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Old 03-26-2011, 16:12   #1 (permalink)
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Low Oil Pressure

My '88 Escort's oil pressure starts out normal on a cold engine, but as the engine temperature increases and the oil thins down the pressure drops to near 0 at highway speed. I've changed the oil filter thinking maybe it was clogged or damaged, and have removed the oil pressure line and confirmed oil flow on a cold engine. I am now thinking the oil pump may just be worn and not picking up the oil after it thins, so I wanted to post this information and see if anyone else has other suggestions before removing the oil pan and replacing the oil pump. I've currently got the car parked waiting on warmer weather to work on it. I'm also getting a ticking which sounds like a lifter or valve tick both on cold and warm engine which also leads me to believe it's the oil pump.
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Old 03-26-2011, 19:32   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Low Oil Pressure

Generally a sign of worn bearings.
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Old 03-27-2011, 11:54   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Low Oil Pressure

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Generally a sign of worn bearings.
I knew this was a sign of worn bearings, but would it cause a sudden drop? One day the pressure was fine the next it was showing good oil pressure at start up, but would drop to near 0 after the engine got warm.
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Old 03-27-2011, 13:28   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Low Oil Pressure

Have you tried a aftermarket gauge to verify the low pressure?

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I knew this was a sign of worn bearings, but would it cause a sudden drop? One day the pressure was fine the next it was showing good oil pressure at start up, but would drop to near 0 after the engine got warm.
You wouldn't think so. If you do change the pump I would pull a main and rod cap and have a look while I was there.
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:24   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Low Oil Pressure

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Have you tried a aftermarket gauge to verify the low pressure?



You wouldn't think so. If you do change the pump I would pull a main and rod cap and have a look while I was there.
Thanks for your reply. The gauge is an after market gauge, but I had an extra gauge laying around so I hooked it up to the pressure line and got the same results. I'm at a point that I don't really know of anything else to do other than change the oil pump. The only other thing I can think of that could possibly be the problem would be the pressure relief valve opened and stuck open, because when the problem began the outdoor temperature was near 0 and the oil pressure was going to about 80 psi on a cold start up, but if that were the case I would think the oil pressure would be low all the time not just on a warm engine. Am I correct?
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:56   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Low Oil Pressure

Anyone else have any other suggestion or things to check?
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Old 03-30-2011, 13:56   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Low Oil Pressure

A sudden drop usually isn't caused by bearings unless there's a noticable noise in the engine. Maybe something came loose. No matter what, you probably need to take the pan off and investigate further.
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Old 03-30-2011, 15:02   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Low Oil Pressure

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you probably need to take the pan off and investigate further.

I guess when I get the time I'll pull the pan. I'll just let the car sit and drive another one until then.
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Old 04-04-2011, 05:21   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Low Oil Pressure

I pulled the oil pan Saturday and found the problem. The screen on the pick up tube was clogged. I gave it a good cleaning and put everything back together. Oil pressure is better now than it's been in years, 65 PSI at 55 MPH on a warm engine and 30 PSI at idle on a warm engine.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:07   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Low Oil Pressure

Thanks for the update. It's a good thing you didn't let it go. I had that in an E150 I bought. The previous owner didn't change the oil properly.
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