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Oil pressure light..depending on outside temp

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Oil pressure light..depending on outside temp

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Old 02-08-2019, 12:00 AM
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Oil pressure light..depending on outside temp

I come to ye ol' super smart Mini people most humbly...

So I can usually google most of what im looking for, but this one has me stumped, so i come to you all to get some clues to my problem.
1st the car...2004 R53 JCW, 112k miles.
2) recent(ish) maint: oil change, SC oil change, harmic balancer replaced, air filter, alt, plugs&wires.

Now...the problem. <49°f (maybe 50°) engine hot or cold---oil pressure light on when under 1300rpm. >50°f(maybe 51°) engine hot or cold--no oil pressure light. I can see it happen as the temp rises or drops on my way to work or on the way home, or just driving (51° to 47°) then as i come out of the valley back up to >50° it doesnt come on.

Ive checked for crushed filter, the check valve thing in the oil filter housing. I have not checked the actual oil pressure at sensor yet...thats next.

Suggestions, ideas? TIA
Matt
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:29 AM
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Try changing the sensor. They are sensitive to oil pressure and if its going bad it could respond that way to thicker oil when the engine is cold. Another symptom of a bad sensor could be activation at low rpm and turning off at high rpm. Check the pressure at the sensor. Believe it or not the sensor is set to come on at around 6 psi. I know that sounds low but it doesn’t take much oil pressure to ensure that the crank bearings are floating on that thin film of oil.
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:56 AM
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It might be a loose wire. When cold, the metal is contracted and a good connection made. As it warms up, the metal expands and may lose contact, Just a thought, based on temperature.
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:02 AM
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Thanks, ill look at those today when it warms up.
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:16 AM
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The key factor here is that it happens when ambient temp is below 50F, even with engine fully warmed up - correct?

Then I think you can rule out engine compartment thermal expansion / oil viscosity as causes.

Does it also fail when the cab in temp is warm?

Maybe something going on in the electronics.
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Minidogger View Post
The key factor here is that it happens when ambient temp is below 50F, even with engine fully warmed up - correct?

Then I think you can rule out engine compartment thermal expansion / oil viscosity as causes.

Does it also fail when the cab in temp is warm?

Maybe something going on in the electronics.
cab can be hot or cold. Heat on blast or off. I havent been running the AC since its not warm enough. But, ill see if maybe im not paying attention to this factor
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:59 AM
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When you get a chance to poke your head into the engine compartment, take a look at the sensor connection and see if it appears oily. If it's oily, chances are the sensor is likely not in a good state. The sensor sees a lot of heat and vibration living where it does.

After 15 years, it may just be an age / time to replace issue. We replaced the sensor on my kid's R53 when the car had 227K and presented similar symptoms as yours. Since replacement, we have not seen the light come back on.

...and I did see it, but your oil level is full, correct?
 
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Zsm View Post
When you get a chance to poke your head into the engine compartment, take a look at the sensor connection and see if it appears oily. If it's oily, chances are the sensor is likely not in a good state. The sensor sees a lot of heat and vibration living where it does.

After 15 years, it may just be an age / time to replace issue. We replaced the sensor on my kid's R53 when the car had 227K and presented similar symptoms as yours. Since replacement, we have not seen the light come back on.

...and I did see it, but your oil level is full, correct?
Ill look and see if there is residue.

as for your last question, yes, ive checked a few times, it hasnt gone down since i did the oil change a few weeks ago.

from most of the replies, i hope its just the sensor issue not the oil pump.
 
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:00 AM
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There was some weeping around the sensor, gonna replace that and go from there. Any suggestions on where to get one...way, ecs, amazon ect?
 
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:54 PM
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My oil pressure light would randomly come on some times. Turned out to be the wiring from the sender was rubbing on something where it ran down along the starter.....it was shorting out, and giving a false reading. After I fixed the spot where it was rubber through.....it was back to normal.

Just something to check.
 
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Usmcxd View Post
There was some weeping around the sensor, gonna replace that and go from there. Any suggestions on where to get one...way, ecs, amazon ect?
Oil sending units are pretty basic. I wouldn’t spend a ton of money on one.
 
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:54 AM
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1) It doesn’t appear anyone has asked this, so I will; What oil are you using?

2) You mentioned it was wet around the sensor. Is the oil coming from the sensor itself, or from oil leaking down from the valve cover or oil housing?

Before you replace it, I’d try to get in there with some carb cleaner and degrease the sensor itself and area around it. Unplug it, clean the plug connector well, as well as the connection on the sensor itself.

Reconnect, then see if problem still exists. These are pretty basic sensors, not a high failure item, as there’s not much that can go wrong with them.
 
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