What does the oil light mean?

Oil leak repair

The oil light is used to warn you of oil leaks, low oil levels, or low oil pressure in your vehicle. It activates if there isn’t enough oil circulating your car’s engine. If your car starts to display the oil warning light, we recommend that you pull over and turn your engine off as soon as possible. This is because a lack of oil can cause serious damage and overheat and seize your engine.

Topping your car up with oil can temporarily fix this issue. However, it’s important to note that if the issue is caused by a bad oil leak, you may need to regularly fill your car with oil to fix the issue. Sometimes, the more cost-efficient option is to get the oil leak repaired by a mechanic.


What causes the oil light to turn on?

The oil light turning on in a vehicle’s dashboard is typically an indication of low oil pressure or other potential issues related to the engine’s lubrication system. Here are some common causes for the oil light to illuminate:

  1. Low Engine Oil Level: Insufficient oil in the engine can result in low oil pressure, triggering the oil light. This can occur due to oil leaks, consumption, or neglecting regular oil changes. Inadequate oil supply hampers the lubrication of critical engine components, potentially leading to engine damage if not addressed promptly.
  2. Oil Pump Problems: The oil pump is responsible for circulating oil throughout the engine to maintain proper oil pressure. If the oil pump malfunctions or fails, it can cause a drop in oil pressure, leading to the oil light activation. This can occur due to a faulty pump, clogged pump screen, or worn pump gears.
    Oil pump replacement
  3. Oil Filter Issues: A clogged or improperly installed oil filter can restrict the flow of oil, resulting in reduced oil pressure and triggering the oil light. It’s important to use quality filters and replace them at the recommended intervals to prevent filter clogging and associated oil flow problems.
    Oil and filter replacement
  4. Engine Wear or Damage: Excessive engine wear, damaged bearings, or other internal engine problems can cause a drop in oil pressure and activate the oil light. This can occur due to factors like worn-out piston rings, bearing failures, or a malfunctioning oil pressure sensor.
  5. Faulty Oil Pressure Sensor: The oil pressure sensor is responsible for monitoring the engine oil pressure and activating the oil light if pressure drops below a safe level. A malfunctioning sensor can give false readings, causing the oil light to illuminate even when the oil pressure is adequate. In such cases, replacing the faulty sensor may be necessary.
    Oil pressure sensor replacement

How to check your car’s oil >


What happens if you drive with the oil light on?

Driving is not recommended if your car’s oil light is on. This is because of the potential damage that can occur to your engine. Oil lubricates the various moving parts in your car’s engine. This allows them to move smoothly without creating friction and controllable heat. If oil isn’t lubricating these parts properly, the friction will cause engine parts to wear and create excess heat in your engine. In the long run it is cheaper to call a tow truck to take your vehicle to your trusted local garage to get the cause of the engine oil light on diagnosed and fixed as quickly as possible. This is far cheaper than the cost and time off the road for a new engine. 


Oil Light On Diagnostics & Replacement in Hamilton

Is your car’s engine oil light on? If so, we can help you to diagnose and fix the problem. 

At Grimmer Motors, our qualified, talented and experienced mechanics can quickly and accurately diagnose problems in your car’s engine oil system. We can find the location of an oil leak or determine why there is little/no oil pressure. Once the problem has been identified, we can provide replacements for damaged parts that will last the test of time.

The benefits of getting your oil light diagnosed and fixed include:

  • A healthier engine that will last much longer.
  • Less oil leaks, meaning you won’t need to top up your oil as much
  • Smoother engine operation and performance

For car engine oil light on diagnostics in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today!


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