Question from Reader: What causes the oil pressure light to appear when I stop? I checked the dipstick, it’s okay and I still have another thousand miles before I’m due for an oil change.
Dear Reader: The oil pressure light in your vehicle is a warning system to alert you of low oil pressure. This can be caused by a low oil level or something more serious. Since you’ve checked the oil level and it appears to be fine, what could be happening when you come to a stop and the engine drops to an idle is that the oil pump, which is powered by the engine, is slowing and not pumping enough oil to keep the oil pressure up. If the oil pump is worn or isn’t working correctly the oil pressure light will appear.
Low oil pressure may also be caused by debris that gets sucked into the oil pump. The oil pump is the only engine component that is continually lubed with unfiltered oil. The oil doesn’t pass through a filter until after it leaves the pump, so any abrasive debris can pass through the pump before it is trapped by the filter. This debris can restrict the flow of oil and reduce oil pressure.
A plugged oil filter can be another cause of low oil pressure. When the oil leaves the pump, it passes through the filter before going on to the bearings. All filters create a certain amount of resistance to flow but if the filter becomes clogged with debris, oil flow will be blocked which will cause damage to your engine.
The oil pressure light may also appear if the engine is leaking oil from its gaskets or seals. There are quite a few things that could be wrong when the oil light appears. These could be simple and minor repairs or more serious repairs that could damage your engine if they are ignored. So have a trusted mechanic or auto repair technician check it out right away.
For all of your Denver Auto Repair needs, trust Express Car Care. Call (303) 691-2760 or stop by our shop today.
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