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Oil light flashing.... What should I do?

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Old 06-08-2009, 12:06 PM
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Default Oil light flashing.... What should I do?

Hello all.

I've got (another) serious problem with this A4. It's a 1997 Quattro 2.8 Liter.

I've read up on this topic (the oil light flashing) quite a bit on this site and in the Haynes manual. So I do know that it's the oil pressure that's a problem.

The oil has been changed by me and I even did a kerosene flush over a couple of days to try to break down any sludge. The light is still flashing when I start it up. The one time I was forced to drive it, the stopped flashing when I went on the freeway (higher rpms) but it still comes back on startup.

Previously I've replaced my own valve cover gasket, and it does look like SH$T in there. So I don't doubt that there's sludge problems. The car also ticks a little on startup, but smooths out as I drive it.

(fyi I would change the oil every 3k miles, but with normal oil, not synthetic)

I've talked with a mechanic that works on Audi and he said forget it. That he's worked on a bunch, and from my description (the valve cover explaination), he says that the oil pump wont fix it. He thinks that there are other problems.

What are your guys thoughts?

And do you recommend any mechanics in Minneapolis?

Thanks,

Charlie
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:30 PM
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There is a possibility that the warning light is due to a faulty oil pressure warning switch - they do break. The only way to diagnose this is by connecting up an oil pressure gauge in its place (you need a gauge, this is probably the most accurate way) and taking some measurements, or just replace the switch - they are cheap at mailorder parts places, but this is not a very accurate way of performing a diagnosis. If you use a gauge, you will need to know what the spec is for pressure at various RPMs and conditions.

Have you owned the car since new and/or seen records that it had 3000 mile oil changes its entire life? My 1996 V6 used to get 3000 mile dino oil changes (before I was enlightened to the value of synthetic) and has gross looking inner valve covers, but I do not have the oil pressure problem that you are seeing. Last winter I took off the lower oil pan to fix a leaky gasket and the oil pickup screen was perfectly clean.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:41 PM
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I've owned the car since 2000 so I'm pretty confident about the oil changes being regular throughout that time period.

It would leak/burn when the valve covers were off, so it might have been low here and there, but I was pretty good about it.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:42 PM
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And yes. I've been enlightened about synthetic as well. Synthetic from here on out for me.
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by nooffswitch View Post
I've owned the car since 2000 so I'm pretty confident about the oil changes being regular throughout that time period.

It would leak/burn when the valve covers were off, so it might have been low here and there, but I was pretty good about it.
Correction* It would leak/burn when the valve covers were LEAKING, not off.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:45 AM
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Default on my car....

The PO used unapproved sealant when he replaced the oil pan. Over time, the oil turned this into a gummy mess, which was then sucked up by the oil pump, and required that it be replaced. If it were me in your situation, I would pull the oil pan, and observe what's going on up there. I think the ticking sound rules out a bad sensor, because that is indicative of improver oil circulation. You may want to VAG-COM it as well. Use factory-approved sealants and fasteners during refitment. You never know when it might be something odd and not obvious.
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