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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 21725
Experience:  BEng, Repaired my own cars and others for 20 years, worked in Formula 1 for 10 years
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2003 Toyota Rav 4 with 157000 miles. Daughter told me her

Customer Question

2003 Toyota Rav 4 with 157000 miles. Daughter told me her oil warning light came on and she parked it. I checked the oil level (good), condition of oil okay not black or smelly. The car started and no oil light came on but I'm not sure of driving it. I want to save her a few bucks by driving it home, about five miles, and not having it towed. What would you recommend? One friend says ok another says don't drive it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


I'd 1st suggest measuring the actual oil pressure with separate mechanical gauge - this can be plumbed into the engine via the current pressure switch port - if you use a Tee piece you can keep the pressure switch plumbed in as well and so see if the low pressure light corresponds to a low pressure reading.

As its intermittent and you have no rumbling or rattling noises from the engine its likely to be an electrical fault so 1st check the connection to the pressure switch is bright and clean and check back along the switch wiring for any signs of damage to the insulation

As if the wire is grounded out at any point then this will also turn on the light.

if this is all OK and the oil pressure is at least 1.3Bar ( 20psi) at hot idle then replace the switch

If you do have a low pressure reading and to turn on the light it will be very low about 5psi then replace the oil pump and ensure that the pump pickup in the sump hasn't come loose or is blocked

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Matt, good information, but you still have not answered my question, can it be driven on the street to get it to my home, then work on it as you suggest ???
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


if there's no rattles or rumbles then you could risk it but I'd would reccommend getting a pressure gauge on there 1st as currently you may just have to replace a pump, but driving it with no pressure will result in a new engine

Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


do you still need help?

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