Jim Grant's Tech Tips
‘96 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Oil Pressure Problems
Q: The oil pressure gauge falls to zero and the 'Check Gauges' light comes on [along with a beep] every time I let off the accelerator on my ‘96 Jeep Grand Cherokee. When I accelerate, the gauge goes back to 30-40 psi. What's the problem and how much is the fix?
- Ken Halfen
A: The first thing you have to do is a have a mechanical oil pressure gauge installed to confirm that the electronic gauge or sensor is not failing. I have seen bad oil pressure sensors cause total panic by providing misleading information. If the mechanical oil pressure gauge confirms that you do have a low oil pressure problem the oil pan will have to be removed to inspect the oil pump and possibly the engine bearings. A worn oil pump or leaking pick-up tube can cause the problem you’re describing. A replacement oil pump is not too bad of a job. If it turns out that the engine bearings are worn you’ll be looking at a rebuilt or replacement engine.