Rough driving after Engine Oil Light was on

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Dario Moreno, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. Dario Moreno

    Dario Moreno Guest

    While driving my 92 Accord on the highway the Engine Oil Light came on. I had to
    drive another 5 kms before to stop the car on a shoulder. While driving a
    burning smell also filled the car. When I checked the oil level it was OK but
    car started to drive very rough and I hear valves clicking on acceleration. I
    took it to my mechanic right away. He changed the oil pressure switch, which was
    changed 15K kms ago, changed the oil and oil filter, which was again changed 3K
    kms ago. The light is off now but the driving changed dramatically. I have
    almost no acceleration. Rough and loud driving as if it always runs on low gear.
    Pinging on sudden acceleration etc. I was suspecting oil pump but the mechanic
    told me that if it were the pump the engine would have been seized by now. Could
    that be an electrical problem such as a cable to ECU sensors got burnt or
    something. Please help. Thanks.
    Dario Moreno, Feb 24, 2006
  2. Dario Moreno

    TeGGeR® Guest

    Driving those 5km may have done severe damage to your oil pump and your
    bearings. You should have stopped immediately when the light came on.

    You need a new (GOOD) mechanic to diagnose the damage properly. Every
    symptom here suggests an engine that is irreversibly damaged and in need of

    And he's wrong about the oil pump. It (and the engine) will run for a long,
    long time with no oil, but it will be badly damaged.
    TeGGeR®, Feb 24, 2006
  3. -----------------------------

    The Owner's Manual is correct. When the oil light comes on, you SHUT IT
    DOWN. It may be that your timing belt has jumped a tooth or two now.
    That could explain your crappy power. You need to mention your mileage
    and some more maintenance HISTORY.

    'Curly Q. Links', Feb 25, 2006
  4. Dario Moreno

    jim beam Guest

    if the oil pressure light comes on when driving, and you have oil
    showing on the stick, you likely have a blown bearing [which you'd hear]
    or a blown pump. both are bad news. at this is stage, you have two

    1. keep driving and see how long it lasts. if the engine seized
    momentarily and is now free again [it happens], it will run rough for a
    while and effectively have to "run in" again. and it'll burn oil, so
    keep an eye on it.

    2. buy a new engine. unless you're an enthusiast or this car is
    otherwise exceptional in some way, a strip-down necessary for accurate
    diagnosis & subsequent rebuild is not economic. a jdm engine is just a
    few hundred bucks, plus labor for the swap.

    for the future, any oil light coming on is a big problem. deal with it
    properly. don't just replace the pressure switch - they rarely fail
    unless they're struck or they develop a leak.

    lastly, if you get the new engine, use a decent quality oil and do not
    exceed the oil change interval. cheap oil is cheap for a reason, and it
    ain't just because the label's cheaper to print.
    jim beam, Feb 25, 2006
  5. Dario Moreno

    Dario Moreno Guest

    My timing belt along with the water pump (all Honda parts) was changed
    around160K kms and I
    have 192K kms on the car now. I have always changed the oil, oil filter at
    6-10K intervals,
    all other maintenance items were done as required. TeGGeR suggested that the
    bearings and oil pump could have been damaged too. Timing belt seems more
    plausible to me since the engine runs and accelerates well when it is on Park.
    I have the problem when I am driving. Could it be that oil pump seized
    and caused timing belt jump? What bothers me also the burning smell
    when it happened. Anyone of the electrical connections from sensors
    (speed, torque, shaft position etc.) could have been burnt too I guess, and
    ECU can not control the engine properly (my wish!!). I need a really good
    mechanic to
    diagnose this problem rather than trial an error. By changing the oil pressure
    switch (15K kms old) , oil, and oil filter (3K kms old) turned the light off
    somehow but I am not convinced that the problem got solved.
    Dario Moreno, Feb 25, 2006
  6. But why isn't the oil light on now? Maybe the mechanic left it
    unconnected to keep the warning light off, but why would he do that?
    Unless the failure was caused by something he did. Could he have put
    STP or something in there to keep the pressure up and the light off?

    Questions for the OP: Did you personally check the oil level after
    the incident to verify it wasn't low? Does the oil light come on when
    you start the car to indicate that it is working? Is it burning any
    oil now?

    You should take it for a compression test. If it confirms that the
    engine is toast, then something doesn't add up. I would question
    whether the first mechanic did (or failed to do) something that caused
    the engine to fail and is now trying to cover it up.
    Gordon McGrew, Feb 26, 2006
  7. Dario Moreno

    Dario Moreno Guest

    Yeah. Absolutely, I ask the same question to myself too. How come
    changing Oil Pressure switch (OPS), oil and oil filter made the light to
    go off unless the oil filter was defective and got plugged. If it
    were the OPS than I wouldn't have this driving problem.
    I trust him that he would not leave OPS disconnected. Besides,
    when I turn on the ignition, the light comes on now which indicates
    that the curcuit is closed. And yes, first thing I did to check the
    oil level. I know that I should not have driven the car but I had
    to drive that damn 5 kms. I do not know yet if it is burning oil
    but I will keep an eye on it. I'll try to drive this car as little
    as posible for now until something makes sense.
    Dario Moreno, Feb 26, 2006
  8. I agree that the engine must not be run more than enough to get the car out
    of traffic and for diagnostics when the oil light comes on, but on
    reflection replacing the sensor is not an unreasonable approach for a DIYer.
    They do fail fairly often (as you say, that usually announces itself with a
    leak). If the light goes off afterward the new sensor is clearly different
    from the old one and the old one can be declared bad. If the light is on
    with the new one also, we can be sure it is telling us the truth and it's
    time to make the hard choices about the engine.

    A pro would be negligent not to actually measure the oil pressure, however.
    Different standards when charging somebody for the work.

    Michael Pardee, Feb 26, 2006
  9. Dario Moreno

    Dario Moreno Guest

    Finally I took the car back to the mechanic and it was the balance shaft that
    had seized.
    The timing belt, balance belt, and the water pump were changed 15K kms ago.
    Anyhow the balance belt was stripped badly. The pieces from the belt made the
    timing belt to skip a tooth. My mechanic said that he called a few
    other Honda mechanics and the dealer and none heard of seized balanced shaft.
    It was going to be an expensive curiosity to find out why it was seized thus we
    to disengage the shaft by removing the gear and putting a new belt. It cost me
    $415 CDN.
    We still do not know the relation between this failure and oil light to come on.
    Dario Moreno, Mar 22, 2006
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