to get them to pull the pan? I read you need to lift the engine to pull the pan, arg, what a pain.


I've also read that sometimes the noise and light can be caused my a bad oil filter. should i change the oil first, see if that helps?
Find someone who has a gauge and see if you can just check the pressure removing the sensor from the mix. Could be that you have Ok pressure but the sensor isn't happy. Or could be that you have something impacting pressure and the sensor is right that something is up. Put a gauge on it could give you some interesting info to ponder.
 

·
Registered
Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
Joined
·
2,926 Posts
Ticking is a strong indicator that your oil pressure is low. Get a gauge on it for sure. Don't wait.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
went to subaru to get have them read with a gauge and they want 135 bucks to put a gauge on it, wtf!?

dont have the money right now, guess i'll stick to walking and anytime i drive it double check the oil. i have a slight idea that i can hear a bearing noise, maybe something got messed up when it ran for a couple mins with the light flickering (low oil)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
All the oil changes I do. Set the correct number of quarts out before you start adding. Each empty you toss in a recycle bag so as to not mix emptys with full ones. Let the car sit for 5-10 minutes come back and take at least two dip stick checks to see where the level ended up. Car needs to be sitting flat of course. Then do the final little top off adjustment etc. I don't start the car till the final dip stick check.

Have never seen the oil level light activate on any of the cars I've worked on over the years using this approach. Only oil level light I had come on was due to a bad filter seal on the old LC which caused enough oil loss to trip the light. Actually had to replace the filter something was really wrong with the way the filter fit and just couldn't get it to seal up.
 

·
Registered
2007 OBXT Limited, 5MT 148K
Joined
·
420 Posts
My subaru has always been weird with oil. If i pull over, fill up, and check the level, it usually will show nothing. If it leave it for a few hours or overnight, it will show full oil
This sounds like you've got something impeding drainback. It shouldn't take more than a minute or two for the oil to get back to the pan. It's likely that's the case, the flickering light is more likely to be caused by the pump sucking air, than going bad.

If it was mine, I'd pull the valve covers and make sure the drain holes aren't coked shut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
This sounds like you've got something impeding drainback. It shouldn't take more than a minute or two for the oil to get back to the pan. It's likely that's the case, the flickering light is more likely to be caused by the pump sucking air, than going bad.

If it was mine, I'd pull the valve covers and make sure the drain holes aren't coked shut.

well funny enough, since that trip to montana and the low light idle situation, it seems to drain back perfect. i think you were right it must have been clogged. still makes its noise. maybe seafoam oil treatment and change might help get all the extra crap out
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top