Oil/Choke Light - Power Loss - Pls Help

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I have a 1980 Old cutlass with the V-6. I do not know much about cars so your help will be greatly appreciated. First all, my Oil/Choke light started staying on constantly. While driving to work, I lost alot of power and could not go faster than 30mph. Then I was pretty much at a stand still. I waited for about 15mins and started the car. Started just fine but the oil/choke light is still on and no power when I hit the gas. Seems to idle just fine though. Any ideas?

posted by  sbrown4308

What the hell is a choke light?

Anyway, I will relate my experience with my '77 Cutlass w/ the V6. It used oil pretty regularly so I kept a case in the trunk. (college student at the time so cut me some slack) Anyway, periodically (more noticably on the highway) the car would start to gradually slow down no matter how much gas you gave it. Well, that was my indication that I needed to add more oil. I would put a couple of quarts in and away I went.

The engine would continue to run fine as long as I sat there but I would not be able to generate any power to move the vehicle. Never did figure the whole thing out. Before I got the chance, I met a nice power pole that helped me with a little body work. Car wasn't worth saving so......

This may be your issue also. My recommendation would be to check your oil level and then watch it more closely. Check it every time you put gas in the vehicle and add as needed. For the long term, you may want to look into why your engine is using oil and fix the problem. Or, get a new car.

Good luck.


posted by  theman352001

The choke light on your car is telling you that the choke flap on the carburetor is closed. This would also quite likely cause at least some of your drivability problems. The quick fix is to remove the air cleaner so you can see if the flap is closed, and if so manually open it. It might even help to wire it open. If that is in fact the problem, repairing it may require cleaning the choke assembly, replacing the element or something as simple as hooking up the wire.

posted by  vwhobo

Ok, now I see it. Never had any issues with a choke light.

Why would it be tied in with the Oil light? Unless if the engine is choked and it can't produce enough pressure to turn the oil light off.

Any bets on whether we hear from him/her or not regarding a fix?


posted by  theman352001

Just got back from the turnpike. (Thats where my car broke down).
Someone told me to check if the choke was stuck closed, but it is not. Car turns over fine, but that damn oil/choke light will not turn off and when I hit the gas, I have no power

posted by  sbrown4308

Two things I would check in this case, but only because I had the same things happen on a pair of similar year Monte Carlo V6s AND my first Jag XJ6... (and because we cna't be there at your car to determine more detail)

Fuel filter first, and catalytic converter after that. Not sure why they'd trip the oil/choke light, but the symptoms sound the same as the Monte's. In both cases, they idled just fine, and kind of revved easy with no load on 9in neutral) but had zero power when you tried to drive them.

A clogged fuel filter (and I do believe that the filter is alongside the frame rail on the passenger side toweards the rear tire) won't allow enough fuel to keep up with the engine rpms under load, though it'll let enough fuel to run at idle easily (and in both cases, it happend all at once). A clogged converter will not allow the engine to breath and overly restrict it once there's a load on it.

posted by  ChrisV

I've never really dealt with an oil/choke light, but does the car have a seperate oil light? Cause when the oil light comes on it means there's not enough oil pressure....which is very bad...

posted by  Mathew

Your 1980 GM V6 does NOT have a conventional choke. Check your owners manual for a reason why it would come on.

posted by  carlblum

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