When your vehicle is facing oil-related problems, it turns on an old-fashioned oil canister light on your dashboard.
Is it safe to drive with the Oil Light on?
This is the Engine Oil Light and it indicates that your car may not have enough engine oil or has low oil pressure. If this car engine oil lights up while you are driving, pull-over by the side of the road and turn your car engine immediately. The low oil light
may turn on due to many reasons, one of them being a faulty sensor, but that should not deter you from stopping your car and pulling over by the side of the road. It can also be that your engine may refuse to start later on if you keep driving and run out of engine oil.
Trying out your luck in these situations will also lead to extensive damage to your car engine . Hence, if the low engine oil light turns on, you should pay attention to it and not ignore it.
Reasons your car’s Low Oil Light is on :
- Low Oil Pressure:
Low Oil Pressure may cause the low oil light to turn on. That means that the oil pump is not supplying enough car engine oil or your oil pressure is too low for the pump to work.
Low oil light may also turn on due to intermittent low oil pressure at high-speed turns as all the oil in the tank sloshes over to one side away from the oil pickup tube.
Oil in the engine keeps surfaces and moving parts of the engine lubricated. Hence, if the oil pressure is low, the car needs to be stopped and the engine turned off for inspection.
Driving with low engine oil can cause extensive damage to your engine. You can also simply solve the problem temporarily by adding enough engine oil. But, sometimes you may have to address the cause like oil leaks and burning oil.
Therefore, it is advised that you give your car for regular car maintenance and get your car mechanic to check your car engine oil levels each time you go for car servicing. Or you can also go to your nearby car mechanic and get your car repair.
- Electrical problems:
Old engine oil gauges (and even the low oil light) were hydro mechanical gauges while many modern gauges and warning lights are electrical.
Over time, like all things, the circuit may begin to age and wear out. When you examine oil pressure problems, our best advice would be to calibrate your car’s oil pressure gauge against another one which you can get done at any car service centre. If actual oil pressure is the same as the measured one, you can be sure of the fact that your problem is an electrical one.
These electrical problems may cause erroneous meter readings and warning lights. This might be the reason for your low oil light to turn on.
If this is the case, then your best bet would be to go for a car service. These erroneous readings may also be due to a faulty oil pressure sensor which is also called a pressure unit. These are common crash features, which due to hot temperatures and high pressures malfunction quite often.
You can ask the technician at your nearest car service centre to verify whether the oil pressure gauge is still working. Changing the oil pressure gauge will also solve the problem of the low oil light turning on.
- Regular Oil Change and correct oil viscosity:
Your car probably runs on a blend of oils that have many different viscosities. The combination of all these oils makes your engine run at extreme temperatures.
If you use the wrong viscosity oil in the wrong season, it may cause the engine severe damage and even stall it. Also, it might be the reason the oil pressure on your car engine is dropping, making the low oil light turn on.
At the next oil change that you are going to get in your nearest car service centre, if a blend of oils is not available, ask your car repair service to put in engine oil that is suitable to the weather.
Be sure to make any oil changes with the proper viscosity oil before the season changes. Also, some vehicles specify different summer and winter oil blends for optimal performance. So, you should refer to your car maintenance guide
for the correct blends.
Also, your car’s engine oil should be replaced frequently. That frequency might be mentioned in the car maintenance guide. If you don’t replenish your engine oil by then, the levels may dip low enough to light the low oil light.
- Engine Problems
Engine problems may also be the reason your low oil light turns on. When the engine is brand-new, the oil pressure will be at its highest due to tight oil clearances.
But, as the miles start racking up on the engine, the bearing clearance, notably towards the end of the car (opposite the oil pump) commences increasing. This increased bearing clearance allows for the oil to move more freely, comparatively and makes the oil pressure to a dropdown. This drop causes low oil light to turn on.
The best way to fix this is to call a service car, take your car to a car repair service. If you get car servicing at home, ask your mechanic to get the bearings necessary to replace the old bearings.
Also, this problem can be fixed by using a higher-viscosity oil. This change in viscosity will help accommodate the increase in the bearing clearance. This slight adjustment will make the oil pressure come back to normal and hence will make the low oil light to turn off. Your oil pump may also bleed off the pressure from the oil pump. The higher viscosity oil will also solve this problem, but you can also ask your car mechanic to replace the oil pump completely.
You may also have a broken oil pump shaft or belt drive which reduces the oil pressure dramatically. The only way to fix this is to replace the broken parts which can be done in a car repair. The age, mileage, horsepower, torque of the car does not matter, in this case. It is always a good idea to pay attention to the lifeline of an engine- oil. Hence, always check your engine oil levels, the viscosity of your engine oil, oil pressure, etc. If the low oil light turns on, stop the car, pull-over, and then call your nearest car repair center. Do not keep driving the car as it will cause your engine to be reduced to the ranks of a decorative ornament.