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Old 08-25-2016, 08:58 PM
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Unhappy Jeep JK Wrangler 2009 3.8L Low Oil Pressure

Hi,

I'm a long-time reader, first time poster. The JK Owners forum has been invaluable in helping me troubleshoot a number of issues in the past.

This one seems fairly unique however, so I hope you can help...

The Vehicle: Jeep JK Wrangler 2009 3.8L Petrol Engine

The Symptoms: One week ago, after an oil change I did myself, the engine oil light came on (and doesn't turn off), and the engine is making a rough clunking sound (Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMX_djS-gJE).

Attempt to fix #1: Tonight I did a new oil change. My hope was that it was a bad filter, or I over-filled the oil. Neither of these seem to be the case, sadly. Following new 5W20 oil, a new filter, the problem persists.

Does anyone have any suggestions on my next steps, and the potential causes of this issue? :frown2:

Many thanks,

Scott

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Old 08-25-2016, 09:19 PM   #2
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You said the oil pressure is low, what kind of oil pressure do you have? I'd pull the oil sending unit and get an actual oil pressure reading from a mechanical oil pressure gauge and post them. Did you try a 5W30 oil?

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Old 08-25-2016, 09:36 PM
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Hi demarpaint, thank you for your quick response.

Unfortunately I don't know the oil pressure - I'm going off the dash light + the engine noise to conclude it's "low".

If it will help in the diagnosis, I will go get a mechanical gauge over the weekend and post the actual pressure.

Yes, I should have mentioned that in the first oil change I used 5W30. I changed to 5W20 for the "attempted fix" change, as this is the manufacturers recommended type (until this point I've used 5W30, as it doesn't burn off as quickly as the 5W20).

Thanks,

Scott
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:38 AM   #4
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Sounds like rod knock to me.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:45 AM
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Sounds like rod knock to me.
Oh dear How would I be best to establish if that's the case?
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:29 AM   #6
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Pull the oil pan and look for bearing material, and/or inspect the bottom of the rods for play.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:40 AM   #7
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Oh dear How would I be best to establish if that's the case?
You could pull the pan and do an inspection as already mentioned. You could also draw a sample of your oil and send it to a lab for analysis. They'll flag any wear metals that are out of the ordinary and you'll probably be able to tell by that. Or post the results here or on Bob is the oil guy and they'll let you know.

Nothing beats dropping the pan and a visual inspection.
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:14 PM   #8
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As Sooby Doo once said, "Rut Roh." You have something shot in the bottom end, my guess is a rod bearing has spun. Advice to pull the pan and inspect is sound. Don't run it until you get a proper diagnosis.


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Old 08-26-2016, 06:00 PM   #9
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As Sooby Doo once said, "Rut Roh." You have something shot in the bottom end, my guess is a rod bearing has spun. Advice to pull the pan and inspect is sound. Don't run it until you get a proper diagnosis. Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
Ditto. Don't run it and throw a rod as you'll just make a fixable problem a lot worse. Best case: spun bearing and if the journal isn't damaged you could try a new rod bearing to buy life out of it.
Worst case: pull the engine and rebuild the bottom end or swap in a used 3.8L.
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:24 PM
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Hi guys - thank you for your thoughts and recommended next steps.

Sounds like it's well out of my ability mechanically, so will get it towed to the only jeep mechanic here in Perth, WA. Hopefully they can fix it before it gets worse.

All I can hope is it's not too many thousand $$, and the car isn't a write-off (it's only worth about $14k, and a 80,000km engine here fetches about $10k).

I'll keep you posted on the diagnosis, and where it ends up once the mechanic has taken a look.

Thanks all,

Scott
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:11 AM
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Quick Update

Quick Update:

My car has been taken away by the tow truck today. I told them to not start the engine, in fear of doing further damage.

It's gone to a workshop to remove the engine, before being passed to another workshop to strip it back and see what the issue is.

Once they've done that, I'll get a phone call telling me the damage (from a simple fix to a full rebuild).

The worst-case scenario I've been given is ​$8,300 ($5,800 for the engine rebuild + $1,800 to remove / re-fit engine + $700 for extras such as Oils, Coolant, Filters, and service the radiator.)

My bank balance is going to feel this one.

Scott
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Scott Higgins View Post
Quick Update:

My car has been taken away by the tow truck today. I told them to not start the engine, in fear of doing further damage.

It's gone to a workshop to remove the engine, before being passed to another workshop to strip it back and see what the issue is.

Once they've done that, I'll get a phone call telling me the damage (from a simple fix to a full rebuild).

The worst-case scenario I've been given is ​$8,300 ($5,800 for the engine rebuild + $1,800 to remove / re-fit engine + $700 for extras such as Oils, Coolant, Filters, and service the radiator.)

My bank balance is going to feel this one.

Scott
($ values are AUD. 1 AUD = 0.75 USD)
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Scott Higgins View Post
Quick Update:

My car has been taken away by the tow truck today. I told them to not start the engine, in fear of doing further damage.

It's gone to a workshop to remove the engine, before being passed to another workshop to strip it back and see what the issue is.

Once they've done that, I'll get a phone call telling me the damage (from a simple fix to a full rebuild).

The worst-case scenario I've been given is ​$8,300 ($5,800 for the engine rebuild + $1,800 to remove / re-fit engine + $700 for extras such as Oils, Coolant, Filters, and service the radiator.)

My bank balance is going to feel this one.

Scott
I would have done some shopping, that seems like a lot of money for a stock 3.8L engine rebuilt, the price to swing it in and out is high too. Then another $700 for fluids and to service a radiator. Wow.

See how much Jasper wants for an engine or another re-builder.
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:39 PM
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I would have done some shopping, that seems like a lot of money for a stock 3.8L engine rebuilt, the price to swing it in and out is high too. Then another $700 for fluids and to service a radiator. Wow.

See how much Jasper wants for an engine or another re-builder.
Yes, it did make me want to cry - living in West Australia, this is what we call the "Perth Tax". It's a ridiculously expensive place to live, especially if you drive an American or European car.

But, it was less than the $12k for an engine rebuild quoted by the Jeep mechanic here in Perth, so I thought I'd better go with it!

Sadly I'm not sure I have the time to wait for an engine to be shipped over from America.

They have the engine now, and are going to let me know the damage early next week.

Scott
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:42 PM   #15
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^^ I thought you were in the US.
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Old 08-31-2016, 09:43 PM
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^^ I thought you were in the US.

Nope .. my worst-case isn't as bad in USD (so it's $8,300 AUD, which is $6,250 USD)

Scott
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:43 AM   #17
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Nope .. my worst-case isn't as bad in USD (so it's $8,300 AUD, which is $6,250 USD)

Scott
No matter how you add it up it's a lot. Good luck!

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