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Old 04-09-2011, 04:51 PM   #1
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Oil Level Decreases at Idle

2001 jeep wrangler sport inline 6 engine. Oil press drops 1/4 of the way at idle and low speeds. Has had regular oil changes every 3k. Recently was leaking anti-freeze and had radiator replaced. Not sure if this has anything to do with this current problem. Any help or suggestions on what is going wrong would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 04-09-2011, 06:48 PM   #2
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Normal oil pressure at idle should be about 20 psi. When driving you should average about 40 psi. A common item that goes bad is the oil pressure sender unit that connects right by the oil filter. If that goes bad, it will usually give a very high reading. If you still are not sure about if your oil pressure is correct, you can install a manual oil pressure guage to verify the reading is correct. Hope this helps and welcome to the forum.

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Old 04-09-2011, 06:53 PM   #3
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its an engine driven pump, the pressure will decrease when engine speed decreases
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:33 PM   #4
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Yep it'll drop at idle like ^^^^^ said. Also a general rule is 10 psi for every 1,000 rpm so I think yours is perfectly normal.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone, I just got my Jeep Wrangler sport about 6 months ago and it does not have an owners manual. On dashboard, the gauge in the top right with the "oil drip" symbol is the oil pressure right? Or is that the oil level? I noticed up until this week that the needle on that gauge was all the way to the right, but as I stated previously it is starting to decrease at idle. Checked the dipstick at oil level is adequate. Any other insights from anyone on whether this is normal or a problem would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and have a great Sunday everyone...
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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The guage with the oil drop will be your pressure guage. If the needle has been pegged as you stated, I would look into a new sender unit to solve that problem. The run between 30 and 40 at most auto parts stores.

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Old 04-10-2011, 08:27 PM   #7
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The oil pump is driven by engine rpm. Generally you want to see at least 15-20psi at a hot, low idle rpm and an increase of 10psi per 1000rpm. Pressure varies with oil temperature, cold oil is thick so it will have a higher pressure until it warms up and thins out. So at a cold idle you can get 70psi of pressure. The factory oil pressure gauges are nothing close to accurate. Put on an aftermarket mechanical oil pressure gauge and you get a totally different story. I wouldn't worry about it too much, the factory oil pressure gauges in these jeeps don't seem to be the most reliable thing out there by and stretch of the imagination. If your oil pressure needle was all the way to the right at the maximum full position, that usually means your oil pressure sender is shot or you have a connection issue.

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