Q: Low Oil PSI

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I bought a 05 Nissan Altima Se-r a few months back. It has a v6 3.5 liter motor with 97,555 miles in it. I got an oil change at 94,949. Recently I've noticed when I start the car the psi is just about 90. After driving 3-4 miles the psi drops to around 30 but will get up to 60 when my rpms are 2,000. My main concern is that when I'm stopped at a stop sign or red light, the psi drops to 0 and my oil light comes on. Once I accelerate gently the psi jumps back to about 30 again. This first happened about two weeks ago. I checked my oil level after it happened and the levels were fine. I checked again today and the level was very low. I know I'm due for an oil change soon, but I wasn't sure I'd that would be the cause of the problem or if it's something more serious, I'm thinking oil pump or possibly catalytic converter. The only reason I say catalytic converter is because my exhaust fumes have also been smelling terrible since this has started. Thanks, Roger

My car has 97555 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi Roger. Although it is possible that your catalytic converter might be wearing out, it’s most likely not the source of your oil pressure problem. Typically when an engine develops excessive sludge (caused by carbon deposits from burning gasoline) will collect on the oil pump pick-up screen and restrict oil pressure. When this happens, it is best to replace the oil pump to ensure proper lubrication, keep the engine cool and operating at optimal temperatures and performance. The reduced oil pressure could also be due to the wrong size oil filter being used. I would recommend having your oil and filter changed again and see if the pressure problem resolves itself. If not, please contact a professional mechanic to complete an oil pressure inspection, so they can pinpoint the source of this problem and recommend the right repairs.

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