Oil Pressure Gauge - Weirdness | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Oil Pressure Gauge - Weirdness


Well-Known Member
July 31, 2000
Reaction score
City, State
Montpelier, Vermont
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 Sport
The oil pressure gauge on my '96 Sport (pushrod 4.0L) is acting weird. I'm used to them being rock solid...but this one seems to dance around alot....I can even get it to momentarily bottom out by quickly revving the engine from an idle, or sometimes it does it when crawling in 4low at low RPMs. This happen to anyone else? Does it sound like a bad oil pump or the gauge? Thanks! I've got 500 miles left on my powertrain warranty, gotta figure this out.

I would put a mechanical gauge on the engine and check it out, to keep the damage to a minimum if it is the oil system. Then check out the gauge and sender. I think the gauge on the 96 is still an "idiot" gauge- it doesnt really read pressure, the sender triggers at 5-7 psi and reads the gauge low. So I would have it checked. Do a search of the site for oil gauge.

Could be a partially blocked pickup since the oil switch is triggered when the rpms are higher. Enough oil can get by when the demand is low, but the blockage is sufficent to keep the oil from passing at higher rpm/load. Hopefully its the gauge - because on the OHV 6 to do anything with the oil pump means removing the engine!