03 January 2011

Diagnosing high oil pressure on my Jeep

I drive a 2002 Jeep Grande Cherokee.  I noticed over the last month that the oil pressure was registering higher than normal and would rise further during acceleration.  It was time for an oil change, so I was hoping to see the results of the oil change on this problem.  Now on start, the oil pressure rises higher than normal (about three-quarters to the peg).  On acceleration, the gauge pegs and stays there; and then only comes down slowly after letting off the gas.

Cold weather would presumably have some impact on oil pressure, but I don't think it would be this significant.

The most recent oil change would seem to eliminate the possibility that there was a problem with the oil filter.

I'm trying to narrow down the possibilities based on these observations and some research.  So far I have come up with the following:

(1) Bad oil pressure sending unit (seems to be the most common culprit with like models)
(2) Problem with the oil pressure relief valve

What other factors do you think could cause the symptoms I am seeing?
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