Nissan XTerra Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
2003 natural aspirated 3.3
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if it's a sensor going bad or if there is a need for me to check the oil. Is it a oil pressure light or a check oil light?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,172 Posts
Please give us a little more info on the vehicle. Year, Model, Engine, etc.
 

·
Registered
2003 natural aspirated 3.3
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's a Nissan Xterra 3.3 2003

I didn't know oil pressure decreased w lower oil level.
 

·
Registered
03 XE A/T, SC coming soon
Joined
·
1,354 Posts
I didn't know oil pressure decreased w lower oil level.
when there’s no oil in there, it will decrease to zero. If the oil level is correct then you’d begin exploring whether the oil pressure switch is bad or if the oil pressure is low.
 

·
Registered
2003 natural aspirated 3.3
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So it's a low oil pressure light
 

·
Registered
2003 natural aspirated 3.3
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And oil pressure decreases w lower oil level.. correct?
 

·
Registered
03 XE A/T, SC coming soon
Joined
·
1,354 Posts
Yes it is a low oil pressure light. It can mean that your oil pressure is below a certain threshold which can be all the way to zero. Oil pressure will not decrease proportionally to oil level but when the oil level drops below a certain level it can cause situations where your engine is starving for oil and the light may come on. Checking the level and condition of the engine oil and filter is a preliminary step in all oil pressure related concerns
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
its oil pressure. So if there's the correct amount of oil level on the dipstick then the sensor is bad or going bad or the oil pump is not pumping or not pumping enough. If there's no oil or oil is below the dipstick it has no oil it's going to be hard to output a pressure reading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,143 Posts
And oil pressure decreases w lower oil level.. correct?
Oil pressure does not decrease relative to decrease in oil level. The oil pump pickup is designed to be positioned below the "full" level of oil in the oil pan such that normal operation of the vehicle [stopping, turning and accelerating] does not allow the g-forces of these conditions to allow the oil pump pickup to rise above the level of the oil that has now been displaced in the oil pan. If the oil pump pickup looses contact with the oil it can no longer maintain a constant oil pressure to the system of bearings and monitoring sensors. Your symptom of a momentary flicker of the oil pressure monitoring light suggests a possible loss of oil pressure. If your oil level has been allowed to be diminished below standards it is possible that momentary losses of oil pressure can occur as the oil volume is forced away from the pickup when physical forces are placed on the oil volume. Far too often I have checked other peoples vehicles for oil condition and level, only to find there is "no" oil whatsoever touching even the tip of the dipstick. I do not suggest this is your case.
 

·
Registered
2003 natural aspirated 3.3
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess it could be the sensor, I checked oil level, reads ok
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,172 Posts
First thing to check is the oil level.
If the oil level is good then test the sensor. You should be able to find a video on how to do this on YouTube, or check the price of a new one and just swap it out. If this doesn't fix it then move on to the oil pump.

Basically work on it in order of cost and difficulty. Changing the sensor should be cheap and is pretty easy.
 

·
Registered
2001 XE 5-speed 4x4, silver, 144k miles, almost bone stock
Joined
·
3 Posts
Had a similar thing happen to me when I bought my X. Didn't check the fluid levels right after buying it and had to do some hard breaking headed into Philly. Light came on as the nose angled down while breaking, then went off once I leveled back out. Probably starved the oil pump when all the fluid shifted.
 

·
Registered
2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
Had a similar thing happen to me when I bought my X. Didn't check the fluid levels right after buying it and had to do some hard breaking headed into Philly. Light came on as the nose angled down while breaking, then went off once I leveled back out. Probably starved the oil pump when all the fluid shifted.
That's called windage. The nose diving didn't help matters, but the act of braking is what forced a lot of the oil to the front of the pan. The same way that you and your passengers lean forward and lock up the seat belts in an emergency braking maneuver. If the oil is low enough, that shift will momentarily starve the pump, which is not good. I hope your rig didn't suffer from it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
after having an engine seize early in my driving life... I have become that guy that pops his hood and checks the fluid levels at every fill up, even on my 2020 Kia Sportage.
 

·
Registered
2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
after having an engine seize early in my driving life... I have become that guy that pops his hood and checks the fluid levels at every fill up, even on my 2020 Kia Sportage.
You can't go wrong when paying attention to maintenance of a machine.
 

·
Registered
03 XE A/T, SC coming soon
Joined
·
1,354 Posts
Low oil pressure is more often worn bearings than a worn pump. If the oil pressure is found to be low, I’d start planning for an engine rebuild or replacement. Oil pump rarely helps
 

·
Registered
2003 natural aspirated 3.3
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well I think it was low on oil. Put about a quart and half in and no oil light yet.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top