What Does a Car’s Oil Warning Light Mean?

Published on: June 25, 2023
Written by Gian Camilo / Fact-checked by Harun Khan

A car’s oil warning light is a visual alert to the driver that the oil level in the engine is low and needs to be replenished. The light is usually red and is usually accompanied by an audible alert.

Oil is the lifeblood of any engine, and it needs to be kept in good condition at all times. Oil lubricates the moving parts of the engine, helps to keep it cool, and helps to minimize the wear and tear on the engine. Without sufficient oil, an engine can quickly become damaged and eventually fail.

what does a car's oil warning light mean

The oil warning light is designed to alert the driver of a potential problem as soon as possible so that the necessary action can be taken to prevent further damage. Low oil levels can be caused by a variety of things, such as a leak, a faulty oil pump, or simply not checking the oil level regularly.

Need to take immediate action when the oil warning light is activated. This means checking the oil level and topping it up as necessary. If the problem is more serious, it is best to take the car to a professional mechanic for further diagnosis and repair. By taking quick action when the oil warning light is activated, you can help to ensure the longevity of your car’s engine.

What Does a Car’s Oil Warning Light Mean?

When the oil warning light illuminates your car’s dashboard, it’s indicating that there’s an issue with your car’s oil system. The oil warning light usually signals low oil pressure, which can be caused by a variety of issues such as a low oil level, a faulty oil pump, or a clogged oil filter.

Low oil pressure can cause significant damage to your car’s engine, so it’s important to take action when the oil warning light comes on. The first thing you should do is pull over to a safe location and turn off the engine. Check your car’s oil level using the dipstick under the hood and add oil if necessary. If the oil level is normal, it’s possible that there’s a more significant problem with your vehicle’s lubrication system.

What Should You Do When the Oil Warning Light Comes On?

If the oil warning light comes on whilst you’re driving, it’s important to take action immediately. Ignoring the warning can result in significant damage to your car’s engine and increase the risk of engine failure. Here’s what you should do when the oil warning light comes on:

Pull Over to a Safe Location

As soon as you notice the oil warning light, find a safe place to pull over and turn off your car’s engine. Avoid driving any further if possible.

what should you do when the oil warning light comes on

Check the Oil Level

Pop open the hood of your car and locate the dipstick. Pull it out, wipe it clean with a cloth, and reinsert it into the oil tank. Pull the dipstick out again and check the oil level. If the level is low, you’ll need to add more oil. Be sure to use the correct type of oil for your vehicle. Here is the video you can follow it:

Check for Leaks

If the oil level is normal, check for any signs of oil leaks around the engine. If you see any leaks, it’s best to have your car towed to a mechanic for repair. Need more info? See this video:

Check the Oil Pressure Sensor

If you’re confident that the oil level is normal and there are no leaks, the issue could be with the oil pressure sensor. A faulty sensor can trigger the oil warning light, even if there’s no problem with the oil system. You’ll need to have the sensor replaced to fix the issue. In this pert you can follow this video:

Common Causes of Low Oil Pressure

Low oil pressure can be caused by a variety of issues, including:

CauseDescription
Low oil levelInsufficient amount of oil in the engine.
Faulty oil pumpOil pump failure can result in inadequate oil pressure.
Clogged oil filterA clogged oil filter can prevent oil from flowing properly, resulting in low oil pressure.
Oil leaksOil leaks can reduce the amount of oil in the engine, leading to low oil pressure.
Worn engine bearingsWorn bearings can reduce oil pressure due to increased clearance between the bearings and the engine.
Faulty oil pressure sensorA faulty oil pressure sensor can trigger the oil warning light, even if there’s no oil pressure.
Faulty oil pressure gaugeA faulty oil pressure gauge can give a false reading, indicating low oil pressure when it’s not.

FAQs

Can I Still Drive My Car if the Oil Warning Light is on?

It’s not recommended to drive your car if the oil warning light is on. Low oil pressure can cause significant damage to your engine, and driving with the warning light on can increase the risk of engine failure.

How often should I check my oil level?

It’s a good idea to check your oil level every time you fill up your gas tank, or at least once a month.

Can Low Oil Pressure Cause a Check Engine Light to Come on?

Yes, low oil pressure can trigger the check engine light to come on. This is because the engine’s sensors detect a problem with the oil pressure, which can indicate a larger issue with the engine.

Last Assumption

The oil warning light is a crucial indicator of your car’s maintenance needs. If you see the oil warning light come on during the time you’re driving, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent engine damage.

By checking your oil level regularly and having your car serviced by a trusted mechanic, you can help ensure that your vehicle stays in top condition and runs smoothly for years to come.

More Resources, About ‘Oil Issues & Solution’ By Engineer
Gian Camilo:

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