Can the oil light come on when not low; then not come on again for a week; seller claims to have fixed day before I purchased?

40

Asked by Dec 30, 2013 at 05:21 AM about the 2002 Dodge Caravan Sport

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Purchased a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport last week. Started engine to do test drive;  noticed oil light did not go out. Carfax certified miles 40,300; quiet, strong engine; smooth shifting trans. everything worked great except oil light stayed on.Told used car dealer/owner before test driving; who said "I know about it-- it's OK, NOT leaking oil;  sensor dirty, changing it tomorrow AND all fluids will also be changed; we do a 110 pt inspection...we just got this.. I am one of the biggest ebay sellers..we take care of things; don't worry.."  And, I  bought it next day $6,500.00 (seller detailed it)  oil light goes off after starting. Now, one week later, the oil light is back on again! van does NOT need oil.  Could this be something different? Or could seller just did temporary fix (lied about fixing it; cleaned it; did not change it?or similar?) can this be proven, if so??? Engine was pre-sale CLEANED--NO OIL LEAKS anywhere then or now for sure! How much would it cost to change sensor, parts & labor please? What else could it be? Cost of parts & labor cost?  It still drives/rides GREAT except OIL LIGHT STAYS ON. Could ANY damage occur if I drove it with the oil light on? Temperature is normal, not hot. THANKS so much. I know I paid too much, but desperate & needed good dependable ride for sick, elderly husband. Thought carfax certified low miles and everything was the best way to go. Are these good vans? I'm nervous now. Sure Hope I don't have a lemon OR made Mistake?!  Any recommendations about this problem AND about anything else PLEASE---I've NEVER owned a Dodge before. I'll take care of it, if Someone will help/tell me what to do!  What is best oil? THANK YOU! I DEARLY APPRECIATE ANY SUGGESTIONS; I'VE been paralyzed before. We need this to work out nice and inexpensive for the next several years, yes Lord Jesus PLEASE!  i WANT TO PREVENT BREAKDOWNS AND KEEP IT RUNNING GOOD INEXPENSIVE please. Thank you And God Bless You!

24 Answers

210,665

You may have a bad oil pressure sensor. Their easy to change, its right above the oil filter, in front of the oil filter housing. Take it back and have the dealership swap it out.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer
525

Sounds like oil pressure sensor or gauge, take it to independent shop to have oil pressure checked with a manual pressure gauge to get correct oil pressure reading. A motor that has been over heated, could have week piston ring,s and worn cam and rod and main bearings.does this motor lose oil after engine warm,s up, if it does take it back

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
525

That should read does it lose pressure after engine warms up, if it does you got a bad motor, they could have put over weight oil in car to bring oil pressure up when you first start but the pressure will start to drop at idle and low speeds, please take to another shop to have it looked at, you will also have proof to bring to seller.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
40

Well, all the answers were helpful and very good. We bought the oil pressure sensor and the tool to use to change it. COst $25.00 and one hr of time. Hopefully that is it and it is fixed; the light went out. Now, we read further down on another thread for something else that you must reprogam or reset the unit. So, he took the negative battery terminal off; turned ignition swiitch on and kept his foot on the brake for 5 minutes. Hope this is the right thing to do after changing the sensor. Further down the thread someone said that by taking the negative off, turning ignition on, pressing brake for 5 minutes saved them over $1500.00. So, we did the same thing. Right now, I really DONT KNOW----IF IT IS RIGHT---- OR IF IS WRONG??? Anyway its done and the light is out. This van looks beautiful with all 4 matching set of tires, all clean, detailed, mats, seats and carpet all shampooed. No chip in the windshield and the paint job is perfect. Only thing I noticed was the tint on 2 windows looked a little loose; but they still looked good and were able to get the job done!! We would have followed the answer about the testing the actual oil pressure but they said that this unit had too much pep and drove so good. If we have anymore trouble, then we will checking the actual pressure. All of this should have been avoided-----owner/seller said said that the changed sensor 2 hrs before I got there. BULL 2====it was definetly old sensor. Hopefully just changing the sensore and doing the removal of battery cable----chould have fixed everythihng. will have to wait and see. hopefully nothing else will need anything. THANKS

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
210,665

Your probably fine, enjoy!

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Thanks Tom, I hope so! It would have been so nice if the dealer/seller would have been honest. He said that he changed the sensor; and we believed him until we problems occurred as saw evidence of old sensor. You can tell by looking at the sensor removed from this van that it is NOT new. It NEVER was changed. Dealer/seller either lied or mechanic lied. Well, the important thing is, the van has a NEW sensor and the oil light is working the way it is supposed to. AND, we are Blessed to have a beautiful van to enjoy! Thanks again to everyone who helped us decide what to do and what part to purchase/change. Happy New Year to One and All to Everyone! I Hope for EVERYONE that 2014 is an even Better Year than 2013 was!!!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
40

I just need to find out actually what is the correct and BEST motor oil to use. Better yet----what about all the fluids? I want to buy correct, but would rather get correct AND BEST! Is there a handbook online with the club or a place where I could find the preventative maintenance? I did not see the handbook in our glove box. Also, I know that there are many wise owners, who have their own secret little tricks to keep everything running smoothly. Any recommendations? THANKS in advance! I really appreciate it. I have always kept everything updated, because we keep our vehicles for over ten years, sometimes 15 years; as much as 250,000 plus miles! For us to cheaper to maintain than buy new. Besides, we LOVE our "new" van! It is a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Sport with the V6 engine; automatic transmission. Thank you!

525

You can go to most any auto parts store or on line and purchase a manual, they have them for most cars and trucks, Haynes is one company that supply most auto stores, they are not to expensive either. and it will tell you all fluids that you need and mantinace times.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
525

Also you can not count on Carfax to be 100 percent and they tell you that in fine print, I bought one for my 2001 A8L when I bought it to see if it had the timing belt changed and it said that it had been done in a dealership in Lansing Michigan. Called them and they never done the work at all. So their is some fraud going on somewhere. P.s I checked this because my car had 330,000 thousand miles on it and it runs like a top, so if you take care of it will last, only reason I bought car with that many mile is , I bought it from a good friend, and I am a retired auto tech. And your welcome and have a happy new year.

40

Hi: What is an A8L===what kind of vehicle is that and who makes it? I have never heard of it. Or, do you mean an audi? I am a little confused by your email. You asked about a timing belt change, on a car with many miles you bought from a good friend? Why would you even check that? All you had to do was ask your friend?!? Congratulations on getting an automobile to have 330.000 miles. I have never seen one last that long. I think the longest is about 260,000. I guess by the time it got to 330,000 most of the expensive stuff had all been replaced---so maybe you got a vehicle that was actually refurbished! Thank you---and of course have a Happy New Year! By the way, if I had a retired auto tech living near me----I would cook or do laundry for you~ anything to keep my van running good! A good mechanic especially a good, honest one is really hard to find. I bet you are in great demand!!!!

40

Thank you for you comment about the Haynes book. I did not know if these books really gave the best information. Sometimes, mfgs of products will pay to have their name published....in order to drum up sales. I know you can purchase different books and manuels; most have basically the same info. I was really asking the group, the real people not just a writer's opinion....but as a real person who is a consumer/user of a specific vehicle what they PERSONALLY used. For instance, you are a retired auto tech, you probably know a lot of useful info. I have heard older people say that using heavier weight oil in any older vehicle is the best thing to use. Heavy weight was supposed to help with the smoke, or compensate for other things, etc. I bet that person with the 330,000 mile vehicle, your friend must of used the best fluids---to get that many miles. Also, certain engines made at different times run better with specific fluids used in them; while other car models made by the same company run better with different fluids used in them. I was wondering what most people with a 12 yr old van, with a V6 used in their vehicles?? I guess it is one of those things.....different strokes for different folks!

525

Yes it is an Audi a8l and he is the or was the CEO of a ferry boat line where I live, also he is an lawyer, and so on, but he put that many miles on it in 3 years , but he had it serviced always, I take car of his cars and boats when he at vacation at home or in town. Point being if you take care of it , it will last.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
525

Yes it is an Audi a8l and he is the or was the CEO of a ferry boat line where I live, also he is an lawyer, and so on, but he put that many miles on it in 3 years , but he had it serviced always, I take car of his cars and boats when he at vacation at home or in town. Point being if you take care of it , it will last. P.S. he put that many miles on it in just two to three years. Just talked him in to sell me one of his used ones, he usually has six to ten car at one time between him and his wife.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
525

Pat if you like you can call me at my extra cell number 906 984 2109 would be glad to talk with you about your van, Happy new years.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
525

Pat on your 2002 van you do not have to take battery cable off to clear any codes or anything else,2002, are obd 2 computer system, witch takes a code reader for clearing trouble codes or any service on engine dealing with computer service, from the start of computer use to 1995 you could take battery cable off to clear codes or areas that any electrical problems that for engine, 1996 and newer cars and trucks need obd 2 service equipment to clear or reset anything.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
40

THANK YOU very much for the information. We read it here about d/c the battery cable, keep foot on brake here on this site. However, it did not list anything about vehicle year they were working on or anything else. We debated doing/not doing it. They mentioned about saving $1500.00 by doing it! We did not want to do harm, by not doing it. Now that it is done, I HOPE THAT IT DID NOT HURT ANYTHING!. We will not do it again for anything else. Its our 1st Dodge/Chrysler; we don't really know much about them. The only thing was the oil light was lit up; oil was not low, everything was working. Oil was changed week before. So, it seemed the only option was changing the oil pressure sensor. The oil light is out now. And everything is still working correctly. Please tell me what obd 2 computer system is all about. I do get it that IF i would have gotten a code message, it would have taken a code reader for 1996 and newer. Again, mine is a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan, minivan. THANK YOU Mr. Bigg Dog! Appreciate all the help. We have a notebook, where we take notes on all of this. Thank you, I appreciate it so very much your time and the information. THANKS AGAIN and have a GREAT HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

525

The one 2 system is just a more interactive computer system, when they started using computers in cars, they were crude systems and it seemed like they were changing every six months or so, until they switched to one 2 in 1996. Just like electronics in your home always changing and. Getting better most of the time ,lol, in 96 you could start talking, I say, to the computer system and you can work with the system a lot wider. It,s just that good testing tools are expensive. Also think about it , if all these engenders, didn't change this, they would not have jobs, I don't know if that is good or bad, I know,it sure cost a lot of mechanics a lot of money to keep up with all the new equipment to fix these newer cars. I guess every body has to make money, don't forget pat if you need help or have questions feel free to call. Have a good day.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
525

P.S. with battery unhooked , you pretty much can't hurt any tuning , because their is no complete circuit for the electrical, system to do any thing.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
525

Also on that year van the oil light does not tell you if your engine is low on oil level, it just tells you how much pressure you have, the dip stick is the way to check oil level, newer cars of the last five or six years have sensors to tell accrual level.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
40

Thanks again for taking the time to explain things. I really do appreciate it. The pressure sensor light was changed and the light only comes on when starting and then goes out---exactly the way it is supposed to. I have not had the actual pressure tested or measured. I have put 3000 miles on it 2 weeks. (Extra high mileage; drove it 800 miles from point of purchase to home; then picked up grand children out of state for Holidays, brought them back home today). The van rides/drives better than anything I have ever experienced! We LOVE it! It has good strong power, no missing, etc. Do you think it is possible that the oil pump might be getting weak---and that the original message was true? Or do you think that the sensor just needed replacing? Everything seems perfect to me. If I did not see paperwork---I honestly would think that this was a BRAND new 2014 van. The ride/drive absolutely amazes us. I would not want to mess anything up, if driving it around with a weak oil pump. We are just guessing that it was a sensor problem. Especially since, after new one was put it, it never came back on again, except at normal starting time. Thanks again, I will save your phone number, in case I have more questions. So, please don't change that number! Note: the reason I never brought it back to dealer/seller when original problem with sensor is round trip is 1600 miles! Sense able thing was to just change sensor. I drove 800 just to purchase it; found it on internet. Thanks, Pat

525

Well pat, sounds like you got the problem taken care of, the only reason you might want to the get the honest test of preasure, is that when you only have a oil light and not a gauge is that, the pressure that it takes to turn that light out is about 3 to 5 pounds of preasure , don't take this the wrong way, because I truly hope it is fixed, so it would still have the pressure tested by a mechanic just to know the true state off the oil pressure, and it would Realy put your mind at ease, and they most likely would not charge that much, and then you will know for sure. If any thing else feel free to call.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
40

Thank you, I think I will get the oil pressure tested---as soon as both of us finish getting ALL of our medical testing done. That takes both of us a couple of months---seriously! THANKS AGAIN!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
20

Hello Pat: Do you still keep in touch with "biggdog462001"? I would like to communicate with him in respect to some problem with my 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan ES trim; see the link below: http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/Discussion-t12758_ds641283?sntEmlId=228883309#msg425022

50

NO MORE OIL WARNING !!!!!!!!! I just had exact problem. Annoying warning sound when I stop at red light. 2000 grand voyager with 150k miles original engine and oil pump. I drive 80-90 MPH with this issue for a week with no issue. So I know nothing wrong with my pump or bearings. All I did was clean the wire, connector and the pressure switch using break cleaner. I didn't even remove any of them. Just sprayed to clean all oil and dirt as much as possible. NO MORE OIL WARNING

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