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Discussion Starter #1
02 Focus Zetec ATX with 133k and the oil light on the dash seems to like to appear when it wants. It doesnt matter if your stopped or moving it just comes on and a min or how ever long it feels it shuts off. I decided since there were so many miles i would try a 30 wieght oil and it made no diffrence. Didn't see any major oil leaks but it was kind of hard because the oil filter had made a little mess when removing. I cleaned around the pan and filter to check for leaks but i want to know if this could be a simple oil pressure switch problem or the pump? Anyone have an issue similar?

I keep up on the oil changes and the periodic maintenance.
 

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A few questions before I draw my conclusion:

Honestly, what's your oil change schedule & what do you use?
How hard do you drive your car?
How long have you had it?
Did it EVER run dry or close?

You could have an oil pressure issue. Using a pry bar, see if you have any crank end float. Check your oil pan for shiny shavings too.

The oil pressure switch is such a simple piece I can't conceive of it failing. The oil pump on the other hand, could be a possibility.

I would suggest hooking up an oil pressure gauge to see how things are. The problem with the dummy light is that it comes on when oil pressure is near zero when it's too late. With a gauge you could see in real time what your oil pressure is doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Motorcraft Syth blend 5w20, But as of last night i put mobile 1 30 wieght in it. I change oil like clock work about ever 3 months. I don't drive it hard. Its a daily driver for my wife and she will complain if you do 5 over....(rolls eyes)..... Had the car since 04 and to my knowlege its never run low or out of oil. I doubt its the pressure switch as well....I plan on dropping the pan tonight and trying to knock out the dent in it. I dont know if it will make a diffrence or not but it did on my firebird.

Also the car seems to drive fine.
 

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Change the oil pressure switch. That might be easier than putting a real gauge on it. That's what turns the light on. I'd guess and OP switch for that vehicle would cost less than $20. RockAuto prices are $8 for a Wells, and $23 for a Motorcraft. I'd add about $10 for that at the store, and shipping would be about $8 from RA. Call around and see what it might cost you locally.
 

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It kind of sounds like an intermittent short to ground. The switch is normally closed, which triggers the oil pressure light and tells you the warning light works when the car is off. With the engine running and generating oil pressure, the switch is pushed open somewhere around 4 psi, the warning light circuit loses its ground through the now open switch, and the light goes off. If the light were only coming on at idle or low revs (and staying on in that range), it would point to a real oil pressure problem, but if it's just turning on and off at random times (including higher revs when the engine should be generating peak pressure) it seems more likely that the wire running to the pressure switch is shorting to ground (inadvertently completing the circuit) and turning on the light occasionally. Now that I think about it more though, an intermittent short to ground would more likely make the light flicker occasionally. It would take something fairly weird to have a bare spot on a wire occasionally rub against and hold to a grounding surface for anything more than a second or two.

And it could be a faulty switch, I don't really know how they work internally or how likely it is that it could open and close so freely even with correct oil pressure. This short to ground is just one more theory to consider. If it were my car and the switch was relatively cheap, which it probably is like whynot said, I might just replace it and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok so heres my update: Just spent about 4 hours working on it and this is what i found and repaired.
Replaced the OP switch($12) Orginal came out with little effort.
Noticed the ground wire connector(?not sure what it was but its studded to the block) had 2 wires completely exposed. I wrapped electrical tape around them.
Still not certain this would fix anything i dropped the pan and what do i find? the bolts that hold the oil pump tube and the tube laying in the bottom of the [email protected]#
Along with those bolts i found lots of glitter in the bottom of the pan but wait one minute i didnt put glitter in my engine [email protected]#
No slivers of metal but a lot of flakes....havent turned her over yet waiting for the sealant on the pan to cure.
 

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Aurelius Pardus
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I plan on dropping the pan tonight and trying to knock out the dent in it.

That would have been helpful info..... I saw that and was about to ask you to check and see if you knocked out your pickup, but I see that was the problem. oops.
 

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Oh well, reinstall the pickup, and then use thicker oil if you start hearing knocking. Either that or sell the car. OP switches turn on the light when pressure drops below 7 psi, but you can damage engines with less than 20 psi. The first victim is usually the cams in an OHC engine. On a Zetec, you have no cam bearings to replace, that is the cylinder head.

Start looking for a junkyard engine if you want to keep the car. That's the cheapest way to get a new cylinder head and a new pan, but you'd be surprised how long it might last with just using thicker oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The dent was minor but i dont think that caused 3 bolts to loosen themselves. Added oil and drove it to work today. Drove fine for awhile and the CEL came on. Noticed it seems a little difficult to accelterate.

Pick up tube was in good shape so i reinstalled it last night.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update: I think i figured out why i have a CEL. I popped the hood to check the OP switch and its still plugged in, but i noticed the EVAP canister? near the power steering res. is missing a hose i think. right below the electrical connector.

 

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Just a quick bit of advice, if you use electrical tape near anything that get hot it will eventually melt or heat the glue and slide off the wire leaving them exposed again! You probably know this but just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just a quick bit of advice, if you use electrical tape near anything that get hot it will eventually melt or heat the glue and slide off the wire leaving them exposed again! You probably know this but just in case.
yeah i secured it back and out of the way as much as possible.
 
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