CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Demon possessed truck

My 2001 Ford Ranger stick is possessed. A month ago, I had the clutch, master and slave cylinders replaced. Ever since then, the oil gauge and fuel light come on randomly. It’s just like when the truck stalls, the check fuel light comes on and the oil gauge would go to the bottom. But this happens when I’m driving, not always in the transition of shifting. The truck isn’t stalling when this happens and it sometimes happens when I’m totally out of gear, such as sitting at a light.



So the question is, do I take it back to the mechanic, let it be and get used to it or take it to church for an exorcism.



Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Without an electrical schematic to verify the commonality of those circuits, the first thing I would check would be the chassis ground and then the dash to chassis ground strap(s). When those are compromised, often the system can find a return path through a more circuitous path that may not be as reliable as the intended path. Extra resistance in the ground path can cause some unusual results…

I’d start looking for interference between the clutch pedal and the under-dash wiring. I think something is hitting or a connection was loosened during the clutch work.

Exorcism. Definitely more interesting.

And the mystery deepens.

I took the truck in for an oil change today. It hasn’t been driven much and I have been a bad girl. It has been about 15 months since my last oil change. I know, I know. But anyway.

So when they get it up on the rack, the mechanic said that only a few drops of oil came out when they pulled the drain plug. Bad sign. But two mechanics agreed that neither heard any knocking in the engine. I haven’t heard it either.

BUT, here’s the kicker. The crazy gyrating of the oil gauge and the on and off of the fuel gauge as referenced above stopped. I drove approximately 5 miles and it didn’t happen once.

One last twist. The oil gauge indicator is now below the stop. Okay, I have no idea what the real terminology is. The hand that moves up to H and down to L (had been seesawing back and forth) is now under the little stopper thing at the bottom of the gauge. How the heck did that happen?

So new question. Could the lack of oil in the engine have caused the crazy behavior of the oil gauge and the fuel gauge?

And yes, I’ll be taking it to a mechanic soon.

Thanks!

with my car there was a leak on the back of the oil filter housing, the light only ever tured on when i hit a bumb or something like that butit got worse and mty car started puking up oil so that mightbe worth the check