Flickering Oil Light

  birdface 22:06 22 Jul 2012

Just back from Heathrow in the brother in Laws car and noticed that the oil warning light was flickering on and off when stuck at traffic lights.

A little bit of acceleration and it dissapeared.Not the lack of oil if anything to much oil in it.

Need to use it tomorrow morning and have to travel 8 miles there and 8 miles back.

Any ideas as to what would cause the Oil light to come on and would it be safe to drive.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:29 22 Jul 2012

what would cause the Oil light to come on and would it be safe to drive.

Lack of oil - no

too much oil - yes (if only just above max on stick, not if sump completely filled.)

failing oil pump - no

failing oil sensor - yes

your symptoms are the same as when I had a failing oil sensor when on moors, drove for about 15 mile before could phone AA. A sensor change solved the problem.

  ton 22:37 22 Jul 2012

May be faulty oil pressure switch or pressure relief valve.

Faulty wiring? Engine overheating? Engine badly worn? Oil Pump worn? Wrong type of oil? Etc. Etc.

Probably ok to drive. Ask brother in law if he's noticed it.

  birdface 22:40 22 Jul 2012

That sound reasonable Fruit Bat /\0/\ If I remember right I had the same problem with one of my old cars years ago and that was the problem.

Did the AA sort it or did they just advise you to change it as they would not carry that sort of stock.Never thought about the AA as he is a member.

If I new where a bout it was I would change it myself.

Will have a good look tomorrow and try and change it when I get back.Thanks.

  birdface 22:47 22 Jul 2012


Brother in Law is staying in Lanzarote for the past year and I have been using his car most of the time.

It was the first time that I have noticed it.

  carver 22:48 22 Jul 2012

Normally when an oil light comes on at tick over it's a sign that the oil pump is failing OR the oil filter needs changing, or you have a very worn engine as long as it's not lighting up when driving it should be OK.

As long as it's not diesel and a SAAB you may be ok if you have too much oil in but I would be worried and take some out.

  birdface 23:12 22 Jul 2012


It is a 2 litre Vauxhall Zafira diesel but not a SAAB.

Oil and filter change would do no harm.But getting any body to do it is a different thing.

I used to try quite a few like kwik fit etc when I had my van and they were not interested in changing the oil etc. We are to busy just now was all that I got out of them.

I know someone who will have a look at it and fix it for me just a matter of getting him when he is not to busy.

Thanks for all the advice it was appreciated.Needed it for tomorrow morning as I have no other transport and just was not sure whether I should use it or not.

  spuds 00:18 23 Jul 2012

If you want someone to change the filter and oil, plus do a mini check, then perhaps try http://www.national.co.uk/information/oil-filters-process.aspx who have depots throughout the country. Usually done while you wait.

  birdface 06:32 23 Jul 2012

Thanks spuds we have one of those here so maybe give it a try later today.thanks.

  Quickbeam 07:56 23 Jul 2012

"Oil and filter change would do no harm"

Has it been serviced regularly? If it hasn't and the oil filter has been on 20/30k miles beyond it's recommended life, a partially blocked filter can cause that sort of fault.

A huge number of UK cars are not serviced regularly if ever once they get past 3 years old in private ownership, either through ignorance of service requirements or cost saving. The filters have a limited life and regular all filters & oil being changed makes the difference between an engine life of 100k Vs 400k+ miles.

  birdface 08:11 23 Jul 2012


It was changed a couple of years ago and I would be surprised if the car has done more than 6.000 miles since then.

I remember where it got done and that was at spuds's click here.

He had to take it back on a Friday and leave it there all day as they were busy and would fit it in when they could.

I would say the oil is at least an inch and a half above the top mark on the dipstick but I think that is about normal nowadays.I think that they work it out to much oil is better than to little.

I know my van used to be over the top when it had an oil and filter change.

Engine is not overheating and no loss of coolant.

Got to go out now so will see if I can get an oil and filter change anywhere while out.

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