We just bought a 2004 Taurus SES about a week ago. We we initially took it
for a test ride, the console showed Low Oil Pressure on the little screen
thing, but went off and never came back on. I asked the salesman about this
and was told that it was because the car was sitting on a hill, with the
front of the car positioned the highest. Three days later, my wife tells me
it happened again sitting in our level driveway. I checked the oil and found
it actually overfilled.
I'm going to drain the oil tomorrow and refill it to the proper level, but
would having too much oil in the engine (3.0) cause low oil pressure? I've
always heard having too much oil was as bad as not having enough oil. Is
The car is still under warrenty and will be going to the shop for a couple
of other minor issues as well... I just want to hear an unbias opinion.
A salesman once told me that the fuel injected car I was buying needed its
choke cleaned... The people who know something about cars work in the
service department; those who can sweet-talk a customer work in sales.
Not familiar with your vehicle and its 'little screen'. Are you sure it was
'low pressure', not 'low oil level' alert? Low pressure warning is typically
a big red light, saying 'Engine' or something like that, not a barely
noticeable message on a little screen.
If it's under warranty and going for service, I would advise you:
a) If you are positive about the 'low pressure' warning, not to drive the
car and call the dealer for instructions.
b) Not to do anything (including draining oil) before you bring it in
b) Insist on a service guy, not a salesman explaining what the problem was
and how they fixed it. If it was indeed low pressure warning, I would like
to see readings from a mechanical gauge (warm engine), even if they
diagnosed it as a bad sender.
Used? Rental? Either way, don't drain any oil, take it straight to the
service dept. where you bought it. If you didn't buy an extended warranty
you might give that some heavy thought too.
How many miles? I have a great tendency to believe idiot lights and guages,
I would probably try to take this car back for a refund. And I usually
get buyers remorse.
PS Overfilling the oil a little is not likely to make your low oil
pressure light go on.
On Sat, 23 Jul 2005 21:07:51 -0500, "Charles B. Summers, QOF."
Salesmen are usually idiots and/or completely ignorant of anything but
financing terms. Many will say anything to make a sale.
Don't do anything but take it back and explain what it's doing and ask
them to fix it. When they claim it's fixed, ask them what they did.
It is not at all unusual for the pressure senders to go bad and cause
the light to come on indicating low pressure. And it's very easy for
them to test the actual pressure by hooking up a real pressure gauge
in the shop. Half an hours work and they will know whether it's the
sender or a real engine problem. It is very unlikely it's actually
overfilled. All the recent cars I've had have shown "overfilled" on
the dipstick when the correct amount of oil is put in them. I think
it's how the manufacturers cut down on complaints about "oil burning".
By making the dipstick calibration so that with the right amount it
shows a half quart "over filled", it can burn a quart every 3000 miles
but you'll think it only burned half a quart because it would only
take you half a quart to bring it back to the full mark. Basically
it's a way for the casual owner to think it never burns any oil
because it will almost never drop down to the add oil mark because it
would have to use almost 1.5 quarts to do so, most cars only burn a
quart between changes. Many burn much less.
My penny's worth ...
Overfilling can cause serious problems if the crankshaft touches the oil
surface and causes the oil to foam. The air in this foam is sucked into the
oil pump, and causes the pressure to drop. If this situation persists it can
cause damage. Usually it should inflict this damage from the first drive.
I'm not sure, but when the oil level descends below "touch height" as it is
pumped into the engine, the oil pressure could be restored, avoiding damage.
Anyone can correct me ?
As a mechanic and former service manager I have NEVER seen a dipstick
calibrated to read overfull with the correct amount of oil in it. When
full it should read full, and when down one quart/liter it should read
low. No mechanic worthy of the name will let a car out the door more
than 1/4 quart/liter over the full line (aprox 1/8-1/4")
Average oil consumption of today's fleet is less than 1/2 liter in
5000km or 3000 miles.
On Wed, 03 Aug 2005 21:05:47 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org
The local ford dealer insists my 99 GT 4.6 takes 6 quarts, which is
what they put in, which definitely puts it over the full mark. The
owners manual for the car says 5 quarts.
My 92 Explorer calls for 5 quarts.
I changed the oil and filter in both about a month ago and put exactly
5 quarts in. I just went outside and verified the dipstick readings.
BOTH of them read about 3/8" OVER the full mark. Needless to say,
when the dealer put 6 in it was way over although it didn't cause any
problems. If you have truly NEVER seen a dipstick read over the full
mark when the manufacturers designated amount of oil was put in it
either you need new glasses or you have never worked on fords.
1/4 inch over, perhaps. Usually over before running the engine, but on
the line when the filter is filled. Depends too on the size of the
I have ALWAYS gone by the dipstick when filling. If the manual or
chart says 6 quarts I put in 5, start the engine, check for leaks,
shut down and top up to the line. On cars I am real familiar with, I
put in what I know to be the required amount to hit the mark - and
still check after running to be sure it is right.
Gotta be careful to be sure whether the spec is in Imperial qt, US
qts, or Liters today - makes a big difference.
4 liters is more than 4 us qts, and less than 4 Imperial. 5 US = 4
Imperial. 3.78 liters = 1 Yankey gallon. Roughly 4.5 liters to the
On Sun, 24 Jul 2005 16:40:14 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
You are both wrong and right. Wrong in assuming only low oil level can
cause the light o come on, and right in that the MOST common cause is
a bad switch.
Foaming oil due to either poor/contaminated oil or overfilling is a
VERY real danger.Low oil pressure due to aerated oil IS not only
possible, but a serious problem when it happens. Air in the oil
compresses, and the oil does not build adequate pressure - and air is
not a terribly good lubricant.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.