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Jerry, Master Mechanic
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1995 Pontiac Grand Am: kilometers..Intermittantly..the check oil light

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I have a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am with 3.1 @ 230,000 kilometers. Intermittantly the check oil light will come on upon starting the engine. I can drive a block or two( with the transmission in neutral _ shut the engine off & turn it back on_ put the transmission back in drive) and the light will go off. The 0il is fresh clean. THIS MAY ONLY HAPPEN ON THE RARE OCCASION. Does this indicate a pump or a sensor problem? Appoex. cost & down time for a repair?

Hello and welcome to Just, Super mechanic here. Please DON’T hit accept until you are completely satisfied with the answer. About your vehicle.

Check Oil Indicator

This lamp illuminates to warn the driver that the engine oil level is low. When the ignition switch is first moved to Run, the oil level indicator lights for about 1 1/2 seconds as a bulb check. The oil level detection circuit has two internal timers. The first timer records the amount of time the ignition has been Off. The second timer records the amount of time the ignition has been On before the ignition was shut Off. The instrument cluster uses this information to determine if the engine has been sitting long enough for the oil to have returned to the oil pan.

The oil level monitoring circuits will check the oil level switch under the following conditions:

  1. Ignition has been turned Off for more than 30 minutes.
  2. Ignition has been Off for at least three minutes after ignition has been On for at least 12 minutes.
If the oil level is low (oil level switch open), the "Check Oil" indicator will be turned On for the remainder of the ignition cycle.

There has been a service bulletin for that type of concern. Here is what it states.

Check Oil and Check Gauges Lamp - Blink/Flicker

FILE IN SECTION: 8 - Chassis/Body Electrical

BULLETIN NO.: 53-83-04

DATE: May, 1995




Blinking/Flickering of "Check Oil" Tell-Tale and "Check Gages" Tell-Tale with Gauge Cluster (Send Instrument Cluster to Delco Electronics) MODELS:
1992-95 Buick Skylark
1992-95 Oldsmobile Achieva
1992-95 Pontiac Grand Am


Some owners may comment that the "Check Oil" Tell-Tale is on, blinking or flickering in the Cluster. With the Gage Cluster, the "Check Gages" Tell-Tale will also light, blink or flicker. This condition may occur when the engine is running and is most prevalent with the vehicle in motion.




There may be an intermittent connection at a solder joint due to flexing of an internal circuit board.




Verify the connection at the cluster connector by inspecting the connector for any damage to the terminals. If damaged terminals are found, repair as necessary by following the procedures in Section 8A-5 of the Service Manual. If damage is not found, remove the Instrument Cluster and send to your local Delco Electronics repair facility.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Your reference to

Verify the connection at the cluster connector by inspecting the connector for any damage to the terminals. If damaged terminals are found, repair as necessary by following the procedures in Section 8A-5 of the Service Manual.

Where is this cluster found?

As I don't have a service manual.

Sorry, the cluster is the instrumentation panel.

Instrument Cluster Replacement


  1. Disconnect battery ground cable.
  2. Remove three lower left hand sound insulator attaching screws.
  3. Disconnect cruise control module electrical connector and lamp, then remove lower left hand sound insulator panel.
  4. Remove DLC connector attaching screws, then remove steering column filler panel attaching screws and filler panel.
  5. Carefully pull driver's side air deflectors rearward.
  6. In a rocking motion, alternately and carefully pry left and right hand instrument panel cover retaining clips upward, then remove instrument panel cover.
  7. Remove fuse panel cover, then remove left hand instrument panel trim plate. Pull trim plate rearward to disengage retaining clips.
  8. Open upper instrument panel compartment door, then remove four compartment to instrument panel attaching screws.
  9. Remove upper instrument panel compartment from instrument panel.
  10. Press release tab upward, then remove lower instrument panel compartment door.
  11. Remove lower instrument panel compartment to instrument panel attaching screws, then disconnect electrical connector and remove compartment.
  12. Remove right hand instrument panel trim plate attaching screws.
  13. Carefully pull right hand instrument panel trim plate rearward to disengage retaining clips, then remove trim panel.
  14. Remove instrument cluster attaching screws, then pull cluster forward and disconnect electrical connectors.
  15. Remove instrument cluster, Fig.14 .
  16. Reverse procedure to install.

Electrical - Instrument Panel & General Wiring Repair

Bulletin No.: 06-08-45-004

Date: May 02, 2006


Instrument Panel (I/P), Body and General Wiring Harness Repair Models:
2007 and Prior GM Cars and Trucks
2003-2007 HUMMER H2
2006-2007 HUMMER H3 Important: A part restriction has been implemented on all Body and I/P harnesses and is being administered by the PQC. If a body or I/P harness replacement is required, it can take 12-28 weeks for a harness to be built and delivered to a dealer. The dealer technician is expected to repair any harness damage as the first and best choice before replacing a harness.

In an effort to standardize repair practices, General Motors is requiring that all wiring harnesses be repaired instead of replaced. If there is a question concerning which connector and/or terminal you are working on, refer to the information in the appropriate Connector End Views in SI. The Instruction Manual J 38125-620, which is sent with each new update of the J 38125 Terminal Repair Kit, also has terminal crimping and terminal remove information.

Important: There are some parts in the J 38125 Terminal Repair Kit (i.e. SIR connector CPAs and heat shrink tube (used in high heat area pigtail replacement) and some TPAs that are not available from GMSPO. It is vitally important that each update to the J 38125 Terminal Repair Kit be done as soon as it arrives at the dealer.

Utilize the Terminal Repair Kit (J 38125) to achieve an effective wiring repair. The Terminal Repair Kit has been an essential tool for all GM Dealers since 1987. Replacement terminals and tools for this kit are available through SPX/Kent Moore. Refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 06-08-45-001 for more information.

The Instruction Manual J 38125-620, which is sent with each new update to the J 38125 Terminal Repair Kit, also has terminal crimping and terminal removal information.

U.S. Dealers Only - Training courses (including Tech Assists, Emerging Issues, Web, IDL and Hands-on) are available through the GM Training website. Refer to Resources and then Training Materials for a complete list of available courses.

Canadian Dealers Only - Refer to the Training section of GM infoNet for a complete list of available courses and a copy of the J 38125 Terminal Repair Kit Instruction Manual.

Wiring repair information is also available in Service Information (SI). The Wiring Repair section contains information for the following types of wiring repairs:

- Testing for intermittent conditions and poor conditions
- Flat wire repairs
- GMLAN wiring repairs
- High temperature wiring repairs
- Splicing copper wire using splice clips
- Splicing copper wire using splice sleeves
- Splicing twisted or shielded cable
- Splicing inline harness diodes

Jerry and 2 other Pontiac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


You have gone through a great deal of effort in attempting to answer this question.


I've had the car out three times since I made the first contact.

Twice the car started & run without the check engine light remaining on over the normal time.

The third time I used the process as originally stated and the light remaines off for the duration of a trip.

Once the check oil light goes off, you can drive 8 - 10 hours and the light remains off.

Is that still a symptom of a short connection?

Would it be reasonable to assume that a short in the system would cause the oil light to come on intermitantly while the vehickle is travelling?

I've probably driven 1,000 - 1500 kmph. since this started.

The engine runs great and doesn't use a drop of oil.

Yes, I'll accept the answer but I'm still not sure that I'm ready to pull the whole dash out quite yet.

Unless you are positive that will cure the problem.

It would be hard to be 100% sure what is causing it. The 1995 vehicles were in a transition from OBD1 to OBD2 and didn't utilize the instrument panel into the computer systems. It is either a connector that is loose, (dirty), a circuit board in the panel or the oil level sensor in the oil pan.

You may want to try that with the next oil change to see if it will help with the light coming on before taking the dash apart, thanks

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I'm with you on checking the oil sensor upon the next oil change.

I run 80kph to work every day plus around town after work.

What ever the problem is, it hasn't hurt the engine or performance at all.

Just frusterating as I do like to keep the vehicle up to snuff.


Thanks for now.


I agree with that, I am the same way and the 95 GA's were very good vehicles. After 95 they started incorperating OBD2 into a lot of the electronics, then it could become very expensive to fix, aside from hard to diagnose.

Your welcome and come again, anytime, thanks