I hope someone can help solve these two electrical problems that appeared one after the other.

By way of background: The car, a '64 Eldorado has very limited use. It was at a restoration shop for 15 months until last January-  that supposedly did a bunch of wiring repairs including rebuilding the gas gauge that still hasn't worked properly, and the clock that hasn't worked, and re-soldering the broken wires in the drive door. All window and seat controls appear to be working properly as well as the auto headlight dimmer. 

Here are the two problems:

First problem:

  1. When I turn the car off, sometimes but not always, the generator light glows brightly- but turns off as soon as the engine starts.  ( this problem appeared, and showed up after replacing a dead almost new battery, then disappeared the next two times I drove the car, then reappeared today-


  1. Sometimes, but not always, the brake lights remain lit after I get out of the car, but shut themselves off afterward- This seems to happen when the headlights have been on. This only started happening about the same time the generator light problem occurred.


  1. When I disconnect the battery and/or reconnect it (I have a switch on it) I hear a clicking coming from somewhere in the passenger. side of the engine- compartment seems to be below in the front and sounds like a relay clicking. Seems to be coming from near the starter.


  1. The car has automatic dimmers that work flawlessly.


  1. I tried jiggling the light switch, ignition, switch and engaging the starter relay, but no effect on the generator light.

  1. This problem first appeared about 1-1/2 months ago, noticed after I experienced a dead  almost new battery while the car was parked- after replacing the dead battery-I noticed the light for the first time. 

Second Problem:

  1. Today after taking the car out for the first time (after a local ride about ten days ago), there was no appearance of the generator light. However, the oil light was on when the car was first started.


  1. After starting the car, I shut the engine and checked the oil level which was fine.  When we got going, the oil light went off.   [The car had a double engine rebuild (once without the low end and second time with)  and the oil pump was rebuilt with new internal parts by me personally.] Very little mileage since- about 1000 miles since 2016.  The oil light has never been a problem since either rebuild.


  1. Today, after taking a 35-mile high speed ride with the car performing flawlessly, when I turned off the highway, the oil light came on. After a few minutes, the oil light turned off, but then came on again when the engine slowed to idle speed with the car stopped in gear.


  1. I checked the wire and plug on the oil pressure switch- it was good.


  1. On the trip back, the oil light was on and off in the parking light, but on the road, it was off the whole time on the 35 mile trip back- about 65-80 cruising speed. Again the engine ran perfectly.


  1. When I got off the highway, the oil light came on every time we were stopped and idling in gear or slowing down. At slightly higher revs above the idle in gear, the oil light turned off.


 Any thoughts, insights or similar experiences/solutions greatly appreciated.

Thanks and best regards,

Jeff Kinzler

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Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on November 4, 2019 at 9:43pm

Do the front cover  oil pump first and see if that solves the problem 

You can always drop the pan if needed later

Just as Jason suggested caused by a recent rebuild  and most likely debris in the oil pump

Just to make you feel better —my shop gave me back my car just as you explained they gave you yours and caused my muffler to explode the timing was so far out 

I was able to correct all the issues myself but a major PITA after spending 5 grand to restore the car with what it needed  then from front to back so I could be enjoying the car in Florida in my retirement years 

That has really worked out wonderful for me and a very great idea to  be having much fun and enjoyment in great weather 





Comment by Jeff Kinzler on November 4, 2019 at 6:48pm

Thanks for the helpful comments.  Look like we are in for an oil pan drop and a front cover disassembly at minimum.  

In 2010, my friend Bill Gonzalez (of Tilden Auto Repair in Mineola NY) and I pulled the engine and did a top rebuild along with installing a pair of rebuilt heads I purchased from Jason.  The job was successful and we cleaned and replaced everything internally and rebuilt the oil pump with new valve and spring, etc.  The only problem was the No. 1 Cylinder oil ring gave way with the pressure of new heads, pumping a quart or so every hour.  However with the fouled plug cleaned off it ran like a champ.

So, off to a local engine shop for disassembly, new pistons, rings, bearings and reassembly.  The shop there was incompetent in that they got a running car and gave me back a back-firing, muffler-exploding, sputtering, stalling and getting stuck mess.  8 weeks later we found the ignition wires from the dash to engine were not plugged all the way into each other causing this terrible problem.  Also the exhaust and hangers were all messed up. 

In August 2017 the car went into a resto shop for interior redo, paint polish and miscellaneous other work  for 15 months.  

I don't think there are more than 1000 or so miles on the rebuilt engine.

Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on November 4, 2019 at 11:06am

The lack of oil in a lifter would be a ticking sound 

A spun bearing is a screeching and or a knocking sound 

The oil pump  clog or wear there and or the oil screen in the oil pan SB addressed before running the engine any more to prevent further damage 

Sorry for your set back I do know the time and passion you have put into your Eldo for a  very very long time 

Not sure why there would be a need to drive a car at high speeds ( 60-80 mph )  that is showing signs of an engine problem until the problem is resolved 

Just money and aggravation will get the problem solved for sure unlike people’s health issues that are not repairable
A repair shop that does good honest repair work for our year Cadillac is not an easy thing to find today 

Comment by Jason Edge on November 4, 2019 at 8:34am

Jeff, The two main causes of sudden low oil pressure is a stuck oil pressure regulator valve in the oil pump or clogged (or blocked in Kim's case) oil intake strainer screen, both often can occur after recent engine work.
On the oil pressure regulator valve, it is designed to open when oil pressure reaches 30 to 35 psi. If there is debris, etc. inside the channel when it opens it can stick open causing you to suddenly lose oil pressure.  If this oil pump has been recently disassembled that is the likely cause. If it is not completely free to slide up and down the housing inside the cavity, it may stick in the open bypass position. I have seen this on several member cars including one that showed up at a Grand National and their engine suddenly started ticking and low oil light came one. The spring should measure 2.77 to 2.89 when removed. You can check the length but in my experience issues have been with the valve sticking.  When, I have a front engine cleaned I always go back and make sure any debris has been removed from the cavity and the valve freely slides back and forth.  I've known high dollar "pro shops" to ignore this attention to detail causing the stuck valve.  I have posted a picture of the valve and spring below.

If the inlet screen at bottom of oil pan clogs that will cause this situation. 

Comment by Russ Austin on November 4, 2019 at 7:53am

The oil problem sounds to be the pressure regulator. It is worn and not allowing the correct pressure at idle.   Recently fixed a car doing the exact problem.  The cylinder for the piston in the pressure regulator had a groove worn in the wall.   I have good used pieces.

The electrical problem;  Does the car have the Twilight Sentinel system?  That may be the lights staying on.    The Gen light is an alternator I think. take it off and have it tested.

Comment by Jeff Kinzler on November 4, 2019 at 3:36am

Tony-Thanks good suggestions re electrical.

Here's an (unfortunate) update. 

Brought the car home, shut off for dinner time, went to start it 2 hours later - temp outside dropped to 45F.  First strange sound then a knocking sound with oil light staying on. 

I would say either a lifter without oil or worse a spun bearing.  This is not good.  So I moved it a few feet up the driveway and left it outside overnight.

Hopefully tomorrow, I will get it flat bedded to the shop that rebuilt the engine in 2016- Engine House in Farmingdale NY ( NOT Recommended)  to see if the oil pump failed- or to another shop that can diagnose the problem  Either way, it looks like my brand new engine is in for a serious and expensive round. 

Funny thing, this started this morning and I attributed it to a too slow idle in the slightly colder temperature we had today. About two weeks ago it was a quart low, and I added a quart and it seemed quiet and happy. Today after start and warm up I drove 35 miiles on the expressway at high speed 65-80 mph and the car seemed fine. Same on the trip back as far as I could tell. 

Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on November 3, 2019 at 11:32pm

HI Jeff 


Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on November 3, 2019 at 11:31pm

You second problem is —your idle needs to be increased so that you oil light stays out when the car is at an idle in gear 

Your idle is to —low now 

Do not make the idle to high -or the tans will be working against your braking when coming to a stop 

480- 500 Rpm in gear SB what you need ( can use the E brake and chock the wheels to prevent the car moving 

I usually do 600 RPMs out of gear not to be dealing with any car movement 

That should take care of your red  oil light issue 

Both easy fixes 


Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on November 3, 2019 at 11:18pm

Your  first issue SB your voltage regulator not working correctly 

I think your grounds and terminals need to be cleaned to shinny metal or the regulator needs to be replaced 

The gen light comes on when there is a regulator issue usually caused by an electrical flash that has happened while working on wiring issues 

A bad regulator will cause you battery (new ) to fail —if  not charging properly 

The battery SB reading 13-14 volts with the engine running if it’s charging correctly ( and reg working correctly ) 

Remove your battery and clean your negative battery  terminal to frame connection to shinny metal under the battery 

Gen light SB on ( ignition on ) before start up and stay out while engine is running 

The on off —intermittent electrical issues SB a bad ground connection issue so clean the above connection first 

The grounds need attention when the car sits for long periods of time ( sometimes many years ) in non dry conditions 

That should address the red Gen issue light 



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