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oil problems


countrygirl's Avatar
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03-15-02, 01:00 PM   #1  
countrygirl
oil problems

I've got a 96' Jeep Grand Cheerokee. Just lately the gauage has been bouncing up and down and sometimes low enough that my "check gauges"light kicks on. There is plenty of oil in the jeep. At times the oil on the dipstick goes up and down...one point it will be 1/2 way down and another point it will be full. I've been checking it every morning and night before I start it just to make sure. It's not making the ticking noice and the oil doesn't look milky. I thought it may be the oil pump and I was told that may not be the problem. Any ideas?!?!?!

 
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Joe_F's Avatar
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03-15-02, 01:04 PM   #2  
Joe_F
If the oil level is being checked when the vehicle is cold and it checks out as full, the level is fine.

You probably have a bad oil sending unit which sends the signal to the gauge.

You can't damn the oil pump until you check the engine's oil pressure with a hand held gauge..don't go there yet.

Change the oil sending unit (a couple of bucks at any parts store or dealer) and make sure the wire isn't touching anything hot or burned through and tell us what you find.

My bet's on going with changing the sending unit...they do go bad.

Let us know what you find.

 
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03-15-02, 01:30 PM   #3  
Checking your oil

Just a few quick questions. You said you check the oil every morning & Evening. Is the engine reading half & full when it is checked cold in the evening and morning? Because if you are checking it cold, this is a real problem. Tell us more about the milky oil and ticking noise. Also give us some specs ect. Miles on engine, what size engine, any engine work done in last year, also tell us how and when it all started this half & full on dipstick & oil pressure gauge going up and down. Do you know how to check to see if the Oil gauge is mechanical or electrical? Marturo

 
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03-15-02, 02:15 PM   #4  
countrygirl
I've always been taught to check oil before you start the engine first thing in the morning. It's NOT making any ticky noise (like when it's low on oil) and there is no milky look to the oil like I was told IF there is water in the oil. It's a 96' jeep grand cherokee with (I think) around 84,000 miles on it. It's a 4 cylinder. The only work that has been done on it in the last year is the water pump went out and had to have that replaced a few months ago. This all started almost 2 weeks ago. No, how do you check the oil gauge?
Thanks

 
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03-15-02, 05:09 PM   #5  
Oil Gauge

Well there are 2 types of oil gauges. A pressure gauge that has a small metal or plastic tube running to a fitting on your engine. You should see it coming through the firewall and sometimes it is coiled to keep vibration from breaking the line.

The other type is electric and it has one or two wires running to a sending switch most often in the head or block. It works like a reostat.

What concerns me is. Where is that other oil staying that is not going down to the oil pan? Having a lower than normal amount of oil in the pan can cause pressure problems.

What brand of oil do you use? also how long between oil changes? Marturo

 
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03-16-02, 08:16 AM   #6  
chadtoolio
I agree with Marturo but, I would have the oil pressure checked before I drove this vehicle any longer..

Could be that the oil strainer screen is stopped up with sludge..if so the oil pan can be removed and strainer cleaned.

It would be very unusual for any oil pump to go bad.

Don't take the chance in ruining the engine.

 
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03-16-02, 09:03 PM   #7  
Bob Manthei
If the outside temp is cold the oil volume (level) will decrease as in the cold of the spring mornings. Later in the day as the outside temp warms up the oil volume (level) will expand. Another factor is how long the engine has been turned off in the evenings. If the engine is still hot or even warm the oil volume will be greater than it would be first thing in the morning when the oil has had time to reach outside temperatures. Being parked outside or garaged can also have some effect.

 
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03-16-02, 10:23 PM   #8  
Joe_F
Whoa Nelley and guys. A couple of things.

1) Dash gauges are woefully optimistic. Never trust them for more than a general idea. If you suspect an oil related problem, rent a reliable hand held gauge from Autozone (one retailer with a tool rental program) and check the oil pressure versus the spec in the service manual. If it's fine, you have a faulty gauge or sending unit. If it's below spec, then you have oiling troubles.

2) When the sending unit goes bad, it will do wacky things to the gauge on the dash. It's a 20 dollar part at most, I would change it to eliminate the possibility. They DO go bad quite frequently.

Go from there and let's see what we have before tearing half the truck apart .

 
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03-18-02, 09:20 AM   #9  
countrygirl
Thank you everyone! I'm going to try the oil sending unit first cause I had someone else this weekend tell me just about the samething as Joe_F. I'll let ya all know what the outcome of this problem is.
Thank you again.

 
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03-18-02, 01:14 PM   #10  
Joe_F
Ok, and let us know what you find and what the fix was.

 
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