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Oil Pressure in Ford Pickup

I took my 2002 Ford PU to the garage two weeks ago and they told me I needed a new intake manifold gasket and a new oilpan gasket. When I went to pick it up they had to keep it another day because it was not generating enough oil pressure. their solution was to remove the oil pan and clean off goo from the oil pump pick up.

I got a week later and drove it out of town for the week. It then started generating other oil pressure problems. It would not build pressure immediately after cold starts. and If I drove it over 100 miles, it would start losing pressure. On those occasions I would let it sit for 10 minutes and then I could go another 100 miles before the problem would manifest again.

I even changed the oil again while this was going on but it did not help. When I left it at the garage, they said all they did was to change the oil and filter again and it was fixed. I am of course skeptical. But I drove it 300 miles last night and it is not losing pressure. What is really going on? I suspect they either busted loose some sludge, or got some gasket material into the system. Oh yes, they had to change the oil 3 time before they gave it to me the 1st time because they got coolant in the oil system when the changed the intake manifold gasket. Then I changed the oil a couple of days later though it looked clean with no coolant or other sludge like material.

I don’t understand how changing an intake manifold gasket gets coolant into the oil? What was the reason given for needing a new intake manifold gasket, air leaking, or something else leaking? Was the car having performance problems? Why change an oil pan gasket?

Anyway, the coolant getting into the oil sounds like sloppy work to me. I feel that is the source of the oil pressure problems. The coolant won’t mix with the oil and it has a different viscosity. Perhaps it get hot enough to vaporize. One of a combination of these factors prevents the oil pump from generating pressure. Kind of like “vapor lock” of the oil pump. When the motor cools off it lets more real oil get to the oil pump and you can go again for a while. Some of the coolant may have been captured in the oil filter and other nooks and crannies and took several oil changes to flush it all out.

I’d dispute some of the charges for all of this with the service department because I think you are paying for a sloopy job and a poor mechanic. If the problem is finally resolved I hope there is no permanent damage to your motor and in particular the oil pump itself.

The check engine light came on and when they did the diagnostics it indicated the intake manifold gasket was leaking.
They noticed the oil pan gasket was leaking as well, so I had them replace that.
I think you are on to something, except when I changed the oil (the 4th such change since theydid the work, I saw no evidence of any separation of oil and coolant. Your are spot on however about the sloppy job and poor mechanic.
Their explanation for getting coolant in the oil was in this model, it is an unavoidable consequence of the intake manifold gasket replacement. I thought it sounded fishy too, but having never done that particular repair, I am ill equipped to argue that point.
I talked to the shop again today to ask the mechanic directly what he did,and he told me he had to pull the oil pan off, (the third time now) and they some kind of goo gathering on the oil pump screen. They cleaned it off and now I have pressure, for how long I don’t know.
Thanks for your input.

Would have been nice to clean the pickup screen when the pan was off the first time,or is the order of repair 1.oil pan first.2 intake second with anything that can fall into the pan will,and since you already did the pan,oh well. They should have dropped the pan,left it off,fix the intake,all debris would have either been cleaned up on top or fell through to the ground. In any case I can’t see how debris from a intake job ends up in the pan,drain back passages in the lifter valley?

What code told them to change the intake gasket? a misfire code,did you notice a misfire? were you losing coolant? rough idle?

Did they ever try to sell you a oil pump? might have been a good idea unless they were postive the problem was related to a dirty pickup.

Do you know if they “hot tanked” your oil pan (or cleaned some way else) Any comment that your oil pan was heavily sludged? I would have told you if if was.

What engine is this, 4.6 V8? How many miles? Has the oil been changed on schedule?

The only way you should end up with coolant in the oil is if they forgot to drain the coolant down some before they removed the intake. They took a WEEK to change your intake and oil pan gaskets? That is bad in itself. Neither intake gasket nor oil pan gasket leaks are common in modular V8s. Sludging seems to be an uncommon problem as well.