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Oil lamp light out? (No panicking. Beemie is fine.)

Posted by Kelly 
Hi All especially Ferd (because he clued me into the oil pressure light),

So I start up Beemie last week, strangely we were heading to the mechs for coolant hose replacements, and guess what? The oil pressure light ("I Dream of Jeannie" oil lamp indicator light) did not illuminate. I checked oil level which was fine. I drove to mechs and asked them to check the light in addition to their other tasks.

Later I picked up the car and asked about the light. The answer "Well, it is an older car, and sometimes the lights and sensors do not work as well as they used too." I like this new mech, but I resisted the urge to grab him by both shoulders and shake him like a rag doll. I wanted to say "BUT IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT LIGHT OF ALL other than the brake fluid. Do you think that I just had you replace the coolant hoses because I really don't care what happens to the car?" I did not say these things. I just listened to the unsatisfying explanation.

The Bro and I changed the light bulb a few months ago.It was operating correctly until last week. It could be infant mortality.

What do you think I should do? Remove the instrument cluster and check the lamp? Take Beemie back to the mechs and ask them to change the sensor?

Oy vehy!! Kelly confused smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/2009 08:52PM by Kelly.
Quote
Kelly
Hi All especially Ferd (because he clued me into the oil pressure light),

So I start up Beemie last week, strangely we were heading to the mechs for coolant hose replacements, and guess what? The oil pressure light ("I Dream of Jeannie" oil lamp indicator light) did not illuminate. I checked oil level which was fine. I drove to mechs and asked them to check the light in addition to their other tasks.

Later I picked up the car and asked about the light. The answer "Well, it is an older car, and sometimes the lights and sensors do not work as well as they used too." I like this new mech, but I resisted the urge to grab him by both shoulders and shake him like a rag doll. I wanted to say "BUT IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT LIGHT OF ALL other than the brake fluid. Do you think that I just had you replace the coolant hoses because I really don't care what happens to the car?" I did not say these things. I just listened to the unsatisfying explanation.

The Bro and I changed the light bulb a few months ago.It was operating correctly until last week. It could be infant mortality.

What do you think I should do? Remove the instrument cluster and check the lamp? Take Beemie back to the mechs and ask them to change the sensor?

Oy vehy!! Kelly confused smiley

The oil pressure sensor is just a switch. With the plug at the sensor unplugged and the ignition on, the bulb should light up. sort the terminals on the plug and the light should go out. If this is what happens then the sensor may be toast. If not then the bulb or the wiring to the cluster is the problem.

You can make or buy a simple light bulb test lamp that would save you and your bro some of those trips to the mechanic...not to mention money and insulting answers.
rkj
But just think Kelly, you must be getting good at R&R the cluster eye rolling smiley you take the wheel off and lay a towel on the steering colum, right? I hate scratches in the gauge face :?
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Archeo-peteriX
The oil pressure sensor is just a switch. With the plug at the sensor unplugged and the ignition on, the bulb should light up. short the terminals on the plug and the light should go out. If this is what happens then the sensor may be toast. If not then the bulb or the wiring to the cluster is the problem.
It's the other way around. With the sensor switch closed, the wire is grounded and lights up the oil pressure warning bulb. With the switch open, or the wire unplugged, then there's no ground path and the light should stay off.

The oil sensor switch is normally closed, and should light up the pressure warning bulb when the ignition is first in the Run or Start position. The switch then should open, extinguishing the warning light, once the engine starts and is running and oil pressure builds to 0.7-2.1 psi or better.

The oil pressure sensor switch is on the right side of the engine block, below the oil filter. It has a single wire leading to it. You could try disconnecting that single wire and touching it to ground against the engine block with the ignition in the run position. That should light the oil pressure warning bulb, indicating that the bulb is still good but the pressure switch no longer works. If the bulb does not light up, then either the bulb is dead, or the wire leading to the pressure switch is broken.

Another quick check before trying anything else, do your reverse lights work? If not, check Fuse-10. It powers the reverse lights and the oil pressure warning light as well as other stuff. If Fuse-10 is blown, that's usually caused by chafing of those pesky wires going down through the shift lever opening to the reverse switch on the side of the transmission. Kelly has already fixed those once before.
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Ferdinand
Quote
Archeo-peteriX
The oil pressure sensor is just a switch. With the plug at the sensor unplugged and the ignition on, the bulb should light up. short the terminals on the plug and the light should go out. If this is what happens then the sensor may be toast. If not then the bulb or the wiring to the cluster is the problem.
It's the other way around. With the sensor switch closed, the wire is grounded and lights up the oil pressure warning bulb. With the switch open, or the wire unplugged, then there's no ground path and the light should stay off.

The oil sensor switch is normally closed, and should light up the pressure warning bulb when the ignition is first in the Run or Start position. The switch then should open, extinguishing the warning light, once the engine starts and is running and oil pressure builds to 0.7-2.1 psi or better.

The oil pressure sensor switch is on the right side of the engine block, below the oil filter. It has a single wire leading to it. You could try disconnecting that single wire and touching it to ground against the engine block with the ignition in the run position. That should light the oil pressure warning bulb, indicating that the bulb is still good but the pressure switch no longer works. If the bulb does not light up, then either the bulb is dead, or the wire leading to the pressure switch is broken.

Another quick check before trying anything else, do your reverse lights work? If not, check Fuse-10. It powers the reverse lights and the oil pressure warning light as well as other stuff. If Fuse-10 is blown, that's usually caused by chafing of those pesky wires going down through the shift lever opening to the reverse switch on the side of the transmission. Kelly has already fixed those once before.

I was just suggesting the test that dyslexics use winking smiley
Simple test that any one can do.

Good hint about F10 thumbs up
rkj
That's why Ferdy gets the big bucks B)
Quote
Archeo-peteriX
Quote
Ferdinand
Quote
Archeo-peteriX
The oil pressure sensor is just a switch. With the plug at the sensor unplugged and the ignition on, the bulb should light up. short the terminals on the plug and the light should go out. If this is what happens then the sensor may be toast. If not then the bulb or the wiring to the cluster is the problem.
It's the other way around. With the sensor switch closed, the wire is grounded and lights up the oil pressure warning bulb. With the switch open, or the wire unplugged, then there's no ground path and the light should stay off.

The oil sensor switch is normally closed, and should light up the pressure warning bulb when the ignition is first in the Run or Start position. The switch then should open, extinguishing the warning light, once the engine starts and is running and oil pressure builds to 0.7-2.1 psi or better.

The oil pressure sensor switch is on the right side of the engine block, below the oil filter. It has a single wire leading to it. You could try disconnecting that single wire and touching it to ground against the engine block with the ignition in the run position. That should light the oil pressure warning bulb, indicating that the bulb is still good but the pressure switch no longer works. If the bulb does not light up, then either the bulb is dead, or the wire leading to the pressure switch is broken.

Another quick check before trying anything else, do your reverse lights work? If not, check Fuse-10. It powers the reverse lights and the oil pressure warning light as well as other stuff. If Fuse-10 is blown, that's usually caused by chafing of those pesky wires going down through the shift lever opening to the reverse switch on the side of the transmission. Kelly has already fixed those once before.

I was just suggesting the test that dyslexics use winking smiley
Simple test that any one can do.

Good hint about F10 thumbs up

Hi All,

Well today I tossed down my cardboard box and then myself under the car. First, I secured and lifted the sagging valence/air spoiler under the front bumper with a couple wires attached to a frame bar under the radiator. Very low tech solution, I must say. Then I checked Fuse 10 which looked fine. I moved on to the oil pressure sensor electrical connector. Basically, I just jiggled it around. I tired to unplug it, bit it resisted. At one point, I returned indoors for something. I decided to sit in the driver's seat and test the light again. I turned the key and it illuminated. I tried it a few more times, and it seems to operate correctly. Repair by jiggling. Good enough for now I guess. I'll keep an eye on it and re-jiggle as necessary. When The Bro next visits, we'll do a more complete analysis.

Thanks again guys for a more cogent explanation than the manuals offer. Yet another crisis averted with the cracker-jack BENN team's help!

Cheers, Kelly
Glad to hear you've uncovered another one of BMW's corroded connector things thumbs up
Although it is a pain in the armature, it's really nice to know that a lot of our E30 problems don't need to cost an arm and a leg smiling smiley

Bailing wire is not something to diss lightly...it often saves us in emergencies and even in non emergencies like your valence.
Some bailing wire projects; which were supposed to be temporary; have often lasted the life of the car eye popping smiley
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