1989 Escort GT Oil Pressure Problem!
I posted earlier just thinking the light was coming on erroneously; now I think I've really got a problem. I apologize for the lengthy post, but here goes:
Earlier this evening I was heading up the highway, cruising in 5th gear at a steady 55 MPH. Then I noticed the oil light begin to flicker intermittently, before coming on and staying on. The engine immediately started to sound really rough, almost like it had transformed into a diesel. Thankfully this happened right near an intersection so I pulled into the left turn lane and coasted into the gas station and shut it off.
I checked the oil, and it's clean and right up to the correct mark on the dipstick (I had it changed just last week). After letting the car sit for around 15-20 mins, I braved starting it up again and it sounded rough still, but no oil light. I eased it back home never going over 1800 RPM and by the time we got home after about 10 mins of driving the engine sounded back to normal again.
This is the second time this has happened. Last time I had just "tested out" the car for the first time and the light came on, and it made the same rough sound. The next day it sounded rough on start-up, but was normal after 5 mins or so.
The oil light is the only light that has ever come on. I've never had the alternator or coolant light as well. But could it be a problem with one of those systems? My girlfriend had a water pump quit on her Daytona years ago and she suffered many of the same symptoms before the failure as I am currently. I did have the charging system checked and everything is functioning normally.
The only other thing I've noticed is often the temperature gauge stays near the cold or barely at the bottom end of Normal. About a half hour before the incident I noticed the temp gauge climbing a bit (still only about the middle mark, between R and M) and also felt like there was heat coming in around the floor area, even though the climate control was set to defrost and at neutral temperature. Maybe my thermostat is gone haywire?
Once we have daylight I'm going to check the fluid levels and check hoses for any damage. Once again, sorry this is lengthy but maybe someone who's had similar problems can shed some light on this for me as I'm stumped and don't want to go replacing things unnecessarily.