How To Understand the Oil Light Signal

There’s probably nothing worse than being greeted with a warning light from your dashboard when you are just about to use your car. One of these warning lights is the oil light, telling you have an engine oil problem. These steps will help you find the root of the problem and hopefully find a solution.

  1. Observe the oil light. If you are just starting your day, you climb in to your car and turn the ignition key to start the engine, you notice the oil light starts to flash. This is the usual process a car goes into once you start your car, it will start flashing the warning lights on the dashboard for a short while, then it will turn off once the engine starts. But if the oil light does not go off and keeps flashing, then there you have to check what’s causing the problem, since it could be several factors. 
  2. Check oil level. Turn off the engine, then raise the hood of your car and use the dip stick to check the oil level. Pull out the dip stick from the holder and use a rag to clean the end to get a better reading. Once the end is clean, push it back in for a little while, then pull it back out. See if the level is sufficient, if you notice it measures below the standard, then you must be out of oil. Refill your car’s engine with oil, then wait for a few minutes for the oil to settle in. Use the dip stick again to check for the oil level, if you see that you have put in a sufficient amount of oil, get back in your car and start the engine. See if there is any change to the oil light on your dashboard. If it goes off, then you have just solved the problem, if it still won’t go away, then you have to check other factors.
  3. Check for leaks. See if your engine is leaking oil, you will find traces of oil leaking from the seals onto the ground, so check under the car too. If the car’s engine is leaking oil, then you will need to replace the seals. You can have your car towed to a garage to have it repaired or do it yourself if you know how.
  4. Check the oil pump. The oil pump sends pressure to move the oil in your engine. Turn on your engine and listen for odd sounds coming from the engine. If you notice unusual sounds, then shut off your engine and check the oil level. If you have enough oil in your engine, purchase an oil pump for your type of vehicle and replace the pump. Turn on the engine again and listen if you notice anymore sounds. If you don’t hear the odd noises, go back to your dashboard and see if the oil lights are off.

Sometimes the remedy to an oil light warning isn’t simply refilling your engine with oil. You will have to check other factors if the warning lights do not turn off.


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