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I have a 2001 VW Jetta 1.8 turbo. The low oil pressure indicator

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I have a 2001 VW Jetta 1.8 turbo. The low oil pressure indicator keeps coming on intermittenly when driving, but more recently has been coming on and staying on. The oil level is correct. I need to connect an oil pressure guage to the motor to verify the actual oil pressure. What is the best way to do this? Also, are there any known issues/causes with this problem, besides the hi/low oil pressure sensors?

Hi my name isXXXXX it is very common for your engine to develop sludge. It is caused by infrequent oil changes mainly. The oil pick up on the 1.8 liter is very small to begin with. Any little debris build up is enough to restrict flow.

The best place, and only that I know of, is to take out the oil pressure switch at the oil filter housing and install your guage there. With the engine at operating temperature you should have 1 bar at idle and 4.5 at 3000 rpms. If you are out of that range, as I am sure you are, then replace the pickup. Check all the plastic and rubber hoses. They deteriorate and break.

Thank you for choosing Just Answer, Joe.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Joe, thank you for the reply so quickly. Can I also ask if you have any advice on dropping the oil pan on this vehicle? Do's or Dont's?? Do recommend an oil flush kit before going to this level of repair? If the pick up is blocked, then I just don't want to waste time or money on that however I understand there is no way to know that until the oil pan is removed. If so, is there a particular oil flush kit you prefer to use? Thanks again, Shawn

Shawn, sorry I didn't get back to you. I would like to reply in detail so I will respond Sat. morning. The short is you will only need the pick up. And use Castrol Syntec.

Hang tight and I will cover it in detail tomorrow.

Thanks for the accept, Joe.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Joe, no problem at all. I appreciate your time and advice.



Shawn, the only thing that may be a problem for you is that the engine will need to be supported in order to lower the sub frame. This necessary to get enough clearance to get the pan off. We either use modified engine mounts (too expensive for you) or use a cross bar on top of the engine. You should be able to rent this from an Auto parts store.

There are 2 bolts that are only accessible through the bottom of the bell housing/oil pan area.

I do not recommend flushing the engine with anything other then performing an oil change after running the engine for 1/2 hour at 3000 rpms. Use only Castrol Syntec or an equivalent. Engine oil flushes will cause more problems then they solve.

Also, make sure that you check all the crankcase ventilation hoses and vacuum lines.

Other than that is just a time consuming job, that is a little frustrating and messy.

Good luck, Joe.

Edited by JOEAUDI on 11/26/2009 at 5:09 PM EST
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Joe, thanks again and appreciate your advice!! Shawn
You are welcome. Glad to help.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi joe, i checked the oil pressure and this is what i idle, it was 20psi. at 3000 rpm (190 degrees oil temp) it dropped to 8 psi??


I changed the the oil pressure sensor since i had it off to check the oil pressure as well. Still have the problem but why i am writing you is to ask if this oil pressure drop at 3000 rpm sounds like the oil pump pick up issue? I would hate to do all that work and still not fix it?? I also cleared all the codes with the ECP...i test drove the car and once i hit 30 mph the light came on and never went off...i brought it back to my shop, turned it off and no low pressure indicator at idle...brought it up to 3000 rpm and the low pressure light came on...i reconnected the ECP and no codes came up.


What do you think??


Thanks, Shawn

Shawn, the oil pickup is definetly your problem. It can't get enough oil to the pump to make any pressure. Those are the exact pressures that indicate a clogged pickup. When you take it out you first see how small the pickup is and then how little sludge it takes to restrict flow. Replace the oil pickup. Thanks again, Joe.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Joe, 10-4...again thanks for all your help and advice!!