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Mercury Sable

The oil light in my car is coming on and it sounds like I am out of oil, but the oil is full. Whats up

Failing oil pump? How about telling us the the year, miles, and engine size. What do you mean by “sounds like I am out of oil”?

Ed B.

not wanting to run and making a clicking sound. It is a 2002 a 3.0 v6

Which 3.0L V6? There were three different ones that year. Base 12 valve, Flex Fuel 12 valve, or 24 valve Duratec DOHC?

I would strongly suggest that you have the car towed to a well-reputed independent mechanic.

From your description, it could be a case of a failing oil pump.
Or, it could be a case of severe engine sludge that is preventing proper circulation of the oil.

Continuing to run the engine will only increase the likelihood of needing a complete engine rebuild if either of these situations is present.

“Not wanting to run”, Unable to start, i.e. not turning over, turning over but not starting, or starting and running badly?

“Clicking sound”, starter solenoid as in a dead/week battery or clicking sound with the engine running, i.e. lifter noise?

How old is the battery? How many miles? The devil is in the details.

Ed B.

It starts fine. I don’t think the oil is circulating. How can I fix that.

Based on the wealth of information you have provided, follow VDCdriver’s suggestion sooner than later.

Ed B.

If you don’t think the oil is circulating, you need to TOW this car to a mechanic to have the engine evaluated to either confirm or disprove your suspicions. Unless you are very mechanically inclined, this is not a repair job for you. If you have lost the oil pump or lack oil circulation for some other reason, and have been driving the car like this, the easiest and most economical way to deal with this problem will be to replace your engine with a used one.

If this is the Vulcan engine.

The cam synchronizer which drives the oil pump, and the cam position sensor if fails will cause the oil pump to quit turning. There is usually plenty of warning before it fails completely with a noise that sounds like chirping.

So if you ignored said noise for a extended period of time then I suspect cam syncronizer gears striped.

If you drove it for any distance with no oil pressure then the engine has probably suffered major damage.

sounds like the oil pump

Good catch, americar.

I had the synchronizer wear out on my 97, like most Taurus/Sable Vulcan owners. It was an easy, fairly cheap repair because I paid attention to that noise. Despite the level of noise, it showed relatively little wear when it came out, but it was the source of all the noise. And as you pointed out, if this is allowed to go too long, it can take out the oil pump.

Another related problem is horrid quality on some aftermarket parts, though - the Dorman replacements got a reputation for failing VERY quickly, often in as little as 100 miles of driving, and taking out the oil pump and destroying the engine at the same time… ALWAYS go for Motorcraft on this replacement job. The little savings aren’t worth the risk.