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jblair1979, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 265
Experience:  Ford ASSET graduate, 1st in my class, 2001, ASE car, truck, and medium heavy duty Master technician
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2003 Ford Expedition - Hi Temp Low Oil light turned on and

Customer Question

2003 Ford Expedition - "Hi Temp Low Oil" light turned on and the car lost all power. I just had a tune up. What could this be? I have a feeling the mechanic put transmission oil instead of engine oil. He came back and drained the oil, but it looks like oil, but it is thin.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  jblair1979 replied 7 years ago.

HowdyCustomer What color was the oil? The oil should be a transparent yellow color.

If it was pink, to reddish, it was transmission fluid.

Do you know how to check the oil level to make sure you have the correct amount? This engine was built with very tight tolerances, it should only have 5w20 ford motorcraft oil in it.

Has the thermostat ever been changed? the coolant? Did you notice the temperature gage show hot?

How many miles are on the vehicle?


Are there any other issues with it?

jblair1979 and 3 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Last week he put one quart of 10w30, he said I was running low (my low oil indicator never came on). The mecanic drained the oil into the drain pan and it looks brown, like when you normally drain oil. It is very thin, not like the consistency of oil when it comes out of the container. I am only assuming that he put transmission fluid in the oil pan, because I found 5 quarts of it in my trash can and no engine oil containers. Since the tolerance only wants 5w20, would the 10w30 cause this problem?

Expert:  jblair1979 replied 7 years ago.

Well, some people think that with higher mileage engines that you should use a heavier weight oil, because of normal engine wear. How many miles do you have on this vehicle. If the vehicle has received regular maintenance, then there should be no need of a heavier weight oil. Did you keep the containers? Is the high temp, low oil light still on? Have you herd any strange knocking, or tapping noises from the engine? Does the engine smoke when running? Have you noticed any other issues with the vehicle? I also noted that you stated that there were 5 containers. I will assume that they were 1 quart containers? If so, he may have just not put enough in, to begin with. This engine should take 6 qts of oil.....Here it is straight out of the service manual:

Oil capacity (includes filter change)5.7 L (6.0 qts)

Do you have the owners manual? In the back it should tell you the same thing.