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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2004 Titan with 107K miles on it. I read through as many posts about oil pressure gauge fluctuations I could find, but couldn't find any that answered the low oil pressure question. Just the high oil pressure gauge fluctuations. Since there is a sensor light for it I assume it isn't normal, there has to be an explanation for it and what to check.

Half the time I stop at stoplights my oil pressure gauge drops from the mid-point down to the 1/4 mark. The other half of the time it drops down to the 1/4 mark then continuoulsy fluctuates up and then back down. I can hear the engine rev down and up with it. While driving it stays at the midpoint.

I took it to a service station, and they told me they thought it was sludge and have flushed the oil 3 times and put in a better quality oil. Hasn't really changed anything.

Today I was backing the boat uphill with the a/c on and the engine temp went up to 3/4 and my low oil pressure/engine temp high light came on.

Shut it off and checked the oil and coolant and both are full.

Any thoughts?
 

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I have a 2004 Titan with 107K miles on it. I read through as many posts about oil pressure gauge fluctuations I could find, but couldn't find any that answered the low oil pressure question. Just the high oil pressure gauge fluctuations. Since there is a sensor light for it I assume it isn't normal, there has to be an explanation for it and what to check.

Half the time I stop at stoplights my oil pressure gauge drops from the mid-point down to the 1/4 mark. The other half of the time it drops down to the 1/4 mark then continuoulsy fluctuates up and then back down. I can hear the engine rev down and up with it. While driving it stays at the midpoint.

I took it to a service station, and they told me they thought it was sludge and have flushed the oil 3 times and put in a better quality oil. Hasn't really changed anything.

Today I was backing the boat uphill with the a/c on and the engine temp went up to 3/4 and my low oil pressure/engine temp high light came on.

Shut it off and checked the oil and coolant and both are full.

Any thoughts?

Engine oil pressure should be around 14psi at idle and 43psi at 2000rpm. Got an oil preesure gauge?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I can hear the idle drop with the drop in the oil pressure gauge, and idle moves with the fluctuations in the gauge.
 

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My truck does exactly the same thing. Im not sure when it started, I just noticed it yesterday. It does get real hot here in Phoenix and I had just started using 5w-30 synthetic oil. I was using 10w-30 senthetic blend and didn't notice such a fluctuation. Now I cant keep my eyes off the gauge! I did notice it only does it when in gear at a stop if I put it in park the gauge goes to the half way mark.
 

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Same with mine - shift in Neutral or Park and the pressure comes right up. I notice that as my oil gets more worn, the pressure drops, but never below 1/4 mark.
Engine revs go from 525 or so up to 600 as the A/C cycles.

But I also have a temp increase as the truck goes in stop and go traffic...has never got above 215° but it did once and the needle moved towards 1/2 way. Turned off the A/C and it dropped into the 186-197° range once the engine revs went up and cycled more coolant through.

Anyone seeing this issue?
 

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I just notice my 04 doing the same thing. If it's parked at idle, the gauge stays in the middle but when I am stopped at a light, I see it at the 1/4 mark myself and then goes back to normal when I drive. I checked my oil level and it's between high and low which is about normal. So, sending unit issue maybe?
 

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It might not be the oil sending unit. A worn engine will duplicate that fluctuation. I'm not trying to alarm you guys, but that is a possibility. I running 5w30 Pennzoil, and at 550 RPM in drive, my oil gauge reads at the halfway mark and never drops below that.
 

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I just started to notice this fluctuation within the last year. From speaking with other owners it's pretty typical "my truck does that all the time"

I haven't found a solution however. When it first happened it was not so long after my state inspection and since they had the truck on the lift I had them change my oil. I thought they messed up and checked everything. The next change I did myself so I knew what was being put in and making sure the filter was seated properly. The issue continued.

I'm not sure if it's an actual problem though. The truck runs strong as hell!
 

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I've been changing my oil since the warranty expired with 5w30 and had the truck back in 04, first owner I am. It only has 58K on it and never been raced, tampered, modified, etc. I'd just hate to go that route and PAY the dealer money just to figure out the problem. But, push comes to shove, I might just have to do that, and maybe gets some answers on why the gauge does that, considering it's a 9-10K mile a year driven truck.
 

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I think when the oil viscosity is lower (like after being heated up to temp), the oil pressure drops with the lower revs under load. My engine is worn (183k miles) and I am running 5w30 (pennzoil high mileage (5qts) and the balance 5w30 synthetic (for sludge prevention).
As long as it doesn't drop below 1/4, I think we are ok
 

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I read some other threads on different forums and people say theirs does the same thing. Maybe I'm REALLY noticing it now, and it's been doing it. Checked my oil at first and it was kind of low but not low enough. Guess if I keep track of my oil for the rest of the week and if it stays steady, maybe nothing to worry about.
 

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Just thought I'd add something here. I was checking out one of our company vans today and the gauge did the same thing at idle and then going back into the middle when driving. Maybe it's something I just barely noticed when idling the other day and got all jumpy about it.
 

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just changed the filter to a moble1 extented life filter and all is back to normal. I was using fram and always have I dont think i'll be doing that anymore!
 

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It was only barely mentioned here so I'll mention it, from having seen the bottom of one or two engines from when I turned a wrench... First, the brand of oil filter can have a real impact on this. Some cheap brands don't have the right innards; you want the OEM type or some high quality type like Wix (NAPA). We installed a lot of those; they were the only one we'd recommend because we didn't want come-backs.

I won't name specific brands, but there were a few that brought cars in to us with problems like this. "Joe-Bob's Soopur Surviss changed the oil and now I have an OIL light when I'm at the stoplight. Did they wreck the motor?"

Second, the miles you have on the engine can mean that it's starting to get loose and 'sloppy', meaning that there is a lot of extra bearing clearance. Time to switch to a heavier weight oil to take up some of that space and get more miles out of the engine. High temperatures will for sure cause the same effect. That's why manufacturers recommend a heavier oil for high temps. If you're running 5W-30 (recommended by mfr), you have the right type of filter, it's hot, and it's low idle oil pressure, time to swap to 10W-30.

Hope this helps.
 

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using a Purolator PureONE filter...but I think you are right, need to go up a weight for the balance of the summer
 

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using a Purolator
Our shop never had much luck with Purolator filters, so I might suggest swapping the filter out to either the Nissan OEM type or a Wix. Swapping filters is only an $8 outlay so it's worth trying. It works from our old shop's philosophy of 'always do the cheapest thing first.'

Lemme tell you a quick story: I'm older and I have arthritis so my hands don't work well anymore - I now am forced to take stuff in to have work done (sucks), and sometimes you catch the outfit trying to cut corners. I saw the guys put a Puro on my truck and called them on it. The manager said, 'Tell you what. You have any trouble with it, bring it back.' I grumbled a bit, but paid and left. Next morning, I had timing chain rattle because the stupid Puro filter they put on didn't have a decent drainback valve. Also, I noticed that when I stopped at the top of the hill on the way in (truck was good and warm), the oil pressure dropped a little. First time I'd ever seen it do that. I made them change the filter to a Wix and that fixed it.

But that was my experience.

Hope this helps out. Let us know if you change it and it helps.
 

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I have a extra purolator filter I will hold onto and try the Wix (NAPA filters are Wix filters last I checked) when I change the oil this weekend
 

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Kind of a late responce lol, but I had this same problem starting about march of last year. All the sudden I'd notice when stopped in gear the RPM's would be at 500 and even dip slightly below. Along with that the oil pressure would be a the quater mark and you could feel the engine idling kind of rough. It worried me for a while and I tried different oil weights, brands and filters but nothing really helped. So I would just shift it into neutral when at lights and wouldn't have a problem. The only thing that I have found that helped was to go through my Superchips Cortex and raise the idle by 125 RPM's. Now I can leave it in gear and the oil pressure doesn't even drop at all, stays right above the half-mark. Makes me feel a little easier sence oil is the life blood of any engine lol.
 

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My 2004 SE does the same thing. I have run 10-30 and 5-30 full syn all it's life. Pressure drops when I stop, then it raises back to about half way when I bring up the rpms. If I stop it drops down to bout 1/4. If I put it in park it goes back to 1/2. ??? Can't stop worrying about it. !!!!
 
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