1999 Mercury Sable • 143,000 miles

I have a 99 Mercury Sable. I just purchased the car four weeks ago. Over the past week, the oil light has been flickering on and off, but never staying on. It tends to do it more when the car is at an idle. I checked the oil level, and it is completely normal. In addition to this, the car is running quite a bit hotter than it was when I first got it. Any ideas as to what could be my problem?
July 19, 2011.

The light refers to pressure, not level. The pressure goes down at slower engine speeds because the pump isn't running very fast. The most common problem is worn engine bearings but you might try switching to a higher viscosity oil at the next oil change.

Jul 19, 2011.
Defective oil sending unit?

The Medic

Jul 19, 2011.
I think I would disagree with making too much of an oil viscosity change here. This car calls for 5W20 and I wouldn't go any heavier than 10W30 and even that is a bit too thick. This engine was designed with very tight oil clearances to run lighter oil and get better gas mileage. Using a thicker oil will lead to dry cold starts and excessive engine wear. If the problem is not just a bad sender, I would suggest changing the oil pump.

Jul 19, 2011.