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Charles
Charles, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  US Navy (Ret) Certified Mercury Marine Tech with over a decade of repair experience.
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Trying to help my dad. He is getting the low oil warning

Customer Question

Hello. Trying to help my dad. He is getting the low oil warning on gauges; however, the resovoir and tank on motor are fuel. We bought new resovoir switch that goes into motor resovoir; however, gauges still show low oil..critical. What could be the problem? Should we ad oil to the resovoir on the motor?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** will assist you.What is the HP of the engine?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
250
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** sure that the oil tank on the engine is full?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes, when you unscrew that little resovoir screw, oil began to spill out.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
When you pull the switch out of the tank, there's no oil on it. Should I pour oil in there where the switch goes?
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
No, the place where the sensor goes is sealed away from the oil. does your boat have SmartCraft gauges? And is it saying low oil?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Ok, the problem is actually the tank, not the sensor. What happens is that the float becomes saturated with oil and then sinks to the bottom of the stem. this will set off the alarm no matter how full the tank is. You will need to replace the tank on the engine, fill it to the top and make sure that you do not get any air bubbles in the line going to the oil pump.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The alarm isn't going off. Only the gauge is indicating low fuel
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Low fuel or oil?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Low oil
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
When the key is first turned on, do you hear the alarm test beep?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes. But that's normal. It does that all the time.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It also beeped when we took the sensor out and turned the motor on. Alarm did not beep when we put the sensor back in.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Do you know how much oil is in the tank in the boat?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It's full as well
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Earlier you mentioned the removing the little screw and yu would get oil, was that the little phillips screw? Or the black cap on the engine tank?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The black cap on the tank on the opposite side of where the sensor goes.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Yes, that is the one.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
You said that the sensor is sealed away from the tank. Ok so I guess what I was asking is we should put oil in the tank where the switch and float reside? It's dry now, but the old one was covered with oil when he (my dad) pulled it out to replace it.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
that could have been from a leak or spilled oil. the cap to vent the tank is that black one. Start the engine with a supply of water. Crack the black cap open, and make sure the the tank is completely full. It may take a bit to get the tank full with the engine running.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
he did that already
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Ok, then if the gauge is still showing the low oil, it is the tank that is bad and needs replacing, not the sensor.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Just curious. What could be bad about the tank that would make the sensor read that the oil is low? It's ridiculous that those things cost like $150
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a float inside the tank that rides on a shaft where the sensor is housed. Over time this float get saturated with oil and sinks to the bottom of the shaft, no matter how full the oil tank is actually is. There is no way to get into the float to clean it or dry it out. Does this make sense?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes. I follow you.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
Do you need a part number for the tank?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I think he has it, cuz he's already been by the boat shop and that's when they told him how much the tank costs and that you can't buy the switch separate from the tank. Which we found not to be true cuz we bought one (new) off eBay.
Expert:  Charles replied 7 months ago.
i dont know what they were thinking either, that sensor is part 12. the tank is part 5. http://www.boats.net/parts/search/Merc2/Mercury/250%20PRO%20XS%20%283.0L%20DFI%29/1B426561%20THRU%201B752546/Oiling%20System/parts.html

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