"low oil pressure" warning


Asked by Feb 15, 2014 at 09:50 AM about the 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Ok here's my problem... I have an 2003 avalanche 5.3 180K miles was on a road trip. leaving for home as I started "low oil pressure" warning came on for about 30 seconds as I was driving-then went off...went to first gas station..checked oil..level was fine. Drove 4 hours home..warning chime went off one other time for about 10 seconds..then off again. took it to a shop next day, when driving there, no warning messages.. He said motor is shot..suggested a reman replacement $4500. told him I needed to think about it I was gonna come pick it up. Went to pick it up. "low oil pressure"warning came on as soon as I started it, it ran 10 seconds and shut down. so I have 1 time a warning shortly after start, then another after it ran at highway speeds (power felt fine) for 4 hours..and now I got the warning at start up.. Any ideas? suggestions? I am the original owner and have maintained the truck pretty well...is the motor really shot at 180K ?

5 Answers


Could be. Low oil pressure is caused by two things mainly. Your oil pump is designed to supply a certain pressure to your motor, they have a pressure regulator built-in. 1.) The pump or regulator can fail causing low oil pressure. 2.) A component or multiple components in the motor can fail causing an increase in oil flow to that area which causes a pressure drop or low flow to other areas of the motor. Most bearings in your motor are metal on metal and use a small layer of oil in between to operate. If the oil cannot get to the specific bearing the metal on metal contact will destroy the part. If any of the bearings in the engine were starved of oil for to long they will be damaged. How hard was it to start the last time it ran. A reman motor is not your only choice but it is the least risky. You could also get a used motor, some salvage/wreckers will show the used engine running and may install it with a limited warranty. Or if you can live without your truck for a week or two your motor could be re-built, but if the bearings went they may have damaged other components.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

I doubt it. I'd check the sending unit and it's wiring for the dash gauge. Sounds like it's developed a bad connection. If no problems are found get a mechanical oil pressure gauge, for testing purposes, and see what's going on. Kinda like getting a second opinion at the doctor's office. BTW the reason it shut down is a safety feature. When the computer detected the low oil pressure message it shut down the engine to prevent damage. HTH. -Jim

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I'm sure the mechanic is knowlegable enough to know the difference between a faulty sending unit and a toast motor. But you never know.


Exactly, you never know. -Jim

Mel Brewer

I have a 2000 Chevy Suburban with a 5.3 Vortec motor I had the same problem and had to get my motor replaced , I broke down the old motor and saw that my push rods were bad I need a pliers to pull them out I had a build up so if your car is still running you need to go in and get it rebuilt or you're going to have to get a new motor real soon

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • 2009 Avalanche LTZ - Stabilitrack, ABS, Traction Control lights on and wont go away 1 answer

    Drove my truck to work and parked it all day for 9 hours in 40 degree weather (80 degrees the day before). Started the truck to leave work and 3 alerts popped up that I had never seen on this truck be...

    2009 Chevrolet Avalanche LTZ 4WD


    Maintenance & Repair

  • Can any one tell me how to turn off the "Phone Unavailable" notification that comes through the radio? 4 answers

    Weather car is on or off, key in or key out, Phone Unavaijlable notification sounds through Radio every sthree minutes, killin my battery over night. Need to kill phone all together but do not know w...

    2005 Chevrolet Avalanche


    Maintenance & Repair

  • noise coming from right front side 5 answers

    a noise is coming from the right front side.. at first it was just making noise when veering to the left..now it more noticeable, the breaking is fine.. and the car doesn't go to one side to much when...

    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche


    Maintenance & Repair

  • 05 chevy 5.3 low oil pressure when cold 1 answer

    When truck is first started oil pressure is at 40 psi. As the motor idles down the oil pressure drops off low oil pressure message comes on . if you keep the rpms up to 800 to 1000 it never losses p...

    2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LS Crew Cab 4WD


    Maintenance & Repair

  • How do you know if the oil pressure gauge is bad? 21 answers

    I have a 2003 Chevy Silverado that has low oil pressure what do I look for

    2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT Ext Cab Long Bed 2WD


    Maintenance & Repair


Looking for a Used Avalanche in your area?

CarGurus has 6,255 nationwide Avalanche listings starting at $2,500.


Search Chevrolet Avalanche Questions

Chevrolet Avalanche Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 280
#2 David Scott
David Scott
Reputation 160
#3 Oscar Leon
Oscar Leon
Reputation 150
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Chevrolet Silverado 1500"
2,429 Great Deals out of 144,008 listings starting at $1,995
Used Chevrolet Tahoe"
1,105 Great Deals out of 36,356 listings starting at $1,700
Used Ford F-150"
3,161 Great Deals out of 216,444 listings starting at $1,000
Used Cadillac Escalade EXT"
35 Great Deals out of 795 listings starting at $5,933
Used GMC Sierra 1500"
1,024 Great Deals out of 56,366 listings starting at $2,400
Used Dodge Ram 1500"
513 Great Deals out of 13,857 listings starting at $995
Used Cadillac Escalade"
376 Great Deals out of 11,252 listings starting at $2,999
Used Toyota Tundra"
618 Great Deals out of 26,461 listings starting at $2,500
Used Chevrolet Suburban"
668 Great Deals out of 24,186 listings starting at $1,500
Used Chevrolet Colorado"
317 Great Deals out of 17,586 listings starting at $2,495
Used Toyota Tacoma"
645 Great Deals out of 30,295 listings starting at $2,850
Used GMC Yukon"
537 Great Deals out of 14,693 listings starting at $1,500

Used Cars For Sale

2013 Chevrolet Avalanche For Sale
24 Great Deals out of 454 listings starting at $17,986
2012 Chevrolet Avalanche For Sale
17 Great Deals out of 357 listings starting at $15,999
2011 Chevrolet Avalanche For Sale
40 Great Deals out of 606 listings starting at $13,495
2010 Chevrolet Avalanche For Sale
18 Great Deals out of 379 listings starting at $11,995
2009 Chevrolet Avalanche For Sale
9 Great Deals out of 340 listings starting at $11,788