3208 – Oil Pressure Is Low

Crankcase Oil Level
Check the level of the oil in the crankcase. Add oil if needed. It is possible for the oil level to be too far below the oil pump supply tube. This will result in the oil pump not having the ability to supply enough lubrication to the engine components.

Oil Pump Does Not Work Correctly
The inlet screen of the supply tube for the oil pump can have a restriction. This will result in cavitation and a loss of oil pressure. Air leakage in the supply side of the oil pump will also cause cavitation and loss of oil pressure. If the pressure regulating valve for the system is held in the open (unseated) position, the lubrication system can not get to maximum pressure. Oil pump gears that have too much wear will cause a reduction in oil pressure.

Oil Filter and Oil Cooler
A dirty oil filter will cause a reduction in oil pressure. When the oil filter is filled with dirt, a restriction of oil flow through the filter and a reduction of filtered oil pressure is the result.

The bypass valve will cause the flow of oil to go around the filter elements when there is a reduction to the flow through the elements. When the bypass valve is open, oil that is not filtered is permitted to flow through the engine. To correct this problem, install a new Caterpillar filter.

Look for a restriction in the oil passages of the oil cooler. If the oil cooler has a restriction, the oil cooler bypass valve in the oil filter base will open. This will cause the flow of oil to go around the oil cooler. The oil temperature will be higher than normal when the engine is running. The oil pressure of the engine will become low if the oil cooler has a restriction.

Too Much Clearance at Engine Bearings or Open, Broken or Disconnected Oil Line or Passage in Lubrication System
Components that are worn and have too much bearing clearance can cause oil pressure to be low. Low oil pressure can also be caused by an oil line or oil passage that is open, broken or disconnected.

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