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Hope someone's had this "problem" and can enlighten me. When I start my RAV, the oil light goes off almost immediately and always within 4-5 seconds. It *never* comes on while driving, accelerating, cornering, at highway speeds, idling... never. If I drive a short distance, stop, and restart the car, no light, However, if I've been driving for awhile, and then let it sit for about an hour, the oil light stays on when I start the car, stays on for about 10 seconds, or stays on until I tap the gas and then it turns off immediately. There are no unusual engine sounds, no loss of compression, no rough idling, performance is smooth and fine, pressure is good, it's not low on oil... so, no obvious signs/symptoms other than the light. This started about 1 month ago. I've used 10-40 oil and Lucas in my RAV forever. No other additives.

I changed the oil sensor as it was simple to do - no luck. I have another oil pump and uptake tube for the oil pan, but I don't have time to do the work myself, so I'd have to take it to my mechanic. Obviously, I don't want to do that if there's some other fix.

I was thinking of running Seafoam through the engine, but it doesn't seem like a clog problem. E.g. I would think if it's a clogged uptake the light would stay on longer every time I start it.

Right now, this doesn't seem to be a problem. So, I'd like to take care of it before it becomes one. Any ideas?
 

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There are no unusual engine sounds, no loss of compression, no rough idling, performance is smooth and fine, pressure is good, it's not low on oil... .....
I changed the oil sensor as it was simple to do - no luck. I have another oil pump and uptake tube for the oil pan, but I don't have time to do the work myself, so I'd have to take it to my mechanic.
The red oil light on the dash is there to warn you of low oil pressure. How did you determine that your pressure is good?

If the light is coming on with proper oil pressure, then the problem could be a defective sensor, but you eliminated that possibility by replacing the sender.

Another common problem is if the wire which connects to the sensor is grounded. This sometimes happens when the wire makes contact with a hot engine component which melts thorough the plastic insulation and the wire makes contact with a ground point. The wire may also be rubbing on something sharp that has penetrated the insulation.
 

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The red oil light on the dash is there to warn you of low oil pressure. How did you determine that your pressure is good?
When the new sensor didn't solve the problem, I dropped it off at my mechanic. When I came back he said the oil pressure was good. He didn't give me any numbers. I've been going to him for years, so I've no reason to doubt him. Of course, he couldn't duplicate the problem and couldn't recommend a fix without digging in deeper. It was late in the day and I didn't want to leave it overnight. He didn't charge me.

Again, what I found very strange is that this happens only after driving for 30+ minutes, parking to do something for an hour or more, and then starting the RAV. Then, after +/-10 seconds, which seems like a lifetime, the light goes off. It goes off almost immediately otherwise. Seems like if there was an oil pressure problem it would manifest itself at other times as well. Am I wrong?

I'll check the wiring. That's a good suggestion!
 

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I wonder if the oil pump could be going bad?
 

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Again, what I found very strange is that this happens only after driving for 30+ minutes, parking to do something for an hour or more, and then starting the RAV. Then, after +/-10 seconds, which seems like a lifetime, the light goes off.
I don't have a 4.1 model RAV4, so I don't know if this applies to you or not, but here is another possibility.

Oil filters that face downwards have an "Anti Drain Back Valve" in them to prevent the oil in the filter from draining back into the pan when the engine is not running. If your Anti Drain valve was not working occasionally , the oil in the filter would drain out when you are parked, and when you restart the engine, your low pressure light would remain on until the filter was re-filled with oil. In other words, the light would be delayed in going out, the same way it is after getting a routine oil/filter change.
 

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Oil filters that face downwards have an "Anti Drain Back Valve" in them to prevent the oil in the filter from draining back into the pan when the engine is not running. If your Anti Drain valve was not working occasionally , the oil in the filter would drain out when you are parked, and when you restart the engine, your low pressure light would remain on until the filter was re-filled with oil. In other words, the light would be delayed in going out, the same way it is after getting a routine oil/filter change.
Did I fail to mention I changed the oil and oil filter with no effect... my bad.
 
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