Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Oil Pressure Light 2008 Ford Escape XLT 4WD

I have a question. I picked up this 2008 Ford Escape XLT 4WD about about a month ago with approximately 111,200 miles. I’ve been driving it off and on now for the month I’ve owned it and I’ve got about 112,400 miles. About a week of owning it the oil light turned on at idle and then turned off as soon as I put my foot on the accelerator. I freaked out at first, so I checked the dip stick and the oil looked fine and it was filled to the dipstick max line. The light didn’t do it since then, until today. Except now it seems to do it 24/7. It took about 15 minutes of driving until it started doing it and then when it hits it’s normal engine idle the oil light pops on, but then when the accelerator is pushed and the RPMS move what so ever it turns off. I could be coasting, parked, sitting at a traffic light, whatever causes the engine to idle, causes the light to turn on. But as soon as I push the accelerator to either move the vehicle, or rev the vehicle it turns off and then turns back on when it hits idle. So I stopped and checked the dipstick and the condition looked fine and it was at the max line. It only has around 112,400 so it isnt terribly old. I did buy it pre owned so who knows what the owner before me did it with it. But, with the milage not being to high, could it simply just be a sensor or something worse?

It could well be a wonky sensor, it is could be something worse.
In the meantime, I would suggest that you not start the engine before you can get it to a qualified mechanic. When he tests the oil pressure manually, that will be the start of the diagnostic process.


Get the car to a mechanic right away so the actual oil pressure can be checked with a mechanical gauge. Either the switch is failing (hopefully) or the engine’s bearings or oil pump are just so worn out it can’t build enough oil pressure at idle.

The seller may have poured in STP or similar to temporarily hide this for the sale.

Edit: +1 to @VDCdriver… he beat me to post this by 20 seconds!

1 Like

If the engine isn’t making any strange noises, that’s a classic sign of a wonky oil pressure switch.

The oil pressure switch is mounted next to the oil filter.



It isnt making any funny noises at all. It runs just like new. I drive it to school and everything else, does anyone know how much it is to check the pressure at a certified mechanic? I just wanna make sure that it definitely is the switch so I dont have to worry as much

On my cars when this happened I just put in a new OP sensor - easy and inexpensive - and the problem went away. It saved me time and $$. Your results may vary. Good luck.

Via cyberspace, nobody can tell you “for sure”.
For an actual diagnosis, you need to take it to a qualified mechanic, which means not going to a tire shop or to Pep Boys, Sears, Monro, Midas, Meineke, AAMCO, or any other chain-run operation.

1 Like

Depends solely on what the mechanic charges. That is highly dependent on location and what type of shop it is.

Alright. I have a Ford dealership right here in town that should be willing to do it. I’ll stop by and see prices and see what’s going on since it isnt running any different. Thanks in advance!

I never drive a vehicle when this light comes on. But the sensor is pretty cheap. If you’re at all machanically inclined, they are usually easy to change. If you change it and there’s no more light you’re good to go, if it comes back on, you then would have to take it to a shop for diagnosis.

Generally dealerships will charge a diagnostic fee of probably $125 or up.
While I use my dealership 99% of the time, for this situation an independent shop might be economically preferable.

Thanks for all the answers. I’ll do my best to find an independent shop that’s close to me, the closest town to me is 15 miles, so I’ll have to make do with what I got. I was forced to drive it home from school today and my school is 20 miles home and the light didnt turn on once at all. There was no strange noises or anything. I’m just highly confused on the situation

I strongly suggest that you do a bit of comparison shopping. My independent mechanic’s shop (75 years with the same family!) charges about 30%-40% less than the prices quoted by dealerships. With a 12 year old vehicle that is not “exotic”, there is no reason to be patronizing a dealership, anyway.

1 Like

Do not assume because the vehicle only has 112k miles on it that everything is fine. Many engines in many cars are routinely trashed due to lack of regular oil changes or by not checking the oil level often enough.

For what it’s worth, an engine with worn crank bearings and cam journals can run just fine but that does not mean that everything is fine. The oil pressure light also turns off at around 3 to 5 PSI of oil pressure. That is not near enough oil pressure to protect an engine from damage so the fact that the light goes off with elevated RPMS means nothing…

At this point it would be easier and cheaper to just replace the OP sending unit and hope for the best although an oil pressure check with an external gauge is preferred. If the sending unit is replaced and the lack of ol pressure light still comes on then the lower end is likely worn due to neglect by the previous owner; or plural.

1 Like