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I have a 2005 Ford Escape XLT, when the car is in idle it will have a vibration and the oil pressure light will come on. When the car is moving, there is not a problem. I checked the oil, there is oil in the car, but it is a brownish-coke looking color. What could be causing this?

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WARNING: Using it in this condition could cause server internal damage to the engine, cause complete engine failure and/or strand you somewhere. Anytime the oil pressure light comes on, it means the engine is not getting enough oil. This is a serious condition and should not be ignored.

There are few thing that could be causing this;

  1. Engine idle is too low to pump oil properly
  2. Oil pump is worn and failing
  3. Oil has not been changed, has become sludge and too thick to pump at idle
  4. Oil passages are blocked with sludge causing false reading
  5. Oil pressure sensor/circuit is faulty

The color of the oil sounds normal.

I would suggest you have it serviced, with limited use of the vehicle until this is resolved. A mechanic can check the idle and actual oil pressure to make sure it is proper and/or find the problem.

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You shouldn't use the car in this condition and call to service ASAP. It may be even better to get the car towed, because having too low oil pressure can damage your engine permanently

It is possible that some passages or filter is blocked and the oil pump is not able to pump enough oil to build pressure. It may be able to build more pressure at higher RPM. You did not mention when/how many km ago the oil and oil filter was changed last time.

Based on your symptoms, I doubt the sensor is faulty because your engine is struggling at idle. This points to a real problem.

The best advice is taking the car to service ASAP.

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