Loud clicking noise and oil gauge drops at idle
Ok. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I bought this 97 Wrangler Sport 4.0L a year ago.
So far, so good.
I noticed a year ago that occasionally when at idle or stopped the oil pressure gauge would drop down to zero and the check engine light would pop on. When I put it in drive, the oil pressure went back up. No big deal.
I changed the oil and put a good filter on and it stayed away for about 3000 miles.
It is happening more and more often, and now when it drops low the engine makes a very loud, horrible clacking noise. This sound usually goes away when the engine revs up, not always right away, just when it feels like it. And the drop in oil gauge pressure doesn't always happen, and the noise doesn't always happen, but it's getting progressively worse when the engine clacking does come around. It usually happens after the car has been driven for 45 minutes or so and the engine is warm.
I changed the oil and filter again, and I had the oil pressure sensor changed as well. Still no relief. It is getting so loud and noisy when the clanking comes around that not only is it embarassing, but it sounds like something is about to blow up. Sounds kind of like a weedwacker whipping around and hitting metal.
Took it to the jeep dealer today. Surprise, surprise, everything they tested came back ok and they let it idle for an hour and said they only got a slight valve chatter. So for $75 bucks they did nothing!!
I'm gonna go back tomorrow and drive it around to try and reproduce the sound for them.
But does anyone know what this is? Or what I should be looking at? The oil pump, sludge in the oil pan, the rocker arms, lifters? what? By the way, the oil level is good, and is not burning any extra oil.