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I'm new to this forum and to Toyotas in general except for brake work on Camrys. So I picked up an 03 Limited with the V6 for what I thought was a decent price. Now that I'm into it that price was not so great, this thing was ignored a lot. Here's the scoop, I got it fixed up mechanically (brakes, brake lines etc) then after a few months of tinkering I finally get it registered only to find the oil pressure light would flicker after it was warmed up. I did a ton of googling and found these things sludge up if ignored. First thing I did after installing a mechanical gauge was pull the small oil pan and oil pickup, it was caked with crud. Put it back together and oil pressure was much higher but would still drop down to nothing or almost nothing when at normal engine temp. Shut the engine off for 15 seconds and it would be back up then drop again after a 30 seconds or so. I then pulled the intake and valve covers, the passenger side wasn't too bad but the driver's side was pretty gunky. I scraped and vacuumed both sides, none of the return ports looked clogged. Of course the PCV valve was stuck open so that and valve cover gaskets were replaced. Really no change after that. So now I'm wondering if the oil pump has issues but why would the pressure pick right up after shutting off for a small amount of time? It almost seems like the oil isn't getting back to the pan quick enough but if I shut it off when the pressure drops and run over to the dipstick the level looks normal. So this is where I'm at, suggestions would be appreciated.



thanks,
 

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1998 T100 SR5 2WD
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Welcome to the forums! :)

What engine do you have in yer vehicle? Is it the 5vzfe? ;)

Have you pulled the oil pan again and checked the screen? It's possible that some more crud has found it's way back into the oil pan and the suction is clogging the screen just enough. I guess you could check the oil flow from the pump by pulling one of the oil port plugs, installing a NPT 3/8" to 1/8" adapter into the port, attaching a hose to the port, and flow the oil back into the oil filler port. You should easily be able to check the oil flow and see if it really diminishes or not. I believe the port plug takes a 8mm hex wrench to remove it. ;)
 

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I'm new to this forum and to Toyotas in general except for brake work on Camrys. So I picked up an 03 Limited with the V6 for what I thought was a decent price. Now that I'm into it that price was not so great, this thing was ignored a lot. Here's the scoop, I got it fixed up mechanically (brakes, brake lines etc) then after a few months of tinkering I finally get it registered only to find the oil pressure light would flicker after it was warmed up. I did a ton of googling and found these things sludge up if ignored. First thing I did after installing a mechanical gauge was pull the small oil pan and oil pickup, it was caked with crud. Put it back together and oil pressure was much higher but would still drop down to nothing or almost nothing when at normal engine temp. Shut the engine off for 15 seconds and it would be back up then drop again after a 30 seconds or so. I then pulled the intake and valve covers, the passenger side wasn't too bad but the driver's side was pretty gunky. I scraped and vacuumed both sides, none of the return ports looked clogged. Of course the PCV valve was stuck open so that and valve cover gaskets were replaced. Really no change after that. So now I'm wondering if the oil pump has issues but why would the pressure pick right up after shutting off for a small amount of time? It almost seems like the oil isn't getting back to the pan quick enough but if I shut it off when the pressure drops and run over to the dipstick the level looks normal. So this is where I'm at, suggestions would be appreciated.



thanks,
Hello MikeinNH67,

What's the mileage on your engine and what weight oil are you using? Plugged up passages including a sticky, stuck oil pressure relief valve could affect oil pressure including worn engine bearings. There's several engine oil flush brands on the market that might help with sludge removal, maybe worth a try.

Rich.
 

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Thanks for the replies. As listed in the first post, I added a pressure gauge to monitor closely. I also updated my signature with more info. I will pull that pan again but don't see how it could be more cruddy than it was, it was really bad. I've never seen anything like that, hardened oil on the screen only allowing flow in a small area.

With research I've read about getting a flush additive which is probably what I'll do next. I've read that ATF in the oil may help clean some things so I added a quart and will run it up to temp a few times then let it sit, we'll see what happens with that. Oil weight is what Toyota specifies and has been changed with the filter since I first noticed this. Some people say run some kerosene in it but I'm reluctant to do that until other things are tried.

Sticky relief sounds like it could be it assuming it opens under high pressure and sticks there at idle allowing the oil to bypass. It looks like that is in the oil pump housing, that would not be something I want to tear into in the winter months.

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I'm driving it every couple days at night (no inspection sticker yet) and it does seem to be getting better. I'll keep doing this for a bit. Since I put new plugs in the thing runs great, just gotta deal with this issue.

Curious, for those who have a oil pressure gauge, what is the normal pressure when up to temp?

thanks,
 
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