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A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6604
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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2001 F150: warm..Truck ran 100 mile morning upon start

Customer Question

what would make a 2001 F150 5.4 lt oil gage and oil pressure lite show no oil pressure after about 2 minutes of warm up and driving. Truck ran 100 mile trip with no problem,
the next morning upon start-up and short run time, both the oil gage and oil press. lite shows zero pressure, after several fluctuations very quickly. It had an oil and filter change by national firm about two weeks ago.. The dip stick shows 1/2 quart low. I hear what sounds like lifter noise when the oil pressure fails. Engine shows about 60 lbs of press. upon startup and then the gage pressure bounces and falls to zero as the lite blinks and then stays on. It has done this 3 times now as I experiment for the problem.. I also have a 1990 F150 v8 that does the same thing??????? Switched the 1990 F150 to manual press. gage to confirm oil pressure failure.....
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  david replied 6 years ago.

david :

Hi thank you for your question hope this help.

david :

So with the manual pressure gage there was no oil pressure?

david :

If this is right the oil pump is bad. Why you are getting oil pressure at start up is because the oil is cold and thicker. But as it gets hot it thins out

david :

Also the lifter taping is a good sign there is no oil pressure because the valve lifters are hydraulic the oil pressure is what in a way sets the valve lash.


The current air temp is 33 degrees - wouldn't it take several minutes to warm up and thin out the oil ...the manual gage was on the 1990 F150, haven't put it on the 2001 yet due to freezing temps... Are there any other problems you know that might be the cause of this problem such as wrong oil viscosity added or something common to the ford truck engines..What would cause the oil pump to failure only on thin oil but not thick oil, old chevies had pump shaft breakage that showed no oil pressure at anytime??

Expert:  A. Penland replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.I will try my best to help you with your question.


New expert here,

How many miles do you have on the 2001?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

It has 89,000 miles. I have noticed no oil problems or noises. The engine has run fine until this problem. when I to used the truck yesterday afternoon and after starting about 100 feet down my driveway - I noticed the oil like blink several time and the noticed the oil gage fluctuate and the both when to zero for about three seconds, bounce up again a couple of times while was turning around to go back. I did hear

the noise like I started the truck and oil pressure showed about 60 lbs. for about 20 seconds - the fluctuate and then go to zero - didn't run long enough to hear lifter noise..

Is there any common Ford v8 problems with the F150 engines

Expert:  A. Penland replied 6 years ago.
What type of oil did they use in your truck?
It should be 5W-20.
Expert:  A. Penland replied 6 years ago.

You may have either a failing oil pump or a clogged oil pick up tube in the oil pan. I do not think it could be the oil pressure sender located next to the oil filter on the engine, because a bad sensor will not cause the valve train to tick.

Sludge build up in the engine will also cause lack of oil flow and will also clog the oil pick up tube.

I would look at the oil pick up tube and the oil pump itself. You can also remove the oil fill cap on the passenger side valve cover and let the engine run. See if you see oil running over the cam and the valve train. Also look for any sludge build up.


A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6604
Experience: ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I am not convinced that it is the oil pump since the engine oil has not shown any problems, Since the truck has both an oil press gage and oil press light that have worked, I am very observant of the dash gages during vehicle operation and drove the truck 100 miles at night on Tuesday with no indication of oil press. problems. Then upon starting the truck yesterday, it showed 60 lbs at start and the same 15 seconds into the engine running. Suddenly at about 30 seconds, I noticed the red oil press. light come on and blink. The oil pressure gage verified a similiar situation - so I immediately turned around and went home ( 30 seconds ). I started the engine again with 60 lbs showing and then about 10-15 seconds the oil pressure fell....Same results today - when tested Thanks- will check for sludge buildup - sounds more like my problem that a bad oil pump - will check it tomorrow

I agree that it could be a worn oil pump, but I am looking for other options possible before I let the dealer tear into it and charge a fortune.... any ideas?

Expert:  A. Penland replied 6 years ago.

I completely understand. It does sound like a clogged oil pick up tube. The opening is not that big, and sludge will cause the pick up to clog and stop oil flow.

The pick up has a small opening oval in size.