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Monday, December 15, 2014

Oil light came on, what does this mean?

Engine Oil Light

Your dashboard is loaded with all kinds of indicators that can help you prevent some costly problems when it comes to the longevity of your car's engine. The temperature gauge, the voltage gauge and the oil pressure gauge are just a few that can help. Along with these gauges, the dash is also equipped with some indicator lights such as the check engine light, battery light and engine oil light. 

What does it mean when the engine oil light comes on?

The Engine oil light comes on when the engine oil pressure drops below the proper level. The engine needs oil pressure in order to lubricate all the internal workings of the engine. Without good oil pressure the engine will be damaged and will require costly repairs. This can be avoiding in most cases by turning the engine off immediately and repairs made. It may be as simple as adding some oil tot he engine if the level is low. 

How much oil pressure does my engine need?

An engine needs a minimum 10 psi of oil pressure per 1,000 rpm. So the engine needs to see 30 psi of oil pressure at 3,000 rpm, 50 psi at 5,000 rpm and so on. This pressure insures proper lubrication to all the components in the engine. 

How to prevent the engine oil light form coming on?

Check you fluid levels frequently and make sure your engine oil level is between the safe and full marks. Check your engine oil with the engine turned off and the vehicle on a flat surface.

Most common reasons for engine oil light to illuminate. 

The most common reason for the engine oil light to come on is the oil level is too low. The next most common reason is a faulty or leaking oil pressure sending unit. The oil pressure sending unit undergoes the same pressure as the engine and tend to fail or show false readings. Replacing this inexpensive sensor is generally the first thing to replace after making sure the oil level is good. 


  1. I always promise myself to check car's fluid levels more often, but I always forget it or remember at the moments that it is impossible, so mostly my repairer does this (glad to have him).

  2. You really need to make sure that the oil is checked all the time. For me, this light came on and I ignored it and killed my engine. I had to get a new car because I didn't fill up the oil regularly. Now, I make sure I fill it up every time.

  3. I try to drive with engine oil in my car at all times. It isn't a bad idea. You never know when an emergency may occur. You may be on a trip and need a little bit of oil. Otherwise, you car will undoubtedly break down. That is one risk you don't want to take.