Oil Pump Failure

Redbox Rebel

Registered
1997 Mark VIII 245,000 miles. I replaced the timing chains at 242,000 miles in 2013. Car was mostly in storage since that time.
Always used Extended Performance Mobil 1 5W30 synthetic oil.

Was driving West on I-10 just east of San Antonio in Texas when the red oil light came on at approximately 75 MPH. Tried to pull over and shut off the engine, but the engine shut off by itself. I was able to coast to a stop and got out and checked the oil. The oil level was full and there were no leaks.
The engine cranks over but does not start. The crank pulley turns, so the engine is not seized, but will not start. Car was towed home.

Looked through the Shop Manual, but cannot find any type of automatic engine shut down when there is no oil pressure signal reset instructions.
So, does the ECU shut off the ignition system when it senses low of no oil pressure?
I have not had time to do any additional diagnostics.
I assume the worst at this point, but was hoping someone might know what built-in protections the Mark VIII had in 1997.
 

tixer

Lincoln Evangelist
Staff member
Paid Member
I don't think I've ever heard of an oil pump failure on one of these cars. Nothing says you can't be the first though.. :)

I did experience something similar to this once. The wiring harness for the crank position sensor became crushed between the (upgraded) front anti-sway bar and the A/C compressor, if memory serves, shorting it out. I remember seeing basically all the lights, and then experiencing about what you did.

After getting underneath I could see that the black loom tubing on the sensor wire was damaged, and opened it up. A short to shield was then fairly clear. I was able to buy a new connector, and splice it in. It's worth noting that this cable does have metallic shielding over it, and I suspect it's important to retain it as much as possible.

I can't say for sure that this is your problem, but it sounds similar enough that I'm suspicious.

That's the car that is now in Lvnmarks capable hands, and at ~265k, is still running strong.

In a completely unrelated note, I am presently on hold with T-Mobile while typing this, and their hold music is honest-to-goodness, "screamo." music. I'm confused and surprised..
 

Redbox Rebel

Registered
I don't think I've ever heard of an oil pump failure on one of these cars. Nothing says you can't be the first though.. :)

I did experience something similar to this once. The wiring harness for the crank position sensor became crushed between the (upgraded) front anti-sway bar and the A/C compressor, if memory serves, shorting it out. I remember seeing basically all the lights, and then experiencing about what you did.

After getting underneath I could see that the black loom tubing on the sensor wire was damaged, and opened it up. A short to shield was then fairly clear. I was able to buy a new connector, and splice it in. It's worth noting that this cable does have metallic shielding over it, and I suspect it's important to retain it as much as possible.

I can't say for sure that this is your problem, but it sounds similar enough that I'm suspicious.

That's the car that is now in Lvnmarks capable hands, and at ~265k, is still running strong.

In a completely unrelated note, I am presently on hold with T-Mobile while typing this, and their hold music is honest-to-goodness, "screamo." music. I'm confused and surprised..
Thank you for your reply. The first thing I will repeat is that the RED OIL can Symbol lit up. Less than 30 seconds later the light went out for a few seconds and then lit up a second time and then the engine simply shut down. At the time, I assumed that the engine seized, but it was able to be cranked and the crank pulley turned over as normal, but the engine would not start.

If the oil pump failed or the pick up was blocked with debris, will the ECM shut off the engine if the oil pressure sends a low or no pressure signal?
 

driller

El Presidente
Staff member
Paid Member
If the oil pump failed or the pick up was blocked with debris, will the ECM shut off the engine if the oil pressure sends a low or no pressure signal?
There is no shut down mode that I know of with the ECM.

It's possible the inductor crank wheel exploded with an oil pump failure. In such a case there would be no crankshaft signal and subsequently no ignition spark which would in effect shut down the engine. Possibly the best you could hope for?

I had a serpentine belt shred while going down the track once. The belt flailed around the engine compartment and literally knocked the harness off the crank sensor and shut down the engine. The abrupt silence and loss of power while at WOT was quite startling to say the least.
 

Redbox Rebel

Registered
There is no shut down mode that I know of with the ECM.

It's possible the inductor crank wheel exploded with an oil pump failure. In such a case there would be no crankshaft signal and subsequently no ignition spark which would in effect shut down the engine. Possibly the best you could hope for?

I had a serpentine belt shred while going down the track once. The belt flailed around the engine compartment and literally knocked the harness off the crank sensor and shut down the engine. The abrupt silence and loss of power while at WOT was quite startling to say the least.
Thank you for your reply. Sounds like I will have to pull the motor to determine if the "Inductor Crank Wheel" indeed exploded. Not sure where that part is located, but I look in the Shop Manual.
I was unable to find anywhere in any of the manuals, both owner's and shop, that described an ECM shut down if a no/low oil pressure signal was received by the ECM. Was hoping someone knew from past experience. Thank you

Will do some more research and report back sometime in the future.
 
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