While driving my 92 Accord on the highway the Engine Oil Light came on. I had to
drive another 5 kms before to stop the car on a shoulder. While driving a
burning smell also filled the car. When I checked the oil level it was OK but
car started to drive very rough and I hear valves clicking on acceleration. I
took it to my mechanic right away. He changed the oil pressure switch, which was
changed 15K kms ago, changed the oil and oil filter, which was again changed 3K
kms ago. The light is off now but the driving changed dramatically. I have
almost no acceleration. Rough and loud driving as if it always runs on low gear.
Pinging on sudden acceleration etc. I was suspecting oil pump but the mechanic
told me that if it were the pump the engine would have been seized by now. Could
that be an electrical problem such as a cable to ECU sensors got burnt or
something. Please help. Thanks.
Driving those 5km may have done severe damage to your oil pump and your
bearings. You should have stopped immediately when the light came on.
You need a new (GOOD) mechanic to diagnose the damage properly. Every
symptom here suggests an engine that is irreversibly damaged and in need of
And he's wrong about the oil pump. It (and the engine) will run for a long,
long time with no oil, but it will be badly damaged.
But why isn't the oil light on now? Maybe the mechanic left it
unconnected to keep the warning light off, but why would he do that?
Unless the failure was caused by something he did. Could he have put
STP or something in there to keep the pressure up and the light off?
Questions for the OP: Did you personally check the oil level after
the incident to verify it wasn't low? Does the oil light come on when
you start the car to indicate that it is working? Is it burning any
You should take it for a compression test. If it confirms that the
engine is toast, then something doesn't add up. I would question
whether the first mechanic did (or failed to do) something that caused
the engine to fail and is now trying to cover it up.
Yeah. Absolutely, I ask the same question to myself too. How come
changing Oil Pressure switch (OPS), oil and oil filter made the light to
go off unless the oil filter was defective and got plugged. If it
were the OPS than I wouldn't have this driving problem.
I trust him that he would not leave OPS disconnected. Besides,
when I turn on the ignition, the light comes on now which indicates
that the curcuit is closed. And yes, first thing I did to check the
oil level. I know that I should not have driven the car but I had
to drive that damn 5 kms. I do not know yet if it is burning oil
but I will keep an eye on it. I'll try to drive this car as little
as posible for now until something makes sense.
The Owner's Manual is correct. When the oil light comes on, you SHUT IT
DOWN. It may be that your timing belt has jumped a tooth or two now.
That could explain your crappy power. You need to mention your mileage
and some more maintenance HISTORY.
My timing belt along with the water pump (all Honda parts) was changed
around160K kms and I
have 192K kms on the car now. I have always changed the oil, oil filter at
all other maintenance items were done as required. TeGGeR suggested that the
bearings and oil pump could have been damaged too. Timing belt seems more
plausible to me since the engine runs and accelerates well when it is on Park.
I have the problem when I am driving. Could it be that oil pump seized
and caused timing belt jump? What bothers me also the burning smell
when it happened. Anyone of the electrical connections from sensors
(speed, torque, shaft position etc.) could have been burnt too I guess, and
ECU can not control the engine properly (my wish!!). I need a really good
diagnose this problem rather than trial an error. By changing the oil pressure
switch (15K kms old) , oil, and oil filter (3K kms old) turned the light off
somehow but I am not convinced that the problem got solved.
if the oil pressure light comes on when driving, and you have oil
showing on the stick, you likely have a blown bearing [which you'd hear]
or a blown pump. both are bad news. at this is stage, you have two
1. keep driving and see how long it lasts. if the engine seized
momentarily and is now free again [it happens], it will run rough for a
while and effectively have to "run in" again. and it'll burn oil, so
keep an eye on it.
2. buy a new engine. unless you're an enthusiast or this car is
otherwise exceptional in some way, a strip-down necessary for accurate
diagnosis & subsequent rebuild is not economic. a jdm engine is just a
few hundred bucks, plus labor for the swap.
for the future, any oil light coming on is a big problem. deal with it
properly. don't just replace the pressure switch - they rarely fail
unless they're struck or they develop a leak.
lastly, if you get the new engine, use a decent quality oil and do not
exceed the oil change interval. cheap oil is cheap for a reason, and it
ain't just because the label's cheaper to print.
I agree that the engine must not be run more than enough to get the car out
of traffic and for diagnostics when the oil light comes on, but on
reflection replacing the sensor is not an unreasonable approach for a DIYer.
They do fail fairly often (as you say, that usually announces itself with a
leak). If the light goes off afterward the new sensor is clearly different
from the old one and the old one can be declared bad. If the light is on
with the new one also, we can be sure it is telling us the truth and it's
time to make the hard choices about the engine.
A pro would be negligent not to actually measure the oil pressure, however.
Different standards when charging somebody for the work.
Finally I took the car back to the mechanic and it was the balance shaft that
The timing belt, balance belt, and the water pump were changed 15K kms ago.
Anyhow the balance belt was stripped badly. The pieces from the belt made the
timing belt to skip a tooth. My mechanic said that he called a few
other Honda mechanics and the dealer and none heard of seized balanced shaft.
It was going to be an expensive curiosity to find out why it was seized thus we
to disengage the shaft by removing the gear and putting a new belt. It cost me
We still do not know the relation between this failure and oil light to come on.
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