Oil Pressure Gauge Bounces?

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5 Year Member
Aug 11, 2013
Cleveland OH Area
Unfortunately a possible scenario is that your oil pressure is actually dropping below 5 or 6 psi, and since the sender is an "on/off" unit, what you're seeing is as "bouncing" is actually poor oil pressure warm and at idle. The gauge on our cars is just an idiot-light, which would be flashing if it were one. In my experience this is pretty common on a worn engine (bearings well beyond their specs), much less likely due to a worn oil pump.

The best way to rule that out is to thread in a real oil pressure gauge and see what's happening. Otherwise you could try replacing the sending unit. If that doesn't work, using a thicker oil can help bring your pressure back up a bit. But the end result is a rebuild might not be too far away.

What's your general engine condition / compression / oil consumption / mileage?


Jun 21, 2013
Brick, NJ
Its definitely worn. I'm not sure on compression because I haven't tested it yet. The engine has 170k lol it runs great though. The previous owner didn't speak english that well but said something about a rebuild. What's rebuilt I have no idea. The engine runs rough on cold starts but is fine after a min or two. I figured a tune up would help out that issue. Well find out soon when I actually get the time to do it. There's only one very small oil leak. I'm talkimg maybe a single drop every couple of hours. That's coming from behind the crank pulley. I figured its not a big enough leak to have to fix it. Oher then that the main problem I have is exhaust leaks. Sounds like its comingfrom the engine bay so I'm aassuming it has something to do with the headers or the front of the midpipe between the headers and h pipe.