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2003-2009 Nissan 350Z

2003 350z Oil light at idle, oil pressure guage reads fine

Old 03-08-2019, 04:47 PM
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TheOG_McNasty
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Default 2003 350z Oil light at idle, oil pressure guage reads fine

So as title states, this is a little different from the posts I've found by using the search bar unless I missed something. Just traded my 2007 crown victoria p71 for a 2003 350z touring. On the drive back home, the oil light started to come on only at idle or when coming to a stop. The oil pressure gauge is reading fine according to the posts I've seen. Also at idle the interior lights and gauge lights flicker, which leads me to believe the alternator might be going out.

I went to advanced auto to get them to check the alternator and they said since it was raining the machine couldn't read it correctly. I also noticed the ground wire on my battery has some strands of copper in the wire right at the terminal that are broken. I've seen a bad ground cause weird electrical issues and dash lights on a 2001 sentra before and a failing alternator cause odd lights to come on in a 2012 camry as well. My alternator died in my 2012 camry and leading up to it my abs lights would come on intermittently and so would my stability control lights.

Anyone else have similar issues? In the meantime, I am going to go get a oil pressure gauge tomorrow and manually test the oil pressure.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:28 PM
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icer5160
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What's the dipstick say?

Sure, a poor ground connection could cause wonky behavior, but there's a huge number of other things that could cause weird stuff like this. I would definitely have both the battery and alternator load tested, also clean up the battery and terminals. You would be surprised to learn how much drain/discharge can be caused by a dusty/dirty battery.

Dust/dirty particulates on the surface of the battery, when moist or wet, can/will create an electrical pathway between the terminals creating a minor short, which in turn, will discharge your battery.

Always start with the simple things first. If you have any CEL lights on, get your vehicle's computer(s) scanned.
-Icer
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:50 PM
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Oil level was completely fine, 100 percent sure of that but I did an oil change anyways and drained out 5 quarts. I completed the oil change and cleaned out the TB (unrelated to issue of course) and when I fired her back up she idled a ton better, but as soon as she warmed up the lights started flickering real bad and the idle started getting rough. Battery says it is drained again so I am going to replace the alternator and then see how she does. I'm hoping this isn't one of the gaskets behind the timing cover causing the oil pressure light, but that may actually be my issue. Hopefully its just my alternator playing tricks. the battery is new and the terminals are fine aside from that ground, which will be addressed with the alternator.

Last edited by TheOG_McNasty; 03-11-2019 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:50 PM
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I was under the impression the oil galley gasket issue was only applicable to the VQ35HR. I've never heard of this issue happening on the DE. But the designs are so similar I wouldn't be surprised.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by icer5160 View Post
I was under the impression the oil galley gasket issue was only applicable to the VQ35HR. I've never heard of this issue happening on the DE. But the designs are so similar I wouldn't be surprised.
-Icer
I believe you are correct, but at 187k miles I wouldn't be surprised if the gaskets are all shot anyways. I am just hoping it's nothing too serious, as I wanted to put a few miles on it before I actually tear it down as this is my first z and from the first drive it was quite a fun car. Such is life though and hopefully the alternator fixes the majority of the previously stated issue. Oil light didnt come on after the oil change and being idled, so we shall see.
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