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Thread: Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

  1. Default Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

    Hey Folks,

    I've got a 2000 Crown Vic w/150k that has a funky rapidly fluctuating oil pressure gauge. It only happens when coming to a stop after 15+ miles or so on the freeway. It returns to normal when shifted to neutral or park or when you hit the gas.

    Here's a link to a video so you can see what I mean:

    I changed the oil and filter and cleaned the electrical connectors on the oil pressure sending unit to no avail.

    What would you recommend as the next steps to remedy this?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


  2. Default Re: Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

    I agree with badaceds650. Just because you cleaned the connection doesn't mean the part isn't bad.
    You can do anything except light a paper match, on a marshmellow, underwater!

    R.I.P. Taylor and Chris

  3. Default Re: Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

    +1 on the sending unit

  4. Default Re: Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

    Thanks for the replies!

    I replaced the sending unit over the weekend (it was only $13!) but unfortunately, it's still occurring.

    Replacing the sender seem to increase the sensitivity. It will happen after only a mile or 2 of driving and when creeping to a stop. It used to only occur when completely stopped after a good jaunt on the freeway.

    Any advice/ideas/suggestions for the next steps are greatly appreciated!

  5. Default Re: Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

    I have a 2002 CNG CV PI with 75k and it was doing the same thing. I replaced the sender and nothing. It was after I replaced the oil with Royal Purple 10-30 and a K&N filter that cured my problem and gave me an extra 5 more mpg
    My brother has used it for years and has had great results.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by 02cvpi; 06-16-2009 at 09:53 PM.

  6. Default Re: Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

    Thanks 02CVPI! Yeah, Royal Purple is good stuff, I used it in my Prelude before with good results. I think I saw it at my local Pep Boys lately as well.

    I just changed the oil with Mobil 1 5w-30 and a Motorcraft filter and it didn't seem to make any difference with the gauge fluctuation.

    I was considering hooking up a mechanical gauge to really see what's going on with the oil pressure.

    It's pegged L a few times lately which makes me concerned..

  7. Default Re: Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

    Looks like you need a new oil pump. If things dont improve you could sieze your motor.

  8. Default Re: Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

    Yeah, I was afraid of that!

    I want to install a mechanical gauge to really see what's up with the oil pressure. Not sure which one to buy or how to route it back to the passenger's compartment though. just tape it to the windshield?

    According to my factory service manual, it looks like getting to the oil pump requires lifting the entire engine! What a pain!

    If it requires replacing the oil pump, I'm seriously considering installing a low mileage engine. I see them for ~500 on craigslist.. but they are from regular, non-CNG vic. The compression ratio is different, right (10.1 vs 9.1)?

    What else is different? How bad of an idea is this?

    I'm thinking for a few hundred more a low mile engine would be a good thing vs. just replacing the pump.

  9. Default Re: Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

    Hmmm, new engine, or trying the 10-30 Royal Purple like I did for about 40 bucks. It worked wonders for my car The gauge is like an idiot light without the actual light. The gauge is not really measuring pressure. It is similiar to an oil pressure on and off switch. There is a fix that allows it to function like a real gauge posted somewhere on the net that shows how to make it a real switch. Here is part of the post I found; The stock oil pressure gauge is little more than an idiot light that uses a pointer. I modified mine to be functional, but depending on the year of your car, that could really be a pain in the butt.

    If you look at your oil filter adapter where the stock oil pressure sending unit is, you will find a second threaded hole with a plug in it. You can use that to install something like this:
    Last edited by 02cvpi; 06-17-2009 at 11:44 PM. Reason: removed advertising that I didn't put there

  10. Default Re: Rapidly Fluctuating Oil Pressure Gauge

    Well I finally got the mechanical gauge installed.

    Here's a video of me coming to a stop. You can hear the stock gauge fluctuating in the background:

    Here's one where it once was pegged on L!:

    So, does it look like a oil pressure issue or just a gauge issue?

    I'm getting ~35 PSI @ 75mph.

    Thanks in advance,


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