No oil pressure during cold start?


Senior Member
I own a Superduty with the 5.4 and lately the oil pressure guage does not read anything when I start it cold. The light is on and the guage jumps around but then drops to nothing. I quickly shut it off after a couple seconds. I then hit the starter again and when the engine fires, the pressure reads just fine. It's really strange and really, well, scary! Sometimes on the first crank, I tap the accellerator and the oil pressure jumps right up to normal. After it is warm, every start after that is no problem. The oil level is fine too.

Could it be a fussy sensor or something worse? Only 38K on truck.


2000 Club Member
If your oil level is OK, it could be a fussy sender as you mentioned, or if you're talking about it happening in only cold weather, it could be a lazy needle on your gauge. I had a speedometer that wouldn't read accurately in cold weather until the cab temperature came up, then it would work fine.


Senior Member

I have the same exact problem with my 2001 F-150 Supercrew with the 5.4 when it's cold out. The gauge will go to normal then down to nothin and the light comes on for no pressure then jumps back to normal then back to nothing, then it is fine after a few minutes. I have found a TSB on the problem and mine is going to get fixed this week.

TSB # 01-4-2 Date of Issue March 5, 2001

Ford: F-250 LD, 1998-2001 Expedition, F-150 1999-2001 Super Duty F Series

Lincoln: 1998-2001 Navigator


Engine-5.4- oil sending unit interference fit at engine oil drip shield-4x4 vehilces equipped with 5.4 engine only.

The short of it is they modify the oil drip shield.


Senior Member
Thanks guys.

Gordyo- wheeww!! Glad to hear it is a common problem. Let me know how the repair goes. Hopefully it is a quick fix. I can now start my truck in the morning and be a little more confident that there is some oil flowing around in there. :)
I found out from my mechanic that the oil pressure guage doesn't show the actual oil pressure. It is a idiot light with a needle. That is why you never see a fluxuation in pressure from idle on up. All it does is show that there is pressure. The older trucks have real guages.
I bet ford has a whole lot less complaints about low oil pressure with this so called "new and improved system".

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