20 Jun, 23

Is it safe to drive with your oil light on?

The dashboard oil light on your automobile is one of the most important warning lights and should never be disregarded. It means the engine oil pressure in your car has decreased below a safe level. It is crucial to address this warning light as soon as possible because it might be scary and show that the engine of your automobile may be in danger of suffering significant damage. Driving with the oil light on, however, may raise concerns for certain motorists.

oil light on


It’s vital to comprehend the function of engine oil in your car in order to respond to this query. The oil keeps your engine’s moving parts lubricated, cold, and in good working order. Lack of oil may cause friction and heat when your engine’s moving parts begin to scrape against one another. This may cause substantial engine damage or possibly total engine failure. So it is dangerous to drive with the oil light on.
As soon as you see the oil light on your dashboard, stop your car and turn off the engine. Next, use the dipstick to check the oil level in your engine. If it’s low, add more oil as necessary. But it’s important to keep in mind that adding oil might not be enough to fix the problem. There could be a bigger issue if the oil pressure is still low.
A qualified mechanic must inspect your car’s engine oil system to determine if the oil level is normal in order to identify and address any problems. To identify the reason for the low oil pressure, the mechanic may also conduct a more thorough examination of the engine. Low oil pressure has several common reasons, including:

Low Engine Oil Level

Low oil pressure may result from a low engine oil level in your car. This may occur if you don’t change your oil frequently or if your oil system has a leak.

Oil Pump Wear

The oil pump moves oil around the engine. Low oil pressure could result from it not being able to circulate enough oil if it is worn out.

Clogged oil filter

The oil filter cleans the engine oil of impurities. Low oil pressure could result from restricted oil flow if it’s plugged.

Read more: How To Properly Bleed A Car Cooling System By Yourself

Faulty Oil Pressure Sensor

The oil pressure sensor communicates the level of oil pressure to the car’s computer. If it’s broken, it can show low oil pressure even though it’s actually normal.

  • Driving with the oil light on can void your car’s warranty, so keep that in mind. Most automakers demand that you swiftly take care of any warning lights to make sure your automobile is operating properly. Let’s say you don’t pay attention to the oil light and keep on driving. In that case, the warranty might not cover any resulting engine damage.
  • An unreliable sensor or a wiring problem could cause the oil light to illuminate. If so, low engine oil pressure might not be the issue. To find the true source of the problem, it is still crucial to have it examined by a qualified technician.
  • It is unsafe and risky to drive with the oil light on since it can seriously harm the engine. If you see the oil light on your dashboard, stop right away and turn off your automobile. Check the oil level in your engine and add more if necessary.
  • Have a trained mechanic check the engine oil system in your vehicle to see whether the oil level is normal and to locate and resolve any issues. You can avoid serious engine damage and make sure your car runs properly by responding to the oil light right away. Keep in mind that the oil light is a warning indicator that you should never disregard because it can save you expensive repairs or even engine failure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Why is the oil light on in my car?

A: The oil light typically illuminates when there is an issue with the engine oil system. It could indicate low oil pressure, low oil level, a malfunctioning oil pump, or a problem with the oil pressure sensor.

Q2: What should I do if the oil light is on?

A: If the oil light comes on while driving, it’s crucial to take immediate action. Safely pull over to the side of the road as soon as possible and turn off the engine. Check the oil level using the dipstick, and if it’s low, add oil to the recommended level. If the oil level is fine, or if adding oil doesn’t resolve the issue, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance or have the vehicle towed to a mechanic.

Q3: Is it safe to drive with the oil light on?

A: It’s generally not safe to drive with the oil light illuminated. The oil light indicates a problem with the oil system, which can lead to engine damage if ignored. Continuing to drive could result in engine overheating, decreased lubrication, and potential engine failure.

Q4: Can a faulty oil pressure sensor cause the oil light to come on?

A: Yes, a malfunctioning oil pressure sensor can cause the oil light to illuminate even if the oil pressure is normal. If the sensor is faulty, it may send incorrect readings to the dashboard, giving the impression of low oil pressure.

Q5: What are some common causes of low oil pressure?

A: Low oil pressure can be caused by several factors, including low oil level, a clogged oil filter, a failing oil pump, worn engine bearings, a faulty oil pressure relief valve, or a leak in the oil system.

Q6: Can I reset the oil light myself after addressing the issue?

A: Depending on the vehicle, you may be able to reset the oil light manually. Consult your car’s owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to reset the oil light or consider taking it to a professional mechanic who can perform the reset for you.

Read more: 6 must-have qualities of a Good Auto Mechanic

Remember, if you have concerns about the oil light or the overall health of your vehicle, it’s best to consult a qualified mechanic for a proper diagnosis and necessary repairs.

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