From: "Stuart Wallace"
Subject: Re: How to detect low oil level
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 01:37:07 -0000
NNTP-Posting-Date: 1 Nov 2002 12:20:25 GMT
X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1106
> No, when the light comes on, it's already far too late. That means there's
> no oil at all, or failure of the oilpump.
Ah, but mine also warns me of overpressure conditions. When the oil level is
low, the pump occasionally pumps air instead of oil. This causes a surge in
measured pressure at the sensor.
In any case, as long as one checks one's oil level frequently (not difficult
and no excuses for not doing so) then there won't be problems unless there
are major leaks or burning. Even during a track day or two, it isn't normal
just to lose all your engine oil. If the engine is burning oil then it
should be fairly obvious -- clouds of blue smoke are difficult to miss. In
that case, the oil level sensor money would be much better spent on new
valve guides, or piston rings or whatever. In any case, monitoring oil
temperature might be a worthwhile course of action; if the oil temp on my
car suddenly rises (a thermostat-controlled oil cooler helps smooth most
temp changes caused by hard driving) then I know I've got problems.
My biggest problem isn't caused by average oil level -- I get oil surge
during long tight bends and hairpins (transverse engine, of course). This
can in extreme cases cause one or two cylinders to lose lubrication
(fortunately it hasn't happened yet). The best solution would seem to be a
baffled sump, but that's a different discussion for a different NG.