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Outboard check oil light flicker

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Hey all,

I've been lurking on this forum for years but this is my first post...

This is a 6hp Nissan outboard, it runs well. I changed the oil a few weeks ago and recently noticed the "check oil" light is flickering. The proper amount of oil should be in place (and the dipstick says the same), any suggestions for what this may mean?

Here's a video of the check oil light.


Thanks for the help!

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The circuit on all of those little outboards is essentially the same and (unfortunately) pretty bullet proof. You can pretty much be assured that the circuit 'thinks' its seeing an oil pressure fluctuation.

Now, as far as troubleshooting goes...ugh... some of these have given my (and other) techs fits over the years. It can be a little bit of sludge that was dislodged while doing an oil change and is now slightly blocking an oil passage, it can be slightly overfilled with oil (causes foaming which affects pressure), it COULD actually be low oil pressure (by far the least likely-those mechanical oil pumps just don't fail), a faulty sender, faulty wiring..... and you could chase any of these ad infinitum. Believe me, people have.

Your best bet is to hook up a mechanical oil pressure gauge (usually the easiest place is where the sender screws in) and verify that you have oil pressure, and that it is in range for that outboard. At least then you can feel 'safe' running it while you sort out what is causing the blinking light- or at least until you find a piece of electrical tape to cover it! Check the wiring to-from the sender and make sure it looks in good condition. I THINK that motor uses a NO switch (meaning open when running) for the sender so checking for continuity between the sender wire and ground while running is an option (although it could be pretty tough to see even on a good multimeter)... doing another oil change will actually sometimes solve the issue-maybe even adding a little marvel mystery oil to the oil and running it for a few minutes before changing it in the hopes the that will clean passages...

Back to that piece of electrical tape....

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The light on my identical (but Tohatsu branded) outboard flickers for no good reason, too. Has done it since new. Goes out off idle. No apparent ill effect. I have gone without electrical tape because the light alhas scared off at least one dinghy borrower.

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Thanks for the replies, all. It seems like the flickering is not something to be "too" worried about. If I did nothing, it probably wouldn't be the end of the world. If I find the time, I'll try to change the oil again and hope something changes. Am not planning any extensive maintenance on the outboard anytime soon...

If it ain't broke.. fix it 'til it is?

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