Oil light Volkswagen Beetle that stays on

Joined: January 10, 2014
Posts: 7

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:09 pm Post subject: oil light wont go off on 73 beetle
I changed the oil, the strainer, the strainer cover, and put all new studs in on my 1973 beetle and now the oil light is on and I cant get it to go off. I am new to vw’s but and older vehicles in general. I looked up recommended oil weight and found on several web sights to use 20w 50 Castrol gtx. Along with the light being on the car also feels a little hesitant on take off. Any info would be appreciated.
Thank Ian
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Multi69s
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Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:59 pm Post subject:
First thing — DON’T DRIVE it until you get it figured out. It could be something very simple, but if you aren’t getting oil pressure, you will lock up the engine.

Start simple, How much oil did you put in? Next make sure that you did not knock off the sending wire and it is touching metal. If the wire is still on the sender, turn on the key until the oil light comes on (don’t start). Then unplug the sending wire, keep the end away from any metal and look through the back window to see if the oil light goes off (it should). If the light stays on with the wire unplugged, you have a wiring issue. If it goes off, it could be a bad sender. You can also get a cheap mechanical pressure gauge from places like Harbor freight to check what the oil pressure is.
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Tim Donahoe
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Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:03 pm Post subject:
Did the oil light stay on before you did the oil change, studs, etc.?

And where do you live? If it’s cold in your area, 20w50w is a bit heavy for winter driving, anyway.

You say you’re new to bugs? If all was well before you worked on it, I’m assuming you blew it somwhow.

Why did you change the «studs»? What exactly did you do when replacing them? Did you drill anywhere?

Come back and state exactly wht you did—how much oil, type of gaskets, etc.

Tim

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ilb1981
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Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:34 pm Post subject:
I live in North Carolina on the coast.
I just recently bought the car when I parked it my garage I noticed it had an oil leak. When I started looking I noticed the drain plug in the oil strainer cover was where it was leaking so I pulled the plug and drained the oil. I then pulled the strainer cover, strainer and gaskets. Upon further investigation I saw that the threads for the drain plug were stripped and one of my studs for the cover had backed out when removing so I ordered all new parts(strainer cover, strainer, paper gaskets, new drain plug copper washer, 6 studs, 6 copper washers, 6 nuts) and installed them. I added around 4 to 4.5 quarts of oil until favoring the full side of the dipstick.
After driving it around 20 miles I noticed some oil had pulled into the air filter box via a hose connected to the oil fill spout and filter box along with the slight hesitation on take off.
The light was not on before the oil change.
Thanks Ian
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Relyt
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Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:17 pm Post subject:
How did you replace the stud holding the oil pick-up tube?

Maybe a loose pick-up tube or the nut inside the engine causing trouble?
Somebody with more experience then me will hopefully chime in.
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68IHscout
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Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:36 pm Post subject:
4.5 quarts , thats a bout 2 quarts too much unless you have a sump , 2.5 quarts is what I use in my 74 .
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Tim Donahoe
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Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:27 pm Post subject:
68 has a great point. If you have an aftermarket sump that allows you to increase your oil volume to 4.5 quarts, then 4.5 quarts is okay. But if you have a stock engine with no added sump, then you have about doubled the amount of oil you’re supposed to put into your engine.

This will bog you down, force leaks through your seals, and cause the oil to come up into places it’s not supposed to—like your air cleaner.

Unless you have a sump, drain the oil and put only 2.6 quarts (that’s a teeny tad over 2 and 1/2 quarts of oil.

Tim

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ilb1981
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:57 am Post subject:
Thanks for the replies I will drain the oil and try again.
Should I continue to use 20w50 Castrol gtx or switch to a lighter oil?
Thank Ian
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Bashr52
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:54 am Post subject:
ilb1981 wrote:
Thanks for the replies I will drain the oil and try again.
Should I continue to use 20w50 Castrol gtx or switch to a lighter oil?
Thank Ian

20w50 is one of the quickest ways to start blowing oil seals. Go lighter. Many have run 20/50 with good luck (I have in the past) but I’ve since switched to something thinner, and had better temps and oil pressure.

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ilb1981
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:38 am Post subject:
So my light issue has taken a turn for the worse. I got oil level right in the motor and went to crank it and either the oil pump came apart and is laying the bottom of the motor and put the crank in a bind or its locked up.
I am thinking about either a rebuilt motor or rebuild my motor would like to spend less then a $1000.
How hard is it to rebuild one of theses motors?
Dose anyone know where to get good rebuilt crate motors?
Can it be done on average for less then a $1000?
Thanks Ian
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djkeev
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:44 am Post subject:

Dave
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wcfvw69
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:53 am Post subject:
ilb1981 wrote:
So my light issue has taken a turn for the worse. I got oil level right in the motor and went to crank it and either the oil pump came apart and is laying the bottom of the motor and put the crank in a bind or its locked up.
I am thinking about either a rebuilt motor or rebuild my motor would like to spend less then a $1000.
How hard is it to rebuild one of theses motors?
Dose anyone know where to get good rebuilt crate motors?
Can it be done on average for less then a $1000?
Thanks Ian

I don’t know your mechanical skill set or tools you own but, yes, you can rebuild it yourself. You need to buy the Tom Wilson book on VW engine rebuilding and the Bug Me Video on engine rebuilding.

The book and Video will walk you though disassembly. You need to tear it down first and see what condition the case is in. You can take it to a VW machine shop for inspection along with the crank, rods and cam..

I’d never rebuilt a VW engine before but after studying the book and video, it was fairly straight forward and a VERY enjoyable experience. There’s NOTHING like firing a freshly rebuilt engine that I rebuilt for the first time! Both my engines fired right up after I got oil pressure and fuel to the carb. Both run fantastic as well. I did splurge on my 67 engine and had EVERYTHING balanced. It was the best $ I spent as it runs so smooth.

It’s a great project if you do it yourself and you’ll know exactly what’s in the engine (part quality wise) and you’ll know it was assembled right. You can always post pictures here and ask for advice along the way.
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gcarver
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:01 am Post subject: What.
I am sure you will get more expert opinions than mine. but I have never heard of that happening before and may I say that My 1973 VW engine has an air filter system that is supposed to have oil in it and it is called an oil bath air cleaner.
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djkeev
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:23 am Post subject:
ilb1981 wrote:
So my light issue has taken a turn for the worse. I got oil level right in the motor and went to crank it and either the oil pump came apart and is laying the bottom of the motor and put the crank in a bind or its locked up.
I am thinking about either a rebuilt motor or rebuild my motor would like to spend less then a $1000.
How hard is it to rebuild one of theses motors?
Dose anyone know where to get good rebuilt crate motors?
Can it be done on average for less then a $1000?
Thanks Ian

Quite a diagnosis!
Before we go buying new engines let’s figure out what’s wrong with this one.

How did you come to this conclusion?
It’s highly unlikely, nigh unto impossible for the oil pump to come apart and bind the engine.

I’d look for hydro lock first, fuel or water.
Pull the spark plugs, all four of them, make note of what wire goes on what plug, use masking tape to mark the wires.
Try cranking the engine. Success?

Of course you did drive it with the oil light on. If it was on due to no oil pressure, the engine may indeed be seized.

Let us know what you find.

If the starter doesn’t rotate the engine with the plugs removed, try putting a wrench on the lower crank pulley nut. Can you turn the engine full rotations?
Try both directions.
One of the oil pan studs does hold the oil pump pickup tube in place.
You replaced all the studs there? Did you refasten the pickup pipe? I’m guessing not for you most likely didn’t know about it.
If not fastened in place, it is possible that it us no longer functioning. Hence no oil pressure!
If loose in the case it could possibly impede rotation as well.

Dave
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ilb1981
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:44 am Post subject:
The diagnosis of the oil pump coming apart came from the guy I bought the car from, who has been helping me with the leak and light issues is not at all the mechanic he claims to be and I am now done listing to him.
I have put a wrench on the lower crank pulley nut and tried turning it both directions and it hits a stiff spot about an 1/8 of rotation each way.
Thanks for all the advice guys.
Ian
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djkeev
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:58 am Post subject:
Pull the spark plugs, try it again. Eliminate hydroloc as an easy to fix possibility.
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kjvforme
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:12 pm Post subject:
Hmm oil pump came apart, unless it fell off the back of the engine hard to fail. Double the oil capacity and going past the rings and locking, a good probability.

I have had the light come on and it turned out the be a grounded cracked wire. Always verify oil pressure with a gauge. Remove the oil sensor and install the gauge line there. You should be able to tell if you truly have oil pressure then. I hope it was just hydro-locked and not seized.

Where are you located?

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Danwvw
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:21 pm Post subject: Re: oil light wont go off on 73 beetle
ilb1981 wrote:
I changed the oil, the strainer, the strainer cover, and put all new studs in on my 1973 beetle and now the oil light is on and I cant get it to go off. I am new to vw’s but and older vehicles in general. I looked up recommended oil weight and found on several web sights to use 20w 50 Castrol gtx. Along with the light being on the car also feels a little hesitant on take off. Any info would be appreciated.
Thank Ian

Ok Here is what I think happened. One of the Oil cover studs holds the oil pick-up that is inside the engine in place. So it must be loose in there jamming up things! Probably no big amount of mechanical damage but you will likely need to split the case and replace the oil pick-up. They can’t be allowed to leak any air they must insert tight into the case for good oil pressure. Probably the nut is loose in the case too!

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