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2004 ram - check gages light, oil pressure dropped, now the motor is ticking

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Old 01-18-2010, 12:19 PM
sandipig sandipig is offline
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Default 2004 ram - check gages light, oil pressure dropped, now the motor is ticking

2004 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7, quad cab, 2wd around 86000 miles

My check gages light came one and I noticed my oil pressure gage went from midway to below the low mark. Few seconds later I began to hear ticking in the motor. Pulled off at a service station and checked the oil. It was extremely low. I put some oil in (4 quarters, I didn't want to over fill it). It registered on the dip stick (it was right below the full mark) and the gage went back to midway but the ticking continued. I was only about 2 miles from my house so I decided to try to make it on home. I drove slow. About 1/2 mile from my house the gage light came back on and the oil pressure dropped again. I made it home and parked it. My husband changed out the oil and oil filter. The ticking continues. Is there something seriously wrong with my truck and why would it lose all it oil when there was no signs of leaks?

Thanks for any advice you can give
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Old 01-18-2010, 12:43 PM
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HammerZ71 HammerZ71 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Vehicle: 2014 2500 CTD 4x4
Location: South Georgia/East Florida
Posts: 24,651

Rapid oil loss with no signs of leaking is never a good sign. Step one would be to pull the codes and see what they are.
If you do not have access to a code reader (most auto parts stores will pull the codes for free) then there is a trick to doing it yourself.

To pull the code, do the following without
starting the engine: turn the key to the run position, off, run, off, run.
Do it fairly quick. When you are done, the codes will show in the Odometer
as the letter P followed by 4 digits. Write them all down. When its done,
it will read 'Done'.

When you have the codes you can check them here:


My guess is you will find engine misfires, at which point I'd probably say it's time to pull the cover and have the engine checked. I'm guessing a blown head gasket (you should also see a milky color to your oil indicating the presence of coolant) or a serious cylinder/head problem.

I had the same symptoms with an almost brand new Ford truck with 14,000 miles on it while trailering my boat home from a bass tournament about a dozen years ago, sudden oil loss with no leak, engine chatter and check engine light. It turned out to be a cracked/dropped piston.

Welcome to the forum by the way, I wish your visit was under better circumstances...
2014 Ram 2500 Big Horn Cummins 6.7 4x4

Last edited by HammerZ71; 01-18-2010 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:00 PM
sandipig sandipig is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2

Thanks for the advice. I will get the codes and check it at the website you gave. I don't see a milky substance in the oil (at least right now I don't). I have a bad feeling about this
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