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Old 01-28-2013, 08:52 AM   #1
smitty2919
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2500HD Oil Pressure 6.0L

Recently picked up a 03 2500 HD 6.0L with 156K mi. Have owned it for maybe a month or two and just recently I got a Low Oil Pressure message on the dash.

This is after it has sat for a week in the cold (30's and freezing). It will cycle through normal start up procedure and right before the odometer reading will display, the message comes on for as long as it takes to read the message, then it will go out. No CEL after that, no noises, nothing unusual. Oil Level is within the hatched area on the stick..3/4 way up.

If you turn it off, and restart there is no message. I went home today at lunch to start it after it sat overnight in 40 degree weather and no message. Oil Pressure dash gauge reads 27psi @ cold idle.

I heard of LS2 oil pump issues from people on here, so I want to make sure it won't let go when my wife is using it to tow her horse trrailer.

Buddy of mine (Crucial on here) said as long as you get 10psi per 1000rpm it will be fine. I found this while "googling" but have yet to check the VIN:
http://www.jasperengines.com/pdf/GM60LOilPressureTB.pdf

Possible causes:
Dash going whacky
Oil Pressure sensor going out
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:11 AM   #2
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I would guess a sender, 27 sounds fine at idle. I had a Camaro that idled at 14psi didn't tick or knock ran just fine that way for 45k miles.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:14 AM   #3
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Oil pressure is highly dependent on bearing wear. 14psi might be fine on older motor, but on a low mileage one, it would make me very nervous.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:16 AM   #4
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That generation of trucks is notorious for having the gauge clusters go wacky. GM actually extended the warranty on the clusters to something like 7/70.

I would verify the oil pressure with a mechanical gauge before writing it off as a bad sender/gauge cluster issue.

The general rule of thumb is 10 psi per 1000 rpms.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. I was going to pick up a HF mechanical oil pressure gauge to verify that the cluster/sending unit is OK or not.

May be a dumb question, but I'm assuming you find the correct fitting that matches that of the OEM sending unit, remove the sending unit and screw in the mech. gauge fitting then start the truck?
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #6
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Car had 39k on it when I got it just fyi but with OP's 156k I'd hook up a manual gauge and see what it says, if all is well then it's a sensor
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01SS346...View Post
Car had 39k on it when I got it just fyi but with OP's 156k I'd hook up a manual gauge and see what it says, if all is well then it's a sensor

God I hope so...well really I hope it's nothing, but in the grand scheme of things that could be wrong, a $40 sensor is nothing.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty2919...View Post
Recently picked up a 03 2500 HD 6.0L with 156K mi. Have owned it for maybe a month or two and just recently I got a Low Oil Pressure message on the dash.

This is after it has sat for a week in the cold (30's and freezing). It will cycle through normal start up procedure and right before the odometer reading will display, the message comes on for as long as it takes to read the message, then it will go out. No CEL after that, no noises, nothing unusual. Oil Level is within the hatched area on the stick..3/4 way up.

If you turn it off, and restart there is no message. I went home today at lunch to start it after it sat overnight in 40 degree weather and no message. Oil Pressure dash gauge reads 27psi @ cold idle.

I heard of LS2 oil pump issues from people on here, so I want to make sure it won't let go when my wife is using it to tow her horse trrailer.

Buddy of mine (Crucial on here) said as long as you get 10psi per 1000rpm it will be fine. I found this while "googling" but have yet to check the VIN:
http://www.jasperengines.com/pdf/GM60LOilPressureTB.pdf

Possible causes:
Dash going whacky
Oil Pressure sensor going out

I never had much faith in factory guages even though the never vehicles have units that are better than ever. If yours is close to being correct, your pressure at idle with normal engine temp should be around 30PSI. Cold weather does play a big part and so does the oil viscosity. With higher miles I would switch to a High Mileage oil or even add a oil stabilizer like the type from Lucas
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:36 AM   #9
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I figured it had something to do with the cold. The viscosity would be higher in cold weather and add on the higher miles PLUS the fact I don't know what oil is in it.

It's on the list of "TO DO" things. We are in the middle of moving so once things calm down an oil change will be in order...peice of mind knoing what I put in it.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:37 AM   #10
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Once you verify with a mechanical gauge, check the ohms on the pressure sender. I believe 40 ohms is around 30psi. If the sender and the mechanical gauge match, then congratulations, you are now a part of the Crappy GM Cluster Club.

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Old 01-28-2013, 09:49 AM   #11
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Thanks Thugga.

Am I right in assuming the steps for using the gauge? I've never actually used a mechanical oil pressure gauage before. Find the fitting that fits the block, screw the gauge in and start the truck?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:54 AM   #12
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Pretty much. It is a mechanical gauge, so the only thing driving the needle is the oil itself. You just have to make sure there are no leaks.

Also, make sure that whatever gauge you get comes with the proper size fitting for the block.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:55 PM   #13
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My 03 6.0 runs over 40lbs at cold idle with 178K on the motor and 10w30 High mileage.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by high school goat...View Post
My 03 6.0 runs over 40lbs at cold idle with 178K on the motor and 10w30 High mileage.

Hmm....well I may not get to this until this weekend.

All this talk has made me order a dual gauge pod and looking to install an elec gauge in the GTO.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:13 PM   #15
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What's wrong with those guages? I think it is funny when I carpool and my buddies truck says we are going 120mph at 1500 rpm
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:19 AM   #16
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Well I think I found that the stock sensor thread is M16x1.5....in which case the HF kit I bought doesn't have that fitting.

Sweet...
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:56 AM   #17
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I have the same truck and have lower oil pressure as well. But I also have over 200k miles. The oil pressure is not really what bothers me (I understand it's normal for higher miliagfe engines) it's that the oil pressure fluctuates and jumps around a good bit.

I reasearched it and have heard of issues like you mentioned and also oil pressure o ring issues.

Most of the issues with the low oil pressure message comming up have either been cluster issues or oil pump pickup tube o-rings.


Let us know how you turn out with the mech. gauge reading.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:00 AM   #18
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Verify with mechanical gauge.

Period.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:07 AM   #19
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I haven't been able to get the gauge on it. Been damn cold and with moving, I've been busy.

I also have to pick up a M16x1.5 male to what looks like 3/8 NPT femal fitting to even use the gauge.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by high school goat...View Post
My 03 6.0 runs over 40lbs at cold idle with 178K on the motor and 10w30 High mileage.

Same here, except I have 107K and run Royal Purple 10w30.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:05 PM   #21
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Ordered the adapter from O'Reilly's today. Should be here Thursday. Ended up being a Auto Meter fitting lol.
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