What are some causes of oil pressure loss?


Asked by Mar 21, 2012 at 06:20 PM about the 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 4 Dr SLT Plus 4WD Quad Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Losing oil pressure but it comes back. Could it be a sensor or is it a bigger problem?

33 Answers


does the truck have any ticking or other bad engine related noises? it could be just electrical like the gauge failing. depending on how many miles it has, the oil pump could be going but thats unlikely

27 out of 27 people think this is helpful.

General causes of OP loss would be: Low oil level bad Sender, defective gauge, clogged pump inlet screen, worn bearings, stuck regulator valve in the oil pump, worn out pump, sheared oil pump driveshaft, bad oil filter. Only way to truly determine if oil pressure has dropped is to connect a mechanical gauge to the pressure sensor port and start the engine. God luck!

43 out of 43 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

Thank you for your answers. No there is no ticking or other engine noise. I just did a head gasket replacement and I cleaned everything spotless. You could eat off this engine. Checked oil level I actually think I put in just a little to much. It reads just past the full mark. And there is no obvious leaking under the truck. Thanks again!

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

It almost always tends to be the gauge in this scenario, as an actual loss of oil pressure for any amount of time when an engine is up to temperature would cause noticable noise almost immediately not to mention damage. id say set aside a couple dollars, and start looking at jegs, and summit for a set of pillar gauges, get a mechanical oil pressure, a transmission temperature and a coolant temp gauge. youll spend a little but its a good insurance policy to see what your fluids are doing

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.

What to do with to old gauge in the dash after installing the new one. The old one keeps setting of the dash lights.

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.

I have the same problem on my 2002 dodge ram 1500 truck. Also had to do a head gasket job, due to a burst radiator. Right after I had it repaired my oil pressure gauge why idling at a red light would just drop and the check gauges light will turn on. Just stepping on the accelerator would bring gauge back up. Also no engine noises. Returned it back to the mechanic and they replaced the sensor to gauge. But still does it. Is it possible it's a bad gauge, or something related to the head gasket job?? Thanks.

107 out of 107 people think this is helpful.

I have the same issue, after a new engine which then overheated which required another head job my warning lights come on and my oil pressure drops at an idle. I have replaced the oil pressure switch. I am considering replacing the oil pump but I don't know for sure if that will fix it. I was wondering if anyone else with this problem has found a solution.

37 out of 37 people think this is helpful.

I had a motor put in my truck and now I'm getting similar actions with my 2005 Ram 1500 V6. The gauge doesn't read until I start the truck the second time . Never any problems before this. Any ideas what happening?

53 out of 53 people think this is helpful.

I also have an 01 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 318 engine (5.2 litre) So my oil pressure gauge would out of the blue drop to 0 and sometimes it would come back up n other times if I stopped n restarted then it would come back and other times id have to sit for half hour before starting again then it would come back. The fix. Is sludge is getting pulled up the intake tube I to the tube screen n choking it causing no oil pressure. Had to drop the pan and do a thorough cleaning and flushed the entire system and like greasy magic it worked. Now I had my lifters rattling n knocking when my gauge would go to 0 so I knew it wasn't getting oil. So if my symptoms sound like yours then id check the intake line first cuz this is an inherant problem with these Dodges come to find out.

51 out of 51 people think this is helpful.

My '02 3500 will drop its guage to 0 four or five times within a mile. It doesn't matter the engine temp or speed traveling. That beep to check guages is really annoying!

25 out of 25 people think this is helpful.

My 04 1500 with 4.7 Flex. Would not show pressure and check gauge light on. If restarted it it would be fine. Replace OP sensor and fixed it. However almost exactly 1 year later it started to show low Oil Pressure and light come on at idle. Replace OP sensor and fixed. I guess the after market OP sensors are not as durable. But they are only $15.

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2007 dodge ram 1500 4.7 and it has oil pressure til i stop once i push the gas it stops. I just changed the motor out and it has a new pump. How much oil pressure should it have? And what can i do to stop it? Please and thank you

40 out of 40 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2001 dodge ram 1500 5.2 no oil pressure and have ticking noises

42 out of 42 people think this is helpful.

Check the distributor drive shaft and the oil pickup screen.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

My oil pump was replaced and I still loose oil pressure. I had to drive 50 miles with no oil pressure but only one lifter is tapping.

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.

My car Ram 1500 is like this When start the car morning it comes message "oil pressure low" After 2 second disappear. Anyone know about this problem????

26 out of 26 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2001 Ford Mustang 3.8 liter v6 it has had overheating problems since the day I bought it if I'm going down the road everything is fine but when I get stopped in traffic in the summer heat my engine starts to overheat in my oil pressure will drop to the floor tapping the accelerator brings it back up the oil level and color is good someone please help

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.

I have a 05 ram 5.7 hemi v8 and my oil pressure will be fine while the engine in cool but after a while it will start to quickly go down and then back up. After a while of that then it drops and doesn't come back up. If it goes down and doesn't come back up I have to stop turn off the truck and turn it back on and its fine untill I start to accelerate then it drops again. What do y'all thinks going on with it?

42 out of 42 people think this is helpful.

When water and oil, mix even if it is at a small dosage the oil looses a percentage of viscosity. The Temp of the fluid changes quickly and changes how it lubricates. The more water the less lubrication and so on. when the oil pressure gauge begins to flutter it is also the beginning of the mixing. Have the engine pressure tested for leaks. Good luck

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

My truck is having same problem. 02 Ram 1500. I started it up today and hears a tapping, shut it down right away and checked the oil and it was low. Had to add two quarts. Suprised me because just did an oil change 3000 miles ago. It's due for one now. But after I put the oil in and it warmed up. The pressure gauge would drop to zero at idle and come back we I hit the gas. After awhile of driving I lost it completely. Not sure exactly what's wrong. Read all the post. And I don't see it being a sludge issue. Because I just put a used motor in it a year ago and the mechanic said the bottom end of the motor was real clean. I'm curious about getting an aftermarket gauge but have no idea how to install one and don't like paying a garage to do work. Got my own tools and I know a my way around a truck a little bit. Any more knowledge would be helpful.

28 out of 28 people think this is helpful.

Hey my truck was just rebuilt and it's doing it. Mechanic told me to go have it flushed and oil change tomorrow and I just picked it up today? It already has new oil in it can 30 minutes of driving really clean out some of the oil? Not sure what will happen but cleaning the oil pan screen sounds the best way but not cheap. Tired of dropping money into this truck

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

I have a 95 dodge ram 1500 5.2 with 189,000 miles. When the motor warmed up my oil pressure would drop and oil light would come on. I could hit the accelerator and the pressure would rise momentarily. I simply changed the oil filter to a better quality filter and now my pressure never drops to less than about 38 lbs.

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

So you're driving along and intermittently the oil pressure gauge drops to 0, right? And then it comes back? And then it drops agin. Over and over all the time, you check the oil and it's fine, not milky and it's at the right level, right? The more you go with it like this it happens more frequently and some times on long trips it doesn't come back, just stays at 0, but may come back... Guys it's more than likely the sending unit. It's located just above the oil filter. It's a bitch to install and I'd just change the oil at the same time since you lose so much doing this repair. It's also a very inexpensive part, like 20-30 bucks. I bought the one from advance auto which has a free lifetime replacement. I've replaced 3, and paid for 1. Truck runs great regardless, just the pinging sound to let me know to check out the oil gauge gets annoying. Tried ignoring it for a while but I learned that's not wise since the sending unit eventually falls apart and leaks then pours out oil, so I'd replace it when it starts doing what I've described so you don't end up without oil and a much bigger problem. You have a few options. 1) spend more money at dodge dealer for the sender and it will still fail, just last a bit longer. 2) buy el cheapo sender at parts store WITH lifetime replacement( you must get the free replacement) since it's gonna fail again within a year. 3) replace the whole thing with a mechanical gauge and sender and never mess with it again, plus you'll truly know what your pressure is.(the electrical doesn't show pressure, it just registers on or off which is why your dash gauge is either in the middle or off) 4) rock old school. Just find a plug at the parts store and plug it up and just keep an eye on oil level when you get gas. However with this fix you better be educated on what sounds mean what since your only gonna be able to check level. I only recommend this if you have a healthy engine and have a more advanced knowledge of engines.

16 out of 16 people think this is helpful.

I have the same problem with my 02 dodge ram I replaced the oil pump and strainer also replaced the op sensor and it still drops to 0 when the temperature gauge reaches to the middle and rpm are at 650 on idle any info will be very well appreciated thank you

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.

I got a 1995 Mazda B2300 and it lost oil pressure and immediately started making a ticking sound.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 4.7. I was having problems with the oil pressure gauge not working when you first start the engine. If you turned the engine off and restarted it the gauge would come up an work perfectly with the exception of every now and then when you would stopped it would drop to 0 but when you gave it gas the pressure would go back up. I talked to several mechanics and read all the forums. First I tried replacing the oil sensor (which was actually leaking a little oil). That didn't fix it. Then I changed the oil and added engine cleaner to supposedly clean the screen and pickup tube. That didn't work either. I then decided to drop the oil pan and change the oil tube, screen and oil pump. I ordered all the parts but decided to add a manual oil pressure gauge first to see what my oil pressure actually was before I tore into the oil pan. When I was adding the T for manual oil pressure gauge I decided to clean the connection to the oil pressure sensor with electrical contact cleaner. When I started the engine the factory gauge and the manual gauge read perfect. The problem the whole time was oil pressure sensor and the dirty sensor connection. I went ahead and replaced the oil screen, pickup tube and oil pan gasket because I was curios to see if I had any slug in the engine. It looked perfect for an engine with 150,000 miles on it.

18 out of 18 people think this is helpful.

Having the identical issue as most describe, mechanic could see the oil pressure was not ever dropping, replaced the sensor, issue continued. Always would only happen at idle, any throttle would clear it. He dug deeper and discovered the ecu was not sending a signal whenever the gauge was failing. 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 318

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.

I have a 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 with a V10 8L engine with 70,000.00 miles on it. I took it to the dealer to have the oil changed and it lubed prior to going on a long scouting trip around Northern CA. The truck ran fine until I went to leave my friends house in Sacramento. All the dash lights came on say no oil pressure. Checked oil and called the dealer service writer. He asked if it has oil and I said yes and he said well when we worked under your dash we must have knocked a wire lose bring it to me next week and I check it out. I told him I was not comfortable driving with no oil pressure lights coming on every time it drops below 1200 rpm. He assured me the oil pump was mechanical and if the engine was running it was pumping oil. He repeated many times it's ok it has oil and if it is running its pumping oil and just drive it then bring it to me next week. I reluctantly agreed and drove but not long into my scouting trip I rolled the window down to see some animals and heard a ticking noise. I was very unhappy but had no phone signal. I put it in four wheel drive low to keep the rpms above 1200 the rest of the time. When I returned they told me I had two choices either $9,000.00 or $12,000.00 depending on which company I got my new engine from. I had a cracked head they said with metal in my oil. I found a place that sold me an engine for $1,700.00 that was identical with almost the exact same mileage on it. The dealer installed the motor only charging me wages fro the mechanics. I got out of there paying over $2,000.00 and a 3 year parts and labor warranty. The new engine seemed to be a bit stronger and got a little better gas mileage. Everything was fine until yesterday when it started all over again. No oil pressure at 1200 rpm or lower. It is parked until I find out why because I don't want to hear ticking again and I don't need a third engine. It sounds like I should start at the sensor and maybe an oil change with a flush out to clear up any sludge that may be hindering low idle oil pressure? I can't have any guessing at this point again. I'm going to check one thing at a time.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Having the identical issue most described with my 2002 Dodge Ram 1500...its fine first start of the day, then once the engine is good and warmed up, the oil pressure bottoms out every time im idling, but comes right back up if I raise the RPMs. (When I start having issues with this, the heat begins to rise also) Ive had the oil sending unit replaced, the radiator replaced, and a bad solenoid replaced in the transmission. I contacted a trusted mechanic in town, and he said another customer with a Dodge pick-up had the SAME issue, they have tried everything, and still havent found a fix. He recommended I call the Dodge house...they said they were unaware of this being a reoccurring Dodge problem, and it will cost $200 just for them to diagnose the problem.... no idea what else to do besides the sludge thing ;)... if anyone finds any answers plz let me know...getting pretty frustrated.


how much is it to replace the electrical with a mechanical gauge and sender?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have a 95 Dodge Ram 1500 has high mileage I know that's a factor but there is so much oil buildup around the gaskets and spark plugs I'm thinking that's where my main leak is. I have to put in 2 to 3 quarts of oil a week maybe more. Any suggestions on where to actually look for the leak. I do notice that the gaskets are wet with fresh oil. I'm going to take it in and have the engine steamed clean to see if you can see any leaks. I would sure like any suggestions.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I also have loss of oil pressure until I step on the gas then it goes back up, what I do know is I have a blown head gasket. I'm still a little unclear if that is whats causing oil pressure to drop

I work in a quick line and deal with these common dodge problems all the time. If it's a 4.7l then I would be looking at head gaskets. 318 and hemis change the sending unit sensor and oil filter will fix the problem. Still have mechanical pumps but at idle not enough to register oil sensor. Do a high grade engine with varsol. It will clean out sludge from oil gallery. Use a product called golden touch it's a 4 L jug.

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