Low Oil Pressure: Light On Dash Guide

Oil Pressure

Sometimes, your oil pressure sensor seems to be in excellent condition; but your oil pressure light would stop coming on; when you observe this, it’s likely there’s an issue with your engine that needs attention. 

Low Oil Pressure means that you don’t have enough lubricant moving through your engine. This means your engine isn’t working properly and it’s necessary to bring it to your attention because it will cause engine failure. Your engine can’t function properly without oil; it could cause damage to your engine, and this may cause you to spend a lot of money. The oil pressure light comes on when there’s not enough oil pressure in your engine, or you have a low oil level; this warning shouldn’t come on frequently in your car.

Low oil pressure can stop oil from passing through necessary passages to ensure the engine is well-lubrication. This is because a lack of lubrication can cause the engine to cease up; which is why it is important to find the reason for low oil pressure and have it fixed as soon as you can.

What is Low Oil Pressure?

This is a common term that car owners, drivers, mechanics, and even newbies in the automotive industry are familiar with. In simple terms, a low oil pressure means an insufficient supply of oil. If there is inadequate oil reaching your oil pump, then the oil pump won’t be able to generate sufficient pressure to lubricate the engine. 

The low oil level might come as low oil pressure when taking high-speed turns. Low oil pressure is a grave issue, especially when the oil pressure light comes on the dashboard. For a better grasp, you can compare low oil pressure with high oil pressure

Why is Oil Pressure Important?

The oil pump, hardware, lubrication lines, and oil filter are components that create the lubrication system in a car engine. The oil breaks through some resistance in the lubrication lines to for the pressure. This process will help the various components that require the lubrication. 

When the oil pressure light comes on, then something is wrong. It could mean that there is not enough lubrication moving through the engine’s lubrication system.

Low or improper lubrication of the various components, can lead to metal-to-metal contact. This will lead to machine failure. The severity of the low oil pressure determines how fast the engine fails. The engine cannot carry out lubrication on itself. The consequence will be on damage to the engine. This will cost hundreds of dollars to repair.

Oil Pressure Warning Light is On: Causes

The oil pressure warning light should communicate to the driver what’s going on with the vehicle. When you see the oil pressure warning light comes on while driving, then it might be time to stop and check the oil level. Below are a few causes of the oil warning light.

  • Clogged Oil Passages 

The oil pressure warning light will come on if there’s a clog in the oil passage to the engine. The oil crankcase stores all the oil in the engine. The engine oil leaves the oil pump to the oil filter which decontaminates the oil. From the filter, the clean oil passes to the crankshaft and then to the bearing surfaces of the engine. Dirt, dust, or grime can clog the crankshaft passages, hampering the oil from getting to the engine. This will cause the light on the dashboard to light on.

  • Not Enough Oil

If you don’t have enough oil in your engine, then the oil pressure warning light will come on. Ensuring that you have fresh oil lubricating your system at all times is key.

  • Faulty Gauge

If the oil pressure gauge is faulty or there are issues with the wiring, the gauge might begin to malfunction and give a false reading. Sometimes, your engine might have sufficient oil, but if the gauge is faulty, there’ll be issues.

  • High Oil Viscosity

If the oil viscosity is high, then the oil would be thicker and therefore, flow more slowly than thin oil. This will affect oil pressure, therefore preventing pressure from moving rapidly.

  • Overheating and Wearing of Engine

In the event there’s overheating in the engine, then the oil can thin and prevent oil pressure from building up. Also, when the engine begins to wear, then the worn-out parts would broaden and reduce oil pressure.

  • Faulty Oil Pump

This is not quite common. But when the oil pump is faulty, the passageways could get wider, and the rotor could cause the oil flow rate to drop.

A faulty oil pump can result in a decrease in the amount of oil pressure that gets into the engine. The result is that the oil pressure warning light will come on. The purpose of the oil pump is to pressurized oil into the engine. 

What to Do When the Oil Pressure Light Illuminates?

If the oil pressure light illuminates while you’re on the wheel, then you’ve got to be proactive. The first thing to do is to pull over. But make sure it is safe to do so. After this, turn off the engine. With the help of a dipstick, you can check the oil level. But make sure the engine is in a cool state.

Check for leakages, and if you don’t see any leakages, then it might just be a problem of insufficient oil. The simplest solution would be adding additional oil but if the oil level is normal, it is likely you have a faulty oil pump.

Final Thoughts

It is best to make sure the vehicle gets the regular maintenance it needs to prevent your oil pressure light from lighting up at all times. Besides, make sure you replace the oil in the car on schedule. When your oil pressure light illuminates, check to find out the cause. Take it to a mechanic for fixing. Any delay can cause damage to the engine.

You cannot afford to drive your car on a dry engine. Make sure the oil can lubricate the engine all the time. Otherwise, the engine may knock, and that will be disastrous.