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Hello everyone,
I recently purchased a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 5.2 L 4x4. Went off roading yesterday and was in 4x4 High to get through some sugar sand. When going through the sand, my oil gauge dropped to 0 and the oil light came on. So I immediately stopped the truck, got out and checked to see if i was leaking oil. Everything was fine underneath. So I shut the truck off for like 30 mins and then started back up and it was fine. Then on the way out, did the same thing and the oil dropped and the light came on again. Got home, turned it off, checked it this morning and it was gone again. Any ideas why?

P.S. i live in Southwest Florida and it was a hot day.
 

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I've had this happen before, but just normal driving. For me, my oil level was low and when I turned hard, the pressure light came on and stayed on for a few minutes.
 

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I've had this happen before, but just normal driving. For me, my oil level was low and when I turned hard, the pressure light came on and stayed on for a few minutes.
Yea my oil was a little low too but it only came on when in 4x4 high... maybe its just sensitive. Thanks for the reply
 

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LOL I looked @ your profile to see location. I thought maybe you would be some what close if your in Southwest Fla. I am in central Fla. But your profile shows Tallahassee. If thats southwest I'm in trouble. Any who My 02 Durango with 4.7 had a oil pressure read low then OK then dropped, then OK. I put a direct gauge on it for a couple weeks to double check and it ran fine. I replaced the sending unit and it has been fine ever since. Like 12 bucks.
Did the engine make knocking noise when oil press indicated low?
 

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LOL I looked @ your profile to see location. I thought maybe you would be some what close if your in Southwest Fla. I am in central Fla. But your profile shows Tallahassee. If thats southwest I'm in trouble. Any who My 02 Durango with 4.7 had a oil pressure read low then OK then dropped, then OK. I put a direct gauge on it for a couple weeks to double check and it ran fine. I replaced the sending unit and it has been fine ever since. Like 12 bucks.
Did the engine make knocking noise when oil press indicated low?
Yea sorry about the locations, registered when I lived there but now Im in Bonita Springs. No it ran completely fine both times but Ill look into the sending unit. Thank you!
 

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Just an idea. i know how it can freak you out all of a sudden 0 PSI and a light your like OMG. Worth a look see, maybe a loose or bad wire in that area also. Check engine light on? Code?
 

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Just an idea. i know how it can freak you out all of a sudden 0 PSI and a light your like OMG. Worth a look see, maybe a loose or bad wire in that area also. Check engine light on? Code?
Yep but thats the O2 sensor, checked that when i got home.
132649
 

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I'm not an expert by any means but it may be simply an oil pump relief valve spring issue. When engine temp rises if the bypass spring is weak this can occur. I have experienced it in other vehicles. Don't know how much trouble it is to check/ replace the pump, but that could be the cause. And yes after cooling down the pressure is fine.
If it is a weak spring and you don't want to replace the pump or spring you can shim the spring. That will raise your oil pressure because it delays full opening of the bypass relief valve.
Good luck !
 

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The oem oil senders are not the most accurate, Put a mechanical gauge on it to get a reliable reading. The oil sender has two parts to it, It's a low pressure switch and pressure sender. Not sure at what pressure it turns the light on. Engine temp/level and oil weight also factor into it. If you wheel a lot might want to install a windage tray to help keep the oil in the pan.
 

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Hello everyone,
I recently purchased a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 5.2 L 4x4. Went off roading yesterday and was in 4x4 High to get through some sugar sand. When going through the sand, my oil gauge dropped to 0 and the oil light came on. So I immediately stopped the truck, got out and checked to see if i was leaking oil. Everything was fine underneath. So I shut the truck off for like 30 mins and then started back up and it was fine. Then on the way out, did the same thing and the oil dropped and the light came on again. Got home, turned it off, checked it this morning and it was gone again. Any ideas why?

P.S. i live in Southwest Florida and it was a hot day.
my previous 2005 1500 hemi would do that once in a while in its older final days. Every single time it did that was a case of low oil.
A driving condition - such as a panic stop, or hard turn, would cause the low oil level to sloosh over to the rear or side, causing the sensor to lose touch with the fluid, causing the error. After I guessed the cause it was easy to replicate: drive around sharply and you'll see it come back on.

In both your and my case it exposes embarrassing lack of PMCS on our part: we are not checking fluids daily!!!

Sure enough, when I checked the oil level after an incident of the warning light, it was always low oil and not a leak per se. I guess in my trucks final years it was burning some oil. Couldn't tell, tho, as there was no smoke or no smell, oil just magically disappeared between oil changes somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
my previous 2005 1500 hemi would do that once in a while in its older final days. Every single time it did that was a case of low oil.
A driving condition - such as a panic stop, or hard turn, would cause the low oil level to sloosh over to the rear or side, causing the sensor to lose touch with the fluid, causing the error. After I guessed the cause it was easy to replicate: drive around sharply and you'll see it come back on.

In both your and my case it exposes embarrassing lack of PMCS on our part: we are not checking fluids daily!!!

Sure enough, when I checked the oil level after an incident of the warning light, it was always low oil and not a leak per se. I guess in my trucks final years it was burning some oil. Couldn't tell, tho, as there was no smoke or no smell, oil just magically disappeared between oil changes somehow.
Ysa I changed the oil since but having used the 4x4 yet. So hopefully that fixed it!
 

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Tat 10W30 (or whatever it is now) oil requirement from the factory goes out the window down south. I learned that when doing a little aggressive braking in my Shelby Dakota oh so many years ago. Changed to 20W50 and the problem stopped. That thinner oil gets hot and too thin. You're in the heat, pulling the 4x4 thru the sand. Enormous heat upsurge. If you're using that thin stuff, there's your problem.
 

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Tat 10W30 (or whatever it is now) oil requirement from the factory goes out the window down south. I learned that when doing a little aggressive braking in my Shelby Dakota oh so many years ago. Changed to 20W50 and the problem stopped. That thinner oil gets hot and too thin. You're in the heat, pulling the 4x4 thru the sand. Enormous heat upsurge. If you're using that thin stuff, there's your problem.
Thank you for the information because I did not know that! Guess its time for another oil change.
 
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