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5 Symptoms of a Bad Oil Pump and Replacement Cost

March 7, 2017 | Engine Info

The function of the oil pump is to lubricate a running engine by supplying it with oil. This lubrication prevents the engine’s metal components from making contact with each other. Also, the oil pump absorbs heat from the engine’s components while they’re running. Even though the oil pump may seem sturdy, it can actually fail after a while. That is why it’s important to recognize the signs of when the oil pump is starting to fail. If the oil pump ends up wearing out completely, the engine won’t receive oil which means its components won’t get lubricated. The result will be an engine with severe damage to it. Below you will learn more about the symptoms of a bad oil pump and the estimated costs for replacing it.

Symptoms of a Bad Oil Pump

There are many symptoms to notice when the oil pump goes bad. Some of the common symptoms are noise from the valve train, strange noises from the hydraulic lifters, reduced oil pressure, a hotter engine, and a noisy oil pump. Usually, the oil pump doesn’t get servicing until it actually starts to fail. Once it does fail, it will quickly damage your engine.

1. Low oil pressure and oil pressure warning light comes on

Oil pressure is regulated by the oil pump. If the oil pump goes bad, the oil pressure will start to decrease while it’s in the engine. Usually, the first sign of decreased oil pressure will be on your dashboard when the low oil pressure warning light turns on. Once this happens, check to see what your oil level is at. If it’s too low, add more oil until the oil level is normal again. If the oil pressure is still low after this, then your oil pump is bad. Replace the oil pump right away or else the symptoms will get worse.

2. Increased Temperature in Engine

As oil is pumped into the engine, it acts as a lubricant which cools the engine’s moving metal components. If the engine doesn’t get enough oil, these metal components will rub together and produce heat. If enough heat is generated, a warning light will show up on your dashboard to signal that your engine’s temperature is high. If the engine becomes too overheated, it could cause damage to your engine and its components. Since it would cost thousands of dollars to repair this kind of damage, it’s best to get your car to an auto body shop right away once the warning light comes on.

3. Valve-Train Noise

There are critical components in the valve-train system which enable the engine to keep on running. Aside from the hydraulic lifters in the valve-train, it also contains pushrods, seals, and valve guides. These components all depend on oil to flow through them so they can be lubricated. If they are not lubricated due to low oil, these components won’t work properly anymore. The valve-train will also produce a lot of noise as the oil levels continue to decrease.

4. Oil Pump Noise

A noisy oil pump is a rare symptom, but it does happen. Oil pumps will only make noise when they’re starting to fail. You’ll probably hear a whirring or whining sound when this happens, even as the car is idle. This indicates that the oil pump’s internal gears are worn out, so you need to replace the entire pump.

5. Hydraulic Lifters Noise

Hydraulic lifters are crucial for sustaining the functionality of the valve-train. These lifters can only function properly if they are lubricated with enough oil. But when the oil pump is faulty, it will decrease the oil pressure to the point where oil won’t be able to flow into the hydraulic lifters of the engine. This will cause the hydraulic lifters to make noise because they aren’t being lubricated. As a result, they will get worn out quickly.

Replacement Cost of an Oil Pump

The two main costs you’ll have when replacing an oil pump is the cost of the new oil pump part and the cost of the labor for replacing the old pump. You could always install the part yourself and save money on the labor, but you better know what you’re doing or else you could make things worse. A new oil pump will cost you anywhere from $100 to $300, but it really depends on the make and model of your car. As for labor costs, it will cost around $200 or $300 because it will take a few hours for the mechanics to complete this kind of extensive job. Therefore, the total price you can expect to pay for this replacement is $300 to $600.

Read also: Symptoms of Faulty Starter Motor You Must Know

Maintenance Tips

The oil pump is made to be durable so it should last you for years. But like all manufactured car parts, they will eventually wear out with age. That is why you must pay attention to the oil pressure and heat in your vehicle at all times. Don’t just assume that overheating will be caused by the radiator either. If you hear a noise coming out of your engine, this is a clear warning sign that the oil pump is in trouble. The noise means that oil isn’t flowing into the engine’s components to lubricate them. You certainly don’t want your engine to diminish over this, do you? So always change your oil pump if you notice these symptoms occurring.

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