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  #1  
Old 03-05-2002, 01:11 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Singapore
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Low engine oil reading

Hi guys! I am new to your mails. I guess I will enjoy the site.

I own a 1993 W124 200E in the tropical climate of Singapore. 2 weeks back, my engine oil indicator in the front dash panel start to show a reading of less than 1 after running for 5 minutes. First reading in the morning after I had park the car for more than 6 hours will show a normal reading at 3. Previously, it always show between 3 and 2 even under running temperature. A check at my engine oil showed tha the engine oil is not low.

The car seems to run normally without any sign of disorder. The car will be due for a engine oil soon. I intend to have the ATF changed too. Any recommendation to the grades of ATF and engine oil? Any advises are welcome. Most importantly, somebody please tell me what is wrong with the engine oil indicator.

Many thanks in advance.

Cheers
Robin Teo
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2002, 04:06 AM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Knoxville, TN
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The indicator in question is an oil pressure gauge. Oil pressure is naturally lower after the engine warms up due to the fact that the oil gets thinner when it gets hot, this is why there is lower pressure after the car is warmed up.

The gauge is callibrated in bars. What weight of oil do you use? A thicker oil will result in higher pressure. The gauge is callibrated in bars of pressure, as long as it reads at least 1 bar at idle only and pegs at 3 the moment engine RPMs are brought up, then the oil pressure should be within the acceptable limits.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2002, 11:01 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Singapore
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Hi Ali Al-Chalabi

Thank for your reply. The oil pressure now reads at around 0.5 when the engine is at running temperature. It does not increase even if I rev it up or while driving. Infact, when I try to rev, the reading actually shows a slight dip and goes lower than 0.5.

It seems that the only time when the pressure reads 3 is when the engine is cold upon start up. This situation does not look normal. Does it? From all other mails that I have read, the pressure should go up when the engine is revved.

The engine oil that I have used is a synthetic one. Some German brand with complete German words on the bottle, which I did not understand a thing. It was recommended by the mechanic when I did the oil change. The initial pressure reading was between 2 and 3. That was about 3 months ago. The drop in the pressure happened only 2 weeks ago. Does this mean that the engine is not getting its fair share of lubrication when the pressure is so low? Before this oil, I got no problem using Mobil 1 10-50. Do you think that the oil that I am using now has broken down that it lose the visicosty already and finally causing the pressure to be so low?

Please pardon me if I am making some silly deductions. I just want my car to operate like any other Mercedes. Thanks in advance.
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2002, 11:23 AM
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Location: Lathrup Village, Michigan
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Change the oil to a known good quality oil. Verify the pressure at startup and when hot. It should go to 3 bar on cold start and after 5 minutes probably indicate 2 to 2-1/2 bar at idle. Another 10 minutes of driving should get the oil to operating temperature and pressure should not dip below 0.7 bar at idle. That I believe is the MB spec. You should be able to get the pressure above 1 bar with an increase of about 200 rpm. The pressure should ALWAYS read 3 bar while driving (above ~1500 rpm).

I'd try to have someone verify your pressure transducer is giving the correct output to your gauge. But in the meantime, keep one foot on the gas and always give it enough gas at idle to keep the pressure at or above 1 bar. It is extremely important that you propery lubricate that engine. You may be losing oil from the main bearings or your oil pump is not delivering enough oil.
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  #5  
Old 03-08-2002, 03:54 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Singapore
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Hey! Just had the engine oil pressure switch changed, and the pressure works its way to 3 again. Wonder is this switch so called "oil pressure sending unit" by you guys who post mails. The switch (original) cost US$27. I am happy driving without fear again!
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  #6  
Old 03-08-2002, 09:31 AM
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I'm glad to hear back from you and your good news. I thought that from the sudden appearance of your problem that it was most likely your oil pump or the transducer. Luckily it was the MUCH cheaper part. My new on cost $54 here, and that was just above cost from my brother. Mine was a VDO part. Do you know the manufacturer of your part?
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Michael LaFleur

'05 E320 CDI - 86,000 miles
'86 300SDL - 360,000 miles
'85 300SD - 150,000 miles (sold)
'89 190D - 120,000 miles (sold)
'85 300SD - 317,000 miles (sold)
'98 ML320 - 270,000 miles (sold)
'75 300D - 170,000 miles (sold)
'83 Harley Davidson FLTC (Broken again) :-(
'61 Plymouth Valiant - 60k mikes
2004 Papillon (Oliver)
2005 Tzitzu (Griffon)
2009 Welsh Corgi (Buba)

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  #7  
Old 03-08-2002, 09:37 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Singapore
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I did not notice whether it was a VDO or not. The dealer told me that OEMs will cost USD20. while the original is USD27. With the little difference, I therefore opted for the original. But I do remember that the dealer did mention that originals are either Hella or VDO. BTW, does the price justifies that the equipment is a original? I do know that MB spare parts in my part of the world is relatively cheaper.
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2002, 01:03 PM
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They could very well be much cheaper in your part of the world.

I asked my brother why is was so expensive and his response was "It's a VDO part".
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Michael LaFleur

'05 E320 CDI - 86,000 miles
'86 300SDL - 360,000 miles
'85 300SD - 150,000 miles (sold)
'89 190D - 120,000 miles (sold)
'85 300SD - 317,000 miles (sold)
'98 ML320 - 270,000 miles (sold)
'75 300D - 170,000 miles (sold)
'83 Harley Davidson FLTC (Broken again) :-(
'61 Plymouth Valiant - 60k mikes
2004 Papillon (Oliver)
2005 Tzitzu (Griffon)
2009 Welsh Corgi (Buba)

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