What is low oil pressure?

Oil levels can be checked using your car’s dipstick.

Oil plays a vital role in your car’s engine. It lubricates the various moving parts, preventing friction from occurring and engine damage from taking place. When a cars engine has low oil pressure, it means the engine oil pump or other component of the engine oil system is loosing oil pressure. This means there will be an insufficient amount of oil lubrication is being supplied to the various engine components such as crankshaft bearings, conrod bearings, camshaft bearings plus other vital engine mechanical components. 

Many modern cars will have a light or visual warning system which warns the driver of low oil pressure. If you notice this warning, we recommend that you stop driving as soon as possible. Low oil pressure can very quickly damage important parts of your engine, resulting in expensive repairs. It is far cheaper to call a tow truck to get you and your car safely home, rather than drive with the engine oil light on, and either seize your engine or do serious expensive engine damage. 

Your local mechanics should have a tool to measure your engines oil pressure for you.


Possible causes of low oil pressure:

Low oil level – if your engine oil level get too low, then your engines oil pump may not be able to suck up any oil. This will mean there will be no or low engine oil pressure. In this case you should immediately add the correct oil to the correct level shown on your engine oil dipstick.

Oil leaks – Worn engine oil seals can result in oil leaking from your cars engine. As these engine oil seals wear, the gap between them and the crankshaft or camshafts gets larger, allowing the pressurized oil to pass through and leak out of your engine.
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Incorrect oil type – It is important that you use the right oil for your car. Your car’s manual should have information regarding which oil type to use. Using the incorrect type can result in the oil not flowing through your engine properly.
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Faulty engine oil pump – The engine oil pump is in charge of pumping the oil around your engine. If it is failing, your engine may suffer from low oil pressure. This is due to the oil not being able to reach every engine component. 


Symptoms of low oil pressure:

Oil pressure light – An oil pressure warning may appear on your dashboard if low oil pressure is detected. When this oil pressure light appears, you should have it diagnosed as soon as possible.

Visible oil leaks – You may notice puddles of oil appearing under your car. An oil leak can damage your engine over time and result in low oil pressure if the engine oil level gets too low. 

Engine running roughly – Low oil pressure often occurs in older engines that are starting to wear. You may notice that the engine is running roughly (especially while idling) or the temperature is rising while you drive.

Engine rattling & knocking noises – low oil pressure can lead to not enough oil pressure for the hydraulic valve tappets / hydraulic valve lifters, engine bearings and other mechanical engine parts. This can lead to rattling, knocking, and ticking sounds / noises from your car engine.

Lose of engine power – the engine oil pressure sensor in the engine block oil gallery can detect low engine oil pressure and send this signal to the engine computer which can then protect the engine by going into limp home mode. This will limit the engine power and revs designed to allow you to drive home or to your nearest auto repair garage in an emergency.   Generally the Check Engine Light (CEL) will all come on.

Also if the hydraulic valve tappets / hydraulic valve lifters are starved for engine oil they may not be able to control the engines intake and exhaust valves correctly, limiting the airflow though the engine and reducing the engines power.

The engines power will also be reduced if any other system that relies on a  certain engine oil pressure to work is starved for oil pressure, such as the Variable Valve Timing System.

Engine over heating – oil lubricates the engine and reduces friction. Low engine oil pressure increase engine friction and therefore engine heat. This can easily cause the engine to overheat and engine to seize up.


Low Car Engine Oil Pressure Diagnostics in Hamilton

Does your car engine constantly display symptoms of low oil pressure? If so, we can help you to diagnose the problem.

At Grimmer Motors, we can diagnose the cause of your car engine low oil pressure, test the engine oil pressure and provide high-quality replacements for any damaged parts of your engine. This will allow for your engine to remain healthy without sustaining serious damage. 

For quality diagnostic testing of low engine oil pressure and fixes in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!


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