The low oil pressure warning light, often represented by an icon resembling a genie lamp or an old-fashioned oil can (in some dashboards, it may display the word “OIL”), is a critical indicator on the dashboard. If this light is illuminated, it could signify several issues. This includes a malfunctioning oil pump, electrical component failure, or an oil leak. Sometimes, the oil level itself might be adequate, but damaged sensors can inaccurately relay information to trigger the warning light.
What is Low Oil Pressure Warning Light ?
The low oil pressure warning light alerts you to potential problems with your car’s oil pressure. Proper oil pressure is crucial for the engine’s lubrication and functioning. If the pressure drops too low, it can lead to severe engine damage or even cause the engine to seize.
The light illuminates when the system detects insufficient oil pressure, which can result from various issues such as faulty oil pressure sensors, damaged oil pumps, clogged filters, or even problems with the instrument cluster.
Can You Drive Your Car With The Low Oil Pressure Warning Light?
If the low oil pressure warning light comes on while you’re driving, it’s crucial not to ignore it. Continuing to drive with this warning light on can lead to severe damage to your engine. Pull over immediately in a safe location.
After stopping, wait for at least 10 minutes to cool the engine before checking the oil level while parked on a somewhat level surface. This can help ensure an accurate reading of the oil level in your car.
Why is Low Oil Pressure Warning Light ON In Car Illuminated?
An illuminated Low Oil Pressure Warning Light can be caused by a number of issues, including:
1. Oil Leaks:
Both internal and external oil leaks can lead to low oil pressure. Internal leaks occur within the engine and are harder to detect without disassembling the engine. External leaks can stem from various areas like the oil pan, crankshaft oil seals, or valve covers.
2. Faulty Oil Pump:
A malfunctioning oil pump can cause a drop in oil pressure, impacting the proper lubrication of moving engine parts. A healthy oil pump should maintain around 10 PSI at 1000 RPM
3. Clogged Oil Filter:
The oil filter removes debris from the engine, but if it becomes dirty or clogged with particles like metal chips or carbon deposits, it can restrict oil flow and cause low pressure.
4. Blocked Oil Passages:
Oil passages that are obstructed with impurities can reduce oil pressure, impacting its circulation to crucial engine components like the crankshaft and bearings.
5. Infrequent Oil Changes:
Neglecting regular oil changes can lead to the formation of sludge at the bottom of the oil pan, reducing oil pressure even after an oil change.
6. Faulty Pressure Sensor:
A malfunctioning oil pressure sensor might inaccurately detect low pressure, causing the warning light to illuminate even when the oil level is adequate.
7. Engine Wear:
Over time, worn engine parts can develop openings, leading to oil leakage and subsequently reducing oil pressure.
How to Fix Low Oil Pressure Warning Light?
Here are steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue and understand why the Low Oil Pressure light has come on:
1. Inspect Oil Leaks:
Leave your car parked on a level surface for a few hours and inspect the ground beneath it for any puddles or signs of oil leakage.
2. Examine for a Faulty Oil Pump:
Inspect for any signs bad oil pump or verify oil pressure using a manual gauge to confirm if the sensor is sending accurate information. If necessary, replace the oil pump to restore proper oil pressure.
3. Replace Oil Filter:
Regularly replace the oil filter to prevent debris accumulation and maintain proper oil flow.
4. Check for bad oil pressure sensor:
Inspect for any signs of malfunctioning oil pressure sensors. If needed, consider replacing the oil pressure sensor.
5. Maintain Correct Oil Levels:
Regularly check and maintain the proper oil level in your engine to prevent low oil pressure.