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Old 12-15-2005, 15:01   #1 (permalink)
Jesse
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Oil pressure in 99 Contour

I have a 99 Contour (4 cyl) and recently (last couple days) started losing
oil pressure when making sharp right turns or sometimes braking hard. I
recently took a new job where I drive a ton of miles and (stupidly) got way
behind on my oil change; I went to check the oil level and the dipstick
handle broke off in my hand!?!? I was leery of adding oil since I can't check
the level, but I put about half a quart in and the oil pressure idiot light
didn't go on for a while, then started up again. I put in the other half
quart with the same result. I dunno if just dirty old oil would cause this
problem - I mean, yeah it would if it was low, but only when turning right or
braking? That's what weirds me out. I also noticed a threaded hole in the
bottom of the crankcase (not the drainplug) with nothing in it. Did I lose a
bolt somewhere? Oil pump problem? Sump? Cracked head (please no)? Is that
hole supposed to be there? It doesn't look right, but I'm afraid to screw a
bolt into it without knowing. I'm taking it for service to get the dipstick
out and having them change the oil while they're in there (no one, including
me, wants to do it without being able to check the level after). I'll have
them look it over but I'd like some other input before I hear any scare
stories from a mechanic who spots my ignorance with dollar signs in his eyes.

Any ideas? All are appreciated.

If I had the extra loot I'd invest in a gauge. Not knowing what's happening
when the idiot light isn't on is driving me nuts. Imagine if your temperature
gauge were replaced by a light that came on when the engine was about to
seize up.
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Old 12-15-2005, 17:01   #2 (permalink)
Sharon K.Cooke
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Re: Oil pressure in 99 Contour

Jesse wrote:
>
> I have a 99 Contour (4 cyl) and recently (last couple days) started losing
> oil pressure when making sharp right turns or sometimes braking hard. I
> recently took a new job where I drive a ton of miles and (stupidly) got way
> behind on my oil change; I went to check the oil level and the dipstick
> handle broke off in my hand!?!? I was leery of adding oil since I can't check
> the level, but I put about half a quart in and the oil pressure idiot light
> didn't go on for a while, then started up again. I put in the other half
> quart with the same result. I dunno if just dirty old oil would cause this
> problem - I mean, yeah it would if it was low, but only when turning right or
> braking? That's what weirds me out. I also noticed a threaded hole in the
> bottom of the crankcase (not the drainplug) with nothing in it. Did I lose a
> bolt somewhere? Oil pump problem? Sump? Cracked head (please no)? Is that
> hole supposed to be there? It doesn't look right, but I'm afraid to screw a
> bolt into it without knowing. I'm taking it for service to get the dipstick
> out and having them change the oil while they're in there (no one, including
> me, wants to do it without being able to check the level after). I'll have
> them look it over but I'd like some other input before I hear any scare
> stories from a mechanic who spots my ignorance with dollar signs in his eyes.
>
> Any ideas? All are appreciated.
>
> If I had the extra loot I'd invest in a gauge. Not knowing what's happening
> when the idiot light isn't on is driving me nuts. Imagine if your temperature
> gauge were replaced by a light that came on when the engine was about to
> seize up.


This whole story sounds like a put-on but, light coming on during a turn or
braking IS an indication of low fluid. Many cars DO rely on nothing more than an
idiot light to tell the operator the engine's overheating, some going so far as
to have the same single idiot light for low oil pressure AND/OR high coolant
temperature. You can buy a mechanical OP gauge for less than $10.
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