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Old 05-13-2011, 06:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Oil Pressure sending unit question

90 toyota 22re. My oil pressure gauge usually stays in the middle, but today during a 70+ mile trip, it started hovering between nothing and the mark past it.

Today when I started it, same thing, but went to very very low fast. I've searched around quite a bit and I'm thinking its the oil pressure sending unit.

My truck is using oil, but not smoking or anything. I can frequently smell oil burning on the motor, is that a sign the sending unit is bad? From what I can see and feel, it doesn't feel wet with oil in the area.

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Old 05-13-2011, 08:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Smelling burning oil is usually a sign of a valve cover leak. It leaks on the exhaust manifold, which burns it.

You checked your oil level, I'm assuming. What oil do you use? If not a 10W-40, I'd recommend switching to that weight. You might try Valvoline MaxLife, which is an excellent semi-synthetic oil that contains extra seal conditioners to cut down on leaking. If the pressure is still low, check out the connector to the sender and see if it needs cleaning up.

But if your valve cover gasket is leaking, I'd recommend replacing it. Give you a chance to check out the condition of your timing chain guides and adjust the valves while you're in there.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I thought since i both started around the same time, they might be related. I wasn't sure if the oil sending unit could leak when it went bad. I drove it today, and upon start up the gauge went to normal, but slowly dropped to none. No wierd noises, so its either fine or will suddenly blow through the hood.

I've done some research on it, and from what I can tell the factory gauges are crap. I'm using 10w30 oil, but i'll switch to something thicker in the near future. This is my first ever toyota, and I dont know diddly squat about it.
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sb5walker View Post
Smelling burning oil is usually a sign of a valve cover leak. It leaks on the exhaust manifold, which burns it.

You checked your oil level, I'm assuming. What oil do you use? If not a 10W-40, I'd recommend switching to that weight. You might try Valvoline MaxLife, which is an excellent semi-synthetic oil that contains extra seal conditioners to cut down on leaking. If the pressure is still low, check out the connector to the sender and see if it needs cleaning up.

But if your valve cover gasket is leaking, I'd recommend replacing it. Give you a chance to check out the condition of your timing chain guides and adjust the valves while you're in there.
Not knocking SB5WALKER's advice on the oil recommendation as he is usually always right and has led me in the right direction in the past but from my own personal experience I had run Valvoline High mileage oil in my rebuilt motor since 500 miles (not sure why in a rebuilt motor so you could call it 0 miles not high mileage other than it was cheap at Walmart and I had good luck with Valvoline in the pat and it was thier synthetic blend brand) but when I had to tear my rebuilt motor down after 10,000 miles due to a crappy Rock brand head gasket and it looked like a ton of oil buildup (in my opinion) due to the oil which had been changed religously at a maximum of 1500 miles with Valvoline Maxlife exclusively.

If I didn't know the history of the motor and someone tried to sell it to me claiming it had 10K miles on it with the oil changed every 1,000 miles (which it has) I would have claimed bullshit.

I will have to see tomorrow what my 22R 165K mile motor look like after I pull the head to replace the head gasket again after 10K miles due to another Rock brand head gastet failure and Valvoline Maxlife every 1,000 mile oil change.

150K on stock 1989 stock motor.



10K on rebuilt motor 1994 22RE motor. Cylinder wall cross hatch machining still good but heavy deposit buildup (in my opinion)









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Old 05-14-2011, 08:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I started it up today....gauge isn't showing any pressure. I let it run for about 30 minutes, then drove it about 20 miles. Never showed any oil pressure. Surely it would have blown up by now. If it survives till pay day, i'll run a mechanical gauge to it.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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MaxLife is just Valvoline's Durablend semi-synthetic oil with some added seal conditioners (which are esters - lubricants in their own right). So there's nothing about MaxLife (or any high mileage oil) that would be more likely to get into the cylinders. If the motor has oil in the cyls, it got there either past the rings, past the valve seals, or past the head gasket - all mechanical failures having nothing to do with the type of oil.

Just sayin.

Jeremy, you have more guts than me. If my oil gauge showed zero pressure, I sure would be taking steps to check the pressure, rather than running it for 30 minutes. Sheezh.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sb5walker View Post

Jeremy, you have more guts than me. If my oil gauge showed zero pressure, I sure would be taking steps to check the pressure, rather than running it for 30 minutes. Sheezh.

Thanks for not calling me an Moron....lmao.

I dont have a mechanical gauge, and I'm flat broke untill payday. If its gonna blow, i'd rather it blow at the house in the garage then 70 miles away along side the interstate. Hopefully I'll drop it by the garage monday morning and they can confirm oil pressure and do a compression check.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My truck did the same thing. All it turned out to be in mine was a bad wire to the sender. It would show zero to almost zero pressure pressure when hot. But normal when cold. replaced the connector and about 10" of wire and voila!
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If there was in fact zero oil pressure the engine would make all sorts of noises.... before it blew up.
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