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Old 01-10-2017
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Oil Light and engine ticking noise

I have searched but haven't come up with much information for what I have.

2008 Ranger 4.0L 2wd 5spd

Yesterday morning it was -22F, I started my truck without problem, drove to work which is about 1-2 miles away, parked it and went to work.

When leaving work at the end of the day it was about 14F and the engine took awhile before starting and it had a ticking noise which looked like misfires to me until the rpms went down(now i know it was the same ticking sound I'm having), drove home and while parking i could hear the engine ticking really loud so i parked quickly and stopped the truck, while doing that I saw the oil light was on (was it on the whole time, i don't know).

I checked the oil level and it was on the bare limit, so i added some. And started the truck to see if it was ok, same problem. Ticks get louder with higher rpm. And the ticking is coming from the passenger side of the engine.

What can I do before getting it towed to the garage?

I'm really hoping it's not too bad because I justed changed the flywheel and starter not long ago before the teeths were chewed...
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Old 01-11-2017
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You would have noticed the oil light if it was on, because you did notice it was on when it came on

Oil light on with engine running means oil pressure is below 5psi
With low pressure not enough oil is getting to the top of the engine so you will get valve train noise, the ticking.
Needs to be above 6psi

I would first change the oil filter, just the filter for now, then start engine to see if oil light goes off, may need to add more oil after filter fills up, so get an extra quart when you get the filter

The ticking means there IS low oil pressure, so not a faulty sender or gauge
Oil is needed to lube and cool the bearings in the engine so yes, if filter change doesn't fix it then you may need to have it towed to a shop that can ID the problem.
Driving it with oil light on will mean new or rebuilt engine will be needed.
Could be failing oil pump
failing pressure release valve on pump
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Old 01-11-2017
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Thanks for the info, I got it towed today to the garage. I will ask them to check that first because it was due for any oil change soon anyways so that might be the problem.
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Old 01-25-2017
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Little update;

When the garage brought the truck inside the garage there was a definite ticking noise coming from the heads, stayed in the garage till today when he was finally about to look at it. No oil light and slightly ticking noise, What he thinks is that there is a high possibility coolant in the oil (by the color of the oil) and on that day it froze in the oil pan blocking the oil strainer thus having no oil circulating in the block. Leaving it in the garage melted the frozen oil/coolant making the symptoms go away.

Now I have two choices, 1/ have the oil changed, and find the coolant leak. and hope that there isn't too much damage from driving with "no oil" and hope all is well. But there is i high chance that the engine is going to die eventually because of this, might be 2 months or even years.
Or 2, change the engine right now and save time and money in the long run, This is what im thinking of doing.
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Old 01-25-2017
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Couple of things wrong with mechanics "guess"
I assume you are using antifreeze, so coolant in the oil wouldn't freeze, and oil can't freeze, it gets thick for sure but can't freeze.

If you do have coolant in the oil and you have run the engine any much over 10 minutes at a time then bearings could have been damaged.
Coolant is a lubricant like oil, BUT(big but).......bearings get very hot, and coolant will turn to steam at the bearings when engine warms, that steam cleans the oil off the bearings and you get wear.
This is why coolant/water in the oil is bad, short startups wouldn't hurt it

Just change the oil if you think there is coolant in it.
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Old 01-25-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Couple of things wrong with mechanics "guess"
I assume you are using antifreeze, so coolant in the oil wouldn't freeze, and oil can't freeze, it gets thick for sure but can't freeze.

If you do have coolant in the oil and you have run the engine any much over 10 minutes at a time then bearings could have been damaged.
Coolant is a lubricant like oil, BUT(big but).......bearings get very hot, and coolant will turn to steam at the bearings when engine warms, that steam cleans the oil off the bearings and you get wear.
This is why coolant/water in the oil is bad, short startups wouldn't hurt it

Just change the oil if you think there is coolant in it.
If your "mechanic" thinks it's possible for the oil to freeze with antifreeze in it, then I would find a new mechanic.....
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Old 01-25-2017
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Originally Posted by 07nhbpsi View Post
If your "mechanic" thinks it's possible for the oil to freeze with antifreeze in it, then I would find a new mechanic.....
i agree, oil cannot freeze
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