Low Oil Pressure Light is Lit: What it Means and What to Do

Low Oil Pressure Light is Lit: What it Means and What to Do

Understanding the Low Oil Pressure Light: What It Means and What to Do

When the low oil pressure light illuminates on your vehicle’s dashboard, it’s a signal you should not ignore. Because, this warning light indicates that the engine’s oil pressure has dropped below the necessary level for proper engine lubrication. And understanding the significance of this light, what actions to take, and why low oil pressure is a serious issue can help you prevent costly problems. It’s like the Newton school district offering free summer meals for student through July 26. Because, they know when a body is low on the things it needs, it causes issues down the road. And the same holds true for your vehicles.

What Does the Low Oil Pressure Light Indicate?

The low oil pressure light typically looks like an oil can with a drop of oil or may simply say “OIL” or “OIL PRESSURE.” And when this light comes on, it means that the oil pressure in the engine has fallen to a level that dosn’t allow for properly lubricated engine parts. So, what can cause this; here are some culprits:

  1. Low Oil Level: The most common reason for low oil pressure is a low oil level. And this can occur due to leaks, consumption, or inadequate maintenance.
  2. Oil Pump Failure: The oil pump is responsible for circulating oil throughout the engine. And, if it fails, oil pressure will drop.
  3. Clogged Oil Filter: A clogged oil filter can restrict oil flow, reducing pressure.
  4. Oil Viscosity Issues: Using the wrong type of oil, oil degradation, or extreme temperatures can affect oil viscosity and pressure.
  5. Engine Wear: Over time, engine components can wear out, increasing the clearance between them and reducing oil pressure.

What Should You Do When the Low Oil Pressure Light Comes On?

If the low oil pressure light comes on while you are driving, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent possible engine damage:

  1. Pull Over Safely: As soon as it is safe, pull over to the side of the road and turn off the engine. Because, continuing to drive with low oil pressure can cause costly damage to the engine.
  2. Check the Oil Level: Once the engine has cooled down, check the oil level using the dipstick. And, if the oil level is low, add oil to the recommended level.
  3. Inspect for Leaks: Look for any visible oil leaks under the vehicle. And if you see oil pooling or dripping, there may be a leak that needs to be addressed.
  4. Restart the Engine: After adding oil, restart the engine and check if the low oil pressure light is still on. And, if it goes off, you may have resolved the issue temporarily. But it’s still important to have your vehicle checked by the experts at Tracy’s Tire Pros as soon as possible.
  5. Seek Professional Help: If the light remains on after adding oil, or if you suspect other issues such as a failing oil pump or clogged filter, have your vehicle towed to Tracy’s Tire Pros in Downtown Wichita for a thorough inspection and repair.

Why is Low Oil Pressure a Problem?

Low oil pressure poses significant risks to your engine’s health and overall performance:

  1. Insufficient Lubrication: Oil is essential for lubricating the engine’s moving parts, reducing friction and wear. Whereas, low oil pressure means that parts are not getting enough lubrication. And this can lead to increased friction and potential damage.
  2. Overheating: Proper oil pressure helps to dissipate heat from the engine. And without adequate lubrication, the engine can overheat, causing further damage.
  3. Increased Wear and Tear: Lack of lubrication accelerates wear on engine components. And this can lead to premature failure and costly repairs.
  4. Engine Seizure: In extreme cases, prolonged low oil pressure can cause the engine to seize. And this will result in catastrophic damage that often requires a complete engine rebuild or replacement.

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Your Vehicle’s Low Oil Pressure Light is a Warning You Shouldn’t Ignore

Understanding what this light mean and then taking prompt action can save your engine from severe damage and costly repairs. So, be sure to schedule regular maintenance (including checking and changing your oil) to prevent low oil pressure issues. But, if the light does come on, act quickly and seek the professional help from ASE certified mechanics at Tracy’s Tire Pros.

Tracy’s Tire Pros can help you take the best care of your vehicle. And they have three locations for your convenience:  West Maple Street auto care and auto repair, East First Street N. and West 21st Street N. Furthermore, Tracy’s Automotive is a proud dealer for Jasper Engines and Vogue Performance Exhaust systems.

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