Cars require frequent service. Luckily, most of the vehicles we drive today have sensors and lights that can inform us of any problem with a specific part. One common issue with cars is low oil pressure, and it is essential to know what causes it and how to fix the issue when its light appears on your dashboard.
Understanding the Car Oil System
The car engine is made up of several moving parts that rub against each other at high velocities. To prevent friction, a film of pressurized oil helps to lubricate these parts. The pressure is generated by an oil pump run by the engine. Aside from that, the oil helps to cool the engine and protect the metal parts. The pressure threshold varies depending on whether the car is stagnant or moving, but if the minimum value is not attained, an oil pressure sensor will light the warning signal on the dashboard.
Causes of Low Oil Pressure
Several issues can cause a case of low oil pressure. They include;
It is advisable to check the low oil pressure sensor before you start diagnosing your car. If it is not working well, it can read the wrong pressure levels and make the warning light to turn on for no reason.
Oil Pump Malfunction
The work of the oil pump is to generate pressure and ensure that oil moves through the system as needed. It carries the oil in the pan and directs it into the cylinder head and engine block. When the pump malfunctions due to old age or any other reason, it lets in bubbles into the oil that, in turn, reduces the pressure.
Improper Engine Grade Oil
When buying oil for your engine, ensure that you adhere to the specifications rolled out for your car model. Oil types vary in viscosity and density, and it is vital to buy one that works best for your engine. However, oil in your engine won’t last forever, and with time, it breaks down, leading to reduced lubricating capabilities. If the oil has turned black, it might be time to change it.
Bad Oil Filter
The oil filter removes dust particles and metal in the oil. It gets clogged with debris due to how it traps them, and it can let the particles flow back into the engine. A filter that does not allow the oil to flow freely will limit the efficiency of the whole system and light the warning signal.
Some other common causes of low oil pressure include;
- Oil leaks in the engine
- Low oil levels
- Clogged oil strainer
Regardless of the cause, drivers should be quick to react to any symptom of low oil pressure. Once you spot the faulty component and fix it, the light should go off immediately.