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To Replace or Not To Replace?

Long story short was in a conversation with a parts store clerk about repairs and how much stuff is. I complained of spending $150 on heater core, heater hose assembly and lower radiator hose on my 1996 Taurus, which is the point of interest here. He said he used to rebuild Taurus cars and asked how many miles I had. I told him I have 170,000 miles on it. He said, “Change your oil pump.” I asked why and he said that they have a tendency to go out on these cars at this point in time with no warning b/c these cars have no oil guage but an oil light. He acted like my motor would lock up b/c i wouldn’t know if my pump quit.

This got me to thinking, “Isn’t that what an oil LIGHT is for? To warn you of low or no pressure?”

My question is this: Does he have a valid point on these pumps, or is he just another know-it-all blow hard?

Let me know if you have anymore questions to better help me.

Thanks for your time.


Let it fail on its own and likely never in your ownership. There are a plethora of parts that fall into this category that would cost far more than the vehicle is worth to replace them all.

wow. so…if it does go out, junk the car? I’d hate to. Such a good car. plus I’d like to keep it as a 3rd vehicle in case I’m working on the others or in case my wife gets mad at me and i’ll have a place to sleep. :slight_smile:

As long and the oil light works and you shut the engine down when it does come on, then you can change the pump when and if it fails. You may have the inconvenience of a tow, but that’s just how it goes. You can change the pump proactively, but I guess you would have to trust that this guy knows what he’s talking about.

I think the parts guy is a drama queen. If you shut the engine off shortly after the oil light comes on it will likely be fine. The majority of folks would keep driving and likely ruin the engine either not seeing the light or not understanding what a red oil light actually means.

I would question his expertise just based on the fact he stated he rebuilds Taurus’s. No one rebuilds these they weren’t worth rebuilding right of the line. They are not rare or collectible and most people just drive them till they drop and scrap them.

Agree with others that this is a classic “run to failure” item. Most last the life of the car, and a red light means you must immediately stop the car and get it fixed if economically justified.

The water pump on many cars with timingm belts is a different situation. The pump itself is cheap and changing the belt involves the same large amount of labor. In industry we call this “stacked maintenance” since it is economical to stack these activities together.

If the Taurus engine requited periodic opening up near the oil pump, then, yes you would repalce it at 170,000 mile sor so.