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Ivan, ASE Certified Master Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4871
Experience:  ASE Master Tech. 20+ years experience. 9 years self employed. Expert on AUTOLAB Radio Show
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got a low oil pressure message on 2003 impala dash message

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got a low oil pressure message on 2003 impala dash message screen. service tech wants to rebuillt the engine. are there codes for faultiy pressure sensor or oil pump?

Hello and good evening. No there are no codes other than possible an oil pressure sensor code. The correct way to verify this is to remove the oil pressure sending unit and install a mechanical gauge to verify if oil pressure is truly low. If oil pressure is ok, on the mechanical gauge, then you have a faulty sending unit and nothing more. Definitely pursue having the oil pressure checked with a mechanical gauge before installing an engine.


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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i just had the lifters in this engine replaced in march and the engine tuned at the shop that has it now. they kept it for about a week waiting for an adapter to read a code to be shipped to them. and now that weve talked, they have not mentioned the sending unit that i had suggested they check. if the sending unit is not faulty. what should it have them check next, clogged pick up? or they suggest bad crank or crank seal?
If the fuel pressure checks out bad, I would hesitate in repairing this engine. My reasoning is this. If the lifters failed, you may have had metallic particles wash through the engine. This would cause wear around the camshaft and crankshaft bearings. Any wear at any point in the oiling system will decrease oil pressure. If you go and replace the oil pump, and have where at one of these locations, you will loose oil pressure regardless of the new pump. Have them verify oil pressure with a test gauge. If that oil pressure is faulty, it's an easy fix. If oil pressure tests bad, then you have to make the ultimate decision, replace the engine or look into a replacement car. I would not want to see you spend significant money into this engine, only to have it give you a problem 5000 miles later.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i'm not sure that i understand. you said i should check the fuel pressure? should i have them test the pump itself? bench tested? or do they just test the output pressure at the pump while its on the engine? bad output pressure equals simply a bad pump. otherwise, its replace the engine or get rid of the impala time? just wanted to make sure i know what questions to ask and how to decide. they told me 3,500 for a new engine with 60K mile and 3 year warrenty. or 2700 for a used engine with 50K miles on it.
My mistake, I meant oil pressure, they cannot bench test and oil pump. If the oil pressure is low, then it comes down to a worn oil pump or worn components that are not serviceable without an engine rebuild. Their pricing is fair either way. When I mention replacing the car, I mean it like this. If you put $3500 into the car and the transmission fails the following day, will you be willing to put another $3000 into the car. If the answer is yes, then definitely invest the money in the engine. If the answer is no, then consider your options before you spend the money.
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