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Scottshop1, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 61
Experience:  ASE Certified, 15 + years experience, current repair garage owner / operator
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Can really cold weather make a vehicles oil light come on?

Resolved Question:

Can really cold weather make a vehicles oil light come on? 1993 Pymouth Sundance
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Scottshop1 replied 7 years ago.

Hello there! Yes it is possible, but it would be a good idea to check a couple things. What was the smell you noticed?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Expert:  Scottshop1 replied 7 years ago.

If there is an oil leak somewhere leaking on the exhaust, this will give you the smell youre describing. Start by looking under the car for oil drips down on the oil pan. Gravity pulls any fluid leak down the engine, while the force of air while youre driving and the cooling fans blow the fluids towards the rear of the car. If you see a black stain on the exhaust pipe or floor boards, look up to see if you can locate the source. With an engine getting that old, (16 yrs), its common for the valve cover gasket and other seals to fail. If the oil level is low, this would explain the oil light coming on. If the oil grade is too heavy (10W30 or heavier) oil will not circulate properly till it warms up. If the engine is running at a high RPM, the oil may not run back down to the oil pan for re circulation buy the oil pump, the oil pressure will drop turning the light on.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I looked under the hood and there are no oil around the seals, none on the ground-it doesn't appear to be leaking, and the amount of oil was spot on???

Expert:  Scottshop1 replied 7 years ago.
Good, no oil leak is good thing. But the strange smell is something that should be addresed. Can you hear an exhaust leak, possibly at the rear of the engine where the tailpipe bolts to the exhaust manifold? Also, do you know what weight of oil is in the engine now? If its been changed at an oil change shop, there is usually a sticker in the upper corner of the windshield. They may or may not state the grade of oul installed.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
don't know the grade- just bought the vehicle yesterday- but it is awfully black- I guess there is a sound- tonight it was also making a pinging noise,during acceleration- and I know that's not good:)
Expert:  Scottshop1 replied 7 years ago.
It would be a great idea to warm up the engine and change the oil. The smell may be oil burning inside the cylinders and leaking out the exhaust where the leak is. If you start the engine and look under the hood behind the engine, or under the car and there is a leak ~~ you will be able to see it. This could explain the smell. As far as the pinging goes, that could be too high octane rating of gas, or the timing too far advanced.
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