Can you explain to me how an engine can have no oil and the gauge doesn't move? on 2002 Ford Ranger

We bought the car used and paid $7500 for it from Star Nissan in Aug 2012. Everything was fine until the other night the car started knocking- checked the oil NO OIL. No indication on the gauge no check engine light. What happened??? We don't know whether we should junk the car or get a new/used engine.

by in Whitestone, NY on April 01, 2013
4 answers 4 comments
ANSWER by on April 01, 2013
WELL YOU RAN IT LOW ON OIL THATS A GIVEN. I WOULD REPL WITH GOOD USED ENG FROM WRECKING YARD. APPROX COST 2000.00 TO 2500.00
COMMENT by on April 02, 2013
We think this is what we are going to do. Is it worth it though? I am not sure what kind of warranty he will give. We have a mechanic that does this and has a good reputation. We are also asking Ford for a quote as they give a 3 year warranty on a new engine.
ANSWER by on April 02, 2013
possible sensor failure(it happens), or the cluster is hooped. refill oil with oil stabilizer additive and test engine. if knocking persists than greg is right. you may need to replace engine. have existing engine inspected by an engine tech. first. tech. will advise.
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COMMENT by on April 02, 2013
Cluster is hooped?? what is that?
ANSWER by on April 02, 2013
OIL GUAGE OR LAMP? BOTH WILL WORK EVEN WITH VERY LITTLE OIL IN PAN. THESE DO NOT CHECK LEVELS-ONLY PRESSURE!
COMMENT by on April 02, 2013
How can you have pressure with no oil?
COMMENT by on April 02, 2013
the oil sender will measure pressure only. if there is 1 qt in the pan you will get the guage to read, albeit in may read lower but it will still read because it is making pressure. If you have an oil light (also call an idiot light), the light will only come on when you have almost no oil pressure, like 8 lbs or less. these are not level indicators but pressure only. If there is any type of pressure at all the lamp probably will not illuminate.
ANSWER by on April 02, 2013
need more info on vechicle to give a price on new or used engine is engine seised up or just making noise

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