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Tech501
Tech501, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  38 years exp, ASE Mastertech with L1 Advanced Engine performance
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96 thunderbird: drove..the oil pressure is..pressure drops..make noise

Customer Question

My wife drove my 96 thunderbird low on oil for a long time, now the oil pressure is good to start with and drops to nothing when I stop. Long as I am not in gear the pressure is OK but soon as I put it in gear the pressure drops. Yes the motor does start to make noise. I hve changed the oil 5 times and no change. On the advice of a back yard mach. I put some motor flush in and no help. What do I do now
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Darrol L. Belt replied 11 years ago.
You need to remove the oil pressure switch and put an oil pressure (diagnostic)gauge in it's place and drive car to verify that your gauge in car is correct. If it isn't than replace sending unit. If it is than chances are you have cam or crank journal problems which means replacing motor. I would try replacing oil pump first. It's worth a shot. Also. If using synthetic oil try using 30wt. Good luck and please click on accept. Thank you.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Darrol L. Belt's Post: The oil pressure is good for about 5 to 10 minutes of driving before the problems start, and I can set with motor off for a few minutes and problem will go away for a few minutes, does this change your answer
Expert:  Darrol L. Belt replied 11 years ago.
No. Heat plays a big role in loss of oil pressure (Due to expansion). But again, check your pressure with a gauge that you screw in where the sender goes. Heat plays a big role in faulty electronics also (Oil pressure sending unit). Replace the sender, they're usually pretty inexpensive and then you will know if it's sender or not. What I explained in my last post is the correct way of going about it. Good luck.
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
 The bearings have worn permanently and the only thing you can do at this point is run some heavier oil. That's why the pressure is good at first. The oil is thicker. It will never be what it was but you may be able to buy a little more time before rebuiling/replacing the engine. Some STP oil treatment will help some also.

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