Oil light chiming at each stop light

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:48 PM GMT

Question

Hello I have v-6 3.8 L 1998 Chrysler Town and Country LXI and for about 4 days the oil light comes on and chimes,but only when I am at a stop light. I immediately took it for a full service oil change and filter. They said nothing,so I thought it solved the problem. It was really bad today...every stop sign. I checked the oil as soon aI got home...FULL. What should I do now? thank you,Sue.

Answer

Hi Sue, There are several possibilites and several solutions: First, the engine oil pressure may actually be too low due to wear and tear on the engine or a defective oil pump. If you aren't burning oil or the engine doesn't have 200,000 miles or more on then I would doubt there is a mechanical problem. But the way to check the pressure is to remove the oil pressure sensor located just in front of the oil filter and put instead an actual gauge to measure the pressure which should be at least 5 pounds per square ince at idle speed. Idle speed shown on the tachometer should be at least 600 rpm and if that were too slow then that would cause low pressure and needs to be changed opward. The warning chime should only sound if the pressure were 2 to 4 rather than 5, so if it is 5 or more I would simply replace the oil sensor which is inexpensive as is the cost of having someone put a gauge in place of the sensor to do the measurement. But with 'labor' at $100/hour it will probably cost around $100 for that job. Second, if you don't want to even hire someone to do the above, then the least expensive way to solve the problem would be to put a higher "weight of oil" in the engine in place of what was put in by the shop. For example if they put in 5W-30 that is too low unless you live a very cold climate. Normally 10W-30 is recommended, but an easy and safe way to increase the pressure and thus avoid the chime is to replace that weight of oil with 20W-40 or even 20W-50. That approach would just be the cost of replacing the oil (no need to change the filter since that was just done). So that approach would be low cost, safe for the engine, and likely work to solve the chime problem. With older/higher mileage vehicles this increasing of the weight (particularly the second number in the specification) by 10 or even 20 will do the trick. Take a look at the receipt for the last oil change or the doorpost sticker if they put that in place and see what weight of oil was used. Let me know if you would care to discuss this further after you determine the weight that was used. Please "rate" my answer (see below). Thanks, Roland

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