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Q: Oil Pressure

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I have procured a RSX Base K20A3 (MT), Car has a P1259 (VTEC malfunction) code and will not see past 4K revs (LIMP). Changed oil to Mobil 1 5-20 as per OE specifications. (Previous owner claimed to put 20-50, for reasons unknown at the time, but now I think it's clear).Red Oil light stays on during cold start for about 3-4 seconds longer than I suspect normal, and intermittently 'flickers' between shifts or when revs go below 500. After warm-up, it's not as frequent for the light to 'flicker'. Suspected low oil pressure and proceeded to check with mech. gauge. Took off VTEC solenoid to gain access to oil pressure sensor below, uninstalled switch and installed gauge and VTEC solenoid.Upon start up, gauge climbed just over 10psi at idle. According to OE specifications that is correct. But, upon diagnosing the 3k Revs minimum (44psi), the needle barely moved if not but only to 15psi at one or two occurrences. I am suspecting a worn or bad oil pump at this point or bearings.

My car has 176000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: The oil pump may be the reason for the loss...

The oil pump may be the reason for the loss of pressure and it should be removed and checked for proper end play and excessive wear. I would recommend replacing the pump, and while the oil pan is removed, inspect the oil pan for any metal particles that could point to a problem with the bearings. When you removed the oil pan drain plug, look for metal on the plug magnet and also drain the oil through a metal strainer to see if any larger metal particles are in the oil. If you find metal in the oil or you put an oil sample on a white towel, look for metal in the oil. If any metal is found, then the oil pump may not be the only problem and the bearings in the engine are bad. If you are still having trouble, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car's location to diagnose your Oil Pressure Light and recommend the best path to repair for this issue.

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