Last Updated on November 22, 2019
A car engine is lubricated by its oil. As time goes on, much of that oil will burn away or possibly leak out. This means you’ll have to put additional oil into the engine and repair any leaky areas.
Changing the oil is one of the most basic forms of car maintenance that people perform. Those who don’t change their engine oil regularly will see the level of its decline.
Top 3 Signs of Having a Low Level of Engine Oil
#1 – Oil Pressure Light
The simplest indicator of a low oil level is when the oil pressure warning light on the dashboard illuminates. There is a sensor which can sense when your vehicle’s oil pressure is too low. This sensor is connected to the warning light on the dashboard.
So, when the sensor detects low oil pressure, it automatically activates the warning light. If this happens to you, bring your oil level to what it should be and then take your car to a car repair shop or dealership so they fix any leaks that may exist.
#2 – Smell of Burning Oil
If the interior of your car starts to have a burning smell, particularly the smell of burnt oil, then pull your car off the road and immediately turn your engine off. This burning smell could be from an oil leak onto the hot components of your engine.
If you have a dipstick, use it to check your level of oil. If it shows that your oil is lower than the recommended level, then you should not drive your car because it will just damage your engine.
Instead, top off your oil level and continue to monitor for leaks. If your oil level continues to drop, have a mechanic check it out. It could be as simply as a leaking valve cover gasket or something more severe.
#3 – Knocking Sounds
This symptom should only occur if you’ve neglected to do anything about the burning smell or warning light symptoms that were just mentioned. If you continue to drive your vehicle even though it has a low level of oil, a knocking sound will be the final symptom.
The reason is because there is less oil to lubricate the engine parts. This will cause your engine’s rods to loosen as more friction develops. These rods are responsible for securing the pistons of the vehicle.
If these rods were to get too loose and break down, then you will be “throwing a rod.” As the rods are being thrown, the knocking noise will be heard coming from underneath the hood. After just a couple of hundred yards, the engine will halt and the rods will be thrown.
Remember that engine oil is more than just a lubricant for the engine’s parts. Oil also cleans and cools the engine too.