You know that vibe that comes when you realize that you’re short of gas; that’s when the low-fuel warning light comes up, and the warning sound begins to ring. When this happens, we can barely hold off the panic that increases with every inch the needle takes closer to the red sign. How do we deal with this? We head back to the closest tank station to refill our tank, and everything is back to normal.
The question now becomes about your oil pressure; do you even know what that means or what it looks like? Have you ever paid attention to it? Most people are so focused on their fuel gauge, they’ve never spared a glance towards the oil pressure gauge. A car’s oil pressure gauge should ideally read between 25 PSI to 65 when your engine is still running.
What is High Oil Pressure?
In easy terms, high oil pressure is when your engine needs more pressure to get the oil through the engine. If your car is idling, ideal or average oil pressure should be anywhere between 20-65 PSI. In most systems, there should be a gauge displaying what your oil pressure is on the dashboard. If the pressure starts to climb higher, then you might have a problem on your hand, and your engine stands a chance of malfunctioning. High oil pressure is disturbing and should be tackled as soon as possible; you might need to inspect your car.
What exactly is a high oil pressure? It is when the oil of a car gets restricted in a kind of way. This can be because of a blockage or if your car has a fault. It could also be a fault caused by an oil issue. When your oil goes above the average PSI, it might be time to take action before further damage occurs.
Causes of High Oil Pressure
There are several things that cause high oil pressure but below are five of the most common causes of high oil pressure; let’s take a look.
1. Defective Sending Unit
What controls your dash is the sending unit of your oil pressure. If there’s anything wrong with it, you’’ begin to get wrong readings from the gauge. However, there’s a way to confirm whether there’s a problem with your sending unit, and that is by manually checking the oil pressure. First, make sure that the engine is adequately cool for you to work on. Find the sending unit and check it out with a kit for checking oil pressure; this will help you get the right oil pressure.
2. Bad Oil Grade
Motor oil comes in different oil, and with the different grades comes different weight. When your oil is thinner, it will find it easier to flow through your engine. If the oil’s weight becomes thicker, the oil will need more pressure to circulate around the system successfully. The best way to effectively handle this is to check your manual and confirm the viscosity level your engine requires. Also, consider your geographical location.
When you live in a warmer surrounding, your choice of oil should be on the thick side, but it is advised that you use thinner oil during cold climate conditions. You can also decide to use synthetic or regular mineral oil; this is because synthetics can help support your engine’s health. However, not every motor engine can handle synthetic.
3. Failure of the Relief Valve
The relief valve is not difficult to understand; it is made up of a piston, a plug, and a spring. The relief valve does more than protect the engine from problems that might occur because of high pressure; it also helps to normalize the oil course as it goes through the block. The next question becomes how to find out when the relief valve becomes a problem; there is no definite way of discovering if the relief issue has an issue. If you drive around with your car for some time and the pressure gauge does not still get to the level expected, then it might be a sign of your relief valve having a problem.
You can simply clean it up and put it back in to check if your oil pressure is back to normal; you can find the relief valve in the pump of your oil pressure, but it is noteworthy that it could be really hard to reach the relief valve.
4. A Filthy Oil Filter
When your oil filter survives three thousand miles, it might be time for you to get a replacement for it. When dirt begins to accumulate inside of it, it can no longer perform its function adequately, and when it gets too much, the oil would be restricted from flowing, and as a result, the engine’s temperature would be on the high side.
This eventually makes the oil pressure increase. Some signs that your oil filter has become filthy include a sputter in your engine or a reduction in your engine’s ideal performance. Another way to figure it out is when you begin to encounter a sooty exhaust from your engine.
Dealing with this is pretty easy because you can easily replace it at home or get a repair shop to efficiently fix it for you if you’re unsure about yourself. If you make use of synthetic oil, then it would be more expensive to replace the filter.
5. Restricted Oil Passage
As we pointed out earlier, the oil flow restriction could lead to high oil pressure. However, filthy oil filters are not the only reason why your oil could get restricted. There could also be a restriction when carbon builds up on the oil passage; this is not a thing to mess around with, as it is a serious concern. Getting rid of a blockage is a lot of work, which is why it is usually expensive. There is a need to get professional help to get through the process and unblock your oil passage successfully. If not appropriately blocked and the blockage remains, your engine could get seriously damaged and need replacement soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What causes high oil pressure?
Several things could be the cause of high oil pressure. When you notice this, simply visit a mechanic, and they could check it out to figure out the problems for you.
Q: When is the oil pressure too high?
When the PSI of your car is higher than 80, then it can be considered too high. Once you notice this, you should get it checked out.
Q: Is there sure a thing as too much oil pressure?
Yes, you could have excessive oil pressure, and this could cause your oil galley plugs to probably blow; it could also lead to a disastrous failure of your engine.
Your engine’s oil pressure is very important, which is why you can monitor it on your dashboard. When there is a problem with it, your dashboard will inform you, and when it does, you should get it checked out immediately, or it could cause major damage to the engine of your vehicle. Carry out inspections on the oil pressure as frequently as you can to help preserve the life of your engine.