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john -aka eauto
john -aka eauto, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Acura
Satisfied Customers: 16036
Experience:  15 years as a auto tech
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Gentlemen/Ladies, To give a brief background and

Customer Question

To give a brief background and troubleshooting that I've already accomplished, please read.
I have procured a RSX Base (5 speed) K20A3, I presume, model through trade. 176XXX miles on the clock. I was in need of a smaller eco-friendly auto and this one fit the bill. I have/had no intentions of racing or 'modifying the car other than the intake/exhaust already installed. Just using as a reliable 'beater' so to speak.
Car has a P1259 (VTEC malfunction) code and will see past 4K revs.
Changed oil to Mobil 1 5-20 as per OE specifications. (Previous owner claimed to put 20-50, for reasons unknown at the time, but now I think it's clear).
Red Oil light stays on during cold start for about 3-4 seconds longer than I suspect normal, and intermittently 'flickers' between shifts or when revs go below 500 (sudden stops). After warm-up, it's not as frequent for the light to 'flicker'.
Suspected low oil pressure and proceeded to check with Harbor Freight 'Pittsburg' gauge. Took off VTEC solenoid to gain access to oil pressure sensor below, uninstalled switch and installed gauge and VTEC solenoid.
Upon start up, gauge read just over 10psi at idle. According to OE specifications that is correct. But, upon diagnosing the 3k Revs minimum (44psi), the needle barely moved if not but only to 15psi at one or two occurrences.
I am suspecting a worn or bad oil pump at this point hence why the P1259 comes into play along with sluggish driving. There is no 'bearing chatter' or any audible indication that the engine is starving. I promptly drive the car, shifting below 2k revs to be safe, about 4 miles to work each day.
I am inquiring for thoughts about this matter on the oil pump, and if my diagnosis does indeed seem to be correct thinking so. I am not opposed to changing the pump myself, or even possibly swapping the engine for another K20A3. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Acura
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 1 year ago.

oil pump Is the most likely cause...but I would check the condition of the rods and mains while its apart

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm curious to know how it is holding optimum pressure at idle, but not so much when given revolutions?
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 1 year ago.

a load increases rpm and oil pump volume ..its likely not keeping up due to pump wear

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Proper. I understand with any loss of pressure, problems can escalate. The motor isn't giving any signs of overheating/noise. I shift just below 2k revs just not to harm anything. How would you figure its life expectancy, given this is my daily driver.
Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 1 year ago.

low oil pressure will overheat bearings..i would suggest repair as soon as possible before bearing damage occurs

Expert:  john -aka eauto replied 1 year ago.

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