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Neal, Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 8351
Experience:  Auto repair pro and Mechanic on multiple makes.
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Red Oil light comes on. The red oil light came on in my 2002

Customer Question

Red Oil light comes on.
The red oil light came on in my 2002 Lexus Es300. I immediately turned the car off and checked the oil level.
The oil level was full. I then replaced the oil sending unit/pressure switch but the oil light continued to come on as soon as I started the car.
I then removed the oil pan and replaced the oil pickup tube which was Very clogged with harden oil.
Now the oil light only comes on after driving a couple of miles. It will stay on until I turn the car off and let it sit for a while.
There is no valve noise or knocking the car runs smooth even with the red Oil light on.
What could be causing this to happen?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Neal replied 4 years ago.

Hello I'm Neal and I am here to help resolve your issue. If I cannot help I will opt out and refer your question to another expert.


Based on your explanation, it would be worthwhile to replace the oil pump, if it was not run while low on oil or while the pressure was low then the rod and main bearings should be good and it is likely just a bad pump and replacing the pickup tube just helped a little by allowing more flow.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Replacing the oil pump is a pretty big job for me so I want to make sure it the most likely cause.

I'm not jumping right into replacing the pump because I'm a little puzzled by the fact that the light only comes on after driving for a while and that there is no valve noise.

Those two things are making me suspect that something else could be causing it. any idea what could cause the light to only come on after the car heats up and shouldn't I hear valve noise if the pressure is low ?

Expert:  Neal replied 4 years ago.
I suspect the pressue is only a little low, just enough to trigger the light. Oil pressure normally drops as the oil warms up and thins. You could check the oil pressure with a manual gauge or using a scanner to get some more info.