Question about 2000 Ford Taurus

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After 20-30 min. driving oil light comes on when stopped. oil light goes back off when moving again.

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There is less oil distributed to the engine in idle position than when you drive. So when the oil light comes on, you may have to put a little oil in your car. While driving, the oil reading may be enough for your sensors in your car to not send a signal, but when you stop and the oil pressure goes down, it may not be enough and that's when the light comes on. When you drive 20 to 30 minutes, your oil gets thinner because it is warm. That also will send a different reading to the sensors. You may want to try a thicker oil (instead of 10/40 try 5/20 ... ask before you do this!).

Posted on Dec 30, 2010

  • Richard Scordino Dec 30, 2010

    Your oil pressure light comes on when the pressure is below the factory set low limit. (that varies but is usually between 10-15psi) Oil is thicker when it's cold and becomes physically "thinner" as it heats up. An oil with two numbers (10w 30 for example) means that at freezing, the oil flows like the first # and at 220 degrees, offers the same protection to wear that a straight 30 weight oil would, even though it still flows freely. The usual cause of low pressure is loss of oil control at the engine bearings permitting bleed off. Another cause is an obstructed pump pickup screen. Further, a leaking fuel injector can also contaminate your oil making it thinner. To determine what is going on with your engine, first have an external mechanical pressure gauge attached in place of the factory sending unit. That gauge will tell you exactly what the internal pressure is. It may turn out to be something simple such as a faulty sending unit or you may need to go inside the oil pan and do some inspection of the oil screen or bearings. If you do nothing, you risk loosing the engine.

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