Oil temp warning light and gauge showing low in slow-moving traffic
We've just bought a three year old, 17,000 mile 159 2.2 JTS Turismo Sportwagon from a major car supermarket in North London. It was a company car sale, probably some senior executive who kept it in the garage most of the time and didn't thrash it around the country putting the miles on.
We had it looked over in advance by our long-time mechanic who has worked on all our previous cars (not there are that many of them) who is a Fiat/Alfa specialist and happens to have his shop round the corner from the car supermarket. Everything looked and sounded immaculate, he gave it a good external look-over and I test-drove it the limited amount you can from these places and there were no obvious problems.
So far, the car is driving fine but we took it on a first longer run out of London over the weekend and we got a strange effect occurring on the oil warning light and gauge.
The oil gauge shows around 110 mid-range in normal running. During our journey, we hit some tailback traffic on the A303 dropping down from 70mph to stationary fairly quickly and were then in stop-start traffic for a while. A few minutes after hitting the jam, the oil temperature (not pressure) warning light suddenly started flashing and the gauge dropped to 70 minimum. We were rather worried but we couldn't stop in the traffic jam so we got through it and pulled away beyond it to see about stopping in a lay-by and, about two or three minutes into normal driving, the warning light stopped flashing and the gauge jumped back to around 100 and then back up to 110. I stopped and checked the oil level and it was fine.
The same thing is now happening regularly whenever the car has been moving along smoothly for a while and we then get caught up in traffic. Warning light on, gauge to minimum during the traffic jam then all back to normal when we get moving again. I've checked the oil level again and it's still fine and there are no obvious leaks, smells, exhaust fumes or anything else. (I just wish the warning light was a lead indicator of a traffic jam rather than a lag indicator and then it would have a positive use!)
Before I call the aftersales people at the car supermarket, just wondering if anyone here recognises this issue and can shed any light on what might be going on.