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Very cold days sets off oil light

Mitchy

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Oct 12, 2004
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As far as I know, both the oil and water idiot lights give warnings for both level and temperature. There's an oil level sensor in the sump.

I can't work out if the original poster had an oil problem or a coolant one?
Why would he have an oil problem if his coolant light was flashing at him?

There is an oil can in the central instrument panel that may illuminate if you have an oil pressure problem, ie you have a blockage or your oil pump is fuc*ed. Additionally there is supposedly an amber illumination that comes on when oil level is low but i have yet too see that illuminate. Even at times when i have been really low on oil, ie not even registering on the hatched markings of dipstick.

If red comes on, you more than likely have a serious pressure problem, and usually by this time you have starved your bearings of oil and blown your engine. When the oil light illuminates, its engine off straight away, otherwise bye bye pistons and rods etc.

Im intrigued to know more about this oil level sensor in the sump. Where does it link upto, i.e what extra gauge do you monitor it from?
 
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UncleFester

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Apr 30, 2006
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Sense of humour failed Mitchy :p First it was billions of threads, then it was millions of threads and now it's down to thousands - maybe m0rk has embarked on the forum clearout to end all forum clearouts?

Daveys coolant was apparently no lower than anyone elses, if it was solely down to low coolant then you'd see the problem irrespective of temperature - that's a fact. I don't think anyone is disputing that low coolant WILL cause a red warning light :) The fact that one or two of us have mistakenly thought the gauge was oil related and not water doesn't mean anything else other than a very blonde moment - i know because I had one too and that's despite fitting a oil temp gauge because i knew the car didn't have one :doh:

There is something specifically related to very cold temperatures that causes this which isn't related to low coolant. Bearing in mind that the prongs are deep inside the tank ( i didn't see a way for them to be removed) there is no way you can say whether you cleaned them effectively because you can't see enough of them to know whether you managed this or not. Also since most people will remove the plug from the prongs prior to cleaning, is it not possible that this action cleans enough of the contact surface to cure the problem too?

It was as cold this morning as yesterday however this morning ( after adding dielectric grease to the contacts) the problem did not rematerialise - so unless the prongs have miraculously cleaned themselves overnight, the problem could be in the contact between prongs and plug.
 

UncleFester

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Apr 30, 2006
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Why would he have an oil problem if his coolant light was flashing at him?

THERE IS NO INDICATION OF OIL LOW, and there is certainly no oil light that flashes.

There is an oil can in the central instrument panel that may illuminate if you have an oil pressure problem, ie you have a blockage or your oil pump is fuc*ed.

Usually by this time you have starved your bearings of oil and blown your engine.

When the oil light illuminates, its engine off straight away, otherwise bye bye pistons and rods etc.

Im intrigued to know more about this oil level sensor in the sump. Where does it link upto, i.e what extra gauge do you monitor it from?

Strangely enough i had a low oil level on dipstick at the weekend there, never even registered on the hatched markings. No warning to tell me about it though.
I had an oil warning light driving north the other weekend, oil was only just on the bottom of the stick - add some more oil and light out so the question is, is it a low oil warning light or a low oil pressure light as depending where it read the information from, low oil levels could cause low oil pressure if there was insufficient oil to pump around the engine?
 

daveyonthemove

Smile if you like SEAT's
May 14, 2006
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Wrexham
Mitchy, As i mentioned and Pat clarified, if the coolant was low which it isn't (your not the only one capable of checking its between the max and low lines) it wouldn't warn me every time the temp was in sub figures, it would warn me everytime i start the car untill i top it up.
Seeing as all fluids got either replaced or topped up less than 3 months ago, and there was no signs of leaks or spills at that time, i'd be amazed to find that you low level theory is right and no matter how clever you think you are, you can't see my coolant level from from your computer screen.
Now, obviously my thread has upset you because my search wasn't good enough to find the answer i wanted, so let me take this opportunity to apologise directly to you for ruining your week. If you'd like to PM me your address i'll send a big bunch of flowers to you for my original post, and a box of milk tray for getting a bit confused with oil and coolant lights.
MWAAAH
Friends now ;)
 

Mitchy

TTRS
Oct 12, 2004
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Sense of humour failed Mitchy :p First it was billions of threads, then it was millions of threads and now it's down to thousands - maybe m0rk has embarked on the forum clearout to end all forum clearouts?
Billions, to highlight the fact that has been discussed in depth before and the O.P should have used the search facility. In reality, probably thousands of threads over the past 5 years or so.

Yes sense of humour failure because when a newbie asks for advice and then clearly slates the advice given, then why should i have wasted my time even bothering with him.

Blonde moments, not half:lol:

Additionally, i never said it was temperature related. I am well aware of the 2 scenarios on why the light may come on.

Like i said before. The solution is to replace the expansion tank. The scraping the prongs method is a quick fix, but not the ideal fix.
 

UncleFester

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Apr 30, 2006
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Billions, to highlight the fact that has been discussed in depth before and the O.P should have used the search facility. In reality, probably thousands of threads over the past 5 years or so.
:LOL: but that wouldn't have helped me as due to a major blonde moment I would have been searching for an oil pressure problem ;)

I still reckon it's electrical conductivity related, whether that's down to mucky prongs or dirty contacts is apparently a moot point - the dielectric grease was free :)
 

Mitchy

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Oct 12, 2004
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I had an oil warning light driving north the other weekend, oil was only just on the bottom of the stick - add some more oil and light out so the question is, is it a low oil warning light or a low oil pressure light as depending where it read the information from, low oil levels could cause low oil pressure if there was insufficient oil to pump around the engine?

Not unless there is an amber light on the oil can illumination. A very low level may cause low pressure yes.

Red oil can means stop the engine asap though.

I did not have an indication at the weekend there of low oil level and like i said it never even registered on the hatched markings of the dipstick. (LCR)
 

daveyonthemove

Smile if you like SEAT's
May 14, 2006
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Wrexham
Thats possibly why my search didn't answer my question.... i was looking for an oil related problem!
I'm not the first and won't be the last to confuse the two, but that doesn't matter because there are billions of threads and i should have known better.....
But being a newbie (may 2006) i should be hung for my incompetence :(
 

UncleFester

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Apr 30, 2006
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Not unless there is an amber light on the oil can illumination. A very low level may cause low pressure yes.

Red oil can means stop the engine asap though.

I did not have an indication at the weekend there of low oil level and like i said it never even registered on the hatched markings of the dipstick. (LCR)
Mine was at the very bottom of the dipstick, amber light on the dash - eased right off the power and pretty much coasted the last 2 miles to the next service station. That's on a Tdi - it would seem that 'low' is not an exact science. One of the reasons i don't like the current reliance on computers and sensors for things like this. You had less oil than me and no indication at all, not good!
 

Mitchy

TTRS
Oct 12, 2004
2,310
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Mitchy, As i mentioned and Pat clarified, if the coolant was low which it isn't (your not the only one capable of checking its between the max and low lines) it wouldn't warn me every time the temp was in sub figures,
Just a quick 1 on that,

Was it definitely a red flashing light or was it an amber flashing light?

It was back in 2005 when i replaced my exp tank but it was definitely an amber flashing problem.

I only know about the red flashing light due to my current slight coolant leak that i have and the weekly top ups of coolant to rectify it.
 

UncleFester

Grumpier by the day!
Apr 30, 2006
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Milton Keynes
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Thats possibly why my search didn't answer my question.... i was looking for an oil related problem!
I'm not the first and won't be the last to confuse the two, but that doesn't matter because there are billions of threads and i should have known better.....
But being a newbie (may 2006) i should be hung for my incompetence :(
You should definitely update the title Davey, that will redress world karma :)
 

UncleFester

Grumpier by the day!
Apr 30, 2006
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Milton Keynes
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Just a quick 1 on that,

Was it definitely a red flashing light or was it an amber flashing light?

It was back in 2005 when i replaced my exp tank but it was definitely an amber flashing problem.

I only know about the red flashing light due to my current slight coolant leak that i have and the weekly top ups of coolant to rectify it.
Mine was a red light - i turned the engine off before the beep sequence had finished.
 

Mitchy

TTRS
Oct 12, 2004
2,310
0
Mine was at the very bottom of the dipstick, amber light on the dash - eased right off the power and pretty much coasted the last 2 miles to the next service station. That's on a Tdi - it would seem that 'low' is not an exact science. One of the reasons i don't like the current reliance on computers and sensors for things like this. You had less oil than me and no indication at all, not good!
Hmm, wonder why my amber oil can has never illuminated.
 

Mitchy

TTRS
Oct 12, 2004
2,310
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Well like i said in a previous post, a £12 replacement expansion tank from the dealers will solve the problem

Never had a cold early morning beep since :)
 

andycupra

status subject to change
Well like i said in a previous post, a £12 replacement expansion tank from the dealers will solve the problem

Never had a cold early morning beep since :)
Many have replaced it for it to come back at a later date.
If you are still in warranty get it replaced, if not then its worth trying the other tricks.


For those who say there is a lack of searching, im not a newby but id like to defend people on this. When you have no knowledge of this issues its not as easy to search for as you might think.

What do you search for? even if you put 3 beeps, the info is there, but there are lots of threads ahead of it that have nothing to do with it. (this has changed now due to recent threads, as this one is now one of the top two) :)
As this is a very common issue, perhaps a sticky that has all the common missconceptions listed in it at the begining so that it shows in a search and if someone starts to read it they dont think "i have a coolant temperature warning so this chat of coolant level does not apply" - Whether thats oil light, coolant level, beeping, 3 beeps, red flashing light, cold morning, coolant temperature, over temperature etc etc
 
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Jonesy

Leftie and Proud
Sep 27, 2004
420
0
Pig Hill
So if if flashes AMBER it's oil, and RED means Coolant :shrug:




Mine didn't do it tis morning and I did nothing yesterday ;)
 

Mitchy

TTRS
Oct 12, 2004
2,310
0
So if if flashes AMBER it's oil, and RED means Coolant :shrug:




Mine didn't do it tis morning and I did nothing yesterday ;)
Nope 2 different things.

Light on coolant gauge flashes both amber and red. Red definitely indicates low level situation, however many people also get the red light for the 'prong/expansion tank fix' where the level is fine. However when i had this problem mine was amber flashing, not red flashing :D

The oil can in the central instrument panel is for oil.
 
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