The oil pump is practically your car engine’s supply room. It is the part of the engine responsible for moving engine oil to other moving parts for lubrication and temperature regulation.
An oil pump therefore ensures that your car engine never runs out of oil – that's flowing at the right pressures too.
Given that your car's engine cannot function without the oil pump, the slightest damage to the oil pump can be fatal. It can cause a ripple impact that may affect a number of other engine parts, and the engine itself.
Hence, oil pump issues must be addressed promptly. In tackling Ford triton oil pump issues, you need to understand the causes of these failures carefully and know when you need a replacement.
It will also expose you to some warning signs you should look out for in your oil pump, and how to go about identifying them.
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Ford 5.4 Oil Pump Issues:
With use, Ford 5.4 oil pumps are prone to developing some issues which can adversely affect the overall performance of a car’s engine. These issues impede the proper pumping of engine oil from the oil pan to the oil filter, and they include:
Pitting, Scouring and Scratching of Pump Parts
When oil levels in a car’s engine are low, metallic parts begin to dry out, and friction takes its full course. Consequently, pitting, scouring and scratching of pump parts begin to occur.
Also, when an engine’s bearing begins to disintegrate, metal particles could get into the pump, scratching and scoring its surface.
Inability to Pump Oil Properly
When an oil pump fails to pump oil as required, it simply means it is faulty. This failure could result from improperly installed pump components, contamination in the engine oil, or foreign objects in the pump.
In the long run, the issues mentioned above will eventually result in some engine conditions. But the sad thing is that you may never know that your pump is faulty until you encounter either of these indicators:
Reduced Oil Pressure
Unless you check your car’s engine every day, this is most likely the first sign of a faulty engine you’ll get. When your car’s oil indicator keeps flashing for a prolonged time, it means that your engine’s oil pressures are low.
Consequently, low oil pressures could result from several conditions such as reduced oil levels, a leakage in the oil system, or oil burning in the engine. Ultimately, low oil pressures can also result from a faulty oil pump.
To know the exact cause of low pressures, you need first boost your oil levels and ensure no leakages before checking the pump.
Noise from a car’s engine is usually the first clue most car owners follow to understand that the pumps need to be repaired. Unfortunately, when your oil pump develops problems, different parts of your engine tend to take the fall too.
When an oil pump cannot lubricate properly, friction increases and parts like the oil pump, the valve train and the hydraulic filter start to wear off.
And when engine parts begin to wear off, they can produce abnormal sounds that come off as noise.
High Engine Temperatures
In addition to lubricating engine parts, engine oil also acts as a temperature regulator. When your Ford f150 oil pump cannot properly pump oil into different engine parts, their temperatures begin to rise.
Your car’s engine performs optimally at temperatures below 180 degrees, so that a temperature rise can result in many other problems.
How Do You Check an Oil Pump?
It is best to check your oil pump for possible roots of failure before you encounter the symptoms.
When you wait to see symptoms, you could end up with a damaged oil filter, valve drain system or a completely useless engine. And these items are quite expensive to replace.
So here’s how you check for Ford 5.4 oil pump failures:
Check the Oil Pressure
Mount a pressure gauge on the oil point of the engine, turn it on and check the oil pressure. If the pressure is lower than 25psi when the engine is at 200F, then you’d have to check the pump itself.
Check the Pump
Detach your oil pump from the engine, and take out its cover. Check for scratches, scoring and pitting inside the pump cover. Now proceed to lift the rotor out of the body of the pump and check for irregularities.
If there are severe scratches and scoring on any part of the pump, then you’ll need to fit in a new one.
Check for Clearances
To check the clearance of a Ford 5.4 oil pump, you’ll need a feeler gauge and a straight edge. The outer and inner lobe; and that of the body and the outer rotor should not exceed 25mm (0.01in.) each.
Also, the clearance between the pump’s face and a straight edge should not exceed 13mm (0.005in.).
How to Replace an Oil Pump on 5.4 Ford:
If you’ve checked your oil pump, and it needs to be replaced, here’s a guide to help you do the replacement. You’ll need:
- A jack and jack stand,
- A swivel head wrench,
- A torque wrench,
- An 8mm ratchet socket
Jack Your Car Up
If you prefer to work from beneath your car, jack it up, and hold it in place with a jack stand. If you’d love to work from above the hood, get your condensers out of the way to make enough room for yourself.
Remove the Valve Cover
Using an 8mm ratchet, unscrew the bolts on the valve cover and gently pull it out. Also, ensure that it is not held by anything before pulling it out completely.
Detach the Pump
Unscrew the bolts holding the pump, and then mark up your crankshaft and timing chain before removing the pump. Note that the pick-up tube might be troublesome, so you’ll need to take it slow with a swivel head wrench until it comes off.
Prime and Fit in a New Pump
Now, install the new pump in the exact order you uninstalled the old one. To fit in the new pump, first prime it by filling oil through its inlet and turning its shaft until oil jets out of its outlet.
And for the pick-up tube, use a torque wrench to tighten it up to 30 ft-lb before assembling the valve cover.
1. How Do I Know If I Have a Bad Oil Pump?
You’ll know that you have a bad oil pump when you experience any of the issues mentioned in the body of this guide.
2. Can You Drive with a Bad Pump?
It would be a terrible idea to drive a car with a bad oil pump. Depending on the extent of damage on the pump, it may not sufficiently lubricate your engine as you drive. Invariably, this can lead to more serious engine problems.
3. What Causes a Bad Oil Pump?
An oil pump can be damaged by an infrequent change of oil, low oil levels, the use of contaminated oil and incorrect bearing clearance.
Restricted oil suction tubes, open bypass valves and the use of inferior pump materials can lead to Ford 5.4 oil pump failures.
4. How Long Does an Oil Pump Last?
An oil pump can last up to 70,000 miles before needing a replacement. But if you happen to find deep pitting or incorrect tolerances on its parts, it could very well be overdue for a replacement.
5. Will a Bad Oil Pump Result In Rough Idle?
Yes. A bad oil pump can lead to a rough idle because its lubricating power may not be sufficient to keep the idle smooth.
6. How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Old Oil Pump?
To replace a Ford f150 oil pump, you need to budget an average of $1,300. While a new pump costs around $250, labor could take up to $1,000, depending on the shop you visit.
As a Ford 5.4 owner, you should be able to pick up the symptoms of a faulty engine before things go south. Fortunately, this guide will help you decipher when something is wrong with your oil pump.
It is can also come as a handy tool if you ever need to replace your oil pump yourself. And of course, it answers most questions you may have had about Ford f150 oil pump issues.
Since you now understand the conditions that could expose your oil pump to problems, you can actively identify them beforehand.
It is also now clear that you don't have to wait until your engine parts start to rub against one another before you check your pump for possible issues.
You should now be able to pay attention to your oil pressure indicator light, and take necessary actions.
Fundamentally, you’ve also gained some insights as to how you can check your oil pump, and replace it when necessary. This knowledge will undoubtedly save you some money, and keep your car safe from the risk of an engine failure.