Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Fountain Valley California
Since Carlsbad doesn't get cold (as in really cold), an considering the total mileage you've attained (along with the existing psi at idle), my belief is that you could at least change the oil filter, and switch to a slightly heavier oil (like 10 W 40) one time thru. Even if you are unable to get a direct oil psi reading, you may be able to cancel that P0521 code. I only have 85K on my car, an the original oil pressure sensor displayed the P0521 code (after 9 years). Have never had any engine ticking or bad sounds ever. Installed a new sensor an 10 months later, I get the P0521 again. I have no idea how low the oil pressure has ever gotten (nor do I care) To me, engine sound would be the telling factor if the psi had dropped to zero (or very near it), an that telling sound(s) would happen real quick. In the service manual, I remember reading that the psi would have to drop to below 4 or 5 psi to trip the sensor (an set that sensor performance fault code P0521). So I elected to replace the oil filter an oil to see IF the P0521 fault code would cancel. I would never have believed that a filter could cause a way to drop the psi so much, but it obviously did. The P0521 code canceled an has been perfect since. I still use 5 W30 GF5 rated conventional oil. So maybe a test with 10 W 40 might solve your problem. I'm sure it can't hurt to try vs a new engine at this point. By the way, replacing the sensor (an the plastic tube shaped filter screen below it), is really a very easy job on this engine, if you choose to do that also. Course, this is just my feeling on this situation.