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Old 01-13-2015, 06:06 PM   #1
Joker853
 
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Advice about oil pressure..."issue"

Hey yall. Okay, bear with me, a little bit of background.

So about 6 months ago, got the dreaded "low oil pressure" warning. It went away after 10 seconds, and then didn't come back. Took it to the shop, they kept it for two days and couldn't recreate the problem. They thought it was probably a bad sensor. After that, went months without an issue.

A month ago, I drove 8 hours to my Dads house, and then after Christmas, another 8 hours down here to Pensacola (new duty station). No issues, whatsoever.

About 2 weeks ago, started her up after 5 minutes of driving and got the same warning, revved the engine (didn't hear any knocking), and it went away. For the next day, I would rev it at start, it would go away, but the pressure at idle would sit about 23-25psi...which normally at idle I'm at 30-32psi,. Under load it went back to normal...?? So while it was acting up, I would have to rev it to get the oil pressure gauge to work and not read 0.

Since then, I've had zero issues again. Here's where I need advice, and thanks to those who have read this far.

The mechanics here say to "just replace the oil sending unit" which sounds like just throwing parts and paying money and crossing fingers. So it's either the sensor, the sending unit, or I need a new pump.

I've researched the hell out of this but still can't find an answer. Do you all think it's a sensor, sending unit, or the pump itself?

I'm not the most engine savvy or anything, but if the sensor was going, wouldn't it be busted the entire time? I revved then everything was fine, just a little low at idle, but normal under load. Same thing with the sending unit, low at idle but normal under load....wouldn't it be wrong all the way around?

I'm about to just say screw it and buy a melling pump and pony up for the labor, but need some advice from yall first. Thanks again for reading and for your help.

Jess
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:37 PM   #2
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I'd think sensor as well. If it were the pump, reving it up would possible lead to problems.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:47 PM   #3
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Do your car a favor and quit revving it up until you have it figured out. Not sure what you are referring to as the sensor. There should be a sending unit on the back of the motor, try swapping that first. $40 beats the hell out of $400 and probably more. Then if it continues to read low, replace the oil pump and put a new cam in it while you have it apart.

The sending unit requires a 1 1/16 socket. Your best bet is to get one specially for oil pressure sending units, around $10.

There is probably a way to test your current sending unit, but I did not bother with that on my Silverado. $40 to make sure you have an accurate reading on oil pressure is cheap in my book. For once the mechanic is not BSing you, that is where most people start.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:05 PM   #4
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Advice about oil pressure..."issue"

The mechanic also told me when I revved it I was possibly unsticking the check valve. I'm not the most savvy with replacing parts; how involved is changing the sending unit myself? Can't seem to find a guide for the ls3 motor. Thanks for the quick response!
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:05 AM   #5
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I assume the mechanic is referring to the bypass valve on the pump as there is no valve on the sending unit. If the bypass valve is sticking, you need a new pump, so not sure what good reving it would do unless you were trying to score work for an engine rebuild.

I have never done the sending unit on the Camaro and I know the engine sits pretty far under the cowl. You need the socket, an appropriate length extension and a ratchet. First you have to find the sending unit behind the intake manifold. It will have a wire plugged into it and stick straight up about 4" out of the back of the block. Disconnect the wire and take the socket with extension and try to slide it over the sending unit and make sure it's seated well. If its not, you can break the plastic part off the existing unit. I did that and then it was really easy to get the socket on, but that was on a truck I don't have to drive if I don't want to. I would not recommend taking that chance on your Camaro. Once you get the socket on, put the ratchet into the extension (I used a 24" flex head ratchet for the reach as I'm not a tall guy) and loosen the sending unit. It should not take a ton of effort. Then try to start the new sending unit by hand, or at most with the socket and extension on it. You don't want to cross thread it and you won't be able to see it so you will be working entirely by feel. I'm sure there is a torque spec, but I just snugged it enough to crush the crush washer, probably around 15ft lbs.

It will be more of a PITA than anything. It's not complicated, just in a bad spot. There may be easier ways to do it, but I have not done it on the Camaro so I have not looked to see how hard it is to do from under the car. I suggest you see what is on YouTube. I bet somebody has posted a video. If you can't find an specific one for the V8s in Camaros, look for one on a Vette as they used the same engine.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:08 AM   #6
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Great info and thank you very much!
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