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Old 10-14-2000, 03:20 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 317
Today for the first time I noticed when I'm at a stop(in gear with foot on the brake),my oil pressure gauge was at just above zero. When I stepped on the gas it went immediately in between 2 and 3. I observed a week ago that during the same conditions the settings were (1 when stopped or slightly above) to 3 when I stepped on the gas. Can anyone tell me what problem(s) I am getting ready to encounter, and how much should I be prepared to spend. The car has 193k mi. on it and it runs great. Does this sound like a oil pump problem? HELP!!! By the way, the car is a 86 300E

[This message has been edited by rich30769 (edited 10-14-2000).]
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Old 10-14-2000, 07:20 PM
Senior Canadian Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 827
how long has it been since your last oil change?

And what weight oil are you using?

And before you decide to panic, check the oil pressure sending unit. it may need to be replaced. However usually when they decide to go, they either stop working altogether or the readings are far more erratic.


Yen-Hsen Liem
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Old 10-14-2000, 08:59 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
Its hard to tell with the information given, but you should probably have it looked at. It is perfectly normal for the oil pressure to drop significantly when you are stopped (at a light, etc.) but as soon as you hit the gas that needle should go right to the top (3 on my 420SEL) if, under normal driving circumstances it does not go all the way up you have lost pressure, either because your pump is not working to full capacity, your oil is moving sluggishly (due to a partial block or something in the oil) or a lack of pressure in the system (oil is getting out somewhere). The last thing you want is an engine that is not getting the oil it needs. Imagine what would happen to your hand if you cut off all blood supply to it for five minutes. Chances are you would never have use of it again. Same with your engine. It could be something pretty simple. Check your oil level. If it is down, find out why. If it is not, change it, and check out the breather hoses for sludge build up. Check the seal on the dipstick to make sure it is in good shape and sealing well to provide internal pressure. If none of that helps get professional help. No idea how much it might cost, but you can bet it'll be much much less than what it will cost later, if you do nothing now.

Jason Priest
1986 420SEL
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Old 10-15-2000, 10:52 AM
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Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 317
Checked oil, was a little low. I do have an oil leak from the timing chain cover gasket.I am due to change the oil. Usually change the oil every 2500 to 3k mi. I am presently at 3157. Will keep you posted.
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Old 10-15-2000, 08:13 PM
Posts: n/a
As others have properly pointed out, check your guage before entering panic mode. The best way is to temporarily install a known good mechanical guage.

If you do indeed have oil pressure very near zero at idle, the engine needs attention.

It is a very common and almost always incorrect assumption to blame it on the pump. If the pressure comes up to 3 when you gas it, the problem is almost certainly not the pump. Oil pressure decreases when the resistance to oil flow decreases. This is most always worn bearings; mains, rods and cam bearings. It's a sign of a worn engine.

The good news for you is that the pressure comes to three. Check the guage, and do it, of course, at idle when hot.

Best of luck,

Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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