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Old 07-03-2011, 02:42 AM
Junior Member
1996 Honda Accord
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 38
Default Oil Light Flashing on and off, but I have oil..

Okay guys, I know i've been posting ALOT in the General Tech questions forum. But bear with me hah. When I bought this 96 honda accord LX with 174,XXX miles on it a month ago, the first thing I noticed was that the oil light constantly would flicker on and off. The previous owner said he didnt know what was wrong with it, and that he had just changed the oil. Well I went ahead and did another oil change on the car that same day. Same problem, the oil light would flicker on and off quickly, and endlessly. the whole time I would drive it. I finally have the time to go and fix this little problem so I need some help here. What could be causing the oil light to flicker on and off? Electrical? Sensors? What do I need to check in order to make it stop flashing?

And by the way before anything is said, I do not have an oil leak, the Oil level is and always has been between the two dots on the dipstick. I've been checking the oil periodically since I bought the car and the oil level has not changed since I bought it. Zero leaks underneath the car under the oil pan, or any leaks for that matter, (excluding condensation from the AC unit).

Any tips/advice will help, thanks again guys! you guys have helped me more than you really know!
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:23 AM
Super Moderator
2005 Acura TSX
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 11,090

That light should turn due to low oil pressure. Typically that happens due to low oil, which you already verified.

There are some other reasons for that light to turn on.

1. Low oil pressure due to faulty oil pump, clogged passages, bearing clearance.
2. Bad oil pressure sending unit (on back of the engine).
3. The wire from the oil pressure sending unit to the instrument cluster is grounding.
4. The integrated control module is shorting (that is wired to the pressure switch too).
5. A problem with the instrument cluster main board.

#1 would be the most concerning to me, because that would mean that you oil pressure is actually low. The only way to verify is to remove the pressure sending unit and connect an oil pressure gauge.

The one test I would try is to unplug the one wire connector to the oil pressure sending unit. Now the light should not turn on at all when the engine is running. From the wiring, I don't know if it will do the bulb check, let us know if it does. If the light does flicker, then you can rule out low oil pressure and the sending unit.

That sending unit is a bit above the oil filter on the back of the engine block. It is right above the metal pipe that goes from the water pump to the thermostat. It will have one wire (yel/red) going to it and a rubber boot that covers the sensor. That boot will seem like it is plastic after 15 years of engine heat.

If the light doesn't turn on with it unplugged, then I would replace the oil sending unit. They cost <$20 at the dealership. They use a special oil sending unit socket to install, so you don't damage the sending unit. You are also supposed to use a light coat of RTV on the threads. The torque is 13 ft-lb.
2005 Acura TSX MT
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1996, 97, accord, bad, blinking, changed, flashing, honda, light, low, oil, pressure, sending, unit, unplug

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