Imagine you have a car and you have not used it for some time. You attempt to switch the engine on but there is low oil pressure based on your oil pressure sensor. Depending on your personality, you might attempt to fix this yourself or call someone like a service facility to fix it for you. But do you know the causes of low oil pressure? Are there risks that this can damage the engine? What must be done to solve the problem?

If you are experiencing this kind of problem, it is best to work on them immediately. This could be an indication of a more serious problem. If you do not have much experience or technical background with the interior of your car engine, you would definitely not know where to start finding the cause of your low oil pressure.

checking low oil pressure

If your car is equipped with a low oil pressure light and it lit up, it means that either you are dangerously experiencing low oil pressure which has many reasons or the unit that triggers this particular warning light is not working properly. Either way you should never ignore these indicators. Older vehicle models would also have a gauge that would who the data gathered by the low oil pressure switch.

The Causes Of Low Oil Pressure

Start with your dip stick.

  • First take a rug, pull out the dip stick, wipe it so you would see the difference when you put it back inside.

  • Withdraw the dip stick again so you would see how much oil you have left based on the mark it makes on the stick.

  • Note that a dip stick has two marks on it: the minimum amount of oil that you are supposed to put in and the other one is for the maximum amount that you can put in.

This means that as long as you are within this two markers, you have put in an acceptable and safe amount of oil and so the problem of low oil pressure is not here but elsewhere. If the oil is lower than it should be, the possibilities are either you are burning oil too much or your oil is leaking.

common causes of low oil pressure

Other Reasons for Low Oil Pressure

  • You burn too much oil when your valve guides, cylinders and rings are old or damaged. Usually the repairs can be expensive.

  • Leaks can be fixed by finding the leaks and replacing it with new gaskets or seals.

  • Leaking will also take place if the oil filter is not properly tightened or installed.

Low Oil Pressure: To Drive the Car or Not?

Your question may be to attempt to still drive a vehicle that is on low oil pressure. Assuming that the vehicle is new and you could not hear any unusual noises such as engine knocking or some clattering valvetrain, chances are that the oil sending unit is just the problem. If only the sending unit is the problem, you can still probably drive the vehicle around until such time you get the chance to have it replaced. Otherwise, there is a high risk of ruining or damaging your engine. The best recommendation would be to have it towed by a service facility for proper assessment and repair.