Car engines are dependent on oil to survive. Without it, they won’t be able to function. The purpose of oil is to keep the internal parts of the car’s engine lubricated and cool, but also keep the moving parts from grinding against each other, therefore causing wear and damage.
Therefore, frequent oil changes are one of the most critical parts of engine maintenance. They are also a good way to check if all is well with your vehicle, and if your engine is running smoothly thanks to the recommended oil levels.
However, this is not the case all of the time. In fact, the low oil pressure light turning on is a common scenario for many drivers. The best way to fix it is by understanding what causes it, and how you can prevent it from happening in the future.
Diagnosing The Problem
Oil pressure plays a vital role in lubricating certain areas such as your camshaft and shaft bearings, which can reduce the wear of the parts and is known to prevent overheating.
If you see a low oil pressure light on your car’s dashboard, you need to properly diagnose the problem. This symbol looks like any other symbol that might be on your dash, giving you a visualization of the low oil pressure.
In order to properly determine why your car may have oil pressure, you need to check out a few different parts and run a couple of tests to see the current condition of the car’s interior. On some engines, an oil level sensor lights up if the oil level is low. To make sure that is the case, open up the hood and take the dipstick out of your container.
Is Your Engine Leaking Oil Or Burning It?
If it shows a low level, your engine could be leaking oil or burning it. Make sure if the engine has normal oil pressure by noticing whether the oil light will turn off when you add more oil. Oil leaks are a common cause of low oil level in the engine, and can originate from many different places (the top of the gasket, oil pan at the bottom, overhead camshaft, seals or plugs, etc.). So, checking the exterior parts can help to see if the oil leak is causing the low oil pressure light to show up.
To make sure that you are dealing with oil leakage, check all sides of the engine and look for stains, grease accumulation, signs of oil dripping onto the ground beneath your car or other leaks. Typically, engines are leaking oil due to a bad gasket, which needs to be replaced every 100,000 miles if the oil and coolant are maintained.
Checking The Engine’s Exterior
If the exterior of your engine is clean and there aren’t any tell-tale signs of leaks, it is a sign that either the piston rings, your cylinder or the valve guides are burning oil. This could be associated with general wear and tear due to high mileage or not maintaining your vehicle properly (not changing oil often enough or other issues).
In general, oil leaks are often associated with problems which can be an expensive fix since you may need to replace the engine or rebuild the engine. If the oil usage in your car is not that high, make sure to check the engine dipstick and keep adding oil as much as you need in order to prevent the inside oil levels from getting too low and causing damage to your car.
The 5 Common Causes Of Why Your Oil Pressure Warning Light Is On
There are many reasons why the oil pressure warning light in your car is on. Below, we are listing the most common ones among car owners. If you discover any of these issues on time, it may save you time and money.
So, your car’s oil light might be showing because you have:
- Low engine oil levels: This is one of the most common reasons behind the oil light showing on your dashboard. After long-term use, your oil levels might start decreasing due to small leaks or general wear and tear. If your vehicle is older, the chances for this are higher, and can sometimes cause multiple leaks. If there is not any leakage, the low engine oil could be due to the oil getting burned away by the engine’s normal functioning. This is why you should first check the oil levels and potentially prevent further damage to your engine.
- Clogged oil passages in the engine: Your oil pan stores and holds your oil within your vehicle. In general, its capacity is from 4 to 6 quarts. The main job of the oil pump is to pressurize the oil, circulate it, and then send it to the filter so that all contaminants can be filtered out. In some cases, oil cannot flow freely because of clogging, which results in the low oil pressure warning light coming on in your dashboard.
- A clogged oil fiter: Your engine highly depends on the oil filter, protecting your car against abrasions and general wear and tear. The main duty of your oil filter is to prevent the particles from getting into the engine where they could cause damage. However, oil filters can also get clogged after long use, especially if they are not checked and replaced during your routine oil change. This is why your engine can trigger the low oil pressure light on your car’s dashboard.
- A faulty oil pump: The oil pump is what pressurizes the oil in the engine, and pushes it into the engine. After this process, the oil lubricates the inner workings of the engine so that they can move without any restrictions. If something damages your oil pump, the pressure would decrease and cause the low oil pressure warning light to show up on the dashboard. The best way to check whether your oil pump is working well (or the issue lies in the other parts) is by visiting your car technician.
- Internal engine damage: While a leak may be an easy and affordable fix, you may also notie that your car is burning oil if the car smells like burned oil. In some cases, the problem can be attributed to internal engine damage, which can also turn out to be a serious problem.
At the end of the day, the best way to prevent seeing issues like these is by regularly servicing your vehicle and making sure that your oil levels are monitored all of the time. If you are not driving your car a lot, you should check your oil levels every week or every other week.
If your oil levels are low, you should not drive your vehicle – you may ruin its engine. The light is the first and most important warning, showing up before the engine starts making new and disturbing noises which can be related to more serious problems. In some cases, driving your car with issues like these may cause even other problems, which is why you should know what the issue is all about and contact your go-to car technician.
Don’t Want To Diagnose And Fix Your Car Yourself?
At Tyres Online, we know how stressful it can be to try and locate an oil-related problem, especially if you haven’t done that before. The best way to determine what is wrong with your vehicle and how to fix your oil light problem is by bringing your car to our shop.
What you will receive is a fair quote from our licensed experts that know how critical oil levels are. We will do our best to identify the problem and fix the problem in your vehicle.
For more information about oil light issues and similar problems, contact us today at 800-ALLTYRES or by visiting this page.