Edmunds Answers

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  • MrShift@Edmunds 10/05/11 9:13 pm PST

    I don't think that's your problem--that's a kind of crazy diagnosis to make. If your oil pressure was being so compromised by "gunk" in the oil screen, you'd have such an enormous amount of crude in that engine that you'd have to disassemble it---this would be known an oil gelling, and could much more easily be spotted by removing one valve cover. If it's "down there", then it's "up there" too.

    Your tapping could be, IF you have the V6, a valve that needs adjustment. This is easily checked with a feeler gauge, by pulling off the valve covers and rotating the engine to check each valve's clearance one at a time.

    If the valve clearance is good, then I would insert an actual numerical oil pressure gauge into the engine (by removing the oil sender from the block), then get the engine warmed up to at least 176 degrees or warmer. At idle, the pressure should be higher than 14 psi and at 2000 rpm, it should be higher than 43 psi.

    If there is no valve adjustment problem, and if the oil pressure cannot meet these minimum standards, then you should drop the pan and inspect and measure the wear on the oil pump, and also look for engine bearing debris, or for severe oil gelling.

  • 0patience 10/06/11 2:42 am PST

    To add to what Mr shiftright said, your comment, "I been told that I may have gunk in my oil pump screen that needs to cleaned out.", leads me to believe that it is a shotgun diagnosis by someone. Meaning they are guessing and hoping to make a larger sale.
    Bottom line is, if the pickup screen is plugging, then you have far more problems than just the pickup screen. If it has gotten that far, then bearing damage has already occured.
    That being said, you need to first confirm that the oil pressure your dash gauge is seeing is what the oil pressure actually is and that involves hooiking up a mechanical test gauge. Only then can you confirm an actual oil pressure problem. Sometimes it is the sending unit that is the problem and not the oil pressure.
    If the oil pressure is indeed the problem, then sea foam or some other engine flush isn't going to help, in fact if your engine is sludged up, then it can actually do more harm than good.

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