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2001 Dodge Ram 1500 oil pressure issues.

This is a discussion on 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 oil pressure issues. within the Automotive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Ok, this started a few days ago. I heard a ding and saw a warning light was on, before I


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Old 05-17-2008, 07:15 PM   #1
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Ok, this started a few days ago. I heard a ding and saw a warning light was on, before I could see what it was it went off and everything looked normal. Then it did it again and I noticed that my oil pressure gauge dropped to 0 and the check gauges light came on. So I watched it for a second and it went back up and the light went out. Since then its been going down and up, on and off, and I began to notice it only does it when i start slowing down at a stop light. I check other forums and a guy said that his did the same when he would drop to 750-1000 rpm, and i watched mine and its the same. They said to change the oil pressure sending unit, so I did and started it, took it for a drive, and at first it was ok. 5 minutes later it did it again.
So basically, would changing the oil pump be the quick and easiest solution, or could the gauge in my dash just be bad? I only have about 77k miles on it so I don't think sludge would be a big issue but then again I wouldn't think the pump would be either. Any suggestions?

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Old 05-17-2008, 09:56 PM   #2
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my best guess would be its a wireing issue. if you can get a wireing diagram and trace the route of your sending unit wire(s) i bet you will find a problem somewhere in the wires.

from what i can tell on these forums late 90s and newer dodges are all having wireing issues.

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Old 05-18-2008, 08:48 PM   #3
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Hi Brandon and welcome to TSF,

If you find that there is no electrical connection problem, I've become aware of a problem with the pickup tube on some vehicles where the end of the pick up pipe becomes unattached from the pump. This leaves the pump with a shallow pickup tube and when you stop, the oil moves toward the front of the engine leaving the tube above the oil level. This is when you would get the low pressure indication. Seems to fit your situation. Only solution would be to drop the pan and reconnect the part to the pump. I ran across this on another forum while looking for a different solution, but it was so unusual, I remembered it. It seems that they had a way to insure that it remained connected after they fixed it, but I can't remember what it was.

Hope this helps,
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:38 PM   #4
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That seems totally logical, I never thought of it. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:48 PM   #5
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Hi Brandon,

If it were me, I would try to find other problems first, dropping the pan is usually not easy. There is almost always something in the way of just dropping it. I'd drain the oil and take a piece of wire and fish around through the drain hole and see if I could find a part there that you could drag around. The oil pickup is always in the deepest part of the pan, where the drain plug is. Shouldn't be too hard to find the part if it is laying in the bottom of the pan.

In any event, good luck.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:16 PM   #6
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Well, I guess I just needed to wake up and smell the exhaust! I started to drain the oil out of the pan so I waited and expected it to be a few minutes till it was all out, but after it draining only for a few seconds I realized... IT WAS LOW ON OIL! So you did have the right idea, the oil was to low and when I slowed down it moved up therefore losing oil pressure cause it would suck any up. Good thing I didn't buy a new pump yet! Thanks Mack1!
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:49 AM   #7
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Mistake

dodge oil pressure issues.
DUDES.... i bought a used ram 1500, 5.2 (318) and immediately found some of the same irregularities you are having,,,
assumed it was the sending unit, replaced it,,, same problem, thought it was the harness, couldnt find a problem, same issues,,,
thought it was low on oil... topped it up a quart over the full mark , just in case,,, it may not have the proper dipstick, remember i bought it used..
last weekend, I TOOK THE BOTTOM END OUT,, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DONT SCREW AROUND ,, PULL THE PAN,,,!!!!!!!!!!!!!
talked to a dodge rep from the local dealership, the screen in the pick up tube becomes cloged with carbon, sludge etc, the screen goes up nto the tube , so you cant just was it out from the drain hole,,
BEWARE,,, BEWARE,,
i now need a set of bearings.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:10 PM   #8
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Well, my Truck just started doing this very thing. I've replaced the Sending Unit with one from AutoZone.....A Duralast brand. That seemed to work for less than 30 minutes until it went dead again.

The Situation:
My Truck sit in one place and didn't go anywhere for about 3 months. I checked the oil after that time period and found that it didn't have hardly any oil in it at all. Put 4 quarts of oil in it, before I changed out the Sending Unit, that didn't help it. It also appears that Oil Pressure is just fine until the Vehicle warms up a bit. That's when I lose it. Could be just a coincidence I suppose, if there is sludge or something in the bottom of the oil pan, it may take that long for the pump to pull up the gunk. On the other hand, I'm wondering if the Oil Filter is bad and putting parts of paper into the oil system. My next move is to just change the oil out and put a new filter in it. I'll know right away by inspecting that filter if it's bad by cutting it open. This is why I've always used WIX Oil Filters in the past on my Vehicles. I didn't put the oil filter on this Truck, so it's time I change it out anyway. I'll post back soon and let you know how it goes. Right now, it's 13 Degrees outside and I ain't doin' anything under the hood until it warms up a bit!

Here is link to WIX Filters. Learn all about em'.
http://www.wixfilters.com/
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:15 PM   #9
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I also have the same problem with my 99 Ram 1500 4x4. When the truck is warm and I come to a stop light or sign, the oil pressure gauge drops to zero. As soon as I give it gas or even put it up in to neutral, it jumps right back up. I replaced the sending unit, and it worked for a day and started again. They told me they ( local shop) checked the pressure at idle at it was good. I asked my local shop ( non-dealer ) to fix it while I was gone away for 2 weeks. I also told them to look into a problem I found out these trucks had with gauges that needed repair as per a service bulletin from Dodge ( a different connector). I came back from a work trip to hear that " I needed a new motor and we put in a used dash but it still does it " because Dodges need 5 psi at idle or it'll trip the switch, and I have 4 psi. It is not low on oil, doesn't make noise or smoke or anything even though it has alot of kms (canada). I had never heard of the sludge problem but it makes sense. I am not sure what to do because this truck is in awesome shape for the year and mileage and is exactly what I was looking for. I have even decided that IF it needs a motor, I will buy a new crate one, but any advice out there before that happens? I may even just install a real mechanical gauge and watch to see if it drops to zero. I know Dodge motors have low oil pressure at idle. Thanx !
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:39 AM   #10
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Hi. I read your previous post and I think I can help. Your engine most likely has sludge and/or carbon deposits that have worked loose and are plugging your oil intake tube. When the engine is cold, your pressure is probably good but after it warms up the sludge loosens and gets sucked up into the oil intake tube. When you let off of the accelerator or put the truck in neutral, it may regain normal oil pressure but this will probably not work every time. To get normal oil pressure back, shut the engine off for a few seconds and restart it. The oil pump will shut down while the engine if off, allowing the sludge to fall back to the bottom of the pan. If you have a 4WD truck, pulling the pan is fairly easy. If not, you will have a challenge on your hands but it isn't impossible if you are mechanically inclinded. Either way, you will need to flush the engine with Gunk Engine Flush to loosen the crud (follow the directions on the bottle). I would then pull the pan, remove the oil pump, and thouroughly clean the pump, intake tube and screen. You can use an aerosol brake cleaner to clean these up pretty easily. Put it all back together, put a high quality oil in (I use Valvoline 10w30 - (just DO NOT USE PENNZOIL). Drive it or about 1000 miles and flush it again using the same procedure. Yea, it's a pain, but it will probably keep you from having to buy an new engine.

I have 2001 dodge 1500 4WD with 118,000 miles on it. I had to do this when I bought it because the person who owned it before me, didn't change the oil so the engine built up sludge.

I hope this works for you! - I'll bet it will.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:50 PM   #11
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Granted old thread, but for what ever benefit it is worth since I found this as I was recently having the same problem, my two cents....

2001 Ram 1500 w/5.2L...
Cruise along just fine, put your foot in it oil pressure waivers a bit, decelerate and shortly there after oil pressure drops to 0! Plenty of oil in engine, can't be pump, or I should be able to cruise with good pressure.. do oil & filter change. Same problem still there. Do another oil & filter change, this time running 5-min flush through engine first. fresh filter and oil... start up, no oil pressure at all! I dropped the pan and found immense amounts of sludge in bottom of pan. Figured the sludge is being sucked into sump screen under "increased pick up rate" ie: acceleration, and clogging the screen. Using the 5-min flush increased the amount of sludge in the pan from top end, including a lot of very hard chips of carbon, not nice. After cleaning pan and sump screen as best as possible, reassembled, fresh oil and filter, oil pressure was normal, engine performed well, for about 1500 miles, and then started doing the same thing. I started doing oil changes every 1500 to avoid this issue until the 46RE tranny gave out. Having to rebuild tranny now, I pulled engine figuring I would disassemble and clean the engine.
I could not believe the amount of had carbon and burned sludge in the top end of this 318! I also found signs of a head gasket issue indicating some blow by into the lifter valley at one cylinder. Cleaned engine, reassembled with new gaskets, did not replace oil pump as I had already replaced it not that many miles ago, and guess what.... oil pressure problem is still there!
Now dropping pan again, and replacing both pump and sump screen.

Note this crud gets nicely embedded in the stock sump screen, and # 2 any crud that gets through potentially can lodge in the over pressure bypass valve on the oil pump.. a good rev and that valve is by passing pressure back to the pan, one piece of crap in the valve and valve doesn't close... you get no oil pressure...

Live and learn!

All and all though I love my truck :)

Doc.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:18 AM   #12
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Wow...this fourm is sooooooo helpful!!! My husbands dodge is doing the same thing with the oil pressure issue. The first thing we are going to do is clean the oil pan and check the intake tube. All of your comments are very valuable. Thank you all !!! Have a great day!!!
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:25 AM   #13
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Hi Tomelas...welcome to TSF!!

Let us know how things turn out......

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Old 06-29-2011, 06:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandonv View Post
Ok, this started a few days ago. I heard a ding and saw a warning light was on, before I could see what it was it went off and everything looked normal. Then it did it again and I noticed that my oil pressure gauge dropped to 0 and the check gauges light came on. So I watched it for a second and it went back up and the light went out. Since then its been going down and up, on and off, and I began to notice it only does it when i start slowing down at a stop light. I check other forums and a guy said that his did the same when he would drop to 750-1000 rpm, and i watched mine and its the same. They said to change the oil pressure sending unit, so I did and started it, took it for a drive, and at first it was ok. 5 minutes later it did it again.
So basically, would changing the oil pump be the quick and easiest solution, or could the gauge in my dash just be bad? I only have about 77k miles on it so I don't think sludge would be a big issue but then again I wouldn't think the pump would be either. Any suggestions?


my dodge is same thing i just put a new high volume pump and new pick up tube and same thing!!!! its a wireing issue for sure!!!!!!

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