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2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph


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dtro
Novice

Feb 12, 2016, 11:45 PM

Post #1 of 10 (1133 views)
2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph Sign In

2001 chevy tracker
2.0 engine with 4 cylinders
175k miles.
(car has sat still for around 6-7 months without use)

issue:
when going over 55mph my oil light starts to blink. when i hit 65 it stays on. however when i check my oil, its at the proper levels.
also when hitting 55mph i feel a loss of power. it feels like the tracker does not want to go over 55, to hit 70 i am almost flooring it. the car drives perfectly fine under 55mph.

things done to try and fix it:

first thing: i did a oil change, with high mileage, and had breaks cleaned.

second thing: i did a tune up, seeing one of my cylinders was missing a bolt and was cuasing a rattling sound.

third thing i did was change out the catalyst converters, seeing i failed emissions. and the guy said there appears to be a slight oil leak, however he wasnt sure where it was coming from.

fourth thing, when driving it 45 miles to pick up something, i didnt notice the light blinking till i was half way there. i took it to a mechanic there, and told him everything. he said that he cant find any oil leak, however my oil filter was wrong one for my vehicle. and that my oil looked too thin for my vehicle. so i did the oil change and had that fixed.

i check oil levels before and after use. and it stays the same.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 13, 2016, 1:52 AM

Post #2 of 10 (1119 views)
Re: 2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph Sign In

Oh boy - If that's the oil warning for low pressure it doesn't mean stare at it for amusement it means shut the engine down at once and find out why - right then, right away and even verify actual pressure with a separate gauge.
Why could it do this? A. Oil return drains clogged and it oil is all up inside valve cover can't return fast enough. Wild engine wear by the second when low enough oil pressure will result up by your description already has and engine will probably be found beyond reasonable repair.
Oil pump could be at fault but pressure test would help.
Wrong oil filter IDK - would totally depend on what was wrong about that.
Oil leak? May have pools of oil up high in engine and gaskets can't take that.
Thin oil: Might be fuel in oil which makes oil lose it lubricating quality and wears engine out more by the minute of use. May show high oil level when checked by dipstick.
So all this work you've done none of which checked the real issue was probably a waste. Still time to know for sure with a separate oil pressure gauge, find out why low with some other tests so you know for sure if it's worth fixing at all or another engine is the fix if vehicle is worth it on other respects,


T



dtro
Novice

Feb 13, 2016, 9:52 AM

Post #3 of 10 (1105 views)
Re: 2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph Sign In

thank you for replying.

it did show high oil amounts before i visited the mechanic who said thin oil. i will take it to a mehanic for the presssure test. i was thinking of replacing the oil pump next, it is a expensive fix. so was hoping it wasnt it.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 13, 2016, 10:56 AM

Post #4 of 10 (1101 views)
Re: 2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph Sign In

Yes - oil pressure test but if accurate and was driven with light on like that with fuel no doubt in oil serious engine wear already took place so an oil pump isn't the problem - wear is and beyond reasonable costs to fix all that would be worn unfortunately.
Ask for a compression check or do one. The low oil pressure if TRUE is oil leaking out serious over worn bearings in cam and crankshaft plus everything else it lubes - fatal to an engine MOST of the time if not shut off right away and was real,


T



dtro
Novice

Feb 13, 2016, 11:48 AM

Post #5 of 10 (1096 views)
Re: 2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph Sign In

ok. i will do a pressure and compression check. as far as oil leak. im not sure where it is going. when i check under the car there is never a spill or anything. even with cardboard under the car. however when i drive it, when i get home and check it, its outof oil, even though its full when i left.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 13, 2016, 12:17 PM

Post #6 of 10 (1094 views)
Re: 2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph Sign In

OK - finding leaks the source will usually be the highest and most forward of where evidence is found. Wipe dry or spray oils clean first with like a carb cleaner and see it come back or check soon the just clean area(s.)
Some common areas will be gaskets for valve covers or intake, oil pressure senders switches, front and rear main seals, oil pan gaskets, some oil filter mountings are not direct to engine but remote or altered with part to allow for them.
This speaks nothing for fuel getting in oil. That you can smell usually and find oil too full and thin as already noted. Thin with fuel is going leak easier than just oil + maybe harm a seal or item but alone really shouldn't.
If PCV system can't overcome expected blow by the entire crankcase will be under some level of pressure and oil might be found even in air intake parts. You can see this excessive blow by out a dipstick tube with smoke, a bubble check even with soapy water just over tube but knowing PCV is fully operational first. There actually should be minute vacuum that could be seen from a dipstick tube with engine at idle but not lots, just 1/2 an Hg of mercury or so.
The real issue is finding the extent of wear of this problem so you can decided what to do.
Don't waste $$ on tricks or oil modifiers, or the endless magic in a bottle cures for worn engines - the plain don't fix real problems and likely make it worse!
Knowing the real state of this engine may be bad news for this but better to know than waste more $$ than other choices,


T



dtro
Novice

Feb 14, 2016, 12:25 AM

Post #7 of 10 (1077 views)
Re: 2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph Sign In

i did a look around the the engine and under the vehicle. didn't find a leak. however i turned it on and search again. and found out the drain plug was leaking, it is very tight also. also sometime within next few days i will take it to a mechanic for the compression and pressure test. its been cold lately so not many places have been open. plus i have been working. as far as smells go. we used to smell a burning oil smell. it died off after like a hour of driving. haven't smelt it since. also when checking the oil, one side is fully oiled. the other side is half full within limit,

do you recommend someone attempting to change the oil pump if they have never done it before, but have read up alot on how to do it?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 14, 2016, 1:11 AM

Post #8 of 10 (1073 views)
Re: 2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph Sign In

Wait on an oil pump till engine is declared worth any more work.
Cold where I am too + too cold for outdoor work anyway.
There's now only a tiny chance if a higher volume oil pump if oil pressure is really showing low can keep up to pressure but the wear wont heal is the trouble so just a patch for short time IMO if that works at all.
Oil pick up in pan could also be plugged with junk/sludge and sludge alone by the time oil can't get around properly kills an engine.
Kinda smacks of this is a lost cause for this engine to me.
Wait for results and expect the real problems running an engine with excessively low oil pressure does which is kill it. That's why the warning light is there that you ignored and are paying for that now,


T



dtro
Novice

Feb 14, 2016, 11:41 AM

Post #9 of 10 (1058 views)
Re: 2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph Sign In

it is just sitting there right now. when it first happened i was too far from home to just pull over, and call a tow truck. we did get off the interstate though and drove it where the light wasnt on. with all the info we have talked about, it does sound like i should give up. but i still have some hope. i am going to do the 2 tests. along with a diagnostic.

i really appreciate the help, i have learned alot. i geuss it is true, if a car sits too long random things starts going bad.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 14, 2016, 1:15 PM

Post #10 of 10 (1053 views)
Re: 2001 chevy tracker, oil light when going over 55mph Sign In

Quote from first post ">>
issue:
when going over 55mph my oil light starts to blink. when i hit 65 it stays on. however when i check my oil, its at the proper levels.
also when hitting 55mph i feel a loss of power. it feels like the tracker does not want to go over 55, to hit 70 i am almost flooring it. the car drives perfectly fine under 55mph.<<"


That's about all anyone needs to hear but do expound. How long (time) with oil light not even blinking? With some it means less than a minute if ZERO lube to seized!
Doesn't totally matter that it sat for 6-7 months this issue if oil pressure was working properly might be late to quit the warning on first start and fine after that.
It totally is credible that it's sludge up or was soooo thin of oil is wore out. Gasoline if enough and doesn't take much oil would leak down at first step of lubing engine never making far enough for the rest an light or a warning - gauge should be in this thing but either way you can't run them that way. Read an owner's manual to anything and see what it says - SHUT DOWN AT ONCE! That or real close to that not when you find it handy or a next exit type thing. It was wearing so much it couldn't even keep up speed damns the issue that it was about to seize right up but just didn't or we wouldn't be discussing it right now.
An engine doesn't have ball or roller bearings rather oil as a film under pressure lubes such that there's close to ZERO metal to metal contact on crank bearings, camshaft bearings, connecting rod bearing, cylinder walls to pistons and more passive lubrication of rocker arms, timing chain. Lifters are held in place by oil pressure but could stay where they were and still allow it to run at all.
Since it didn't seize up the tests will tell where you stand with this. Can't say 100% that it wouldn't snap out of it and run long enough without oil warnings to at least sell it off but damage was done that isn't going to heal IMO from just you saying it couldn't drive fast the friction was probably so bad - if not that might be from lifters collapsing but surprised they came back at lower speed.
Several scenarios might have cause this. Sludged up engine with wild chunks of sludge being moved too fast both plugging oil return ports and pick up screen for the oil pump. That problem you get a fair idea looking at a dipstick for sludge, oil cap and some you can see in thru removed oil cap for a clue.
Any which way lack of oil pressure happened it's deadly to the engine.
*****************************
IDK - Imagine this: You are barefoot sliding on water constantly on a plastic mat when covered in water no problem but if it quit you burn the skin right off your feet in no time.
That's what a couple tests will show. It doesn't fix the reason there was too much oil if from fuel so that would still need to be fixed at once too if any chance of this engine living much longer at all,


T







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