Oil Pressure warning (STOP CAR!) Sending unit or pump?
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  1. #1
    hal
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    Oil Pressure warning (STOP CAR!) Sending unit or pump?

    My wife's got a 2003 Passat 1.8T wagon. 163 k miles, have run synthetic oil pretty much forever, even before the VW 'sludge' discovery.

    In the past week or so, she's gotten the warning buzzer and dash message saying OIL PRESSURE STOP CAR a couple of times.

    I'm wondering if you would think this is indicative of a faulty oil pressure sending unit, possibly a faulty oil pump, or is this the first sign of sludge problems?

    The oil is about 2k old now, and right about near the top of the acceptable fill level.

    I'm not sure how easy it would be (or how) to independently check the oil pressure.
    Thanks for any suggestions.

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  3. #2
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    The easiest, probably cheapest thing for you to do right now is simply buy a new sending unit. It's only $15-$25, and easy to install. If light goes away, then you're OK.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    The easiest, probably cheapest thing for you to do right now is simply buy a new sending unit. It's only $15-$25, and easy to install. If light goes away, then you're OK.
    Or buy an oil pressure gauge test kit like the ones in the links below and check the actual pressure.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=92687
    http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/kdt3343.html
    You should be able to get one at a local auto store. I think I'd still like to know my oil pressure, given the sludge issue with the 1.8t.

  5. #4
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    check the oil pressure.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenblasko View Post
    Or buy an oil pressure gauge test kit like the ones in the links below and check the actual pressure.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=92687
    http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/kdt3343.html
    You should be able to get one at a local auto store. I think I'd still like to know my oil pressure, given the sludge issue with the 1.8t.
    That's what I said, but it looks like my post didn't stick.

  7. #6
    hal
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    Thanks guys!

    deusexaethera, your post did stick, and I checked out the links to the oil pressure gauges, thanks. The KD tools one looks really good, and I'm sure would pay off over time, it IS only 50 bucks.

    I'm planning to search around here (since I'm new on Passatworld) and dig up info on how to change the sending unit, if it is in fact only 20 bucks or so.

    My only doubt about the pressure gauges is that this happens so infrequently when driving that I'm not sure what I would see at idle, or if I'm sitting in the driveway with it revved to 4K or something. But some information is better than none, so that's probably the way to go.

    Again, thanks very much for the quick answers. You guys are almost as friendly as the 3000GT/Stealth board I've been hanging out on for the past 8 years. :biglaugh:


    EDIT PS: WOW, there were a TON of posts that don't seem to have stuck, bizarre... Good thing they all got emailed to me.

  8. #7
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    The point of the gauge is not necessarily to measure pressure when the light comes on but to measure your cold and hot oil pressures to see if it's reading lower than normal. Because your light is intermittent, I'd be worried that if you change the sensor and it's not the sensor but sludge / bad oil pump, you / she could be driving one day, the light comes on, the engine seizes from oil sarvation, and your stuck with a costly repair. You really should check the pressure.

  9. #8
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    I wouldn't be driving the dang thing until I got this cleared up.

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  11. #10
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    Any updates on what was causing the error? I am having the same issue.

    Thanks-

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by turtle View Post
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    check the oil pressure.
    Where do you attach the gauge? Where the oil pressure switch normally goes? 1.8T AUG engine.
    Last edited by Attofarad; 08-03-2007 at 02:19 AM.

  13. #12
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    There is a 10mm port 90 degrees around from where the sensor is. It has a plug in it.

  14. #13
    hal
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    Well, back when I was posting this originally, I called a local shop that specializes in VW/Audi. I was about halfway into my description when he interrupted me and told me that they see this all the time, that the oil pump pick up screen was plugged. He said that they would drop the oil pan and remove the screen, and I would be fine. He also said that if they replaced the screen we would be seeing the same sort of clogging in a matter of 3K miles or so. He claimed that any 'stuff' that would clog the screen could be handled by the oil filter.

    That's the route we took, cost was probably about $350, and the light/buzzer hasn't returned at all. Probably have 2K miles on since the repair, I should probably change the oil now (a bit early) and possibly try cutting the filter open to see what sort of crap has accumulated in there...

  15. #14
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    Wow -- that's a repair route I've never heard of. Hope it works out well for you, but I can't imagine that it is the route to go.

    I usually don't trust people who interrupt - just because it reminds you of something you did on a few other cars does not mean it will apply to my situation, ya know? Argh.

  16. #15
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    Agree. Removal does not solve your problem. The screen should serve to keep large chunks from getting caught in the oil distribution system.

  17. #16
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    I guess we'll have to wait to see if the fix lasts, but wow what a concept! I agree in part that the screen will get clogged again if no further action is taken , but...wow! Someone on here posted a fix that surrounded the regular screen with another screen at some distance to keep that tiny pickup from getting clogged by increasing the total surface area of filtration.

    Does anyone have any info on the passage of coke through an oil pump and the 1.8T oil galleries and bearing surfaces? How hard is it? Will it be crushed into nothingness or will it score and clog?

  18. #17
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    Hi,

    I have a 1.8T and had one other before.
    The 1.8T has a common problem with the Oil Pump.
    I advise any 1.8T owner to add a Oil pressure Gauge!

    Marc aka Firestarter

    2004 Passat W8
    2003 Passat 1.8T
    1989 Cabriolet (1.8T)

  19. #18
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    Removing the screen isn't as radical as it sounds. The oil pump is a gearotor (two gears, one inside the other, the larger one is inside out and has one more tooth than the smaller one inside it), and that will crush any goop that makes its way in.

  20. #19
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    Deus...

    You are the expert, I respect that!

    Best regards,

    Marc aka Firestarter
    2004 Passat W8
    2003 Passat 1.8T
    1989 Cabriolet (1.8T)

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestarter[GER] View Post
    Deus...

    You are the expert, I respect that!
    Comments like this make me strangely uncomfortable.

    Thanks, though.

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