If you’ve checked your oil pressure switch or sensor and it appears to be in good condition but your oil pressure light is coming on, then it could be a problem with your engine that needs to be fixed right away.
There are a variety of reasons for why the oil gauge won’t show the correct reading and why the engine oil pressure warning light comes ON or starts to blink. Below are the most common causes.
Common Causes of Why Your Oil Pressure Warning Light is On
#1 – Faulty Oil Pump
Oil is pressurized in the engine by the oil pump and then this pressure pushes it through the engine. As a result, the oil lubricates the engine’s components so they can move more freely.
If something were to go wrong with the oil pump, then the oil pressure would decrease and it would cause the oil pressure warning light of the vehicle to light up.
And since there’s weak oil pressure, the oil won’t be able to move through the engine and lubricate the components. This will result in more friction between the components, causing higher temperatures inside the engine, and ultimately costly damage.
#2 – Clogged Oil Filter
An engine depends on an oil filter to protect it against abrasions and wear. The job of the oil filter is to screen out solid contaminants from getting into the engine.
These contaminants often include shiny metallic particles, carbon, and dirt. If they were to get inside the engine, it would cause damage to the engine’s cylinder walls, journal, and bearing.
So, the more contaminants that get filtered, the healthier your engine will be. However, oil filters tend to get clogged after a while, especially when they are not replaced during an oil change. Once this happens, the oil pressure in your vehicle will decrease and the oil pressure warning light of your engine will activate.
Your car will then start to experience problems as a result of the low oil pressure. This means you must replace your oil filter immediately before the issue gets worse.
#3 – Clogged Oil Passages in the Engine
The oil pan or crankcase is what stores the engine oil. The oil capacity for the majority of engines is between four and six quarts. The job of the engine oil pump is to pressurize the oil and then circulate it. Once the oil leaves the pump, it will go straight to the oil filter so that its contaminants can be screened out.
All the clean oil will then pass through the filter and enter a series of passages until it reaches the crankshaft. Because of the passages in the crankshaft, the oil is able to circulate through the bearings surfaces of the engine.
However, if these passages got clogged, oil would not be able to flow through which would result in the oil pressure light coming on in your dashboard. Both low or high oil pressure could be the result. If the issue is not resolved, major damage to your engine can be the result.
#4 – Low Engine Oil
Oil lubricates the engine of the car. After a while, the level of oil may start to decrease because of a small leak. The older the vehicle, the higher chance of an oil leak (or leaks).
Common areas of oil leaks include the valve cover gasket, oil pan gasket, rear main seal, or even the drain plug. It may seem obvious, but a missing oil cap due to under-tightening will almost certainly cause oil loss.
Either that, or it may just get burnt away by the engine’s normal operation. Once the oil level goes down enough, you will see that the oil pressure warning light will activate. Check your engine oil level immediately.
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