Oil Pressure LightOne of the most ignored indicator lights on the dashboard is the oil pressure light, but that most certainly shouldn’t be the case. Why? Simple, it is of the utmost importance to pay attention to the light in questions, because ignoring it could actually lead to an accident. Here is what could be wrong and what you should do if it ever happens to you.
First things first, if the light turns on you should pull over at the side of the road, so as to not become a menace on the road, because your vehicle might break down and this should never happen on the road, think of yourself and of other drivers. After you have safely pulled over it is time to see if you can determine what the issue is yourself, note that you might not be able to, in any case, you will probably need to call a tow truck.
Since one of the reasons why the indicator light has come on might be that you are running low on oil you should wait for your vehicle to cool down and measure the oil in the vehicle, using the dipstick. To get accurate information on the level of the oil you will need to first wipe down the dipstick, then insert it back in again, after you have taken it out for the second time you can check the level. To be able to cross out the possibility you forgot to have the oil changed, make a scheduled plan to do so, this would be one of the ways to determine if there is a possible leak, another way is to check for leaks directly. The leak can be internal, in which case you will not be able to locate it unless you take apart the engine. If the leak is the second kind, which is an external one, you should be able to locate the issue by examining the oil pan, front and rear crankshaft oil seals, valve cover or gaskets. If the issue is indeed caused by a leak you have to fix it before driving any further.
The issue might have to do with the oil pump, which basically means it might be faulty. The oil pump’s role is to pressurize oil in the engine, the pressure created by the pump pushed the oil through the engine, as a result, the oil is able to lubricate the components of the engine. If something is wrong with the pump in question the oil pressure would decrease and the oil pressure light of the car lights up. Now, how can you test to check if this is the problem? You can perform a test on the oil pressure with a pressure gauge, if the oil pump is in good working condition you should have readings of 10 psi for 1000 of rpm. don’t feel bad if you cannot perform the check yourself, after all, that is why auto repair shops exist.
Moving on to the oil filter - it isn’t surprising that it is so important to have it changed or cleaned when it is due. The role of an oil filter is to stop any unwanted contaminants from getting to the engine. The contaminants in question often include dirt, metal particles, etc., and it is quite dangerous if they get inside of the engine, because they can cause damage to the engine’s cylinder components. If the oil filter gets clogged the oil pressure decreases and the light comes on. The vehicle will start to experience problems due to the low oil pressure and you will need to replace the filter (or clear, depending on the make and model of the car). Note that you should do that immediately to avoid making the issue even more severe.
Contaminants and impurities might also clog the oil passage. After the oil has passed through the oil filter, it will flow through the crankshaft and bearings. However, if there is blockage in the crankshaft the oil will again lose pressure and in turn the dashboard lights up. Again, since this is a serious situation you need to have it resolved immediately, otherwise major damage could be done to the engine.
Hopefully, now that you know how serious of a situation the light indicates, you will not ignore it in the future, and you will have the vehicle towed and serviced at an auto shop. Of course, if you take proper care of the car in question, you won’t need to have any repairs done for a very long time. Take it from me, do not forget to change the oil and filter regularly, because if you don’t you will eventually regret it.